Salute to Service/Blue Sapphire 2016

Page 1

2016 Philly

Meet our Winners Vai Sikahema NBC 10 Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award

Frank Olivieri Jr.

Jim Donovan

Pat’s King of Steaks Local Business Success Story

CBS 3 Media

Inside this Issue OCT | NOV | DEC 2016 VOL 33_ISSUE 43_2016 GOHOMEPHILLY.COM $4.99 US

RowHome Remembers

Billy Paul

Lifetime Music Achievement Award

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Dr. James Moylan Service to Community


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VOLUME _33 ISSUE 43_ 2016

Insidethis issue

October | November | December 2016

24_ MUSIC & ART PRH Music Spotlight Burning Bridget Cleary by Bryan Culver

34_ SALUTE TO SERVICE Meet our 2016 Blue Sapphire Winners Jim Donovan, Dr. James Moylan, Frank Olivieri, Billy Paul, Vai Sikahema photos by Phil Kramer Introducing our 2016 WishRock Award Winners Bobby Hill, Rebecca Corosanite, Nate Murawski, Alex Podagrosi, Santino Stagliano photos by Andrew Andreozzi

61_ MENU P’Unk Burger Homemade Organic Pumpkin Speculoos Milkshakes

77_ SPORTS Neighborhood Spotlight: Vince Vaccone by Anthony Panvini photo by Tony Capobianco



photos by Andrew Andreozzi



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VOLUME _33 ISSUE 43_ 2016


October | November | December 2016

6_FROM THE PUBLISHERS Our 2016 Blue Sapphire Award Winners photo by Phil Kramer

12_NEIGHBORHOOD NOIR 17_WINE KNOW Searching for the perfect blend! by Vincent R. Novello, Jr.

20_HANGIN’ OUT 48_BRIDES GUIDE Water Works: The Philadelphia Story by Joe Volpe / CEO Cescaphe Event Group photos by Melissa Kelly Photography


70 17 wine know

Vertical farming in the heart of the City by Kerri-Lee Mayland




Go Home Philly! Stop & Shop at our Local Spots

brides guide


on the cover |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| All Great Accomplishments Begin with a Dream

As part of its annual Salute to Service Program, Philadelphia RowHome Magazine presents its 2016 Blue Sapphire Award to individuals whose selfless dedication to the City of Philadelphia left a positive impact for generations to come.

Dr. James Moylan

Frank Olivieri Jr. Vai Sikahema Jim Donovan

River to River. One Neighborhood.


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Tony “Papa Luke” Lucidonio Founder, 1992

39 East Oregon Avenue Philadelphia, PA 215.551.5725 Get the real taste of South Philly online:

Congratulations to our 2016

service |ˈsərvis| noun


1 the action of helping or doing work for someone Photo by Phil Kramer

Hair by The Cutting Point

Makeup by Bella Angel

River to River. One Neighborhood.

See page 34

Location courtesy of Tendenza, Cescaphe Event Group

Blue Sapphire Award Winners

All great accomplishments begin with a dream. Philly Vai Sikahemma NBC 10

Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award

Dr. James Moylan

Service to Community

Jim Donovan

Frank Olivieri

In Loving Memory


Local Business Success Story

Lifetime Music Achievement


Dorette & Dawn

Pat’s King of Steaks

Billy Paul

VOLUME_33 ISSUE 43 October | November | December 2016


President | Publisher Dorette Rota Jackson


Vice President | Publisher

Mobile App Build

Ideal for Businesses, Schools, Churches, Restaurants, Bars, Bands, Nonprofits, Fitness Centers & more

Dawn Rhoades

Editor Dorette Rota Jackson

Vice President Marketing & Promotions Dawn Rhoades

Creative Director | production Omar Rubio

Contributors Mark Casasanto David Cava Vincent A. DeFino, Esq. Frank DePasquale Jr., Esq Dr. Richard Dittrich Larry Gallone Brett Jackson Maria Merlino

Dr. James Moylan John Nacchio Vincent R. Novello, Jr. Michael Rhoades Leo Rossi Jade Rota Tony Santini Bob Wagner

Marketing & Editorial Assistant Brenda Hillegas

Green space Editor Kerri-Lee Mayland




Marketing Communications Coordinator

· Mobile Apps, · Mobile Marketing, · Mobile Websites, · SEO

Carol Vassallo

Photographers Phil Kramer Andrew Andreozzi Maria Merlino

Account Manager Theresa Palestino

Go to:

NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Mike Rhoades or call 1.855.527.7236 BNY Mellon Center 1735 Market St., Suite 3750 Philadelphia, PA 19103


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Philadelphia RowHome Inc. P.O. Box 54786 Philadelphia, PA 19148 Phone – 215.462.9777 | Fax – 215.462.9770 |

Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine and its contents are copyrighted. Content printed in the magazine may not be reproduced or reprinted, in whole or in part, by any other party without the expressed written consent of Philadelphia RowHome Magazine. 2016 Philadelphia RowHome Inc. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the USA. Published by Philadelphia RowHome Inc.


email your letters to:

Dear Dorette & Dawn

Keep going. The magazine is just amazing – a true part of all of us “Home Grown” and our South Philly roots. Tanti Auguri! Fondly, Judge Annette Rizzo (Retired)

Dear Dorette & Dawn

Continuing thanks for your tremendous magazine. It doesn’t get published often enough for me. What a wonderful accomplishment you two lovely ladies have achieved. No need to say, ‘keep up the good work.’ There’s no doubt about that. Again, thank you for keeping me in touch with my Philly roots. Sincerely, Janet Buchianico

Dear RowHome

Your magazine just keeps getting better. Your January/February/March issue was really great. Sincerely, Rosemarie V. Weinberg

Dear Dorette & Dawn

I just received the latest RowHome Magazine. How happy and surprised I was to see the picture of Chris, Ken and myself when we were in Florida (Hangin’ Out). Being raised in North Philly, I, too, enjoyed the “boys’ games” – halfball, wall ball, step ball, wire ball, etc. My brothers were wonderful and I miss them. Love you both, Eileen Eaves 10

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Dear PRH

I loved seeing my Mom and Dad’s wedding picture in RowHome Magazine’s summer issue! Thank you Dorette Rota Jackson and Philadelphia RowHome Magazine! As always, RowHome Magazine is fantastic! Maria Clause Mangano

Dear PRH

Fantastic, fantastic job as always Dawnie! You and Dorette can give Philadelphia Magazine a run for their money any day of the week! I’m just sorry that you’re not monthly instead of quarterly! Big congrats on another great issue that I am oh so proud to be a part of! Love you guys! Lou Pinto

Dear Dorette & Dawn

I can’t thank you enough for including my parents’ wedding photo in your new issue. My mom, who will be 95, has been beaming and showing everyone that walks into our home. Thank you so very much. Janice Di Joseph

Dear PRH

I hope RowHome Magazine never goes away. It keeps us close to our Philly roots. Pat Matuszewski Ehrenreich


| November | December 2016

Editor’s Note:

In our summer issue, we featured a story on Evelyn and Don Giancaterino (Real People. Real Stories / page 18). They celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary, this year, and Don took Evelyn back to the very same restaurant in South Philly where he proposed. We are sad to share the news that Evelyn passed away on July 30th. “She fought the good fight to the end, so bravely,” her brother-in-law told RowHome Magazine. “You gave a BIG thrill at the end through RowHome. She smiled when my wife read it to her at the hospital. The [article] is gaining traction as my brother Don’s neighbor made copies and Don hands them out. He says he is getting a strong response from friends and they have many friends. So, thanks for being a huge part of it all. Ev adored your creation. Someone asked Don, ‘Is it in Philly Mag?’ Don replied, ‘Better than that, it’s in RowHome Mag.’” Randy Giancaterino

Dear Dorette & Dawn

One of my clients told me today that RowHome is so beautiful and unique, one of the best magazines out there and he is also a writer! Better than Philadelphia Magazine. And of course I totally agreed. Debbie Russino Philadelphia RowHome Magazine has been so supportive in every one of our endeavors. I am infinitely grateful to the most inspiring sisters – Dawn Retallick Rhoades and Dorette Rota Jackson. Thank you! That’s what South Philly is made of.

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Best of Category Mike Jumper – 2012 Bordeaux Anthony & Joe Lombardi – 2015 Bordeaux Vino Puro – 2012 Sauvignon Blanc/Simone Blend Leigh H. Smith – 2014 Blueberry Anthony Esgro – 2015 Pinot Noir Phillip Vallareo – 2015 Cabernet Vino Tres Cesari – 2015 Malbec Mike Verna – 2014 Super Tuscan Vino Puro – 2013 Zin/Petite Syrah Blend Pete DiDonato – 2013 Amarone

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IBEW Local Union 98

Lighting Philadelphia One Project at a Time John J. Dougherty, Business Manager

IBEW Local Union 98 SaluteS Philadelphia RowHome Magazine’s 2016 Blue Sapphire award winnerS:

Jim Donovan

Frank Olivieri

Media CBS 3 newS anChor, ConSumer reporter

Local Business Success Story Pat’s King of steaKs

Billy Paul

Vai Sikahema

Lifetime Music Achievement Grammy award winner, r&B Soul SinGer

Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award nBC 10 SportS direCtor

Dr. James E. Moylan ChiropraCtiC phySiCian Service to Community

RowHome Remembers  PRH Life


Summer Staples Gone but not Forgotten by Tony Santini

ore than 25 years ago, there was a popular sitcom on television called Full House. It’s still on the air each night as part of Nickelodeon’s Nick-At-Night programming. The catchy theme song for the show includes the lyrics, “Whatever happened to predictability; the Milkman; the Paperboy;

and Evening TV?” As another summer came to a close, my thoughts drifted to those same lines and I wondered, “Whatever happened to my predictability? Where did my “Summer Staples” go? What happened to the food, the activities, the games and other summer-centric things that remain so vivid in my memory but seem so far in the past? When mentioning this to family and friends, it took little effort to get them to

Fun Things Water Balloon fights Pitching pennies The Whip Ride and the postride bubble gum stick School picnics at Clementon Park Eddie Nixon Dances Girls Day or Boys Day at the local public swimming pools

Food & Snacks Fresh pretzels from street vendors Jolly Roger, Mister Softee, Good Humor and Dairy Queen Cherry Ice Umbrellas, Pushup bars and Popsicles Cherry or Lemon water ice in white cone paper cups Candy Cigarettes, Turkish Taffy, B-B-Bats Free hamburgers at McDonald’s for a good report card Eating DiFabio’s Pizza outside, on your steps, with your neighbors Getting fresh, hot rolls and bagels late at night from Tally Ann Bakery


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Catching lightning bugs in a bottle Sticking fallen tree clippings (a.k.a. helicopters) on your nose Tossing your old sneakers onto telephone wires Putting baseball cards or balloons in your bike spokes to simulate a motorcycle Getting wet under an open fire hydrant and making showers with your hands Free movie tickets from Bambi Cleaners and other area merchants By Saam, Bill Campbell and Richie Ashburn broadcasting the Phillies on the radio

share a memory of their own summer staple that is gone but not forgotten. So I compiled a list. Of course, the list is not all-inclusive and very much reflective of a Baby-Boomer demographic. But I hope all readers find some enjoyment in it, either by adding to the list or by asking someone older than them just what the heck we are talking about!

Games Halfball, Stickball, Dodgeball and Chink Dead Box, Jail Break, BuckBuck and Hide the Belt Jacks, Chalk, Hopscotch and Double-Dutch Pea Shooters with Navy beans as ammo Super Soakers, Big Wheels, Tops and yo-yos

Other Stuff Short pants with fringed bottoms “Bobos…they make your feet feel fine! Bobos...they cost $1.99” Roller skates, peach box scooters, punks The family trip to Kiddie City to buy a plastic swimming pool for the yard Large Hunter fans in front windows blowing out versus in to keep the house cool Knowing the neighbor who had the wrench to turn on the fire hydrant (a.k.a. fire plug) Neighbors cleaning their marble step when the fire hydrant was turned on

Wine Know by Vincent R. Novello Jr.

Fruit of the Vine  PRH Life


uring my usual fall visit to *Procacci Bros., “The One Stop Shop for Home Winemaking,” I noticed, to my pleasure, the many new young faces shopping for grapes in a pursuit to make wine for the first time. It wasn’t the usual old time winemakers or those shopping for the old “hardy red” (made from two parts Alicante to one part Muscat). These newcomers were seeking out different varietals to make Cuvees (using three or more different grapes) and other complex wines. But what was more heartwarming was to see the many familiar, more experienced faces helping them along their new endeavor.

In search of the perfect blend A young group of newcomers was interested in making a Bordeaux blend and happened to ask what combination of

grapes were needed to create this type of complex wine. I explained that the typical blend consists of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Cabernet Franc, with small additions of Petit Verdot and Malbec and very occasionally Carmenere. As I shopped more, an older couple with their children and grandchildren came by asking what grape would be this year’s choice to go into a perfect wine. As for reds, I recommended Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and/or Merlot for the beginner. And as for white, Malvasia is a great choice. It was exciting and an honor for me to answer the many winemaking questions for these newcomers. It’s a great thing to start winemaking as a family tradition. It will bring beautiful memories for years to come. *Note: Procacci Bros. is located at 3600 S. Lawrence Streets in South Philadelphia


❚❙❘ Red Wines

Recommendations ❚❙❘ White Wines

Host/Hostess Gift

Jean Leon ‘Vinya Le Havre’ Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve $13

Secoli Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore $12

Tenuta di Rovecciano Brunello $40 (Orig. $75)

Alexander Valley a Vineyards Sin Zin Zinfandel $12

Montague Family Estate Chardonnay $ 12 (orig. $35)

Ridolfi Brunello di Montalcino $40 (Orig. $80)

Castello Di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Reserve $15

Kiona Chardonnay – $14 Maison Bouachon Les Rabassières Cotes Du Rhone Blanc Vionier $10 Franciscan Estate Cuvee Sauvage Chardonnay $20

Cantine di Ora Amicone Rosso blend $11 …and remember “Never save your good wine for tomorrow!” For more information contact Vincent Novello

Vincent Novello has been making his own wine since 1997 and has competed in and judged the annual Vendemmia. His 2008 Brunello took first and second place in the competition. Today, Novello serves as the Vendemmia’s contest director.

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A Year in the life of a

Mummer I by Dominique Verrecchio

t’s the first Sunday after Labor Day weekend. A Sunday of many firsts, including the first Sunday of football. As you stroll down the streets of most neighborhoods, you may see couples getting into the car to go food shopping for the week or people on their way home from church. But on 2nd Street, you see people making their way to the clubhouse. Mummery, as most South Philadelphians will tell you, is much more than meets the eye. There is so much intricate planning, thought and time that go into the final product that people see on New Year’s Day, it is sometimes unbelievable unless you witness it from start to finish with your own eyes. Believe it or not, planning for the New Year’s Day parade actually starts on January 2nd each year. I sat down with Satin Slipper NYB to learn more about the dedication that defines this phenomenon. Michael Townsend, the president of Satin Slipper, explains the process.

The Theme


The first stage starts with picking a theme. The theme is the infrastructure of the entire performance. Once a theme is selected, a club heads straight to the drawing board to put together ideas for floats, suits, gimmicks, music, choreography and other specific details. Drill is held two or more times a week from September to January. Members learn and perfect the choreography to correctly portray the theme. This stage does not end until the second Convention Center Show on January 1st because the performance can change at any time.


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Garage Work

Once the summer ends, the garage work begins. I had the chance to speak to Charlie Stintsman, one of the main garage guys for Satin Slipper, who explained this stage of the process. First, there’s a rough draft sketch of everything the brigade needs for the performance. Scene by scene, the garage team begins to assemble the floats for the performance. Finally, they hire an artist to put the creative touches onto the floats based on the sketches. On December 26th, the move-in at the Convention Center begins. Mummers call it “Hell Week.” One last chance to pay attention to the details that add glitz and glamour to the props.

The Day After

Being a Mummer is not a hobby that is taken lightly. It requires a lot of time, patience, creativity, and of course, it can be very expensive. Although every person that I spoke with had different things to say about this exciting tradition, everyone felt the same about January 2nd – known as “The Day After.” They consider it a day of new beginnings as well as one to celebrate and reflect on all they accomplished over the past 365 days. Mummer Brighid Kelly described January 2nd as a happy day. “You just put months of hard work into one day. I think all the work is worth it. It is really fun to see all of your

work come together and celebrate your accomplishments as a family.” Although this crazy hobby sometimes feels like a second job, fellow members become your second family. Kelly says, “We know how to have fun but also times can be stressful the closer we get to New Year’s Day. But it is like a family. Sometimes you want to pull your hair out and others you just love everyone and are so happy to be a part of the organization. We really are a family.” The origins of Mummery date back more than a century in South Philadelphia. Although styles change and technological advances impact the performances, one thing remains the same. The members of the club work hard to achieve their goal for the year and form a strong bond while doing so. The Mummers are a rich piece of Philadelphia history and they are so much more than the four-minute show that is televised on January 1st. They are real life people who pull off amazing theatrical creations and strongly support one another in the process. prh

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VOLUME _33 ISSUE 43_ 2016

October | November | December 2016


nthony Santini, Jr. (far right) hangs out with his staff from Bistro A Romano Restaurant at a Night Market event under I-95.


ayor Jim Kenney is hangin’ out with Frank M Sangiuliano & Anthony Messina of Pastificio.


angin’ out at The Deck in Atlantic City to celebrate Renee H Mazza’s birthday. (L to R) Lisa Angelo, Fran Alberti, Angela Mazzie, Tina Mezzaroba McGettigan, Renee Mazza, Dee Aversa. (Back Row) Linda Giuffrida Moses and Assunta Bonanno.


Long-time buddies are still hangin’ out - Paul Viggiano and Larry Gallone.


teve Kwasnik is hangin’ out with Villanova Wildcats’ Kris Jenkins S at the Big 5 Induction ceremony at the Palestra. Photo credit: Dwayne McClain of the 1985 Championship Team.


ark Mariani is hangin’ out with friends M Debbie Calvert and Janet McGee.


orette & Dawn are hangin’ out with Mike Neill, Director D of Apprentice Training, IBEW Local 98.


ubbles the Clown (aka Lou Pinto) is hangin’ out with Lori Gibson B at a fundraising dinner at the Penrose Diner for Vicky Saulino.


Mario Vassallo hangs out with boxing hall of famer Kitten Hayward.



10. A ndrew Andreozzi is hangin’ out with the “Geator with the Heater” Jerry Blavat.


11. M arieElena Abbruzzi, Jerry Blavat and Ricchina Grande are hangin’ out at St. Edmond’s fundraiser. 12. F riends from St. Nick’s & FRS (Francis Reed Schoolyard) Michael Gillen, Denise DeMarco Doyle & Anthony Retallick are hangin’ out. 13. L oretta Mitsos-Panvini, owner of Athena Contracting, hangs out with Bill Bowen, Painting Division, and Carmen “Butchie” D’Amato, Construction Manager. 14. B renda and Kait hang out at the Philly SEED Fest at SugarHouse Casino. Photo courtesy of Stephen Lyford. 15. F rank Olivieri of Pat’s Steaks is hangin’ out with SNL’s Colin Jost and Michael Che during the DNC. 16. M ike Rhoades hangs out with neighbor Anna Brennan.

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17. C hristine DiSanto poses for a selfie with Gwen Stefani who stopped by Toys R Us at 3rd & Oregon.














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Benny Marsella


1,000 Magical Nights of Music by John Nacchio photo by Andrew Andreozzi



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any have enjoyed his masterful voice at public and private performances through the years. Fans have followed him from Philly to the Jersey Shore, mesmerized by his vocal skills and his uncanny rich-toned tribute to the singing style of Frank Sinatra. He is like a comfort food that totally satisfies your inner soul. Now, Benny Marsella is ready to launch his first recording, scheduled for worldwide release by the end of 2016. That, fans, is exciting news. Marsella’s new music venture takes flight with Charles Wallert, the producer/composer who is renowned as a “Singer’s Producer.” Wallert was immediately captivated with Marsella as a “true romantic crooner,” hearing a voice that followed in the tradition of our greatest contemporary balladeers. Many fellow artists have long heralded Marsella as a “great singer and song stylist.” It all began at age four, when his parents noticed his talent for singing. Marsella pursued music with a passion and studied drums. Growing up in South Philadelphia, he was further inspired by a rich music history and culture of international stars born and raised in the area. Early on, his father owned a small restaurant and he was influenced by a place across the way – the iconic Palumbo’s. Marsella patronized and accompanied a variety of mega stars at the late 20th century Philadelphia restaurant / nightclub scene. He made his way around local entertainment venues showcasing superstars of the times. One celebrity sat at the bar and turned and said to him, “You know Benny, you are a diamond in the rough.” Those words empowered him to achieve a new vision of himself. Marsella began to shine inside and said that’s when he discovered “music was a part of me.” He went on to sing and play drums with many popular groups such as Anthony & the Sophomores, Junior Pirollo & The 4 Js, Billy & the Essentials, and for music legends like Bobby Rydell, Fabian and others. He appeared regionally and abroad at New Jersey casinos, entertainment restaurants and events, and flirted with Broadway (A Bronx Tale: The Musical). Marsella is consistently in the music mix – in an ensemble or as a solo performer. Hosting on radio certainly became a natural for the style of music Marsella loved so much. He has hosted the radio show called “Sinatra & Friends” on 92.1FM in Vineland for four years, and five years prior with WNJC-AM in Washington Township. During that time, Marsella enriched and broadened his knowledge and appreciation for the music style he admired. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Engelbert Humperdinck and contemporary artists like Michael Bublé among other greats. He shared his endless passion with the audience. Currently, his first collaboration with Charles Wallert will be an original composition entitled Magic Nights and is scheduled for release in late 2016 with Scheherazade Recordings. “No doubt, Benny Marsella singing this tune will create millions of magic nights for lovers of romance and music all over the world!” “Magic Nights” and the new album will be available on CDBABY, iTunes, Amazon and anywhere that distributes digital music. In the meantime, check out Youtube with “The Sounds of Benny Marsella,” Facebook and local appearances including Alfie’s in Wildwood and Johnny’s Café in Margate. prh

Getting to Know You A Preview of the Kimmel Center’s Broadway Season by Marialena Rago

Fun Home - Beth Malone, Sydney Lucas, Michael Cerveris. Photo by Jenny Anderson.

he Kimmel Center’s 2016/2017 season is a must see for any Broadway lover. This year’s shows include a number of Tony winners, a few classics and a hit from across the pond. You won’t want to miss any of these amazing performances.


superstar Rachel Marron who is assigned protection because of a stalker. She and her bodyguard, Frank Farmer, unrepentantly fall in love. The musical features classics like “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” “Saving All My Love” and one of the biggest hits of all time, “I Will Always Love You.”

