Block Party

“Sittin’ with your friends as y’all reminisce about the days growing up and the first person ya kissed. And as I think back makes me wonder how the smell from a grill can spark up nostalgia.” ~Will Smith Saturdays in May in the ghetto. Philadelphia loud and heavy with mood. The base booming from a … Continue reading Block Party

6th & South, Circa 1997

I hate her, with her hand on her hip like she’s got attitude, spouting words like water, ranting for her supper like some old guy in skinny jeans with a goatee. But she’s not that old guy and she’s never going to be. Instead she’s a pretentious rich girl who feels like “slumming it” is … Continue reading 6th & South, Circa 1997

The Distance


“Oh, the distance is not doable in these bodies of clay, my brother. Oh, the distance makes me uncomfortable. Guess it’s natural to feel this way.”

The bus is crawling down Market Street at a snail’s pace as we sit here wasting time that could be better spent. Right now I’m thinking about how I would have probably already been at the office by now if I hadn’t thought it was good luck that the bus reached the corner at the same time I did. That hadn’t happened in months, so I was momentarily blinded by it as I climbed aboard and swiped my Transpass through the reader. Now I sit here in the middle of the bus, regret etched across my features. And I’m not alone.

When I moved to the outskirts of downtown Philadelphia I thought I had it made. It meant less commuting time and more culture. Of course part of the tradeoff was the declining sense of safety that had shrouded me living in the suburbs, ensconced in all the trappings of distance. See, distance is all it takes to feel secure, distance from where most crimes take place, distance from people who walk everywhere they go, and distance from the type of crazy you can only find in a city’s center. But I moved anyway because the pros outweighed the cons, or at least they did on my checklist.

But as I sit here, and the clock keeps on ticking, I’m starting to rethink why those pros weighed down the scale a few short months ago. It helped that the apartment I was in wasn’t mine, that it was ours, and that he was gone. It just felt haunted ever since he vanished, one day there and the next gone. Continue reading “The Distance”


When seen from below, through the lens of a first time viewing, you can see forever but only in rectangular form. The numbers obscure the view but not enough to blind you to the reality of two trees, a lamppost, and the brick facade of buildings across the street. This is minimalist. This is Philadelphia, … Continue reading Minimalist

Going Downtown, Part 5

Hot-Diggity-Queen-Village-Philadelphia-1-600-vpHot Diggity! That’s where we ate a late lunch on Saturday afternoon. It’s a kitschy place with a dynamic atmosphere, and they had pretty much every hot dog you might ever want to eat (plus some that you would probably be better off leaving alone). We stood outside the restaurant and looked at the menu long enough to see that they had vegetarian options for every single hot dog selection, which sold us on it. And, hey, the name was cute too.

Joy was automatically drawn to the Saigon Fusion, a modern name for a hot dog if I’ve ever heard one. It featured cucumbers, shredded vegetables, a chili vinaigrette, hot peppers, carrot shreds, and cilantro, and I ordered the same. When they arrived they were stuffed full to overflowing with so many goodies they made my mouth water. I wish I could have bottled that emotion because after just one bite of the huge hot dog I was ready to pour water down my throat it was so hot. It made my eyes burn, but man was it good!

We sat facing the huge window of the shop that created a good cross view of South Street in its full Saturday afternoon glory, with people going to and fro having a great time, oblivious to us watching them from the other side of the glass. I still maintain that South Street has some of the oddest people you will ever see in the same place at the same time, from the goths in all black, to the Amish leading goats, to the hipsters with skinny jeans, to the tourists who heard so much about the place they had to see it for themselves. With cameras out they capture all the other types of folks until their cameras are stolen in the hustle and bustle.

Then we were off again, once more a part of that moving organism sliding down South Street, but we were headed back to Center City and another festival, this one at Dilworth Park, a revamped area outside of City Hall designed specifically for these types of events. With our feet tired from so much walking we took the subway to City Hall, which loomed large over our heads when we emerged into the sunlight in the late afternoon. As we headed through the center of the building where a large courtyard greeted us we saw a girls’ acapella group singing show tunes and collecting money for their efforts. They were not in tune, but they had a lot of money in their bucket. Go figure.
Continue reading “Going Downtown, Part 5”