Haunting in South Philly

This week, I started watching the new Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House. I read the book when I was barely into my teens  and it made quite an impression on me.  Later on, I saw a film adaptation, The Haunting, which is one of the scariest movies I have ever seen.  Black and white and not a bit of gore or violence in it.  I wasn’t as fond of the remake which seemed  formulaic, and more funny than scary.

South Philadelphia has some haunted history too, although you won’t find a lot of information on tourist sites.  Serial killer H.H. Holmes met his demise at Moyamensing Prison which is now the site of the Acme Market at 10th and Reed Streets.   I don’t know whether he wanders the store after it closes for the night, nor do I want to know.

On the brighter side, South Philadelphians take any occasion as an excuse to decorate their front windows and Halloween is no exception.  From pumpkin painting festivals to pots of chrysanthemums sprouting up in curbside planters, South Philly is ablaze with the colors of  Autumn this time of year- just in time for Halloween.  Here are some pictures.

 

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This Week

A bunch of pictures from this week

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Caught the  Wind Challenge Exhibition at Fleisher Art Memorial

Took pictures of the many mushrooms that have popped up in my neighborhood after last week’s rain.

Flowers are beautiful even when they’re dying

Helped kids paint pumpkins at Palumbo Recreation Center

Some Pottery in Progress

Saw some new (to me) Murals

And met some incredible artists and makers at Philadelphia Open Studio Tours at the Bok Building.  This deserves its own post.  Stay tuned,

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Last week, a reader warned about the application of a  toxic herbicide called glyphosate to wheat crops rendering all but organically grown wheat safe to eat.  I decided to read up on glyphosate.  The Food Babe blog  pointed out the dangers posed by this chemical, citing a report by a group called Food Democracy Now.  (Read the report here.) But the Snopes.Com site argues that the report’s information is false.  I am not a chemist and cannot do my own tests.  I will say that the discussion of the scientific methodology used in the report seems vague, (compare the testing done to determine the link between smoking and lung cancer), but I do not know whether this comes from an intent to deceive,  poor writing, or an editorial decision that the reader would not understand a more thorough discussion of the testing procedures used.    I have not come to a conclusion.  I am presenting this information so readers can draw their own conclusions.    

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Boris does not care about any of this apparently, 

Has Spring Finally Sprung?

It certainly looked like it in my neighborhood.  I took these pictures today on the walk home from the pottery studio.

 

And here’s one of the cacti from Bob’s garden.    I know it looks like a bunch of deflated balloons now, but its cactus pads will be stiff as soldiers come summer.

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I have been busy making mugs and  I’ll post a few pictures in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, here are some of my favorite pieces from the Fleisher Student Show.

Pictures of the Week

It’s always fun to post from your cell phone, but a handy option to have. I am under the radar this week but thought I would share some pictures from last week’s Flea Market at the Kimmel Center.

Summer Walks, Summer Flowers

  One of the things I love most about Philadelphia is the unexpected little streets and alley ways that stretch from Queen Village to Point Breeze and all the neighborhoods in between.   Here are some flower pictures I took on some walks around the city.1.SummerFlars0728_1417522.SummerFlars0728_1418043.SummerFlars0728_1418204.SummerFlars0728_1418235.SummerFlars4526.SummerFlars5077.SummerFlars5368.SummerFlars556

Bob’s Garden Spring 2017

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.

 

 

Thanksgiving in Philadelphia

What else could provide a better example of the bounty and abundance that we should all be so thankful for this Thanksgiving and every other day of the year?  Reading Terminal Market.    Here are some pictures of the hustle and bustle on the day before the turkey lands.

A Visit to the Masonic Temple

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I’ve wanted to tour the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia for quite some time.  Even though there have been Masons in my and my husband’s family and  I used to work in City Hall which is right across the street, I never made the trip.

Then I joined the Cityscape Tours Philadelphia Meetup group that Steve Rosenbach organized a year ago.  When an email popped up in my account announcing an “Almost Free” tour of the Temple I signed up and I’m glad I did.

I arrived at the Temple a few minutes early and Steve was there with a list of names and a hearty welcome.  He was very well organized.  As more people arrived, it became evident that some had attended prior tours Steve had organized and that others were newbies like me.  But everyone was very friendly and the fact that we all had cameras seemed to unite us somehow.  I always feel self conscious when I take pictures in public (you’d never know this I suppose because I take pictures constantly wherever I go if it is legal and does not violate privacy,  propriety or rules of etiquette.)

By way of background, the Masonic Temple was constructed between 1868 and 1873 in the Romanesque style of architecture developed by the Normans in the Middle Ages. The interior took another 15 years to complete and included  It is on the list of National Landmarks.

There are seven lodge halls in the Temple and our group got to see four of them: Ionic Hall, Norman Hall, Egyptian Hall and Gothic Hall.  We also saw the Grand Staircase,  some fascinating artifacts in the attached museum, and some very old portraits of prominent Masons including George Washington. I took a lot of pictures but most of them did not turn out so well.  No matter; it was a fun and interesting time and good company.  To learn more about Freemasonry, press here.

Here are some pictures

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Grand Staircase

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Entrance leading to Grand Staircase
 

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Outside Entrance
 

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Ionic Hall
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Ionic Hall
 

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Gothic Hall
 

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Dedication Cornerstone
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Grand Staircase

I just found this interesting image cica 1840 of the site where the Masonic Temple now stands. Part of the Arch Street Church, which was later enlarged and is still standing, is visible.

 

 

 

Where I Work

I am getting ready to retire. Yes, retire from what I call my 38 year detour. (Includes professional school) I don’t regret the time I’ve spent because I made changes long ago that enabled me to take care of myself and make a living and I was fortunate to have wonderful co-workers who were sane for the most part and who cut me slack when I was not. For the past few years, one of the perks of my job has been working in one of the most interesting buildings in the United States. I never tire of walking its halls and taking pictures. Here are some of them

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Happy Thanksgiving from Philadelphia

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Pictures from Reading Terminal Market