An American in Paris (Nov. 22-27)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Feb. 28-March 5)

Straight off the Great White Way, this classic movie gets the Broadway treatment. Based off the Gene Kelly musical of the same name, An American in Paris tells the story of an American G.I. staying in Paris after the end of WWII. He falls in love with a beautiful stranger and does everything he can to find her. The show features Tony Award winning choreography paired with the timeless music from George and Ira Gershwin.

The Bodyguard (Feb. 21-26)

Deborah Cox stars in this musical based off of the movie starring Whitney Houston. The musical originated in London and has since been touring all over the U.S. Cox plays

When 15-year-old Christopher is suspected of killing the neighborhood dog, he uses his intelligent mind to find the real culprit. His journey takes him on a ride he will never forget with a twist that is life changing. This amazing production is a Tony Award winning adaptation of the novel by Mark Haddon.

The King and I (March 22-April 2)

The classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical of a British teacher and governess comes to Philly. Anna is invited to the country by the imperious King of Siam to educate his many wives and children. In the end, it turns out that she

helps the ruler come to terms with the modern world. The 2015 Best Revival of a Musical includes timeless songs like “Getting to Know You” and “Shall We Dance.”

Cabaret (April 4-9)

“Willkommen,” as they say! The Kander and Ebb musical takes you to the Kit Kat Klub in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power. It follows English cabaret singer Sally Bowles and American writer Cliff Bradshaw. In here, everything is beautiful with songs like “Maybe this Time” and “Don’t Tell Mamma.” Leave your troubles at the door with this Tony Award Winning hit.

Fun Home (June 13-18)

One of the most emotional Broadway musicals makes its way to the Kimmel Center next summer. The heartbreaking musical centers on the real life events of lesbian cartoon artist Alison Bechdel. It follows her relationship with her secretly gay father and her journey to discover other aspects of his secret life. This 2015 Best New Musical winner also won awards for Best Score and Best Book of a Musical. prh

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W Band Spotlight

Burning Bridget Cleary Philly

by Bryan Culver photo by Brian Buchanan


| rowhome magazine

hile traditional Celtic music—lovingly referred to as Trad—isn’t typically a genre you just randomly stumble upon, it certainly begs the question: why not? There are few genres of music that boast such an abundantly rich history, that are so rugged and full of energy and evoke such a wide range of emotions. You can see how a young violinist might become completely enthralled with the utter madness of the fiddle, and set her mind then and there, to practice relentlessly until she’s made her mark on the Trad circuit. Such is the story of Rose Baldino, fiddler-extraordinaire, singer, songwriter and leader of Irish Folk Quartet Burning Bridget Cleary. Rose began her musical journey at the age of eight in Montgomery County, where she first began classical training on violin. But by the time she reached middle school, she was begging to take up fiddle lessons. Rose wasn’t even finished high school when she formed the band that would take her to unimaginable heights. Burning Bridget Cleary has been captivating audiences with breathtaking live performances for more than a decade. The current lineup includes Rose’s father, Lou Baldino, handling rhythm and bass on guitar, percussionist Peter Trezzi, and current featured fiddler Amy Beshara. Over the years, they’ve garnered numerous well-earned accolades within the Trad community including being nominated for “Top Traditional Group in a Pub, Festival, or Concert” by the Irish Music Association. They are regularly played on syndicated radio programs, are a fixture at major folk festivals, did a tour of Ireland in 2013, and perhaps most impressive of all, have put out five full-length albums since their inception. Most contemporary artists can’t even come close to that level of prolificacy. Furthermore, named their 2nd album, Everything Is Alright, their 2009 Album of the Year, and their third album, Totes for Goats, was formally entered into the traditional music archives in Dublin, Ireland. Not too shabby to say the least.

Now what about that band name?

As far as band names go, Burning Bridget Cleary has to be one of the more unique ones out there. The moniker’s origin stems from a rather insidious tale. At the turn of the 20th century, during a particularly harsh winter, Bridget fell ill with a high fever and wasn’t feeling herself. Her husband incited an angry mob of local townsfolk and convinced them that Bridget had been overtaken by a fairy changeling. It remains one of the more gruesome murder cases in Irish history. The legal proceedings resulted in the formal outlawing of witch-hunting in Ireland. As you’re brainstorming Halloween costumes, I recommend checking out some Irish folklore for a bit of inspiration. Meanwhile, Rose also is busy working on a side project called House of Hamill with her fiancé Brian Buchanan of Enter the Haggis. Their first album, Wide Awake, was released on September 17th. prh

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De Fino Law Associates, P.C. Don’t Settle for Less

Trevor Noah performs for a sold out crowd at the SugarHouse Casino Event Center. Photo by:The Sharp Agency/Matt Bishop for SugarHouse Casino

More to love at SugarHouse Casino

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Midtown Men at Event Center


Michael Anthony De Fino

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by Dan Stevenson External Affairs Executive

he SugarHouse Casino Event Center is only a few months old and already one of Philadelphia’s best intimate venues. LeAnn Rimes, Trevor Noah, Scott Stapp and Air Supply played to sold-out crowds, while the steady stream of performers has also included the Gin Blossoms, Don Felder and Eric Stonestreet. The eclectic mix of entertainment continues the rest of the year and features two more musical acts in November. Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer Peter Cetera showcases his long and legendary music career at SugarHouse on Friday, November 11th. The Midtown Men, stars of the original Jersey Boys Broadway cast, perform on Saturday, November 19th. Tickets for both shows - and all SugarHouse performances - can be purchased online at The Event Center entertainment is just one of the new highlights at the all-new, bigger, better SugarHouse. Also taking center stage at the casino are the new food options including Hugo’s Frog Bar & Chop House, the city’s newest and first high-end steakhouse by Gibsons Restaurant Group.

The menu features the “Philly Cut” – a 12-ounce rib eye cap topped with smoked provolone, crispy shallots and fried herbs. Other recommended steaks include the W.R. Chicago cut (bone-in ribeye), bone-in New York and the 48-ounce porterhouse. If you’re looking for seafood, king crab legs and Dover Sole are top sellers, while the carrot cake and chocolate mousse pie are some of the most popular desserts. For other dining options, head to The Marketplace where you’ll find restaurants featuring Philly brands Tacconelli’s Pizzeria, Geno’s Steaks, Saxbys Coffee (coming soon) and Revolution Grill, which is a brand-new local concept. Just like the City of Brotherly Love, the restaurants are real and authentic. Everything is prepared on site using fresh ingredients. That’s right, an authentic Geno’s cheesesteak, “wit or witout” onions, can be ordered in Fishtown just as easily as it is in South Philly. From dining to entertainment, there’s simply more to love at SugarHouse Casino. prh SugarHouse Casino is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network

Paul Stolfo, Director • Marianne Stolfo, Director

The Tradition Continues the Fourth Generation

The Stolfo

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Why is Steam Coming from the COOLING TOWER? Water is used throughout the refinery to heat fluids during the refining process and to cool various production units while they perform refining functions. In some units, water temperature reaches more than 140 degrees fahrenheit. In order to continually reuse and conserve the water, it is sent to be cooled and stored in the cooling towers. Once in the cooling towers, hot water is cooled by an airstream that is blown at it as it enters the tower. The cooling process causes some of the water to evaporate while the major portion is cooled and stored to be reused in the refinery. The evaporated water mixes with the airstream on its way out of the cooling stacks at the top of the towers. This mixture forms the visible “cloud” over the cooling units. The only thing coming out of he cooling tower stacks is the water in the form of STEAM and AIR that cannot be retained and reused in the refining process.

Philadelphia Energy Solutions believes in going beyond supporting the communities in which we live and work. Through our active support of youth, culture, health, education and environmental opportunities, we strive to improve the quality of life for our employees and our neighbors.

We are focused to be the best every day.

Attention all

Women This one’s


for you!

all is the time that we - as women – reorganize and plan for the seasons to come. Getting kids ready for Halloween, serving an extended family for Thanksgiving dinner, purchasing gifts for the holidays. These are priorities this time of year. But what about YOU? Have you lost sight of your family’s most important priority—YOU! Where would your loved ones be without YOU? Making oneself a priority can be difficult for many women. Stopping to reflect on where our family would be without us can help us put our health into perspective. Just like cars, the older we get, the more maintenance we need. And the older we get, the more we need to “tweak” to make our lives happy and healthy.

Schedule your annual visit Have you seen your gynecologist this year? It should be a priority for every woman. It is more than just a pap test, you know. This is the time to address the health issues that can range from annoying to downright painful. Embarrassed to talk about a problem that is getting worse? Come on. Your gynecologist has heard (and seen) it all. If your physician makes you feel rushed at a visit or if your concerns are downplayed, you need to find a new doctor.

Leaking Bladder

One concern that embarrasses many women is a leaking bladder. Do you have to run to the bathroom at the


| rowhome magazine

by Dr. Richard Dittrich

first urge to urinate? Do “tears” run down your legs when you laugh or sneeze? Is running no longer an option? This problem is called “stress incontinence.” It is often caused by childbirth. (Those kids will get us every time!) This is a problem that is life altering and needs to be addressed. There are solutions other than pills or exercises.

Sex Life

Talking about your sex life should be a routine part of a GYN visit. Does your physician bring up the subject? How IS your sex life? If it is not what you want it to be, then some adjustments should be made. Lack of vaginal tone can affect sexual pleasure for both women and

men. The old kegel exercises promoted by many doctors are not always effective. And vaginal “tightening” creams can cause allergic reactions for both women and men. And then there is the dreaded menopause! The “personal summers” (hot flashes, night sweats) are expected. We remember our moms turning beet red and sweating for no apparent reason. That was the menopause that they talked about. No one gave us a heads up that lack of estrogen would cause the vaginal tissue to become dry and atrophic, making sex a painful chore. Estrogens may or may not be effective. Some women may not be candidates for estrogen therapy. Vaginal lubricants are messy and can be irritating. And they often don’t last for the entire sex act. Sixty is the new 40! Giving up on your sex life is not an option. Is there a solution to these problems? Or are we, as women, doomed?


Reversing the Symptoms of Vaginal Dryness, Laxity & Leakage Juliet™ Laser for Vaginal Rejuvenation • Restores moisture, lubrication & elasticity • Tightens the internal vaginal walls • Reduces bladder leakage

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Vaginal Laser Therapy

Vaginal laser therapy is an exciting new treatment that can reverse the effects of feminine aging. It is a gentle procedure that can be done during an office visit. It does not require incisions or sutures and is virtually painless. There is no down time following vaginal laser therapy so a woman can leave the office and return to her busy life. So how exactly does this therapy work? The laser stimulates your body to rejuvenate itself. It targets both the outer and inner layer of the vaginal mucosa and restores the metabolism of the connective tissue. The damaged collagen fibers (the tissue that provides elasticity) are heated, stimulating the production of Type III collagen. Vaginal tissue becomes thicker and softer. The natural pH of the vagina is restored, lubricating the tissue. Sex becomes comfortable and enjoyable again. Bladder leaking is reduced or eliminated completely. Life becomes good again! The Professional Aesthetics and Wellness Center is proud to offer services that promote health and wellness. As a part of our commitment to women’s health, we are excited to offer laser vaginal therapy as a way to enhance your life. Come in and learn about the Juliet Laser. It may be the service that will change your life. With the holidays fast upon us, we at the Professional Aesthetics and Wellness Center would like to wish you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season. Our doors are open five days a week. Stop by and say hello. We offer a variety of health promoting services that may be right for you. prh

Serving patients for more than 30 years, Dr. Richard Dittrich has offices conveniently located in South Philadelphia at 1313 Wolf Street 215.465.3000 - and in Voorhees, NJ 856.435.9090. New patients are welcome! • 215.465.9600

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rowhome magazine

| 27



Why should you

Get Involved? by Dr. James E. Moylan, D.C

ommunity Service can come in many shapes and forms. It can be as easy as cleaning the sidewalks around you on a regular basis. Trash seems to beget trash so remove it when it’s small and it doesn’t have a chance to give a poor reflection on the area. Here are some easy ways you can help right in your neighborhood: If you’re a little more energetic, organize a block cleanup! Some brooms, shovels and your garden hose can go a long way. Boom! The street will look incredible! You can also take a few hours out of your week and volunteer at a playground, a senior center, after school or church program. Become active in your local community organization! Take on a committee to improve your entire neighborhood. Pride in your area enables you to help more people, improve the communications and safety, and general livability.

More? Bigger? Reach out to your local hospitals or police district and get involved in the many aspects available to communicate their benefits to the community. Our libraries may have programs where you can tutor or just be part of a reading hour. Homeless advocates are always seeking support. There are food kitchens that need support. Donate your time or donate food from your pantry. Most of our city and community parks have “friends groups” that keep the parks safe and friendly. Giving of yourself has a health benefit also! You just feel good knowing you have done something to help others or even in a slight way, improve their day. You may also meet new friends and people with similar interests. Community service is as small or as large as you want to make it but every bit of it is a benefit to all involved. So get out there and serve your community. We all need it. prh

Dr. James Moylan, Chiropractic Physician, is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network

Meet me at the Penrose

PENROSE DINER 20th & Penrose Avenue Philadelphia, Pa.

215.465.1097 Open 7 days S-Th: 6 am to midnight F&S: 24 hours

Food for thought 28

| rowhome magazine

S E RV I N G B R E A K F A S T, L U N C H & D I N N E R



Freedom to

by Saryu Dalal, Certified Life Coach


aryu Dalal, Certified Life Coach, Leadership trainer and Energy Psychologist, combines a unique blend of spiritual and energy healing practices with her coaching clients. She was trapped in her own insecurities creating lack of confidence and anxiety, which led to physical ailments. Here is her story from that Fear to Freedom.


I had it all: a prestigious corporate position with an impressive title, a beautiful suburban home, a successful husband and two lovely children. Everything appeared perfect, looking from the outside. But on the inside, it wasn’t so pretty. I thought that I had become an expert at coping with everyday stress and the inner struggles of balancing my professional career, social status and being a wife, daughter, sister and mother. I was busy chasing my success! However, my body was sending me signals I continued to ignore. This stress manifested physically as hypoglycemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, ulcer, frozen shoulders and a degenerative disc. Like many, I turned to medical science for a cure. A barrage of medical tests and prescribed treatments offered only partial relief, but it was not enough. I felt tired and exhausted all the time. This struggle led me to a journey of self-discovery. I learned how criti-

cal I was of myself. I never felt good enough or worthy enough which affected every area of my life! An old outdated program was running my life! My search took me to the mysterious world of energy therapy. This started with yoga, meditation, Reiki and Pranic Healing. The exciting journey continued to studying Body Talk, I.E.T., EFT, Matrix Energetics, Dowsing, Path to Heal, Theta Healing, Bars, Hypnotherapy and PSYCHK. I taught workshops on “belief change” processes internationally for 18 years. This training deepened my understanding of the link between emotions, beliefs and healing. Every instance of physical pain can be traced back to an origin of suppressed unresolved emotions or sabotaging beliefs. Our body is a warehouse of attitudes, beliefs and emotions that are collected from the time we are in our mother’s womb. When false beliefs become entrenched in the subconscious mind, which happens from years of social conditioning, it requires us to go further than just

medical science and religion to find a cure. Only by changing beliefs at the subconscious level can we begin to transform our life struggles into extraordinary miracles. I have witnessed huge shifts with my clients in all areas, including addiction, relationships, money and health in just three or four sessions. In fact, studies in neuroscience show that as much as 95 percent of our reactions and decisions are driven by our subconscious mind, while the conscious mind contributes to only 5 percent of our decision making. If the conscious mind desires to achieve a goal, which the subconscious mind disagrees with, guess which one wins the contest? After the pursuit of Energy Medicine, I have become healthier, vibrant and more energetic than I was in my thirties! All of my physical illnesses have disappeared. I overcame my fear of rejection and public speaking and now teach globally. It is an absolute joy to experience this inner freedom and I feel blessed to share my experiences and tools with all my clients. “Rather than genes, it is our beliefs that control our lives.” – Dr. Bruce Lipton To learn more about Saryu Dalal, Energy Psychologist, visit or contact saryudalal@ to set up a session. prh

rowhome magazine

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Style How to keep lasting style in a world full of ever-changing



by Christina Henck

o you ever get tired of hearing about the trends that are supposed to inspire us…again? For example: Now I’m supposed to take my starburst mirror down because it’s already dated? Is orange really the color ev-

eryone’s using to accessorize their living rooms? Colored kitchen appliances are back? Been there, done that! Here are some long lasting design approaches that won’t ever let you down. Natural materials are far less likely to date than synthetics. Stones like marble and granite will always be a lasting classic compared to man-made countertop materials. Wood floors have been a lifelong standard for millennia. Terracotta pots and chimneys are forever originals. Acrylics or manmade materials with paint finishes will never replace these natural wonders. Scale. Selecting the appropriate scale of furniture for a home is key to timeless design. Ceiling height informs furniture scale as well as other architectural elements like fireplaces. Whether the fireplace is historic or modern, it will clue the homeowner on what size furniture, rugs and light fixtures are appropri-

ate for the space. Color trends are always in rotation according to season, fashion trends and pop culture references. Neutral tones are great for being long lasting components to timeless design, but there must also be contrast. Take advantage of classic patterns like stripes, houndstooth and herringbone to create interest. A home always requires a touch of color. Introduce at least one hue to your space for a pop and repeat it at least twice in a room for a unified feel. Who needs to keep up with the latest cycle of trends when you know what never goes out of style? Just remember, there’s no one formula for classic design. The elements of a room must be in harmony with one another. Elements like pattern, texture, color and arrangement are all keys to creating a whole, happy space that will always be a classic. prh

Designing for you Christina Henck, Henck Design 30

| rowhome magazine

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PRHReal Estate

Pad M Porter Concierge for the Urbanite Home

by Nonya Collier

Phill y

oving. It’s a universal truth that everyone hates. I’ve moved 26 times in my life, from Baltimore to Brooklyn, from Panama to Philadelphia. And with every move, although I picked up some really great tips, I also had some nightmares (mattress flying off the top of a van, flat tire on moving day, exboyfriend standing me up instead of loading my furniture---yes, yes and yes!). And because I kept relocating, moving was just a reminder of how unsettled and alone I was. With the packing, cleaning, and repairs, I’d ask myself, Why can’t there be just one person to help me with all of this?

When I finally decided to stay in Philadelphia for good, I was excited to build a community and the roots for a place I could call home. And I wanted to create that for other people – a way to take something as stressful as moving and make people to feel cared for and relieved. A service that allows people to feel at home faster. And Pad Porter is just that. We are a one-stop resource for managing your move and handling the unpacking, repairs and errands. We aim to make your home feel like home when you move in – furniture assembled, cable and internet installed, groceries in your fridge, art on your walls and TV

mounted. We can even be there to let the cable guy in or oversee furniture delivery so you don’t have to rearrange your schedule or give up your weekends. With all the crazy moving stories I’ve had in my own life, there’s no greater joy to me than helping other busy Philly folks love their home, enjoy the city and have time for what matters most. If you need help with moving, contact Pad Porter at Use promo code LETSMOVE by 12/1/16 to get $50 off when you spend $150. prh Pad Porter is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network



DREAM it, We can BUILD it! If you can

CRO Construction, LLC. 215.952. 8740 32

| rowhome magazine

PRHon the corner

Rappin’ with Sarah Ross ON THE CORNER with Mark Casasanto


photo by Average Joes Entertainment

merican Idol, Season 12. A slouch boot wearing country singer from New Jersey lays out Carrie Underwood’s “Mama’s Song” for her audition. In the ensuing dialogue, Randy Jackson asks to hear one more song. The aspiring idol starts rapping “Super Bass” by then judge, Nicki Minaj. Before long, Keith Urban and Mariah Carey join in on a spirited debate that ultimately sends the singer on her way to Hollywood with four “yes” votes. Although her journey was derailed due to an untimely bout of laryngitis, Sarah Restuccio may have unknowingly paved the gravel path for the musical genre in which she now travels. For Sarah Ross, as she is now known, that was then, this is now…

PRH: What was it like being raised on a farm in Hammonton? SR: The Blueberry Capital of the World! Growing up on a horse farm right next to half of my family was amazing. I was lucky enough to get up every morning, visit my grandparents and cousins, and roam around our farmland. It feels like you’re in the deep South around some places back home.

