Winter dumped a load on the East coast this week. I’m glad I didn’t have to be anywhere. Still, it’s fun to go out and explore.
I did something different today. I wrote a letter. A real letter, not a card. With a pen. In cursive. On notepaper. And I addressed it. And put a stamp on it. There’s a mail box on the corner across from my house. I fought my fear that there were corona virus germs on the mail box handle. I pulled the handle down, and dropped the letter through the slot. And then I looked across the street toward St. Paul’s church and saw this.
Actually, St. Peter is the one in the picture. How do I know? Peter’s the one with the keys to the pearly gates and I think the big book he’s holding is where all your transgressions are recorded. You die, you go to the pearly gates of heaven,and St. Peter meets you like a bouncer at an exclusive night club and decides whether you get in.
How do I know all this? Twelve years of Catholic school. That and the fact that I had a mother who had a hard time allowing herself to relax, and enjoy something like a nice outfit or a yummy dessert without feeling guilty. And when I got older, I would ask her, “Why tease yourself? It’s not like there’s a prize for the person who suffers the most. It’s not like St. Peter’s gonna meet you at the pearly gates with a ******* Kewpie doll.”
St. Paul is down at the end of the block out of camera range, and he is wearing a mask too. And he’s holding a sword to smack the heads of passers by who might not be wearing a mask or observing proper social distancing. Which is why I did not go down there to take his picture. Because even though I was wearing a mask, I knew he was down there waiting to see if I would screw up. Twelve years of Catholic school will do that. I’m scarred for life.
Try something different and see what happens. It just might spark your creativity.
Stay safe and well.
I’ve started a new semester at the Fleisher Art Memorial but can’t do much in the pottery studio because of my hand (surgery next month). But I went there today anyway to check out the 121st (yes, you read that right) Annual Faculty Exhibition which is in full swing and will be open for another week. Here are some highlights from the show.
There are many other fine works in the show which closes on September 21, 2019. Don’t miss it if you are in South Philadelphia.
Last month I visited the Bok Makerspace which was on the South Philly list of participants in the Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST).
Bok Technical High School was a vocational school that opened in South Philadelphia in 1938. Thousands of students passed through Bok’s doors learning trades like brick laying, plastering, plumbing, machine building, tailoring, and hairdressing until the school closed its doors in 2013.
The Bok building is massive. That’s a cardboard model in the above picture. It takes up an entire city block and the interior is 340,000 square feet. The surrounding neighborhood is made up of mostly residential row houses. The residents were understandably concerned about what would happen to the building.
They need not have worried. In 2014, a developer named Lindsey Scannapieco proposed converting the former high school into a space for creative entrepreneurs. The neighborhood liked her ideas and her efforts were lauded by Inge Saffron, the Architectural Critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Read more articles about the transformation of Bok here and here.
While Bok is thought of as a space for artists, it is really so much more as I learned on my visit for the POST tours. All of the artists I talked to came from the surrounding neighborhood and almost all of them were business people in creative fields.
I hope to profile some of the artists I met during the tour and show you some pictures of their spaces.
They say that everybody always complains about the weather but nobody ever does anything about it. If you are at all into gardening, this Spring’s crazy weather has made things a challenge: Flowers opening early and freezing; buds opening up icing over and and falling off; rain and chilly weather that has made May seem more like Fall than Spring.
So Bob has faced challenges in the garden this spring and it’s not as full and lush as it usually is at this time of year. Even so, there are four turtles in the Koi pond and sometimes they sit in the sun stacked up on one another. Turtles really do that. I don’t have any pictures because they are camera shy, but you can see many examples here. And the turtles come out on the so far rare sunny days to bask in the sun and enjoy the flowers.
I volunteered to help in the ColorWheels mobile community art program run by the Fleisher Art Memorial and participated in my first program on Saturday outside the Donatucci branch of the Philadelphia Free Library. After helping to set up the ColorWheels tent, I and other volunteers helped the neighborhood kids make Gelli prints using leaves we found on the sidewalk and supplies from the ColorWheels art van. It was a lot of fun and the kids jumped right in picking out paint and leaves, and turning out prints that twe hung up to dry for them.
We ended up closing a little early because it started raining. Still, it was a great way to spend a Saturday.
Happy Holidays from South Philadelphia! We decided to make plates for two little boys for their weekly pancake breakfasts with their parents. Dad makes chocolate chip pancakes for the family every Sunday. Yum, Yum!
So, where did we go ? Why The Expressive Hand a charming paint your own pottery shop in the heart of Bella Vista. That’s owner Marcie Ziskind showing Bubbie how to do lettering on the rim of the plate.
Read more about the Expressive hand in this Blog Post.
I live in South Philadelphia where there’s not much greenery. But I’m lucky because my neighbor Bob turns the hot and gritty summer landscape into an urban oasis every year. Here are some pictures from this years’ garden.
The Hawthorn tree
The Koi pond
Flowers bloom, die and
New flowers come up to take their place
The Banana tree and koi pond
Bob’s BFF Barbra keeps watch over everything. Sqwalk!
If you want to see posts about of Bob’s garden from summers past, click on the links below. Not all of the slide show links work on the older posts but they will give you an idea of how the garden has changed over the years.
What happens when you ask a group of men walking down the street if you can take pictures of their shoes? If it’s New Years day in Philadelphia, they are likely to say yes but only if your husband gets in the picture too.
Here are some links to for Mummers fans.
and a couple of old blog posts
Have a fun and safe New Year!