Restuccio clan. (Coyly) I’m actually the only one in my family who knows my grandmother’s gravy recipe. It’s pretty special!

superstars I look up to and trying to do your very best for them. (Chuckling) Definitely needed a diaper at that point!

PRH: Speaking of fun loving Italians, what was it like working with vocal coach Sal Dupree? SR: I started training with him when I turned 17 years old. I truly believe without him, I would never be where I am today.

PRH: Besides music, any other interests or hobbies? SR: I have a lot of random hobbies. Growing up, I did all sorts of dance from hip hop to ballet and modern. That stuck with me up until I was about 16 or 17 years old and turned my trail to music. I also love riding horses, four wheelers, going to the movies, hanging with friends and of course (laughing)… eating!

PRH: Was he the inspiration for giving American Idol a go? SR: Honestly, my mom was the inspiration behind American Idol. She woke me up out of bed at about two in the morning when she finished work (she’s a nurse) and said, ‘Let’s get a move on. We’re going to audition.’ So we got ready, drove to the audition, waited in line for about nine hours and finally got my chance.

PRH: From AI to Nashville… describe the journey. SR: I truly believe American Idol gave me the confidence to keep moving forward in my career. Millions of people watching me on television would do that for ya, I guess. After AI, the head of my record label, Shannon Houchins, called me and told me he saw my audition and wanted to meet me. The very next week, I flew out to Nashville for the first time, was in the studio that day, and was asked if I wanted to sign a record deal.

PRH: On that topic, from one Italian to another, what was it like growing up Italian? SR: All I have to say is pasta every Sunday with the entire

PRH: Tell us about the experience. SR: It was so surreal being able to stand there in front of four

PRH: You are recognized as the trendsetter for women in the country-rap genre. Is that a big burden to shoulder? SR: In a way, it’s a huge load to carry. But I’ve learned throughout these years that in the music industry, you have to make your own path. I believe that’s what I’ve been doing.

PRH: How do you describe country-rap? SR: I truly can’t define countryrap. My music has so many different genres meshed within because I’m a huge fan of every genre so it’s a little difficult [for me to explain]. My sound is constantly changing, (smiling) so who knows what will come next? PRH: Who inspires you? SR: Miranda Lambert. She portrays herself as a strong, independent woman and her music kicks butt! PRH: Have you had one ‘OMG’ moment in your career that you care to share? SR: One of my favorite ‘OMG’ moments was when I got to open for Kid Rock and Three Doors Down in Colorado (Bands in the Backyard). And of course, I got to meet you and your great guys at Gratifonia! PRH: So…life on the road? SR: Very hectic, not much sleep, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world! Traveling and performing for my fans and friends is the favorite part of my career. PRH: Who do you listen to when you chill? SR: I go from Sam Hunt, Eminem, Dirty Heads, Bob Marley, Miranda Lambert, Hank Williams, Wiz Khalifa. Should I even continue? PRH: What do you miss about home? SR: For one, my family. And definitely the beach.

PRH: Favorite Philly hotspot? SR: A little bar on South Street called Tattooed Moms. I went there for the first time the last time I was home with my mom and fell in love. (Giggling) They even give out little pieces of candy and games on each table. PRH: Favorite Philly food? SR: Typical, of course. A good ol’ cheesesteak. PRH: Do you follow sports? SR: I am a huge baseball fan. My dad was drafted out of college, my 18-year old brother just started playing at Rutgers and my 16-year-old brother is currently committed to Wake Forest. Definitely a huge baseball family. PRH: Tell me something good…. SR: (Playfully) Shhhhh, it’s a secret, but along with my music, I may just be trying to take on other types of work in the entertainment world. PRH: What’s the best advice you received and the best advice you can give? SR: Always vibrate at your highest possible frequency, and always create your own path. PRH: How will you celebrate the holidays? SR: Definitely surrounding myself with some good friends, family and music. And happy holidays to everyone!

rowhome magazine

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Philadelphia RowHome Magazine honors individuals for their Service to our City photos by Phil Kramer



River to River. One Neighborhood.

| rowhome magazine

Jim Donovan

CBS 3 News Anchor, Consumer Reporter Media Award by Larry Gallone


t’s a few minutes before the CBS 3 noon news and Jim Donovan is checking the correct way to reference a hospital in an upcoming report. It’s that attention to detail that is ingrained in Donovan in a profession he loves. “Ever since I was a kid, I loved the news,” the Blue Sapphire Award recipient told RowHome Magazine in a recent interview. “I was always the first kid on the block who knew what was going on. I would wait for the 4, 5, 6 o’clock news. We had four newspapers delivered to our house.” Donovan is currently the co-anchor of CBS 3’s Eyewitness News This Morning and Eyewitness News at Noon - a position he started in April 2016. He has been at CBS 3 since 2004 and was best known for his “3 On Your Side” consumer reports. In addition to his current co-anchor position, Donovan is doing double duty, continuing his responsibilities as consumer reporter. The 14-time Emmy winner says he enjoyed the consumer reporter role as it gave him an opportunity to impact someone’s life. He fondly remembers the “3 On Your Side” efforts to help residents get their money refunded from a contractor who had not lived up to his agreements. “No one was able to help these people - the police, the courts, lawyers - but our

work helped get about $40,000 back to them.” A New York native, Donovan graduated from Seton Hall University with a degree in Communications. He landed his first job with Channel 9 in New York. At the same time, he was a flight attendant for People Express Airlines, which later became Continental Airlines. It was a unique combination and one that served him well and led him to an Emmy for a report on plane crash survival. He also was called on to provide expert commentary during the “Miracle on the Hudson,” when a pilot landed a plane in the river shortly after take off. In 2015, he was inducted into the Philadelphia Broadcasting Pioneers Hall of Fame in recognition of his work and community service. His reaction? “I’m too young to receive this.” But broadcasting is in his blood and a job he has always wanted to do. Since coming to Philadelphia, Donovan has immersed himself into the city of neighborhoods and is active with several charities including the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, Manna (he is very competitive selling pies to raise funds) and CAIRE, an organization for seniors. He also is very proud of his work with Special Kids, Special Care, which enables children with special needs and developmental challenges to walk the runway in a fashion show. “They are center stage,” Donovan says with a smile.

“Ever since I was a kid, I loved the news”

Q&A Q: What was your first job? A: Channel 9 in New York

Q: Favorite song from way back that always makes you smile? A: “The Candy Man” by Sammy Davis, Jr.

Q: What was your favorite pastime as a kid?

from summer 2016?

A: Reading newspapers

A: I took my friends on

and watching the news

Q: Best friend growing up? A: I have several friends from High School

Q: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

A: “Don’t have any regrets.” Q: What’s the best advice you ever gave?

A: “Do what you love. Then it’s not a job.”

Q: What is your best memory

a trip to Bermuda to celebrate my birthday.

Q: Who are your Philadelphia-based idols? A: Pat Ciarrocchi. She is

a leader, mentor and role model. I call her “Sister Pat.” And having the opportunity to host with her for the Pope’s visit was amazing. (Hosting Pope Francis’ visit was Jim’s

first anchor assignment.)

Q: What did you want to be when you grew up? A: A TV Reporter. Q: What lesser-known landmark would you recommend a tourist visit in Philly? A: Elfreth’s Alley. I won-

der what people would think who were living there in the 1700s if they could see things now.

Q: Tell us something no one knows about you. A: I am pretty much an open book. But I am “outdoorsy.” I go kayaking. I have jumped out of planes. I can say The Lord’s Prayer in French.


Dr. James E. Moylan Chiropractic Physician Service to Community Award by Maria Merlino


r. Jim Moylan enjoys helping others. It’s in his nature. “Being part of the neighborhood – not just in the neighborhood – is how I live life,” he says. “It feels good to help someone with a question or a problem. Maybe I don’t know the answer but I can find out for you. It’s all about getting involved.” While president of the Pennsport Civic Association for 12 years, he helped create the Central Delaware Master Plan, which encourages more pedestrian-friendly walkways and trails in neighborhoods along a six-mile stretch of the waterfront. It also provides a framework of land use, open space, economic, transportation and development recommendations utilizing DRWC resources and a $1 million grant from the William Penn Foundation. He fought to preserve the historic Engine 46 firehouse, a Flemish style building built in 1846 that was on the city’s demo list when its restaurant tenant left in 2006. The castle-like tower, one of Pennsport’s most iconic buildings, is a rare survivor of the era. After two decades of vacancy, Dr. Moylan helped negotiate through a series of proposals to transform the old Mt. Sinai Hospital at 4th and Reed into 95 newly constructed townhomes – a much anticipated addition to the ongoing development in the Pennsport/Jefferson Square/ Dickinson Square West neighborhoods. As a member of the South Philadelphia Business Association, Dr. Moylan was key in revital-

Q&A Q: First job? A: Working in the conces-

Q: Best advice you ever gave. A: “None of us knows how

Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?

Q: Favorite song from

always wanted to be a Chiropractor.

long we are going to be here. So make it count!”

sion stands at The Vet for the Phillies and Eagles.

back in the day.

Q: Favorite pastime as a kid? A: Street hockey.

Once in My Life”.

Q: Best friend growing up? A: I’ve been truly blessed


izing the group’s Scholarship Fund in the early 1990s. “We were at Marra’s Pizza in 1992 for our scholarship dinner,” explains attorney Vincent DeFino, an SPBA Board member. “There was one recipient, a senior from Neumann, who brought his grandfather. I had the envelope with the check inside. I asked Dr. Jim Moylan to take a look at what was in the envelope. It was only $50. Jim and I looked at each other and said, ‘This won’t even buy text books.’ This was a good kid who brought his grandpa and we were a little embarassed, so we each took a hundred dollars out of our own pockets to beef up the scholarship. After that, we decided to really get some serious money for the program.” Dr. Moylan believes in family, tradition and charity. He’s passing down some of his most beloved traditions – the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the New Year’s Day Parade – to his children and grandchildren. “It eats up hours of time meeting with the parade people. But we want to salvage these traditions and also protect and keep our neighborhood safe. We want to share with family.” He believes that good can come, even from negative experiences. “You can turn negative feelings around – into something meaningful, such as fund-raising for the cause. My children know that giving is part of the healing process.” His advice to all neighbors regardless of the neighborhood is “Get involved. Just do a little bit. Even just to sweep your steps and pavement.”

with many people who fall into the “Best Friend” category.

Q: Best advice anyone gave you.

A: “You can guarantee

that things won’t change if you don’t get involved.”

A: I’m doing it! I’ve

A: Stevie Wonder, “For

Q: Lesser known Philly landmark you’d recommend to a tourist.

Q: Best memory from summer 2016.

A: The Mummers Museum.

A: Being on the beach with all three of my grandchildren.

Q: Favorite Philadelphia idols. A: My grandfathers. They

were both hard working, family loving men who would do anything for anybody. They died too young but had a strong impact on my life.

Learn the history and see the pageantry on days besides New Year’s Day!

Q: Something no one knows about you. A: I have never eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Q: Celebrity crush as a kid. A: Do I have to pick just

one? Diane Lane.

Vai Sikahema

Co-Anchor, NBC10 Today, NBC10 Philadelphia / WCAU 2016 Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award by Matt Kelchner


f someone asked you to point out Tonga on a map, would you be able to? Located in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, the tropical Polynesian paradise is made up of 169 islands. Of that total number, only 36 are inhabited. It’s roughly 7,660 miles away from Philadelphia. Its capital, Nuku’Alofa, sits on the southernmost island of the archipelago. It’s also the birthplace of NBC10 Today morning coAnchor Vai Sikahema. Prior to joining NBC10 in 1994, Sikahema led a productive career as a kick and punt return specialist in both college and the NFL. While attending Brigham Young University, he helped the Cougars finish their 1984 season a perfect 13-0 and win the national championship. A year later, at the end of his senior year, Sikahema was selected in the 10th round of the 1986 NFL draft by the St. Louis Cardinals with the 254th overall pick. This selection made him the first-ever Tongan born player in the NFL. Speed and elusiveness were the keys to Sikahema’s game. The combination of the two made him an immediate standout. While he saw minor opportunities as a running back, it was in punts and kickoffs where he made a name for himself. In his first two seasons at the professional level, Sikahema earned Pro Bowl nominations, as well as all pro honors in his second. By the time his career in the NFL came to an end, Sikahema moved around to three different teams. After being drafted by St. Louis, and later moving to Phoenix as the team relocated, the Green Bay Packers signed Sikahema in free agency in 1991. With just one season in Wisconsin under his belt, he then took his talents to Philadelphia. It was in the City of Brotherly Love where he created his famous goal post boxing celebration, debuting it after returning a punt for a touchdown against the

New York Giants in 1992. Growing up, a life in football was never on the mind of Sikahema. Instead of a team spot, he was focusing and training to become a skilled boxer. As he looked up to greats like Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, Sikahema and his dad worked every day to get to his goal. It wasn’t until after moving to America and attending Mesa High School in the suburbs of Phoenix that he was introduced to football. When it came time to hang up the cleats, Sikahema put his college degree in broadcast journalism to good use. Retiring after the 1993 season with the Eagles, he turned to the local television market for a new job. More than two decades of working his way up the career ladder, Sikahema now finds himself co-hosting NBC10 TODAY weekday mornings on NBC10. Sikahema has reported on numerous stories throughout his journalistic career and already has accumulated a number of accolades. So far, he has earned two Emmys for his work in the local sports world. He has covered many Olympic events, including 2012 in London and 2014 in Sochi. It was during the 1996 Olympic Games when he also met one of his childhood idols, Ali. Outside of his professions, Sikahema has always worked to be a leader in the communities that surround him. Religion always has played a major role in his life. Today, he and his wife Keala hold local leadership roles within the Church of the Latter-day Saints. This included assisting in ushering in the new Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In addition to their work with the church, they are both involved with the Boy Scouts of America and also work to help at-risk children find new homes through adoption.


Anita, made us chocolate chip cookies (with milk) while we did homework.

Q: What was your first job? A: Assembled frames

Q: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Q: What was your favor-

coach Gene Stallings: “You owe your children two things: a good name and an education.”

at a kitchen cabinet factory when I was 16.

ite pastime as a kid?

A: Boxing Q: Best friend growing up? A: Roger Hallstead in 4th

grade. My parents worked. I was a latchkey kid and he took me to his home every day after school where his stay-at-home mother,

A: Arizona Cardinals head

makes you smile?

A: “Escape (the Piña Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes

Q: What is your best memory from summer 2016? A: Watching the Tongan flag bearer march into Olympic stadium all oiled up.

Q: What’s the best

Q: Who are your Philadelphia-based idols?

advice you ever gave?

A: Founding Fathers, Kenny

A: You owe your children

Gamble & Leon Huff

two things: a good name and an education.

be when you grew up?

Q: Favorite song from

A: Heavyweight cham-

way back that always

Q: What did you want to

pion of the world


Frank Olivieri Jr. Pat’s King of Steaks, Owner Local Business Success Story by Maria Merlino


rowing up the grandson of the man who invented the cheesesteak, Frank Olivieri Jr. says he’s proud of his family’s business. It fed his passion for fine food and inspired him to learn more about the history of cuisine and the cultures that inspired them. In 1930, brothers Pat and Harry Olivieri (Frank Jr.’s grandfather) opened a hot dog stand at the corners of 9th, Wharton and Passyunk Avenue. One day, they grilled a piece of thin steak with some chopped onions for lunch. The aroma caught the attention of a customer. Pat sold him the “steak sandwich” for ten cents. And so it began. The demand was so great that the brothers soon replaced their hot dog stand with a steak shop and started a culinary revolution. A long line of customers craving the grilled specialty became a signature sight in the neighborhood. Snapshots of celebrities soon decorated the walls. “Food is an ever changing thing,” Olivieri Jr. explains. “Classic French cuisine has been

Q&A Q: What was your first job? A: I was 11, wiping off the

countertops outside at Pat’s Steaks. My father thought I was too small for the kitchen. I would be wiping the tops and dreaming of going into the kitchen for a cheesesteak.

Q: What was your favorite pasttime as a kid? A: My parents bought me


a subscription to receive a toy model every month. It was The Model of the Month Club. This was in the ’70s and some of the models were Dodge Chargers, Corvettes. I would wait all month for the mail to arrive with that model. I would be done in an hour and a half and then I would have to wait another month!

Q: Best friends growing up? A: John Ferullo, who sells insurance now, and

replaced by other small plates. Creative ways of plating and different ways of presenting food are on trend. Fresh minds bring fresh ideas. We have a global influence now.” One thing that won’t change, though, is Pat’s Steaks. Olivieri Jr. sees no reason to move from their original location. “I look at the past and I look at the future. Obviously, we’ve been doing something right for 86 years. The authenticity cannot be replicated.” He loves the transformation our city is experiencing and enjoys collaborating with other local chefs for camaraderie, fundraisers and just to learn. In April, he told RowHome Magazine that he wants to get certified in something new every year. “My future is education,” he said. Olivieri, Jr. recently returned from Cuba. He says it was an educational trip and a sight to see all the historic places but also was very rigid, very tightly shielded. “It was an awesome experience, though. When I was leaving, the custom agent wanted to know what I learned from my trip. I told him that the United States is the greatest country in the world and he agreed with me!”

Billy DiDonato, who owns Billy D’s on Passyunk Avenue. The three of us lived on the same block from K-6th grade.

Q: Best advice anyone ever gave you? A: I was outside wip-

ing the tables off. It was Christmas and we had Frank Sinatra playing on a speaker outdoors. I was singing along and one of the customers looked at me and said, ”Kid, don’t quit your day job.” Instead of dashing through the snow, I got my hopes dashed on becoming a crooner.

Q: Best advice you ever gave? A: An employee wanted to

go back to school, but wanted me to hold his job. I said ‘Yes! Go back to school. Get as much education as possible. I’ll hold your job!’ He never came back for the job. He became a success.

Q: Favorite song from

way back that always makes you smile?

A: “September of My

Years” by Frank Sinatra. I listened to this song when I was younger and didn’t understand the lyrics. Now I’m 52 and I completely understand. Wisdom is gained through experience. Now I know what George Bernard Shaw meant when he said ‘Youth is wasted on the young.’

Q: What is your best memory from summer 2016? A: Going to Italy. It was my

first trip and I went with a bunch of vegans! And here I am, Pat’s Steaks, Mr. Carnivore. The people are so genuine and the country is beautiful. But there is no place like America.

Q: Who is your Philadelphia-based idol? A: Hands-down, Georges Perrier. He is the best saucier ever. And he is real.

RowHome Remembers


Billy Paul 2016 Blue Sapphire Award

Lifetime Music Achievement 1934 - 2016 When love is new Every day’s a new sensation When love is new You thrill with infatuation

(When it’s born) It’s so warm, soft and tender (So warm, soft) Everybody’s willing to surrender

When love is born (When it’s born) It’s so warm, soft and tender (So warm, soft) Everybody’s willing to surrender

When love is new (When love is new, when it’s new) When love is new, when love is new (When love is new, when it’s new) It’s so wonderful, marvelous, thrilling, serious

When love is new (When love is new, when it’s new) Don’t let our love grow old ‘Cause funny things happen Then that love gets cold So let’s me and you make a pact A promise to each other For as long as we live Long as we love, let’s always Always keep our love brand new ‘Cause love is so wonderful When love is new (When love is new, when it’s new) I said when love is new Every day’s a new sensation When love is new You thrill with infatuation When love is born




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.BELLA-ANGEL.COM rowhome magazine

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Philadelphia RowHome Magazine congratulates our 2016

WishRock Winners 2016 WishRock Award

Anything is possible if you believe in yourself by Joei DeCarlo photos by Andrew Andreozzi

Rebecca Corosanite From leaping bounds on the stage and in the classroom, Rebecca has achieved so much in her 14 years as a dancer. Currently dancing for Koresh Ballet and her school, String Theory, Rebecca has made a name for herself. From her aunt who was a professional ballet dancer, to her grandparents who founded Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School (PPACS) and Children’s Ballet Theatre, it’s obvious this Michigan native has the arts running through her veins. What are your hobbies? I like to sing opera, play guitar and write poetry. What is your favorite song? “Remembering Sunday” by All Time Low What do you and your family like to do for


| rowhome magazine

fun together? We like to hike, go camping, waterfall hiking and explore new places. Where are your favorite places to hang out in Philadelphia? Walnut Street & Chestnut Street - they have little shops. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I hope as a chemist or a doctor, performing on the side. Name a teacher who has made a lasting impression on you. Dr. Jack Carr. He has given me the confidence to sing and act when I’ve needed it. Also, my ballet teacher, Ms. Natalia Charov. She’s known to be challenging but I appreciated her corrections and respect her for her hard work and dedication. Name a person in history you’d invite to dinner. Audrey Hepburn. Some people said I looked like her so I looked her up. She was a ballet dancer starting out and I think she is a poised role model. Tell us about an accomplishment that makes ➻

Nate Murawski Nate is cooking up some exciting things for a 7th grader! His family’s homemade Italian and Polish dishes helped inspire him to dream of becoming a chef. Cooking since he was four years old, Nate’s skills and dedication landed him a spot on Fox’s MasterChef Junior hosted by Chef Gordon Ramsay. What are your hobbies? I like to cook, play basketball, read Harry Potter, play Pokemon and try new things. What is your favorite song? “New Girl” by Reggie ‘N’ Bollie What do you and your family like to do for fun together? We like to do silly tournaments ➻

➻ Rebecca Corosanite you most proud. I skipped a grade. I went from 6th grade straight to 8th grade. I’m also dual-enrolled at Drexel University a year ahead of time. Also, being the 2nd lead in our school’s performance of Annie. What are three words you would use to inspire others to reach their goals? Aspire, Be Confident and Be Eloquent

Nate Murawski

when we play mini golf and video games. Where are your favorite places in Philadelphia to hang out? Penn Park and Moonshine What neighborhood are you from? Pennsport Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I see myself being a food truck owner. I love cooking Polish and Italian food, and also lots of German, American and Asian foods. So it may be a mix. Name a teacher who has made a lasting impression on you. My 5th grade teacher, Mr. Tim McCollum. He was a professional chef and he taught me so much. I just love him and his personality. Name a person in history you’d invite to dinner. I’d like to pick Albert Einstein’s brain. What is an accomplishment you’re most proud of? Probably donating to all of the charities I’ve donated to like Autism Awareness and Philabundance. What words would you use to inspire others to achieve their dreams? Reach for the stars.

Horse, my favorite video game What do you and your family like to do together for fun? We love to go to Disney and Universal, the beach, Spruce Street Harbor Park, the Lakes and chase Pokemon. Where is your favorite place to hang out in Philadelphia? 2nd Street Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I want to go to Drexel University. (Their logo is a dragon!) Name a teacher who has made a lasting impression on you. My mom has been my best teacher. She just “gets” me. She always understands me and has guided me. Name a person in history you would invite to dinner. I’d love to have dinner with Adam Sandler. He’s actually worn one of my t-shirts. Tell us about an accomplishment that makes you most proud. Establishing Santino’s Dragon Drawings Inc. and all that has come about because of it. What are three words you would use to inspire others to reach their goals? Find Your Dragon. This is my motto and it means to find something that you love and makes you, you. For me, mine is drawing dragons. Everyone has their own dragon. They just have to find it. To learn more about Santino’s journey and to purchase a t-shirt, visit his website at

Alex Podagrosi Alex, 16, has been playing the saxophone since the 4th grade. He aspires to play professionally. Not only does he perform and play baseball for his high school, Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP), he performs in several music programs throughout the city.

Santino Stagliano Eleven-year-old 2nd Street resident Santino Stagliano isn’t your average 6th grader. Not only has he established a t-shirt business, but he also uses the profits to fund an arts program for children who have autism, like him. Since creating Santino’s Dragon Drawings Inc., Santino has spoken at numerous schools and won awards. What started as a way to channel his feelings turned into a message that doesn’t just promote autism awareness, but also an understanding of what autism is all about. What are your hobbies? Drawing dragons and playing Ultimate Chicken

What are your hobbies? I like to play for Quaker City String Band, The Business and play baseball for school (Pitch and 3rd Base). What is your favorite song? “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra What do you and your family like to do together for fun? We like to go to Ocean City, Center City, the mall and attend concerts together. Where are your favorite places to hang out in Philadelphia? My neighborhood, occasionally Center City and The Deptford Mall in New Jersey Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Working, hopefully as a professional saxophone player. Name a teacher who has made a lasting impression on you. Mr. Holcomb. He’s helped me throughout my career as a musician.

Name a person in history you would invite to dinner. Charlie Parker. He was a jazz musician. Tell us about an accomplishment that makes you most proud. Being where I am now as a saxophone player. I’ve been accepted into programs like UARTS and Temple’s Community Music Scholars Program (CMSP). What are three words you would use to inspire others to reach their goals? Commitment, Inspiration and Pride

Bobby Hill When he’s not singing for Pope Francis or performing throughout the City of Philadelphia, the nation and the world, 15-year-old Bobby is striving to headline on Broadway and at the Metropolitan Opera House. Being named one of Ebony Magazine’s “Power 100”, an ABC Nightly News “Person of the Week” and dubbed “The Voice of an Angel” by Mark Wahlberg, Bobby is certainly on his way to accomplishing anything he sets his mind and heart to do! What are your hobbies? I’m an avid golfer and pretty good ice-skater. What is your favorite song? “Con te Partiro” (Time to Say Goodbye) by Andrea Bocelli. What do you and your family like to do together for fun? We like to travel together. Where are your favorite places to hang out in Philadelphia? Rittenhouse Square, Chestnut Hill and The Walnut Lane Golf Course. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Wherever my gifts, talents, opportunities and God’s grace may take me. Name a teacher who made a lasting impression on you. Steven Fisher, the Founder and Artistic Director of Commonwealth Youth Choirs. His persistence, commitment and dedication to preparation and excellence have made a lasting impression on me. Name a person in history you would invite to dinner. It’s hard to choose just one and only some are still alive. I would throw a party and invite Celine Dion, Bruno Mars, President Barack Obama, Luciano Pavarotti, Paul Robeson, Nina Simone and Pope Francis. Tell us about an accomplishment that makes you most proud. Singing for Pope Francis during the World Meeting of Families 2015 Papal Visit. What are three words you would use to inspire others to reach their goals? Preparation, Courage & Faith

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A “Golden Ticket” to the Middle Class by Michael Neill

For more than 115 years, Apprentice Training for the Electrical Industry (ATEI) has been committed to training the next generation of electrical workers in Philadelphia and the surrounding five county areas. ATEI is joint labormanagement training program operated by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 98 (IBEW) and the Penn-Del-Jersey Chapter of the National Electrical Contractor’s Association (NECA). ATEI utilizes an apprenticeship model for its training program. Apprenticeships are a time-proven workforce development model that combines “onthe-job” training (OTJ) with classroom related instruction. The apprenticeship program consists of 8,000 hours OTJ and approximately 1,000 hours of classroom instruction. ATEI offers apprenticeship programs for both traditional commercial/industrial electricians and for low voltage sound and communication technicians. For the past eight years, I have had the privilege of serving as the Director of Training for ATEI. During this time, I have seen first hand how our apprenticeship programs are helping the electrical industry meet the need for highly qualified and trained electrical workers. Take a look at how the skyline of Philadelphia has changed over the past decade. I believe it is obvious to even the casual observer that the skills and abilities necessary to install and maintain the increasingly complex electrical systems will continue to increase for many years to come. Apprenticeship programs are a key component to ensuring we have the skilled workers needed to meet the growing demand.


| rowhome magazine

Despite the many apparent benefits of apprenticeship programs, I believe they remain an under-utilized workforce development strategy and should be expanded to increase the opportunity for more young men and women to reap the many benefits they offer. IBEW 98 and the Penn-DelJersey Chapter of NECA have done their part over the course of the past several years to increase the capacity and training capabilities of ATEI. They remain committed to ensuring that the electrical industry has a pool of highly trained and skilled electrical workers to meet the increased demand for skilled workers in our industry. But the fact remains that applications to our apprenticeship programs have declined over the past decade. In part, this can be explained by changing demographics, as fewer young men and women are available compared to years in the past. But, a larger part of the problem is that young men and women no longer view apprenticeship programs, particularly in the construction industry, as a viable career choice. Sadly, many of their parents and their guidance counselors feel the same way. We have lived for two

decades under the assumption that “No child should be left behind” and unfortunately, we have often equated not entering college and “being left behind.” This is an important challenge that must be addressed head on. At ATEI, we have taken some important steps to remedy this challenge. I want to discuss three of these steps we have taken in hope that young men and women, their parents and guidance counselors, gain a fuller appreciation for the benefit of entering an apprenticeship program. First, the apprenticeship programs we offer at ATEI utilize an “earn while you learn model.” This means that each apprentice has a job and earns a weekly paycheck while he or she is also learning their craft. Typically, our apprentices work four days on the job and attend school one day a week. Unlike many training programs in which the student pays a fee for training and hopes (or prays) that they will find a job when their training is completed, ATEI apprenticeships combine a job and training into one program. In addition to “earning while they learn,” there are no tuition fees associated with our apprenticeship programs. That’s right, no tuition fees and no student debt or payments required! Second, ATEI apprentices have the opportunity to learn the electrical trade in state-of-the-art training centers that offer “hands-on” and related instruction in the most advanced and challenging electrical technologies. From emerging distributed energy systems, including micro-grid & energy storage techniques, to solar photovoltaic systems, to the latest building intelligence and automation systems, our students have an opportunity to learn skills that will propel them into the future. Third, and perhaps most importantly, ATEI has found a solution to the ageold question so many young men and women are confronted with. “Should I go to college or learn a trade?” Over the course of the past year, ATEI has

become accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE) and has been recognized by the State of Pennsylvania as a Private Licensed School. Both of these accomplishments have opened the door for ATEI to become an accredited degreegranting institution. ATEI will soon be offering an Applied Associate Degree in Electrical Technology for their apprentices. No longer will young men and women be faced with the dilemma of college or a trade. ATEI has found a way to enable young men and women the opportunity to learn a trade – a trade that will last a lifetime and cannot be outsourced – and take the important step of earning an Applied Associate Degree along the way. As the ATEI Director of Training, I have seen first hand how our apprenticeship programs have transformed the lives of our students. Apprenticeships offer far more than a job, they offer a career. And perhaps most importantly, with that career comes a pathway that far too few have access to today. That is, a pathway to the middle class. The pathway is so important, it is so valuable, that Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez, once called it the “golden ticket” to the middle class. It’s time we found a way to hand out more “golden tickets” to young men and women, especially minorities and other non-traditional students like returning veterans and ex-offender reentry candidates. Know that ATEI is committed to doing our part to ensure that the greater Philadelphia area has a pool of highly qualified electrical workers to meet the increasing demand of the electrical industry. And in doing so, we will be transforming many lives along the way. prh Michael Neill is the Director of Training for Apprentice Training in the Electrical Industry (ATEI) with training centers in Philadelphia and Collegeville, PA. He can be reached at

PRHSalute to Service

New Leash on Life Philly


by Nicole Devereaux photo by Jack McMahon

ew Leash on Life USA is a non-profit organization that connects inmates with at-risk shelter dogs. Some of the inmates who participate are repeat offenders. Many of the canines are next in line to be put down because of overpopulated pounds. When Marian V. Marchese, founder and CEO of New Leash on Life USA, realized how many dogs were awaiting their fate in dog pounds across the country, it inspired her to look for ways to save their lives. As a volunteer for the Animal Care and Control Team in Philadelphia, she had some experience caring for canines. She also realized there was no prison dog program in the area. That’s when it dawned on her. Marchese founded New Leash on Life USA and set out to improve the life of inmates and save the lives of precious pups. Unlike most reentry prison dog programs, which focus mainly on the dogs, New Leash on Life concentrates equally on the inmates. While involved in this three-month program, inmates are assigned a dog that will share the same jail cell with them. The inmates are responsible for training and caring for their dogs with the hope of making them more appealing for adoption. After completing the training program, the animals are ready to take the AKC Canine Good Citizens test – another asset when it comes to picking the perfect pet for adoption. While training and caring for their canines behind bars, inmates build a sense of responsibility. The opportunity to participate in skills courses while in prison helps prepare them for employment when they are released. It may seem like the dogs are learning from the inmates, but in reality, the inmates are learning from the dogs. They are saving each other, participants agree. At the conclusion of this program, which provides the dogs with basic training classes with certified trainers, the dogs are ready for adoption and a loving home. Numerous New Leash on Life dogs have helped their owners cope with depression, autism, strokes and PTSD. “It’s a really creative and nice charity with truly impressive results on all sides,” says Nigel Richards of the Nigel Knows Real Estate Team in Philadelphia, a fan of the program. New Leash on Life has really helped these dogs get the ball rolling, the tail wagging and set them free from the pound on the right paw. prh

In loving memory of

James L. Guercio The Gangemi & Guercio families thank their friends, family and neighbors for the overwhelming outpouring of love and continued support during their recent loss. B E E F / P O R K / P O U LT R Y / V E A L / L A M B / P R E PA R E D F O O D S

Anthony & Vince Lombardi “A father & son team that is a cut above the rest!”

1801 Packer Avenue / Philadelphia, PA 19145 P: 215.940.2211 / P: 215.334.1212 / F: 215.940.2210 Photo by Dan Uhl Photography

rowhome magazine

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PRHSalute to Service

Students at the Philadelphia Theatre Company with Steve

Kids at Crossroads

267.439.0779 Mention ROWHOME Magazine & Receive 10% OFF Catering



by Santina Pescatore photo courtesy of Steve Fleisher

’m trying to work with kids that a lot of people have turned their backs on,” says Steve Fleisher. “I’m teaching them how to be better human beings.” Fleisher, a Philadelphia native, has worked as a mentor, counselor and friend to children in need for as long as he can remember...even before his non-profit organization, Kids at Crossroads, was formed. Growing up in North Philadelphia, Fleisher fought against bullies, but he found himself headed down a dangerous path when he realized his “attraction to the streets” was not only hurting himself, but also his parents. While Fleisher had mentors at the boxing gyms he frequented as a kid, his neighbor, Dr. Berel Arrow, took him on house calls and showed him the ugly side of life on the streets, especially the result of substance abuse. Fleisher’s experience with Dr. Arrow inspired him to get an education and become a teacher. After graduating from Temple University with a degree in education, Fleisher became a substitute teacher and worked at a floral supply warehouse because he couldn’t find a full-time teaching position. Eventually, he found work at Shallcross Remedial Disciplinary School and later, Penn Treaty Middle School. At Shallcross, Fleisher first implemented his conflict resolution program called Conflict Resolution, Safe Solutions, Current Events and Common Sense. Fleisher retired from full-time teaching when he was diagnosed with stage 4 tonsil cancer (which he successfully beat). He continues to return to schools to teach his conflict resolution course and enlists the help of inspirational speakers from all walks of life to better connect with the students. In the future, Fleisher plans to continue mentoring kids by introducing Kids at Crossroads to after school programs throughout the city, as well as at Harrowgate, Kensington and Joe Hand Boxing Clubs. He also will continue assisting teachers and young workers by providing the best methods for counseling students and working with youngsters who have disciplinary issues. Throughout the year, Fleisher coordinates group outings for program members to spend a day at the theater or a sporting event. His motto, “Don’t tell me what you can’t do. Let me show you what you can do,” has inspired many Kids at Crossroads members to follow their dreams and stay out of trouble. While Fleisher is proud of his program and all of the children he has helped, his proudest accomplishment is watching many of his students continue his work and mentor others. “I hope some kids I mentored will continue to help young people, and they’re already doing it,” he says. prh


| rowhome magazine

Winton Street named for WWII Hero Philly

by Maria Merlino

C Photo: Jacqueline Larma, AP

ity officials renamed the 2200 block of Winton Street “Wild Bill Way” after William “Wild Bill” Guarnere, a South Philadelphia native and WWII veteran immortalized in the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers.” Philadelphia councilman Kenyatta Johnson unveiled the new street sign between Snyder Avenue and Jackson Street in recognition of Guarnere’s “pure dedication to fellow man, love for the City of Philadelphia, as well as his heroism and willingness to sacrifice all for his country.” “This is a great honor to have my grandfather’s name on this street,” said Debbi Rafferty. “He lived his whole life here. I would like to thank Councilman Kenyatta

Johnson and Veterans Commissioner Scott Brown. It’s a lovely day for the Guarnere family.” “Wild Bill served beyond Easy Company,” said State Senator Anthony Williams. “He was a patriot. He is what it means to be an American. He sacrificed for our country and was born in blood that day. More than naming a street, it’s a way of life that we forget. He is an inspiration. Patriotism never goes out of style.” Born in South Philadelphia on April 28, 1923, Guarnere was a non-commissioned officer with the legendary Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment in the 101st Airborne Division during World War II. He died on March 8, 2014 at the age of 90. prh

Obstetrical Care in the Heart of South Philadelphia Jefferson Opens New OB-GYN Office at 1302 Wolf Street Enjoy the convenience of your obstetrical appointments close to home and the confidence of delivering at Jefferson’s Center City hospital. Our exceptional maternity facilities also include a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit staffed by physicians from Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. Shannon Davids, MD; Elizabeth Liveright, MD; Ryan Sobel, MD and Patrick Teefey, MD are now accepting OB-GYN patient appointments at Methodist HospitalJefferson Health.

To make an OB or general GYN appointment, please call 1-800-JEFF-NOW or visit Dr. Davids

Dr. Liveright

Dr. Sobel

Dr. Teefey

Most health insurance plans accepted.

Convenient Jefferson offices: • Methodist Hospital (OB-GYN), 1302 Wolf Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148 • 833 Chestnut Street (OB-GYN), First Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107


rowhome magazine

| 45


PRHSalute to Service

Back the Blue


by Maria Merlino

South Division’s Inspector Joel Dales was happy to see the gathering of people on the apron of Marconi Plaza. “We’re consistent with community policing throughout the entire city,” he says. “Maintaining communication in the neighborhood is very important,” says 1st District Captain Lou Campione, who praised the efforts of South Philadelphia community activist Carol Lanni, who helped organize the rally. “She does an excellent job. She raises support from businesses, faith based organizations, civic associations and anyone else she reaches out to. It means a lot to the police to see this kind of support.” (1) Back the Blue with DJ Russ Ferrante, organizer Carol Lanni, Mark Furguson & Joe Moran (2) Chris Delia, Russell Shoemaker & Joe Moran wave our country’s colors and the colors of Blue Lives Matter (3) P/O Jason Rush, P/O John Burk, Officer Tom Tolstoy, Inspector Joel Dales, 1st District Captain Lou Campione (4) Joe Sposaro prays for the safety of his son and all officers (5) State Rep. Maria Donatucci, DJ Michaela Vasilkos & Tommy Donatucci (6) Dominick DeMuro, GEAR President Jody DellaBarba & Steve Lauer get ready to march up Broad Street with the 1st, 3rd, 4th & 17th Districts (7) Officer Christina Konczyk & Paula Terreri share a moment in support of the Philadelphia Police Department (8) Carol Lanni & Georgie Mortarano (9) Chrisy Carosella, Marie Maturo & Diane Powles show support for the fallen Philadelphia police officers (10) Ken Adams & author/playwrite George Martorano show their support.





No lease! No loan! No debt! Joseph Ruple ~ 856-217-9736

4 3

7 5


50 min Signature Massage $50 50 min Signature Hydrating Facial $50 2545 S. Broad St Philadelphia PA 19148 215.467.9666

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River to River. One Neighborhood. Philadelphia RowHome Magazine Blue Sapphire Award Honor Roll 2015 Blue Sapphire Award

Kevin M. Dougherty:

Merrill Reese:

Lady B: Patti LaBelle:

dministrative Judge, Court of Common Pleas Trial A Division, Community Service Award Sports Announcer, “Voice of the Philadelphia Eagles”, 2015 Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Artist / DJ / Old School 100.3, Entertainment Award Grammy Award-Winning Queen of Soul, Lifetime Music Achievement Award

2014 Blue Sapphire Award

John J. Dougherty: Kenny Gamble: Ukee Washington: Joseph Volpe:

Business Manager, IBEW Local 98, Community Service Award ongwriter/Producer, Lifetime Musical Achievement Award S CBS 3 News Anchor, Media Award CEO, Cescaphe Event Group, Local Business Success Story Award

2013 Blue Sapphire Award

Michael Barkann: Earl Young: The Philly Flyers Broad Street Bullies: Wendy Hamilton: Tony Luke, Sr.:

Sportscaster, Media Award inger/Drummer/Founder, The Trammps, Lifetime Musical Achievement Award S Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award GM, SugarHouse Casino, Community Service Award Local Business Success Story Award

2012 Blue Sapphire Award

2009 Blue Sapphire Award

Pat Ciarrocchi: CBS 3, Media Award Doug Collins: Philadelphia 76ers Coach, Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Sal Dupree: Vocal Coach & Entertainer, Lifetime Musical Achievement Award Councilman James Kenney: Community Service Award

Sid Mark: Radio Show Host, The Sounds of Sinatra, Entertainment Award Ray Didinger: Sportswriter/TV Commentator, Pro Football Hall of Fame, Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Ed Sabol: Filmmaker & Founder, NFL Films, Local Business Success Story Award Steve Sabol: President & Founder, NFL Films, Local Business Success Story Award Cathy Gandolfo: News Reporter, Action News, ‘RowHome Grown’ Media Award Michael Toklish: President, Friends of Jefferson Square Park, Community Service Award

2011 Blue Sapphire Award Bob Henon: Chairman, Political Action Committee, IBEW Local 98, Community Service Award Charlie Gracie: Entertainer, Lifetime Musical Achievement Award

2010 Blue Sapphire Award Charles Pizzi: CEO, Tasty Baking Company, Local Business Success Story Award Bunny Sigler: Singer, Lifetime Musical Achievement Award Larry Kane: Broadcast Journalist, Media Award Dick Vermeil: Former Eagles Coach, Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Honorable Annette Rizzo: Court of Common Pleas, Community Service Award

Blue Sapphire Award Alumni Sharon Pinkenson: Greater Philadelphia Film Office, Local Business Success Story Award Jerry Blavat: Geator Gold Radio, Entertainment Award Ed Snider: Chairman, Comcast-Spectacor, Sports Award Dr. Jack Carr: Founder, Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP), Leaders in Education Award Rev. Gary Pacitti: Pastor, Annunciation BVM Parish, Community Service Award Michael Neill: Director of Apprentice Training, IBEW Local 98, Leaders in Education Award

PRH Brides Guide

Water Works

The Philadelphia Story by

Joe Volpe



t’s hard to believe it has already been a year since I first told you about Cescaphe Event Group’s newest venue, Water Works. Since then, I have been hard at work with my team here at CEG to renovate the historic property to the level you have all come to expect from a Cescaphe venue. From its waterfront location at the foot

| rowhome magazine

of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Water Works features stunning views of Boathouse Row and the Center City skyline that make your wedding a true Philadelphia affair. As a registered National Historic Landmark, we worked very closely with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation to restore the Water Works to its original grandeur while adding signature Cescaphe touches. Water Works

renovations were primarily focused on the Engine House. Guests will enter through the Grand Foyer, which has been outfitted with opulent crystal and iron chandeliers with a shimmering veil of ball chain and features newly refinished tile flooring accented by espresso stained hardwood. Inside the Ballroom, the walls have been painted a light blue shade with white ceilings, crown molding, window and door trimmings. The hardwood floors have been refinished to a light natural wood. The connecting Veranda has been outfitted with a new custom gray and ivory striped tent. We also have transformed the Engine House’s former bar area into a luxurious bridal suite with a private outdoor veranda and private restrooms available only to couples and their bridal party.

accommodate up to 175 seated guests. The Grand Pavilion will be used for both ceremonies and receptions during the Spring and Fall. Couples also can choose to have their ceremony outdoors under the Grand Pavilion or the Water Works’ Gazebo, with our acclaimed cocktail hour being held inside the Engine House and on the connecting Veranda.

Engine House For those of you with smaller guests counts, Water Works allows us to host more intimate weddings and special events. For the first time, we are able to accommodate affairs under 125 guests, with the Engine House featuring 100-140 seated guest capacity. For Engine House receptions, the Veranda, which can be heated during winter months, will

host CEG’s signature cocktail hour before being transformed into an epic dessert room.

Mill House Deck Couples who dream of a Water Works wedding but have larger guest lists have the opportunity to host a Cocktail Style wedding featuring new and exciting food experiences. There is also the option for couples to create a custom tent wedding on the Mill House Deck. It has been a very exciting process to bring the Water Works to life and with our first season of weddings in the books, seeing the smiles this iconic venue has brought to our brides has already made this sixth venue a huge success in my eyes. I can’t wait to see all of our future weddings come to life for years to come!

Grand Pavilion One of the many exciting features of the Water Works is our first outdoor reception area under the Grand Pavilion. The neoclassical revival architecture dates to the early 19th Century with towering columns and panoramic views that have made the Water Works one of the most romantic destinations in Philadelphia over the last two centuries. We have created custom tenting that enables us to expand the space on both sides to

by Joseph Volpe, Cescaphe Event Group

Cescaphe is a member of the PRH Business Network.

photos by Melissa Kelly Photography

Ever keeping his eyes focused on the latest wedding trends, Cescaphe Event Group CEO/ Chef Joseph Volpe is recognized as the area’s leading authority on ballroom bliss. With his innovative approach to the most important celebration of your life, his award-winning Cescaphe Ballroom, The Atrium at Curtis Center, Tendenza, Vie, The Down Town Club and The Water Works combine a captivating ambiance with exquisite cuisine for an unforgettable experience. Visit or call 215.238.5750.

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PRHBrides Guide

Travel with

Spotlight On

Pam Draper

Personalize your next trip at no extra cost by Brenda Hillegas


Andreozzi Photography


Andrew Paul - Photographer “QUALITY PHOTOGRAPHY FOR LESS” (484) 614-1952 50

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am Draper is just as enthusiastic about her career as a travel agent now as she was when she began 30 years ago. “The most rewarding part of my job is taking the time to know my clients on a personal level so that I can plan a vacation that fits their needs and their budget,” Draper says. Those clients range from the well traveled to first time travelers, from the adventurous to those who enjoy a quiet beach vacation, from Disney World to an African safari. Whatever type of travel is calling your name, Draper enjoys providing personalized services that you can’t get from an online travel site. “My job isn’t over until well after my clients return and we’re on to planning the next trip,” she says. “As a seasoned traveler, I continue to broaden my personal travel experiences so that I can provide my clients with my first hand knowledge - and a few Pina Coladas along the way!” Many travel agencies closed their doors upon the arrival of online travel, BUT apparently, times have changed. Draper recently opened her storefront agency and business is bombing. What are the advantages of working with an agent to help plan your next trip? Draper says this is the most common question she is asked. “Personalized service at no extra cost is top of the list,” Draper says. “The internet can also be time consuming and overwhelming. My clients are busy so they trust me to plan their vacation and value my recommendations.” Draper also notes that she’ll take the time to find you the best price and price match. If you have any issues while traveling, Draper

will be on hand via phone or email to help straighten things out. “Don’t forget - I also have connections at many resorts,” she says. “Upgrades could be possible!” Draper is very passionate about her line of work. “Each destination always includes such a memorable experience,” she says. “I’ve recently traveled on a river cruise down the Rhine in Germany!” Some of Draper’s other memorable experiences include a Gondola ride in Venice, horseback riding in the crystal clear water of Turks & Caicos, seeing the Eiffel Tower lit up at night in Paris, swimming with dolphins in the Bahamas, kissing the Blarney Stone in Ireland and Disney Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival. Whether you’re just planning your next getaway or trying to brainstorm the perfect honeymoon spot, Draper can help. For winter, she suggests Hawaii, Iceland, St. Lucia, Australia, Argentina, Disney and Deer Valley Utah. If you’re looking at a spring vacation, try Ireland, River Cruise, Europe, Bermuda, Caribbean and Napa Valley. “I tell my honeymooners it’s not about THE perfect honeymoon, it’s all about YOUR perfect honeymoon.” Honeymooners can also visit to create a honeymoon and wish list registry! Are you a Downton Abbey fan? Is an Alaska Cruise or Rhine River Cruise on your bucket list? How about a visit to the Amalfi Coast? The 2017 travel season is almost here so check out Draper’s 2017 travel agenda. Make it your own and give her a call for that extra special personalized touch! Travel with Pam Draper is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network

PRHfashion Tips from the Pros

Gothic Glamour


by Victoria DiPietro

A glamorous take on the gothic beauty trend


FLOWERS FOR ALL OCCASIONS “the unusual is our specialty”

2515 S. Broad Street / Philadelphia, PA 19148 P: 215.463.5485 / 52

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is back from the ’90s. Glossy deep red or purple lips and fat black lashes with a flawless complexion are working beautifully on the runway. Slick hair - parted low to the side and swept into a bun - is gracing the fall fashion scene. Brings to mind scenes from Robert Palmer’s “Simply Irresistible” video. Models look super sexy with exaggerated eyeliner rimming their top and bottom lashes and waterline with a smoky eye. Black shadows are big this season paired with colors like red, orange or pink. Add silver or gold in the inner corner for a more dramatic look.

All that glitters

Raw & Real

Another look sweeping the runway for fall is If you’re a fan of glitraw and real makeup ter, you’re in luck. and hair trends. If you Glitter lip liner is a like to sleep in your cat big trend and attracteyes, go right ahead. ing a lot of attention. And don’t bother If you’re using glitter washing your face in lip liner, try the new the morning. Half glitter eyeliner, too. up messy hair and a It’s really a fun look weathered texture will and not as crazy as last work great with the season when everyone was using shadows and season’s best dressed. glitter on their eyebrows. If you still have your hair diffuser from your permed hair days of the ’90s, break that out.

For the love of lips

When it comes to makeup, lips are your most important feature. If you wear a full face of makeup but don’t apply lipstick or gloss, you’re wasting your time. Go big and go red! Bold wine colored lipstick in reds and dark purples really pop when accented by loose, diffused, wavy hair. In the past, the general rule has always been this. Go bold on the eyes or the lips but never both.

It’s time to break the rules! Dark makeup is a huge trend this fall and winter and includes lacquered lips and shimmering eye shadows. Don’t forget to exaggerate your cat eye. Makeup is definitely making a statement this season so be sure to take advantage of the bold and the beautiful. Victoria DiPietro, Bella Angel, is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network

Elegant Unforgettable

2 015




Wedd in

g Mus


Philly’s Premier 11 Piece Band For All Occasions

The Music Makes the Memory Dan Vanore 215.336.5101 w















PRHfashion Tips from the Pros

Key Pizza & Grill

Keep eating, my friends! 1846 S. 12th St Philadelphia, PA 19148

(215) 551-7111 Mon-Sat: 11AM to 11PM Sun: 12PM to 10PM

Luxe Girl Gift Trends

Hot Waves

by Stacy Murray


A full service Hair Salon Celebrating 30 years Making Philadelphia Beautiful One Client at a Time 1200 W. Ritner Street Diane Philadelphia, Pa. 19148 Porecca-Bosco 215.468.6282 Owner /Artistic Director



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all 2016 is here and what better time than now to spoil yourself with a to me, from me, love me gift. For the misters out there, spoil your leading lady with these fall fashion must haves. The runways were filled with luxurious furs, colorful embroideries, emojis and prints, rebellious leathers, smooth suedes, textured coats, camouflage street wear, boots, booties and slides for days. Fur. Real or faux, covered the runways and crossed all rainbows from Gucci’s Pink Chubby, Dries Van Noten Leopard, and Saint Laurent’s cobalt blue. You can’t go wrong. Find it on a collar, line it inside, put it in the hood or from head to toe. Your heart will be warm and your mind will be in a dream when wrapped in this delicious piece of fall! Emojis, embroideries and

prints were everywhere. Fendi covered it all with their Peekaboo Embroidered and Dotcom Lace Up Satchels, along with unordinary key fabs like the Karlito and Rumi Monster. Gucci went graffiti with the “Ghost” Collection, which you can embrace via handbag, scarf, slide or sneaker. Etro embodies the fall in paisley prints, jewel tones and brocades. What better way to gift the fall than in an Etro scarf? Bomber jackets in all varieties - leather, velvet, denim, metallic or wool - should keep you on trend and warm up any gift box. Favorites include the Classic Varsity Bomber from Opening Ceremony and the uber warm Savona Fur Trim Camo Down Bomber from Canada Goose. You could pair any of these options back to a great leather legging like Helmut Lang’s stretch leather

legging or Alice + Olivia’s zip front leather legging. Heels, boots, booties, slides...oh my! You can’t go wrong! Studded booties like the “Suzanna” leather ankle bootie by Chloe, the Phillip Lim “Alexa” Bootie for simple city strides or “Glitter” sneaks to brighten up the night. A shoe box is a win-win giftable! Gems, metals and stones save the best for last. What’s more luxe than a new piece of jewelry? Keep it contemporary with an elevated dog tag necklace. Devon Woodhill delivers this trend in a Rae Diamond 18k Rose Gold that is to die for. David Yurman looks to exotic stones to enhance his tag collection, and Cucinelli keeps it simple in sterling silver. Diamonds will always be a girl’s best friend but think outside the box and put something fun and unexpected inside one!

PRHthe menu Courtesy of Dominic Condo

Crab-stuffed Bell Peppers cucina domenico

Ingredients ➜ 16 ounces canned

crab claw meat ➜ 2 tablespoons butter ➜ 1 large shallot, chopped

➜ Juice of 1 lemon ➜ 2 tablespoons white wine ➜ 6 ounces canned arti-

➜ 1 cup of breadcrumbs ➜ Olive oil ➜ 3 large or 5 small bell

choke hearts, chopped

peppers cut in half lengthwise and cleaned

Directions Preheat oven to 400˚. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add chopped shallot, sauté until soft. Add crabmeat, lemon juice, wine and chopped artichoke hearts. Stir. Add 1 cup of breadcrumbs plus tablespoon of olive oil. Stir until breadcrumbs

are fully incorporated. Add additional olive oil if needed. Heat until warmed. Fill each pepper half with the crab filling. Place the peppers on a baking sheet or in a baking dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until peppers are tender. Serve warm.

PRH Suggested Wine Pairing by Vincent Novello Montague Family Estate – Chardonnay Dominic Condo (Cucina Domenico) is a member of the Philadelpha RowHome (PRH) Business Network

IF THERE WAS A FIRE, YOU’D KNOW WHAT TO DO. WHAT IF YOU COULDN’T GO HOME AFTER YOUR HOSPITAL STAY? Waiting until the hospital discharge planner asks you which rehabilitation facility you want to go to is too late. You need a plan so you can stay in control. The goal is to get your life back and get back home as soon as possible. With the newest equipment available and aggressive therapy plans tailored just for you, tell the hospital discharge planner you want your POWER BACK!

CALL POWERBACK REHABILITATION at 888-982-2000. PowerBack Rehabilitation | Center City | 1526 Lombard Street | Philadelphia, PA 19146

By Genesis HealthCare

By Genesis HealthCare rowhome magazine

| 55

PRHthe menu

Philly Courtesy of Lombardi’s Prime Meats

Bacon wrapped Filet Mignon stuffed with blue cheese Ingredients ➜ 4 filet mignon steaks, about 2

➜ 1 tablespoon finely

➜ 1 teaspoon smoked paprika ➜ 1 teaspoon good-

➜ ➜ ➜

inches thick, cut with a small deep pocket on each side Raw bacon slices, enough to wrap each steak 1 cup crumbled blue cheese 3 tablespoons salt 1 tablespoon onion powder

ground black pepper quality chili powder

➜ 1 teaspoon raw sugar ➜ 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Directions Prepare spice mixture by stirring together the salt, onion powder, black pepper, paprika, chili powder, sugar and dry mustard. Set aside until ready to use. Stuff one-fourth of the blue cheese into each steak. Work the cheese in as far as you can and squeeze the opening shut to seal it, securing with toothpicks. Season liberally on both sides with the spice mixture. Wrap a few slices of uncooked bacon around each steak, again securing with toothpicks. Prepare the grill for cooking over direct heat. Remove the toothpicks if using and place the steaks directly on the cooking grate. Cook for 3 minutes, rotate the steaks 1/4 turn to make crosshatch marks, and then cook another 2 minutes. Flip and cook another 3 to 4 minutes for medium-rare, or to your degree of desired doneness. Remove to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4

PRH Suggested Wine Pairing by Vincent Novello Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva Lombardi’s Prime Meats is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network


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PRHthe menu




• 2-inch wood • Pleated Shades • Shutters • Roman Shades • Verticals • Drapes • Mini Blinds • Valances

Key Pizza Keep eating, my friends



Real Estate Sales

1033 N. 2nd Street 5th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19123 Office: 215-400-2600 Cell: 609-636-9783

photos/story by Dominique Verrecchio


s I walk into Key Pizza on a Saturday morning, the aroma of baking pizza dough fills the air. Stephanos, the owner, is busy preparing various dishes. Key Pizza, he explains, has been a local favorite since his late father opened it in 1974. On May 29th, 1999, they moved to 12th and Mifflin and have been part of the neighborhood ever since. Stephanos is the first generation son of immigrants. His passion for food and people attracted him to the hospitality business. By coming to South Philly to create Key Pizza, he’s reminded that regardless of where our families come from, those immigrant origins remind us of who we are today. When Stephanos thinks about growing up, he values the wonderful childhood that became part of his memories; of the times that he was in the business with his parents. “Maybe I’m just reliving old fashioned memories but I bet our families, grandparents – and even our children’s – most fond memories include eating pizza from their favorite pizza shop.” Key Pizza serves delicious cheesesteaks, panzerotti, hoagies and pizza with a side of tradition, artwork and old fashioned family values. Their pizza is their most popular dish and they offer many specialty pies. Their South Philly Pizza is made with mozzarella cheese, caramelized onions and fresh ribeye-cut steak. They also offer a Chicken Fajita Pizza, which

is a white pie topped with chicken and peppers. And for meat lovers, there’s a specialty pie called The Godfather topped with sausage, pepperoni, meatballs, green peppers and onions. Stephanos has a favorite, too. The Old Fashioned is made with mozzarella on the bottom and sauce on the top. Key Pizza offers everything from appetizers and wings to pasta dishes and seafood. Its diverse menu, taste and the unique pizza creations make them stand out in the crowd. They don’t just make food, they create it. Stephanos emphasizes that community is everything. He would not be here without his customers. He supports local businesses and is especially grateful to the Carabello family that welcomed him into the neighborhood with open arms when he brought his business to South Philadelphia 17 years ago. Key Pizza is a hidden gem, serving the neighborhood with delicious comfort food for any occasion. Stephanos and his team hope that sharing these warm memories from his roots will help you kindle recollections of your own while you sit around your dinner tables and TVs watching the best Eagles moments and cheering for the Phillies. “South Philadelphia has become family, so keep eating my friends,” he says. “And when you are thinking about a wonderful experience, call Key Pizza. Good times, good memories, family and friends. But most importantly - good food.”

Key Pizza is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network


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A Taste For Tradition 700 Haddon Avenue Collingswood, NJ 08108 Call 856-854-2156 for reservations w ww . kitconcafe . com

Monday – Thursday: 4pm – 9:30pm

Friday: 4pm – 10:30pm

Saturday: 12pm – 10:00pm

Book your private parties | Home catering available

Certificate of Excellence 2014 Winner- Trip Advisor

Sunday: 12pm – 9pm Vo Sout ted “De he li 2013 rn Italia sh” Zaga n Far e, t Ra ting

Diner’s Choice Winner 2014- Voted One of the Top 10 Restaurants in the Philadelphia Area Zagat 2013 Exclusive Caterer of Fralinger String Band, Contact: or 856-854-2156

PRHthe menu

Courtesy of The Little Lion

Espresso Crème Brulee 243 Chestnut Street

2531-35 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia PA 19148

w w w . t h e l i t t l e l i o n p h i l ly . c o m

Ingredients ➜ 1 and 1/4 cups heavy cream ➜ 1/3 cup milk ➜ 1/2 cup sugar

➜ 1 cup espresso beans*

➜ 7 egg yolks ➜ 1 vanilla bean Directions

Combine cream, milk, sugar, vanilla bean (split lengthwise, scrape the seeds and put them into the mixture, along with the husks), and espresso beans into a saucepan. Bring up to 165 degrees then remove from heat. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks until they thicken. Slowly add the scalded cream mixture to the yolks, stirring continuously (as to not cook the yolks). Strain the espresso beans out of the custard base. Pour 5 oz of the custard base into your Crème Brulee ramekins, then place the ramekins into a larger baking pan and fill with water about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake at 200 degrees for approximately 2 hours. Allow 12 hours to cool before serving.

To Serve Sprinkle 2 tbsp white sugar on each portion and distribute evenly across the top. Then take your blow torch and slowly caramelize the sugar until you achieve a golden brown sugar crust (be careful not to burn the sugar). *The Little Lion in Old City District partners with

Peddler Coffee and uses their roasted espresso beans, but feel free to use beans from your own favorite roaster.

PRH Suggested Wine Pairing by Vincent Novello Conegliano Voldobbiadine - Prosecco Superiore DOCG The Little Lion is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network


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Prepare homemade pumpkin puree by baking one small pumpkin in the oven until soft. Let cool and cut in half. Remove seeds and separate flesh from skin. Place flesh in a strainer and let drain for 30 minutes to remove excess water. While draining pumpkin purée, prepare homemade speculoos cookies.

Ingredients ➜ 1/8 cup

Courtesy of P’Unk Burger

Homemade Organic

Pumpkin Speculoos Milkshakes 1823 E Passyunk Ave.

organic butter ➜ 1/4 cup sugar ➜ 1/8 cup brown sugar ➜ 1/2 teaspoon molasses ➜ 1 large organic egg ➜ 1/2 teaspoon

pure vanilla extract

➜ 1 cup

almond meal

➜ 1 teaspoon

ground cinnamon

➜ 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

➜ 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

➜ Pinch of salt

Directions Combine butter, sugar and brown sugar. Beat until combined and fluffy. Add in molasses, egg and pure vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Add in almond meal, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt and stir until combined. Put cookie dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment paper on top of the

dough and, using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Place on a baking sheet. Chill in the freezer for one hour. After an hour, remove baking sheet from the freezer and carefully peel the cookie dough from the parchment paper. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the dough into 24 even squares. Preheat oven to 325°F and line another baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a thin spatula, carefully lift the cookies from the original parchment paper and place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 1215 minutes or until they’re golden/slightly brown. Cool on wire racks. Place 7 oz. of organic whole milk in a blender. Add 7 oz. of organic or all natural vanilla bean ice cream add (1) crumbled Speculoos cookie and (2) heaping tablespoons of pumpkin purée. Blend on pulse until desired thickness. You can add more cookie, pumpkin and ice cream as desired. Serve and enjoy!

P’Unk Burger is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network

Prestigious ornamental iron Works in Pa & nJ

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Tips from the Pros



Get Your Home Ready for


born of an immigrant family who used life to the ultimate level of success.

A South Philadelphia Legend Memorial can be visited Upstairs at St. Rita’s Church on 1166 S. Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19146

John Miller, licensed agent and office manager at Troast-Singley Insurance Agency LLC, has the following tips to offer to help keep your home safe during the winter months. It’s important to first review your policy with a licensed agent and confirm that premiums are paid. Also, make sure you understand the coverage on the policy.

Begin outdoors Focus on outdoor projects first before it gets too cold. Start by clearing debris from gutters and downspouts to prevent them from leaking or sagging. If your roof has not been inspected within the past 3-5 years, now is a good time.

est. 1921

Is your heating system ready? Have a certified HVAC professional inspect your furnace and clean your ducts. If your home has a fireplace, have the chimney professionally cleaned.

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Check your smoke detectors.

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Increased use of heat in your home creates a fire risk. Put new batteries in your smoke detectors and then test them. You should do the same for your carbon monoxide detectors.

Utilities Freezing temperatures can be especially damaging to your home’s water pipes. Make sure your pipes are adequately prepared to withstand the cold snap. Check for water leaks and fix problems immediately. Wrap water pipes in UL-Listed heat tape and insulate if they are exposed in unheated areas such as garages and crawl spaces. Learn how to shut off your water and know where your pipes are located in case they freeze. For more tips, a quote or questions about any insurance needs, contact John at 215.339.0333.

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Ample Parking • Handicap Accessible

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Troast-Singley Insurance LLC is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network.


Travelers’ Guide Safety While Traveling Abroad

Tips from the Pros

by Ron Rabena

Crime, health risks, natural disasters and terrorism can disrupt the bestplanned vacations. Travelers need to be aware of the risks they can face when vacationing in unfamiliar territory. Whether you are a student on spring break, a family vacationing together or you are traveling for business, these precautions should be part of your pre-trip planning.

Protect Your Identity

Proof of identity and citizenship are critical while traveling abroad. Be sure your passport is current and note that some countries have restrictions if you have less than six months validity on your passport. Your personal safety and ability to travel will be at risk if your passport and other identification are lost or stolen. Take photocopies of your passport and other identification with you on your travels in the event something happens to the originals.

Check Travel Warnings and Advisories

The U.S. Department of State’s website,, should be your first stop when planning for international travel. The website will provide locations that currently have a travel warning or alert. There is also information about foreign countries’ laws and policies as well as other international travel resources. Check your destination’s local weather forecast for storms and warnings. Even if you don’t think the weather will stop you from a great vacation, it could delay your travel arrangements or even cancel them altogether due to a natural disaster.

Register with the State Department

Register your travel plans with the State Department through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. All U.S. citizens travelling abroad can provide travel and personal information to the State

Department to receive alerts so that you can be contacted in an emergency situation.

Insure Yourself

No one ever plans on getting sick or being hurt while traveling, but it could happen. Be prepared by reviewing your health insurance to find out if it will cover you in a foreign country. If your health insurance does not cover you, there is the option of purchasing travel insurance. This insurance provides health coverage, protects you if your trip is delayed or cut short or if you need to cancel your trip for one of the covered reasons such as illness or a natural disaster.


Contact Your Credit Card and Cell Phone Companies

If you plan on using credit cards during your travel, alert your providers to your travel dates so they do not put a hold on or decline a purchase because they will know that it is actually you using the card. It is also suggested to use credit cards rather than debit cards because credit companies offer fraud protection required by federal regulations. Check with your cell phone provider to make sure you will have service. There may be an extra charge for international or roaming calls or data services. Make sure that your phone is pre-programmed with important emergency numbers at home and you have a charger that will work where you’re heading. About the Author. Ron Rabena is the Chief Administrative Officer at Allied Universal Security Services. He can be reached at


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& rder LawO Drive sober A: or get pulled over Q:

If I am stopped at a DUI checkpoint, am I required to tell the officer if I have been drinking and if I say no, can I be forced to take a breathalyzer?

by Frank C. DePasquale Jr., Esquire

Legal Questions

L e g a l q u e s t i o n s f o r F r a n k DePasquale? Email him at or mail to PRH Law & Order, PO Box 54786, Phila., PA 19148. Please include your name, address & phone number for verification purposes. PRH will not publish your last name.


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DUI checkpoints are legal in PA and NJ and your answer really doesn’t matter. If the officer suspects you have been drinking, he will direct you to a secondary location where you will be subjected to field sobriety tests and a breathalyzer. If you fail either, you will be arrested and charged with DUI.


My friend is a victim of domestic abuse. Her husband threatens to take her children from her if she files any police reports or protection orders. She is abusing painkillers and her husband says a judge will not give a “junkie” custody of her kids. I don’t know how to help


her and I am afraid I am going to lose my friend to violence or drugs.

A: She needs to immediately file a

Protection from Abuse petition with the family court and must call the police and file a report every time there is an incident of abuse. There is no other way to protect herself and her children. I can’t underestimate how many spouses procrastinate until the abuse escalates to serious life threatening injuries. While her pain medication abuse will be a factor with the court, the only issue before the judge is what is in the “best interests” of the children. It is my opinion that the best interests of the children will not be served giving custody to a father who is physically and mentally abusing their mother. Your friend should also seek professional help for her addiction to pain medication, which will help her and go a long way with the court.


Bethlehem The Christmas City by George Wacker/Lehigh Valley With Love Media

photos courtesy of Lehigh Valley with Love Media


n Christmas Eve of 1741, a small Moravian community along the Lehigh River was christened “Bethlehem” by Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf of Saxony, Germany. Ever since, Bethlehem and the Christmas holiday season have shared a close relationship. So intertwined is the city of 75,000 just about an hour north of Philadelphia that, in 1937, city leaders officially declared the city be known as “Christmas City USA.” And while Bethlehem and the entire Lehigh Valley have grown in size, scope and year-round activities since its founding and official Christmas designation, the month of December is still a special one for citizens and visitors alike. The love of the Christmas holiday can be felt throughout the town, whether it’s in the form of Christmas music on the streets or in the back of a horse drawn carriage ride. Here are a few of the best Christmas related activities you can gift to yourself this holiday season.


Recognized by Travel and Leisure Magazine as one of the top holiday markets in the world, Christkindlmarkt is held in the shadows of the

former Bethlehem Steel blast furnaces on ArtsQuest’s beautiful south Bethlehem Campus. The event has grown in recent years to include not only more than 200 different vendors supplying a variety of handmade and other holiday gifts, but also special events, food and entertainment. Christkindlmarkt runs Thursday through Sunday from midNovember to just before Christmas Day. Visit to find that perfect gift and choose from handcrafted jewelry, hand-carved wooden toys and holiday items, Bethlehem Stars and clothing. You can even make your own glass Christmas tree ornament. Visit for more information.

Christmas City Village.

Across the Lehigh River from Christkindlmarkt is an outdoor shopping experience that provides even more vendors and handcrafted items. Bethlehem’s Christmas City Village is an authentic German Weihnachtsmarkt, located in the heart of Historic Downtown Bethlehem. The market is scattered throughout the downtown area on Main Street between Broad and Church streets with vendors setting up in wooden huts and selling all types

of holiday gift ideas throughout the weeks leading up to Christmas. Visit for more information.

District, designated by the Secretary of the Interior in 2012. Visit for more information.

Moravian Book Shop.

Shopping and Dining on Main Street.

Located within the heart of the Christmas City Village vendors is the oldest continually operating bookshop in the world. Browse for that perfect book or peruse the Book Shop’s wide variety of gift ideas ranging from clothing to candy to handmade Bethlehem Stars. Also, be sure to visit The Colony Meadery at the Book Shop for that special and unique treat.

Christmas Tours.

Historic Bethlehem Museums and Sites provides a number of tours throughout the city during the holidays. Their certified guides take you through the unique historic beginnings of the city and tell the tales of the Bethlehem Star, why there are candles in every window, and how the Christmas city became what it is today. Historic highlights include Bethlehem’s exquisite Victorian and colonial architecture, including two National Historic Landmarks, the 1741 Gemeinhaus and the Bethlehem Waterworks. The tour route is part of Bethlehem’s National Historic Landmark

Not to be outdone, Bethlehem’s year-round stores and restaurants will provide more shopping and dining options for every type of visitor. From award-winning brunch at the Historic Hotel Bethlehem to nightlife at Corked Wine Bar and Steak House, downtown Bethlehem is home to some of the finest dining in the Lehigh Valley area. Stores like Domaci furniture store, Hand Cut Crystal, Jewel Works, Donegal Square, The Gem Shop, Artsy Diva Boutique and many more provide a shopping experience that would make Santa jealous. Visit for more information. Many people say that you just have to visit Bethlehem during the Christmas season to truly understand what it’s all about, how it encompasses the Christmas season and how it can bring you back to your own childhood. And, who knows, maybe you’ll happen to meet old Saint Nick himself. prh

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hilanthropist, entrepreneur and all-around Renaissance woman, Dana Spain is the type of successful businesswoman little girls dream of growing up to be. From helping grow her family’s businesses (Spain’s Cards & Gifts and Dollar Express) to owner and COO of Philadelphia Style Magazine, Spain barely stops to catch her breath before she is on to her next project. “You could say it’s passion or that I bore easily,” Spain laughs. “Every five-seven years, I reinvent myself both in career and philanthropic endeavors.” Spain is currently revitalizing Philadelphia neighborhoods and pioneering urban development as the managing partner of McSpain Properties. Its jewel in the crown being The Fairmount at Brewerytown, the former Acme warehouse transformed into 161 loft-style apartments. The property is complete with a rooftop pool, dog park, gym, business center and a community room which features why-would-I-ever-want-to-leave-here hours of fun like shuffleboard and vintage arcade games. The apartments are unique in that they incorporate a raw, urban industrial feel with their vaulted ceilings and large floor-toceiling windows, while personifying grace, comfort and a sense of well-being with natural light and open spaces. “We had a vision for this project from the beginning,” Spain says. “We redesigned [the original] plans, then decided the best use of space for the interior units would be to cut a light well in the middle of the building which was quite an undertaking considering the [concrete] slabs are up to 18 inches thick and we had giant columns holding up the building.” Spain loves the area and even bought the building across the street, which had housed the repair shops for Acme trucks, to build 36 more rental apartments. Expecting their demographic to be comprised mainly of graduate students and women in their late ’20s to early ’30s, Spain was pleasantly surprised to find a very diverse group of renters moving in. “What seems to tether them all together is that almost every unit has an animal,” Spain says. “We allow up to three animals and have no breed restrictions, which is unusual in an urban environment.” Spain’s love of animals is well known. She founded PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society) in 2005 and is the proud mama to several rescue cats, including Mr. Bojangles, Al, Toby Keith (“no relation to the singer”) and Sebastian. “[PAWS] is a no-kill facility and we consider ourselves your replacement for your ‘doggie in the window’ pet store,” Spain says. “They’re safe with us until we can find their forever homes. All of our animals are in good health. They have playtime and dog enrichment programs.” Donors are the organization’s lifeblood and you can participate by joining fellow animal lovers on October 22nd for their annual Mutt Strut. PAWS celebrates its 10th anniversary Gala Casino Night on January 30th, 2017. It’s important to Spain to give back and help enhance the life of Philadelphia and those who dwell within. “We’re a city where the community is such an integral part of our fabric that everybody here rises up, even in the face of adversity.” prh


Julie Coker Graham

Steady as she goes by Mark Casasanto


resh off the successes of last fall’s World Meeting of Families and more recently, the Democratic National Convention, the five-syllable word – Philadelphia – rolls rather easily off the tongues of many when speaking of world-class cities. Truth be told, Philadelphia delivered a command performance in what was an absolutely amazing year for the city’s tourism and hospitality industry. Quietly and stoically, Julie Coker Graham, with a little help from her friends, conducted a beautiful symphony of committees, sub-committees, agencies and departments to a rousing crescendo of accolades worthy of encores and curtain calls. The seasoned veteran spent 21 years with Hyatt Hotels before she was tapped in 2010 to oversee the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Sales and Services Department. Along the way, she served as Executive Vice President under legendary President and CEO, Jack Ferguson, a title that she, herself, has held since this past New Year’s Day.

The Global Spotlight

In a word, Coker Graham describes the last two years’ worth of publicity for the city as “priceless.” It’s an earned exposure that goes miles in terms of highlighting all the attributes the city has to offer potential meeting and event planners. “There are not many conventions the size of the DNC,” she explains. “Successfully hosting it shows that we are a city capable of logistically handling the demands of any size convention.” With that said, she exclaims, “We have arrived!” With a nod towards the booming innovation and tech scene and the seemingly endless lauds for culinary cuisine and concepts, she freely calls Philadelphia “one of America’s powerhouse cities.” And that’s also a message that is delivered daily overseas on behalf of The City of Brotherly Love. “We have an incredibly effective tourism team that works with six international offices covering 10 key markets,” she proudly notes. The goal? Educate tour operators and travel agents so that Philadelphia can become a part of their future itineraries for destination or even just East Coast travel within the United States. Couple that with a visiting journalist program, in which international trade and travel media visit the city, the global outreach creates international exposure that helps fill hotel rooms across the region and a positive economic impact for all service-related industries.

The NFL Draft & Olympic Aspirations

Formerly known as the Philadelphia Sports Congress, the newly named PHL Sports is a business development division with an obvious focus of

bringing sports-themed meetings, conventions, tradeshows and events to the city. A first of its kind in the nation, the commission is aptly suited to deliver the expertise and resources needed to successfully plan and execute within the realm of sports-related events. As Coker Graham is quick to point out, “When it comes to sports and the spirit of competition, there are few cities as passionate as Philadelphia.” Events like The Army-Navy Game, NCAA Tournaments and the recent Copa America Centenario Soccer Tournament are perfect examples of the type of large-scale efforts the division helps to secure and deliver. The upcoming (2017) NFL Draft is yet another. “We are definitely looking forward to next April,” Coker Graham beams. “Bringing this event to Philadelphia was the product of collaboration between the NFL, the city, PHLSports, the Eagles, state level leaders and more.” And for her and her team, it becomes yet another showcase for the city to tout its talents to a national audience. So, what about a possible run at the Olympics in 2028 or beyond? “It is not unrealistic to think that Philadelphia can be a successful host to global events like the Olympics or otherwise.” But she also readily admits, “The decision to pursue an event like the Olympics would certainly not be ours (PHLCVB) to make.”

Image is Everything

In the relatively small community of meeting planners, first impressions as well as bad impressions are generally long lasting. Negative

perceptions are surface blemishes that every city must contend with. It has been no secret that the forces at play within the Pennsylvania Convention Center and its union partners have worked extremely hard over the last two years to change the perception of doing business at the PCC. “We’ve come a long way,” says the amicable leader. “We are constantly communicating about the positive changes at the building under the leadership of President & CEO John McNichol, Chairman Greg Fox and facility manager, SMG.” As far as the city itself goes, Coker Graham notes the abundance of amazing assets. “In the last year alone, Philadelphia was named the Most Exciting Place to See in the U.S. (Lonely Planet) and One of America’s Greatest Eating Cities (Bon Appetit). There’s a lot of good happening and that goes a long way toward shaping the perception of potential visitors.”

Why Philadelphia?

“The last 5-7 years were very exciting and both the city and PHLCVB have evolved to meet the demands of our customers and visitors. I expect that this positive trend will continue for at least the next 5-7 years,” Coker Graham says with confidence. Part and parcel for that confidence is the incredible bond, strength and commitment of the associated partnerships in the business community - all rowing in the same direction to sell the city. “They (partners) have stepped up time and again. It differentiates us from other cities and ultimately wins us business.” She’s quick to shine a light on the variety of attractions, experiences and overall diversity of the city, begging the question, “Why not Philadelphia?” “We can deliver!” she says matter-of-factly. Rounding out this, its 75th anniversary year, Coker Graham comes up with the number “27,375 days.” That’s the amount of time the organization has spent marketing, selling and promoting Philadelphia as a destination for meetings, conventions, events and tourism. “It’s an incredible milestone and we are all looking forward to another 75 years of positive growth and economic development for our city.” And for Julie Coker Graham, that can only mean one thing. It’s full steam ahead and steady as she goes. prh

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Philly Touch Tours

Hands On with some of Philly’s Best Museums by Matt Kelchner photos by Trish Maunder


hiladelphia is home to a wide range of incredible museums. From grand collections of priceless artwork to historical artifacts that date back hundreds, even thousands of years, there is a little something for everyone. Thanks to a relatively young company called Philly Touch Tours, this now includes the blind and visually impaired, as well. Established in the spring of last year, co-founders Trish Maunder and Austin Seraphin created an organization that offers arts and culture centric tours that cater to those with vision loss. In places like the Italian Market, Christ Church

and the ancient Egyptian section of the Penn Museum, small groups get handson knowledge and experience with some truly unique attractions. “Touching things you’ve only heard about is the biggest deal,” Maunder details as she explains the joy and excitement people get. “It’s the revelation of something that you’ve heard about, but haven’t actually seen, that suddenly you can see in a new and different way.” Maunder has always had a special interest in working with visually impaired people. It started 30 years ago with the birth of her daughter. Since then, she has been assisting those who have lost their sight to reveal things to the general public that they might take for granted. Prior to starting Philly Touch Tours, she worked with the Penn Museum as a


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consultant, helping to design programs for the visually impaired. Since 2012, she helped the visually impaired interact with objects like statues, hieroglyphics, ancient linens and canopic jars. Now, through Philly Touch Tours, Maunder has expanded the types of outings and events. In addition to a journey through ancient Egypt, groups also can experience all that the Italian Market has to offer or take a trip back in time to colonial Philadelphia. “During the history tour, people just absolutely loved meeting someone who played the part of Benjamin Franklin.” No matter what the adventure is, there is always a special takeaway for everyone. Maunder says. “They loved touching the Liberty Bell because it then became real for them.”

The fun doesn’t stop there. New tours, including a seasonal outing to the Wissahickon Environmental Center and a brand new one with Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, are in the works. Detailed research and careful planning are crucial to the beginning stages of development. Maunder and her team walk the planned routes or exhibits, taking notes along the way. Since last summer, Katherine Allen joined Maunder and Philly Touch Tours as an accessibility consultant. She gives an extra layer of oversight and input as the number of trips grows and expands. Focus groups are also later recruited to gain additional questions, comments and opinions. When asked about her most memorable feat, Maunder could not settle on just one thing. To her, working with people and seeing the joy they get from experiencing new things is a huge takeaway. “Perhaps one of the proudest moments has been having the able bodied sighted public understand that not being able to see isn’t that big of a deal. If you work together, it’s a really revealing process.” prh

The Newbold CDC team at 2016’s Sausage Fest preview party. From left: Carol de Fries, Jess Gould, Tim Lidiak, Janette Spirk (with hat), baby Decker, Levana Layendecker (holding Decker), Alex Turner (in back), Anthony Caroto, Liz Crutchley

Meet your Newbold neighbors Newbold CDC is planting seeds for future growth by Brenda Hillegas


ewbold? If the name is unfamiliar, the neighborhood is easy to find. Broad Street to 18th Street. Tasker to Wolf. This small slice of South Philadelphia is on a pretty big mission. Members of the Newbold CDC want to improve the quality of life for residents. Clean, green streets. Commercial and residential development. Programs and activities that enrich the lives of their neighbors. “We’ve been achieving that mission throughout the past six years by improving the look and feel of our two commercial districts - West

Passyunk Avenue and Snyder Avenue,” says Newbold CDC’s president, Timothy Lidiak. “Our Street Cleaning Program partnered with Horizon House Inc., which provides a wide range of services for adults with developmental disabilities, drug and alcohol addictions, and/or homelessness - to employ a cleaning crew through their workforce program. We put these individuals to work by cleaning up the commercial corridors [of the Newbold neighborhood].” In 2015, the Newbold CDC launched their Sausage Fest in South Philadelphia, which features “sausagethemed” food from local restaurants and craft beer by area breweries. The new annual event partners with Horizon House to raise funds for the Street

Cleaning Program. Lidiak knows that Newbold is a place worthy of investment. The Newbold CDC also has been able to renovate the grounds of an elementary school, a WWII Veterans Memorial and planted gardens at various intersections. Now that West Passyunk and Snyder Avenues are safe and clean with very affordable commercial rents in the area, Lidiak says that attracting new businesses, retailers and investors is much less challenging than it was just three years ago. “We are presently partnering with several property owners and realtors to attract new restaurants and a variety of retailers to the area,” Lidiak says. “[Newbold] should be inviting to residents, visitors and investors through

the planting of trees, gardens, planters, banners and most importantly, by keeping them litter free.” Now that this year’s Sausage Fest is over, the Newbold CDC plans to launch a bicycle parking program. “Our intention is to transform the Newbold and West Passyunk neighborhoods into the most bicyclefriendly communities within the Philadelphia region,” he says. “The program will focus on raising funds for the purchase and installation of 100 bicycle parking racks and stations along our two Avenues and at popular restaurants, gastro-pubs and retail stores throughout our neighborhood.” This year, the CDC also plans to re-launch its ‘Flash Meal.’ “The idea behind Flash Meal involves inviting through social media and with very short notice, a large number of our constituents to a local restaurant,” Lidiak explains. The CDC will provide the restaurant with a week’s notice before the event so that they can prepare for a large influx of customers. Then, early in the week, we blast out the event on Face-

book, Twitter and through email. The purpose of Flash Meal is to introduce local residents, neighbors and friends to a restaurant that they may not be aware of or that they would normally not think of patronizing.” As the Newbold CDC continuously works to improve the look of neighborhood public spaces, Lidiak says more funds will be raised via a Blues, Brews & BBQ festival next June. “Our Corridor Greening Program will benefit from the new festival,” he says. “The CDC presently employs a part-time horticulturalist who tends our six gardens, three landscaped intersections, dozens of trees and five raised planters along West Passyunk and Snyder Avenues. For the Newbold CDC leaders, Lidiak says the main goal is always to make the area great. “Improving public spaces will attract people to the Newbold neighborhood,” he says. “People feel safer if a community is litter free, clean and they know that the community cares.” prh

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PRHGreenSp ce

Vertical farming in the heart of the city ➺

Metropolis Farms An Indoor Hydroponic Farm in Philly

John Ramos, Jack Griffin, Lee Weingrad

by Kerri-Lee MAYLAND photos courtesy of Metropolis Farms


t was a random afternoon in July that Jack Griffin and I first spoke about Metropolis Vertical Farming, the first indoor hydroponic farm in Philadelphia. It was hardly a lazy summer day though because the Wall Street banker turned indoor farmer was on his way into an “important business meeting.” Jack was excited and clearly something big was going on at Metropolis. The meeting had something to do with expanding and building the company. By the way, when we talk about outdoor urban farming, we aren’t talking about community gardens that produce a bounty for neighbors to barter and share (which is awesome!). We are talking vertical farming, legit large-scale produce-producing farms. In buildings. Even skyscrapers. In the heart of Philly.

More than just making salad

“It might be the first new industry to Philly in 30 years,” says Jack Griffin. “By feeding ourselves, we create local jobs and local opportunities and provide food to those who need and want it.” It was a somewhat revolutionary idea 15 years ago that was basically born out of growing indoor marijuana. The concept was borrowed, perfected and led to technology that now enables different herbs to be grown, as well as countless veggies. And the response? Mind blowing. Jack and his team have reached rock star status in some circles. Jack chuckles at the idea that he has fans. “Well, at least one,” he laughs. “A hipster type jumped out as he was passing me on Chestnut. He said, ‘I’m a big fan!’” Jack actually thought the guy was going to go into character and blow air on him (Understandable. Strange things like that can happen in Center City as we all know). But the guy was


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really, actually a hardcore fan who has followed Metropolis in the headlines. For the trailblazing indoor urban farmer, that has been the strangest thing he has had to get used to so far. But it has only just begun.

From brick phone to iPhone

Ask Jack this question and if you remember the ’80s, you can sit back and get a bit of a technology “walk down memory lane.” It’s fascinating. He compares his evolving farming techniques to what happened with cell phones. Consider that his business is in the iPhone phase, he recalls a time he paid thousands to have a brick mobile phone 30 years ago because he just had to have it. He says that’s where indoor farming technology was when he began. “We wouldn’t have the iPhone without those expensive clunky bricks… every technology starts out clunky and difficult to work with then it

ends up becoming more and more perfect and easier to use and less expensive and more accessible to people.” He says Metropolis farming is just like that. He wants to make democratized technology—cheap to create, easy to use and available to those who need and want it the most.

What’s different about this kind of farming (aside from almost everything)?

There are similarities to outdoor farming well there’s at least one. It’s all about growing food. Beyond that, it’s a world away in terms of process. It uses an efficient technology that’s environmentally responsible, involves up to 98 percent less H2O (water is filtered and recycled after use) and 82 percent less energy. Indoor farming doesn’t have to contend with things that an outdoor farmer fights around the clock. No bugs, no droughts, no wind damage, no worry about sun (it uses artificial light) or seasons. Just ideal growing conditions all year long. “A farmer said to me, you aren’t using the sun naturally,” Jack says. “Indicating I was doing something horrible. I said, ‘When you get back to your farm, you are going to rip out your irrigation systems and wait for the rain, right?’ I’m not interested in being right. I’m interested in feeding people. It’s the future infrastructure for cities, not just Philly, all cities.”

Jack went on to explain. “Our cost-effective technology allows us to grow more than an acre of produce in 36 square feet of space – over 1,200 times the herbs and vegetables of an outdoor farm per square foot. We bring great food, good jobs and opportunities to local communities.” The food is harvested and delivered from “vertical farm to table” the same day, avoiding the distance food needs to travel to get to the plate thus minimizing the carbon footprint. Or next day air to get to restaurants and home gourmets across the country.

Honors and accolades

I had more questions for the perennially busy Jack Griffin and attempted to catch up with him once again—but he was in another meeting, or actually, ceremony. He apologized but he was being inducted into the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture, and could he call me back after? An hour later, he did and he was thrilled. Said it was like “Christmas morning.” An admitted history buff who idolizes Ben Franklin, Griffin wrote on Metropolis’ Facebook page: “Today I received a huge honor. I became a member of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture. This is the oldest and most prestigious agricultural society in the United States. Members have included many of the founding fathers of our country including George Washington, Benjamin Rush and one of my personal heroes, Benjamin Franklin. I was doubly honored by being nominated for membership by Russell C. Redding, Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture, and Dr. Kevin Hicks, Society President. These guys are giants in the agricultural world. I feel like a little kid at Christmas.”

Grandma’s and other goings on

The latest idea that Metropolis wants to see to fruition is a venture they are calling Grandma’s. “It’s basically a mobile grocery store, but with good food. Using donated SEPTA buses, we will bring them into food deserts around the city. The objective here is to do something rather than talk about it. My lawyer is getting the program WIC and food stamp approved and we are getting top chefs from Philly to work with us. We want meals that we can sell that can compete against the Whoppers and the

cheesesteaks...we want to bring artisan prepared food to food deserts.” Another breakthrough this summer, Metropolis figured out how to grow jet fuel and biodiesel indoors. “We can grow it in fields in North Dakota or we can take this industry in our cities and grow it right next to our refineries.” Preliminary results he says indicate they can grow six times the amount that can be grown outdoors at a much higher rate of fuel. “The result of that is we can create from localized demand, green collar jobs, food and we can also do it with less energy. The cities own the demand. We just have to activate localized demand.”

Where will Metropolis be in five years?

Of course Jack has a lofty goal. “I want farms everywhere.” He also wants more people to be aware of what they eat, adding that he is strongly against the DARK Act and ALL for food transparency. “And that makes me a radical nut?” For all the company’s success, there have still been naysayers. “A guy wrote a book out of California trashing the industry, saying it was unsustainable and couldn’t work. What does he do for a living? The guy is a junk scientist who works for the soil industry and looked at research from 2008 to say it can’t be done. I remind them of one thing: the power law. Eighty percent of the time a scientist says something can’t be done, they are wrong. The other 20 percent? They just aren’t wrong yet. Never underestimate the resourcefulness of human beings to fix a problem. I am making a profit delivering the food they said I can’t make.” Metropolis also wants to continue being socially aware by helping those in the community who need a hand up. Their workforce consists of two groups — disadvantaged veterans and ex-offenders. The company believes giving these people a stake in society instead of preventing them from getting jobs helps everyone win in the end. “By choosing between eating and stealing, I’m stealing.” He hopes his business model will give his workers a better choice and a bigger chance. As for his goal for Philly as a whole? To eventually make it the hub of vertical farming for the world. I asked Jack if he and Metropolis were really capable of solving all these problems for Philly. He says, “Nah, but I am solving a chunk of them.” prh

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Billy Penn Music connects the dots Filmmakers get tax cuts for featuring local music by Bryan Culver


roducing a movie is a massive undertaking. While we tend to focus on the glitzy front-end of filmmaking— the big stars, the red carpet and the Hollywood glamour—the back-end of the industry is made up of equally passionate professionals devoted to making films come to life. Take for example Philadelphia’s own Billy Penn Music, known in the biz as a sync agency. Launched this past July by the Greater Philadelphia Film Office (GPFO), the initiative helps filmmakers obtain required licensing to add music to their picture. Whether you’re making motion pictures, commercial ads, television or video games, the music has to be cleared before it can be legally used. Because of complexities involved, this process can be tedious and expensive. Billy Penn Music (BPM) also is strongly committed to Philadelphia’s local film economy. By tapping into the Pennsylvania Film Tax Credit, Billy Penn Music incentivizes filmmakers, both locally and abroad, with a 25-30 percent fully transferable tax credit for using music from a Pennsylvania taxpayer. This can be a substantial cost reducer, while offering local musicians an opportunity to rake in extra cash. Billy Penn Music is headed by charismatic visionary and GPFO President, Sharon Pinkenson. From the outset, Pinkenson envisioned Philadelphia as one of the marquee film industries in the country. The GPFO began


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humbly as a small city government agency in 1985, but by 2000, Pinkenson helped grow it into a fully incorporated nonprofit that now serves Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties, too. All said and done, Pinkenson’s dedication has had a major impact on the region’s economy, accounting for a whopping $4 billion in growth. The idea for Billy Penn Music came about while Pinkenson was surfing the internet a few years ago. It dawned on her that Philadelphia didn’t only have a budding film industry; it also was home to one of the most vibrant music scenes in the country. Pinkenson realized there was an untapped potential to boost the local filmmaking economy by promoting local musicians. “The Philadelphia region has produced some the most legendary music in the American musical catalogue, much of it due to the genius of Gamble and Huff,” Pinkenson said in a press release. “Now that they’re retired, the flow of new, innovative and classical musical artistry hasn’t slowed down one bit. In fact, it’s exploding!” Billy Penn Music boasts a digital library comprised of 100 percent pre-cleared or easy clear music, which means the licenses have been obtained ahead of time. The library is also easy to navigate and find the perfect sync. Similar to iTunes or Spotify, Billy Penn Music lets you listen to tracks and build customer playlists you can even share with colleagues. There is also an impressive number of filters that can be applied to narrow your search in-

cluding tempo, bpm, key signature, rhythm, timber, pitch—and perhaps the most useful for filmmakers – mood. A thriller movie might feature tracks that have a pulsating or suspenseful mood, while a romcom might feature tracks that are light hearted or cutesy. While the musician roster might seem a bit slim at the time being, keep in mind that Billy Penn Music has only been operating since July. The selection will continue to gradually expand, especially as word spreads that there’s a significant stake for local musicians. A collective of leaders and influences of the music and entertainment industry accepted the invitation to lend their expertise to complete the BPM team. As President of Billy Penn Music, Pinkenson, along with GPFOs Nicole Shiner acting as Vice President, have teamed up with a collective of all-stars in the music and entertainment industry. Lending expertise to BPM’s Board of Directors are Jerry “the Geator” Blavat, legendary Philadelphia radio/TV personality; Lee Daniels, writer/producer/director; Shawn Gee, President of SEFG Entertainment; Geoff Gordon, Regional President of Live Nation; Alan Rubens, VP/Executive Producer of Time Life; Mark Schulz, Senior Executive Director- Philadelphia Chapter, The Recording Academy; and Mia Tinari, Esq., Global Head of Marketing and Communications, TAIT Towers. prh For more info, visit


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Patience is a virtue! If I didn’t believe it before, I certainly do now. After six long years, my screenplay based on the relationship between John Gotti and his son, John A. Gotti, (Junior) has been made into a feature film starring John Travolta as Gotti Sr. and his wife Kelly Preston as Victoria Gotti. Newcomer Spencer LoFranco plays Junior and with his incredible screen presence, he is touted to become a big star. There are wonderful actors throughout including Stacy Keach, Chris Mulkey and many more. Kevin Connolly, who starred in Entourage and has a wonderful acting career, is directing. I predict he will be working non-stop as a feature film director after the studios see this film. Oh yes, I almost forgot, I was cast in the role of Bobby Boriello, Gotti’s trusted bodyguard and confidant. It was a great thrill and Boriello’s two sons were on the set to watch their father come back to life through my portrayal. The Life and Death of John Gotti was produced by Emmett/Furla/ Oasis Films and Fiori Films. Lionsgate will distribute for an April 2017 release in theaters everywhere. I am also finishing a new script based on the New York Times Bestseller, The Good Guys, written by Joe Pistone AKA Donnie Brasco and Bill Bonanno, former head of the Bonanno Crime Family. My wife Lynn and I celebrated our show Hotel Impossible being picked up for its 8th season by vacationing in Oregon. It’s beautiful, very green and a lot less congested than Los Angeles!

Ciao Philly! P.S. - Tony Luke, Jr. has a role in the Gotti film playing Tony “No Ears”.


Thanks to you…

Turkey’s Done! by Jennifer Tini


he turkey is DONE! Literally. Well, almost. As they say in Hollywood, it’s “in the can.” Slang for “the shoot is completed.” And what a shoot it was! South Philly really came together for us. There is no shortage of love, friendship and the BEST food on Earth! Our Indiegogo campaign was amazingly successful! We raised $25,482 in just four weeks and are so proud (and grateful!) to say that 85 percent of it came from our family, friends, neighbors and fellow South Philadelphians. THANK YOU! The great Cheri Oteri (Saturday Night Live) did indeed join our cast as Peaches Bracco, the erratic Italian housewife waiting for her cheating husband to get home so he can wear the Thanksgiving turkey! Playing opposite Cheri as Dino Bracco (the cheating, slimeball husband) is the incredible Al Sapienza whose familiar face you’ve seen across your screens dozens of times (Godzilla, House of Cards, Law & Order:SVU)! Internet sensation, Vic “Ticked Off Vic” DiBitetto, took on the not-so-unfamiliar role of Tony DeLuca, the explosive nosey neighbor who is “ticked off” at the chairs used to save parking spaces up his tiny street.

The 1900 block of Jessup Street and the 1200 block of McKean Street proved to be great settings for these South Philly characters. Thanks to realtor Maria Rosetti, Eleanor Lacontora and Nikki Badessa for allowing us to take over their homes with lights, cameras and a huge production crew! “Because of them, we were able to really capture the feeling of our hometown and that was our goal,” says Monique Impagliazzo, who made her directorial debut with Turkey’s Done. Krystal Tini multi-tasked as costume designer, hairstylist and key makeup artist. She also starred in the film as Ava DeLuca (where’s her magic wand?). I took on producing as well as presiding over the art department. Together, the three of us brought a little bit of Hollywood magic to the streets we will always call home. Beyond us, however, is an entire group of people that helped pull this production together. From the inception of Turkey’s Done, Dorette Rota Jackson and Dawn Rhoades, the two inspiring sisters behind Philadelphia RowHome Magazine, gave us their blessing, saying, “Anything we can do, consider it done!” Honestly, where do you find people willing to open their

arms, their hearts and their magazines to your dreams! Apparently, South Philly is filled with them! With the funds raised, we were able to employ close to 30 seasoned filmmaking professionals that brought the script to life! That is not including several young college students looking to learn about film production that donated their time and lent a hand wherever needed. Favorite local businesses like Pastificio and Miles Table (who provided lunch for the entire cast and crew); Mark Leuzzi, Sr. (who gave his plumbing office for several weeks to use as production headquarters); Councilman Mark Squilla (a huge help in securing permits); Sam Katz of History Making Productions, James Madison and Nicholas Reader of Expressway Grip, Chris Murphy of Video Village and Lisa Jiang of Resolution Rentals (who all lent us equipment for next to nothing) are just a few names who have proven how extremely generous people can truly be when helping other South Philadelphians succeed! Turkey’s Done will premiere around Thanksgiving this year! All announcements will be made through our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. prh

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Outside the

Box by Nick Coppola photos courtesy of Sam Scimeca


egendary boxing trainer and manager, Augie Scimeca, grew up on the 700 block of Fulton Street in an Italian community in the heart of South Philadelphia. He spent a lot of time listening to fights on the radio with his grandfather, which he says instilled a love of the sport at an early age. As a kid, Scimeca specifically remembers listening to a boxing match with his grandfather between “The Brown Bomber” Joe Louis and Billy Conn. Louis won the fight, he explains, and from then on became a big influence in Augie’s life for years to come. “Joe Louis was a super fighter to me,” Scimeca says. “I think he is the greatest ever.” A few years later, one night on the Atlantic City boardwalk in 1947, a young Augie Scimeca ran into his idol Joe Louis in what would become an unforgettable experience. “In disbelief I shouted, ‘There goes the Brown Bomber!’,” Scimeca says. “So Louis and his train-

er, Jack Blackburn, walked up to me and asked if I was a fan of Joe Louis. I replied by saying he’s my favorite fighter in the world.” Blackburn then sent Scimeca a tape of himself training Joe Louis, which Scimeca watched over and over again until it was embedded in his mind. “I thought Jack Blackburn was a great trainer and I tried to follow his system while I was training my fighters,” Scimeca says. “I really liked his style.” In 1977, Scimeca first began training at a boxing gym on Chadwick Street along with Mickey Rosati. Here he trained some of the top amateurs in the city at the time. That gym also became a popular place for Broad Street Bullies Bob Kelley and Dave Schultz of the Stanley Cup Champion Philadelphia Flyers. Soon the gym became too overcrowded for its small structure and Scimeca opened up his own - “Augie’s Gym” - between Wharton and Reed Streets. The legendary trainer began to shift away from training amateurs and started to focus more on training professional fighters. Scimeca trained and managed alongside former middleweight boxer Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts and the two garnered a reputation for making champions throughout their careers. “Everything I did was with Bobby,” he says. “We were like brothers and we had the hottest gym in the city.” Scimeca and Watts trained many professional fighters at the gym that went on to become champions. Some of which include William “Hammer” Jones, IBF Super Middleweight Champion Charles Brewer, IBF World Champion Buster Drayton and IBF Featherweight Champion Calvin Grove. Throughout his career, Scimeca worked with and against some of boxing’s top legends. He worked together with boxing promoter Bob Arum while training Charles Brewer and even got the chance to stand in the corner while one of his fighters went toe-to-toe with Mike Tyson at the Spectrum. Scimeca’s career also took him and his fighters all over the world. He’s been to Australia, Germany, Bermuda and many other places in and out of the country throughout his 40-year career. Scimeca opened a third gym on Passyunk Avenue in 1980 and kept it going until 2005 when he decided to retire from the sport of boxing. “I love boxing. I cried when I retired,” he says. Scimeca now lives a normal life, as he describes it, in New Jersey. But he really misses living in South Philly. He spends his days going shopping and watching tapes of old fights that span back as far as the 1920s. Scimeca still gets phone calls to train young fighters, but he explains that he’s done with training now. “I’m proud of myself. I opened up a gym so I could help young kids get off the streets and I think I accomplished that,” Scimeca says. Scimeca’s legendary career ultimately landed him in the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame. He was inducted in 2016. “The sport of boxing did a lot for me because it helped me become a success in life,” he says. “I did a lot in boxing and learned a lot without even putting on a pair of gloves. Now that I’m retired, I feel a sense of accomplishment.”

Love the way life looks on you

Local Athlete Spotlight

Vincent Vaccone by Anthony Panvini photo by Tony Capobianco


hen he was six years old, Vincent Vaccone first started playing the game of baseball. Now, at age 19, the 5’11’’ South Philly native is taking his game to another level, with ambitious plans ahead. Growing up, Vaccone played his grade school ball at Epiphany of Our Lord and moved on to play high school ball at Neumann Goretti. “My junior year, during the summer I played for a really good summer program called Chandler baseball,” Vaccone says. “My senior year, winter, I started working out with Ronnie Malandro and I gained 15 pounds of muscle. I committed to a junior college and then that’s when I really started grinding and getting into it. I had an unreal senior year, and after this year in college, I’m like, ‘Alright. I can make a living out of this’.” Vaccone is currently entering his second year at Mercer County junior college. However, his transition from high school to college baseball was scripted a little differently than the average athlete. “My senior year, summer, I developed a blood clot in my right shoulder and was sidelined for six months,” Vaccone says. “So I didn’t have an offseason to prepare or anything. I was cleared on December 22nd and I think we played our first game around early March so I was just happy to be on the field. In my first game, I had an unreal day.” In his first game, Vaccone went 4-5 with a bases-clearing triple and his first college home run, which was a grand slam. Vaccone remained hot during his next series against Hart-

ford. He went 8-11, and had two home runs in one game. Since he didn’t hit a single home run in high school, Vaccone was taken by surprise. “Now I haven’t had a single home run in high school so I was like, ‘I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m not complaining,’” Vaccone jokes. He stayed consistent throughout the year and ended it in the same manner he started off. His team made it to the junior college world series where Vaccone hit another grand slam, leading to a win for his team, although they fell short in the series. “That was my best baseball experience so far. Just playing on that big stage and to be able to come through for my team right there that was big for me,” Vaccone says. He went on to explain that getting his power numbers up helped with recruiting and that attending a junior college was also a great decision. Attending Mercer College enabled Vaccone to get his grades up and improve his game at the same time. This, in turn, is leading to offers from Division 1 schools and even scouting from Pro organizations including the Reds, Yankees and Nationals. After a consistent first year of college ball, Vaccone’s confidence remains high heading into his second year - one that he thinks is his most important. “This year, if I become more polished, I think I can find my way into an organization,” Vaccone says. “I always have confidence, I’m that type of person. I think I’m good enough to go wherever. To me, it’s just about how much work you put in. That’s what it really comes down to.” Vaccone would like to thank all of his coaches, Ronnie Malandro, and his parents for always supporting him.



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Game Players by Robert L. Woodard The Wynnefield Barber


have been influenced by many people who have sat in my barber’s chair. Some of them have passed away. Life paints many pictures that teach us humble lessons. Here are some of the lives that have influenced me. When Michael Jackson visited Woodard’s Barbershop for a haircut, I was shocked to hear that he was not satisfied with his nose, skin and hair. Many African-Americans had inferiority complexes about being black because of the stereotypical views of society. Michael Jackson was giving us what he thought was his best, so he changed his looks. But it didn’t affect his performance on stage. He was the Pied Piper of love, song and dance. This combination equals a oneness that can only be described as spirit. When Michael Jackson performed, you could see the spirit of rhythm dancing its way into the hearts of people. His rhythm in the motion of time removed any cultural barriers of prejudiced thoughts in the minds of all who enjoyed his talent. His energy of song and dance exemplified life and how to live it with an aggressive love for all human beings all over the planet. It’s been seven years since his death and it still is hard to believe. Like oil and water, death and Michael Jackson just don’t mix. What a lonely place the earth has become with the absence of this great man. Darryl Dawkins was one of the strongest players to play the game. His slam dunks shattered backboards on many basketball courts because of his amazing strength. Because of him, the NBA had to restructure the way backboards were designed. I remember his first day as a Philadelphia 76er. Darryl’s big sister brought him to Woodard’s Barbershop to get his first Philadelphia haircut. That same day,


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world-renowned singing group – The Delfonics – walked into my shop. One of the singers, Randy Cain, son of the Honorable Judge Herbert R. Cain Jr., went down the street to the drugstore. When he returned, he thought he was next in the chair to get a haircut. He did not see Darryl Dawkins waiting in the rear of the shop. Randy was a hothead and wanted to fight for the position to be next in the chair. The other two Delfonics, Wilbert and William ‘Poogie’ Hart, tried to calm him down. When Darryl Dawkins stood up, Randy saw the enormous size of this man and quickly sat down to wait his turn. I will always have a special place in my heart and will miss this Champion Gladiator who was one of the greatest basketball players of all time. The 76ers won the NBA championship in 1983. 4—5—4 was the number that Moses Malone said would take us to the Promised Land. Moses was a scholar in basketball technique. He mastered positioning himself on the court to be at the right place at the right time – either scoring points or being fouled by his opponent. I will always remember him for his intelligence and wisdom of mastering the game of life as well as basketball. I will never forget the first time that Moses Malone brought a young Charles Barkley in for his first haircut at Woodard’s Barbershop. Believe it or not, Charles was a very quiet man. Moses Malone, who also was known as a quiet man, did all the talking. On that day, Moses arrived in his new Maserati. He handed me the keys and said, ‘Take it for a ride.’ I did and wow, what a car! When I returned, Charles asked Moses, ‘Can I take it for a ride?’ Moses just looked at Charles and didn’t answer for a while. Then he took him to the side and said, ‘Look boy, you are in the NBA. Don’t ask to drive my car. Just go buy

your own.’ I then saw the love and affection Moses Malone had for Charles Barkley and the rest is history. I believe that Charles was made for Philadelphia. He represents the epitome of what Philadelphia sports stand for. Charles came ready to please the fans. Even before he ever played with them, he knew what he could do to make the 76ers one of the most respected teams in the NBA. He found a permanent home at Woodard’s Barbershop. He learned a lot about life experiences at the shop and has now gone on to do greater things like sports commentating and acting. He also is an advocate for children, stressing the importance of good behavior and education. He recently hosted his own show, The Race Card. I am very proud of his development in his life and look forward to greater things. When Miss Nina Simone arrived at Woodard’s Barbershop, her first request was to sit in the same chair that Michael Jackson sat in to have her hair cut. I asked her if I could take a picture with her sitting in my antique Cadillac. When she saw the photo of Michael sitting in my car, she asked me to take her for a ride. She requested that I wear a suit and tie and that I pick her up at her home the next morning. When I arrived, she had prepared breakfast for us. After breakfast, she instructed me to drive around East and West River Drive and then back to the Barbershop to take the historic picture that hangs in my shop today. Miss Nina Simone will be remembered as a world-renowned songstress and pianist. I always will remember her as a powerful Civil and Human Rights Activist, who used music as her tool to get her message across. Human and Civil Rights are important in this country. Please take the “RACE Test” at prh

by David W. Cava


ids today are extremely busy. Not to sound like the grizzled old coot that walked to school in two feet of snow, but things are much different from when I was a kid. In the last issue of RowHome, there were some great articles about old school games kids played on the streets of South Philly. If you wanted to play an organized sport, you jumped on your bike and went to practice. Today, parents have to be completely dedicated to the team or the kids can’t participate. Travel sports involve a large financial commitment for tournaments, coaching fees, food, lodging, travel expenses and private training. The commitment and expectation leave little space for anything other than that particular sport. Laser focus and extreme commitment to the activity must be a good thing or we wouldn’t be doing it, right? Is it because we want our children to have amazing teamwork skills? Or are we shooting for that illustrious athletic scholarship awarded for such hard work and dedication? The fact is, there aren’t many scholarships given for sports. So, maybe we should swing over to academics. Schools give those

The space

in between

out like Halloween candy, don’t they? Math, English, Science, plus time, money, tutoring and iron fisted commitment to excellence can be just as consuming and exhausting. Both sports and academics give us a goal to be the very best of the best and provide our little darlings with a clear path to that delicious orange vegetable that dangles precariously over their heads. A college scholarship. For sure, it’s all worth it because good is the enemy of great, and unless your kid is great… Failure. Yesterday, I became a father for the first time; today, all three of my children are in high school. In a more distant yesterday, I, too, was in high school. Comparatively speaking, my kids are excellent students and I, well, I was the Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure - “excellent.” Hands down, my favorite adventures took place at the school dances. During slow songs, sharp-eyed clergy would become one with the darkness to uphold their duties as chaperones. Priests and nuns are infinitely more diligent chaperones when it comes to assuring that young men and women are behaving themselves. Inevitably, a few amorous youngsters would become one interlocking mass

swaying to the music. When that happened, a shadowy figure emerged with a long cold finger, tapped you on the shoulder and whispered, “Leave room for the Holy Spirit.” The interruption was just as effective as a bucket of ice water. Disaster avoided thanks to those watchful chaperones in charge of keeping the space in between. And when there is space, there is time to think. Time to relax and enjoy the moment. I often wonder if kids today have the time that I did to stop and enjoy the moment. Failure is such a dangerous word. It implies an absolute resolve with no room or space for anything else. In the words of Thomas Edison, “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.” So maybe the answer is in those attempts to achieve and not in the achievement itself. A goal, yes, but also a process of trial and error with plenty of spaces in between to enjoy the time and the process. As a parent, maybe it’s not my job to advance the ridiculous criteria. Maybe, instead, I need to be the chaperone lurking in the shadows and from time to time, interrupt them when they are dancing a bit too closely and help them slow down and enjoy the dance. prh

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lthough Dorette and Dawn pretty much give me carte blanche to write what I want to write, I do like to stick to the theme of the issue. I was told the theme for the fall issue was “Salute to Service.� I first wondered what kind of “service� they meant. Did they mean “service� as in the military or service as in your mailman, bus driver or garbage man? (Excuse me, your “waste management specialist� to be politically correct). I’d like to pay tribute to the service providers in our community. People who do things for others without expecting anything in return. These people are true unsung heroes. These people, most of the time remaining anonymous, always give of themselves and help others they don’t even know. They volunteer at shelters, help out at fundraisers and when they see someone in need, they’re there to give their own shirt right off their back and the only reason they couldn’t is because they’ve already given it to someone else. When they “lend� money out, they do it gladly, never expecting to get paid back. What makes these “heroes� the way they are? Is it the place they come from? Their roots? The way they were raised? I head the group South Philly Born and Raised and our tagline is “It’s in our DNA.� If you’re from South Philly, no matter how far

you move away, or how you act, or your frame of mind, it comes from your background and what was instilled in you living and growing up here. South Philadelphia has many of these service persons. I had two parents who raised me (I feel blessed for this) to be the service person I am today. I was taught to respect others, not to prejudge. Love openly and greet everyone with a smile, handshake and sometimes even a hug. Communicate openly. Give others the benefit of the doubt. Be honest because truth alone triumphs and is always the best policy. Work hard and challenge yourself. Nothing is handed to you. Laugh often and make others do the same. And always be upfront. Although I come from an Italian family, the neighborhood I lived in was diversified. We had Italian, Jewish, Irish and Polish neighbors. And right across the street on the other side of Oregon Avenue, families of black people lived in homes on the side street. These were my fellow service persons. All from different ethnic groups, yet all so much alike. Sometimes I forget that we were not all raised with the same set of morals, ethics and beliefs. But these service persons from South Philly seem to have that special trait that bonds us to one another. I guess it’s because... “It’s in our DNA!� prh

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❙ Handicap Accessible


C o m

Fr. John Stabeno

For those who remember the Evening News with Walter Cronkite in the late ’60s and early ’70s, every night seemed to show images of young soldiers coming home from Vietnam in body bags and caskets. I do not know roughly how many each day, but enough to scare me at the age of six about turning 18 and having to sign up for the draft. I wonder. If the evening news showed videos of those who died from a drug overdose within the past 24 hours, would the number be less than, equivalent to or exceed the number of soldiers who died in the war? I wonder if six-year-olds would be frightened about turning 18 to battle the war of addiction. There is a similarity between the way society treated the soldiers who fought in the war in Vietnam and the soldiers who battle addiction each day. Both are treated with the same scorn. No one understands what they experience every day, what they do to survive and how the only people they trust are other soldiers. America, we are fighting a war. A spiritual war. We fight a spiritual disease whose hospital should be the churches and rooms of 12-step fellowships. Pope Francis desires the church to become a “field hospital” for the alienated, oppressed and addicted. If we only followed his lead, we can make a difference. I wonder what a beautiful world it can be. I wonder. RIP to the soldiers of Vietnam and the soldiers battling addiction.


Why, that’s preposterous!


by Jim Gildea

t some moment in each of our lives, there was a point – during an SAT prep class, perhaps – when we were first introduced to the word preposterous. Some of our initial acquaintance with this twelve-letter noun may have been deeper, more layered, than others. As some learned its denotation, others continued to explore its curious Cerberus-like etymology, discovering that, unlike most words that begin with only one, preposterous is cursed with two prefixes, pre and post. Before and after. Like pretty ugly and jumbo shrimp, oxymoron’s poster children, the beginnings of this word are self-contradictory. So, the structure and syntax of this word has actually managed to create its meaning. During our childhood, many of us were inundated with the notion of near occasions of sin,

the equivalent of, let’s say, curiously putting your hand near a stove’s lit burner and then howling for relief – and lots of ointment. To be sure, some of us can remember sitting in an uncomfortable wooden desk in a filled-to-capacity classroom, droning through an exhausting list of those pitfalls for surefire perdition (definitely on a Friday, as armor for the upcoming weekend), the theory seeming to be that the more often they were repeated, the more often will appear some heavenly red flag, keeping us away from the smorgasbord of sin that lurked around every corner. Some of these near occasions were much too scurrilous for grade school kids to speak. However, no one seemed to flinch – probably even yourselves – as eightyear-olds were parroting words like adultery, murder – and covet. One needed always to be on guard against blackening that ol’ milk bottle, didn’t one? That’s how many of us had begun paddling our feet in the pool of education: no discussion, no analysis, no interdisciplinary anything, just innumerable hours of rote – and too many chalk-filled blackboards and chock-full marble copybooks. Our early academic lives were as nuanced as the times tables that our little minds chirped and echoed ad infinitum, to be held in store for any possible mathematical crisis that might cross our paths. We have managed to survive the

roller-coaster nadirs and zeniths of our salad days – have even prospered and flourished – by taking to heart the maxim (whether we knew we were in touch with such a saying or not) of not throwing out the baby with the bathwater. We have had to look at so much of what we were taught, at all those photoflash memories involving how we were brought up. We have had to do a lot of sifting, as well as much introspective reconstruction and reconfiguring. We have had to discard – even decimate – notions and principles that can no longer be a part of our ideological warp and woof, while still embracing and building upon what was salutary – even nurturing and loving – about our coming of age. We certainly flank and imp the Phoenix of mythology, as the bricks and mortar of our courage and determination have managed to fashion quite the edifice, having risen from the ashes of ignorance, intolerance and bigotry. At the same time, we do applaud all the elements in our past that we now see as truly formative, cementing that which we essentially are, that which we have become. Back to preposterous. It really does mirror the same caveat that those pesky near occasions of sin did. Honestly! I cannot drink tequila. It has some demon-rum sway over me. This usually even-tempered Doctor Jekyll turns into a nasty Mr. Hyde. Always. Always. For

me to cozy up to this bottled near occasion for a guaranteed mood swing (and, of course, a headache-laced hangover) and say, “Nah. I am quite sure this time it will be different,” is not only foolhardy, but also preposterous. I will then throw some tequila down my gullet – and spend the next day apologizing to those dear friends who are loving enough still to want to be in my company, for the atrocities I choreographed the night before – the night I foolishly duped myself into believing was going to be different. Every chance I get, I pop on my headphones – and tune in to Sleepy Hollow, WXPN’s Saturday and Sunday mornings’ program. Spinning (Does one spin CDs?) a potpourri of light jazz, Broadway, new age, vintage folk and the like, the station’s announcers categorically choreograph several hours of music and mood that will always uplift me, always soothe anything about me that is temporarily volatile or toxic. Especially, after the stupidity of a tequila’s rampage. Certain persons, places and things, by their very core and purpose, automatically make us feel good. We gravitate safely and securely towards them. Others must be eschewed – at all costs. To believe – and act – otherwise would surely be preposterous. Jim Gildea taught high school for 43 years in/for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. His e-mail address is prh

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Beauty is only skin deep Debbie Russino


My Salute to Service


“In a world where you can be anything…. always be humble and kind” y salute to service has always come in the form of beauty. I am a hairstylist/makeup artist and my mission is to help women feel special and unique. There is no better feeling than having someone walk into the salon feeling a little out of sorts but after receiving this well-deserved pampering, they leave feeling happy and stress-free. It makes my day! As challenging as my profession can be at times, helping women feel better about the way they look is the ultimate gift for me. The good always outweighs the bad. I’m not sure why so many people find it difficult to take time out for themselves. “You” are a priority. There is no reason to feel guilty about wanting to look your best. I am always overjoyed to perform a beauty service that certainly goes deeper than what can be seen in a mirror. It is emotionally gratifying, as well.

My clientele is very diverse, ranging in age from 9 to 90. I am in awe of the older women who visit the salon every week. Not much stops them, sometimes not even a snowstorm! I have been very busy on the most peculiar days and I have stopped saying that I have seen it all. I know with the many escapades that could only happen in a hair salon, I am quite sure another day will bring another adventure! Unpredictability is one of the many reasons why I chose this profession. I prefer the freedom and creative atmosphere that a hair salon provides. Never knowing what tomorrow is going to bring might frighten some people, but it is the way I have lived my life. One day at a time. My job is not limited to the exterior but also the interior. I am ready to lend a helping hand, whether it is just listening or sometimes giving some advice or an opinion. A huge part of giving excellent service is going that extra mile, not only as a stylist but also as a dear friend. This is the way I feel about each and every one of my clients. I love them and over the


| rowhome magazine

years, they have become like family to me. Some say the most intimate relationship you will ever have in your life is with your hairstylist. I would like to believe my clients consider me a confidant and safe haven for their personal thoughts and deepest, darkest secrets. Something as simple as a compliment, kind word or gesture could be the gift that has the potential to make someone’s day or possibly change a life. And it doesn’t cost a thing. The greatest rewards in life are free! A few years back, I was standing in a long line at the store during Christmas week. The gentleman in front of me turned around and started a conversation. He told me he was a psychologist. “So am I,” I laughed. “I’m a hairstylist.” He found that very amusing but totally agreed. He said that we are therapists in our own right. It goes along with the job title and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’m happy to see that men are changing with the times, taking advantage of the services available to make them look better. Some people may use the term “vanity” but I disagree. There is noth-

ing vain about wanting to look and feel your best regardless of age or gender. Nothing is more rewarding than hearing how much better a woman feels after her hair is done. I love telling my clients how beautiful they look because we all need encouragement. We have to empower and compliment rather than criticize one another. Lord knows we do not have a shortage of critics. The world needs more love and kindness. I did realize later in life that writing was my true passion. But, as they say, you never forget your first love. Mine will always be the beauty industry. And so, my fellow survivors of this crazy thing we call life, enjoy every fleeting moment because it shall never pass, again. And let us all focus on standing together so that we may see every day as a new beginning. I will end this tribute with a very beautiful and inspirational quote. “In a world where you can be anything….always be humble and kind.” prh

Yo South Philly

Street festivals are a tradition worth keeping photos by Andrew Andreozzi


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RowHome Grown! Our Kids around the neighborhood (1) Timothy Robert Mckeon (2) Nathan Fiocca (3) George Fiocca (4) Ava Rae Kaut (5) Callie Fiocca (6) Quinn Kathleen Nilan (7) London Alicia Rivera (8) Bennett Conrad Beck (9) Charlotte Mae Grosso (10) Jayla Sheridan (11) Scarlett Rose Rivera (12) Jordan Ashley Riso (13) Branna Ylva Bruce (14) Bridgette Elizabeth Beck (15) Issaka Taylor, Ty’Siim Taylor (16) Jayda Nevaeh Thomas (17) Nicholas Anthony Lupica, Cecelia Adrianna Lupica, Mia Angelina Lupica








7 9

12 11



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St. Anthony of Padua Regional Catholic School 913 Pierce Street Philadelphia, PA 19148

by St. Nicholas of Tolentine and Annunciation B.V.M. Parishes

“Educating Our Future One Child at a Time� A rigorous Pre-K (3 year old) to 8 th Grade Academic Program, administered by

Religious Teachers Filippini & Qualified and dedicated lay faculty & staff

Currently taking registrations for the 2016-2017 School Year Call for a school tour with Principal,

Sr. Mary Esther 215-468-0353 teacherweb . com /Pa/S aint a nthonyof P adua r egional c atholic S chool / SchoolhomePage


RowHome Grown! Our Kids around the neighborhood (1) Tyler & Raymond Nord (2) Liliana Rose Romeo (3) Vayda Leigh Jones (4) Nikki Rae Dougherty-Colon (5) Vida Joanna Galdo (6) Ella Bay Needles, Harper Anna Ristow (7) Gionni Powers (8) Cierra Robinson, Niyah Robinson (9) Michael Castelli, Nikai Castelli, Brady (10) Livia Galdo (11) Dahlia Jane Wacker (12) Michael Montecalvo Jr. (13) Christian John “CJ” Artigiani (14) Anna Brennan, Shea Brennan (15) Carter Brumbach Hannan (16) Mia Pezzetti, Lorenzo Pezzetti (17) Anthony Handlovsky (18) Jordan Cerone, Christian Cerone













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Officials from the Mayor’s Office of Education and the School District of Philadelphia recently announced the first cohort of schools selected for Philadelphia’s community schools initiative. Photo courtesy of the City of Philadelphia/Joseph Gidjunis

Local schools make

the grade by Nicole Devereaux

Soon after the New Year, the city of Philadelphia plans on creating 25 community schools. Not your average schools, they will be a combination of a school and a resource center, which will impact not only the students, but also those in the surrounding neighborhoods. A child brings more into the classroom than just pencils and notebooks. Many other factors may follow students into school each day, including health problems and difficult situations at home. The initiative will hopefully find ways to overcome these obstacles. Some methods of assistance include afterschool programs and even some medical services. The main goal of the community schools is to break down any obstacle that may prevent a child from learning inside the classroom, whether it is academically related or not. By tackling these hurdles, students will be able to focus on learning rather than the potential problems that they bring into school with them. Mayor Jim Kenney hopes to create 25 community schools in Philadelphia within the next four years. Of the 31 schools that applied to be a part of this initiative, the City’s Chief Education Officer, Otis Hackney, revealed the first nine schools at a recent press conference. They are William Cramp Elementary School, Murrell Dobbins CTE High School,


| rowhome magazine

S. Edmonds Elementary School, Edward Gideon Elementary School, Kensington Health Science Academy, Logan Elementary School, Tilden Middle School, Southwark Elementary School and South Philadelphia High School. The soda tax that was passed by City Council in June will help pay for the resources needed to form these community schools. Schools can apply to participate this upcoming winter season and the second group of schools will be chosen in spring of 2017. Each school will be assigned a coordinator who will further assess the needs of not only the school, but also the community as a whole. This includes the students, parents, faculty and neighbors. The most demanding needs of the community will then be determined and a plan of action will be implemented to increase community engagement. “This initiative will address social, emotional and behavioral health needs of our students and provide principals and teachers with additional services to support quality learning environments,” said the Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, Dr. William R. Hite, at the press conference. “The community schools will supply the students and the surrounding community with the resources that they need to become successful.”

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Neighborhood Associations

Professional Automotive Service 2023 S. Percy St. Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.551.7559

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Construction P. Agnes

Construction managers and builders since 1918

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Entertainment Punch Line Philly

Comedy Club Restaurant and Bar 1004 Canal St. Philadelphia, PA 19123

FBI Pest Control Frank Fioravanti, route supervisor 2909 S Franklin St. Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.768.1804

_____________________________ Filippone Electric & Contracting 856.952.8197 24-hour emergency service 215.783.3844

Financial Services United Savings Bank

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Florists & Decorators The Petal Pusher

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ten2two creative solutions Ken Cahill 267.408.5501


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1414 Darien St. Philadelphia, PA 19147 Contact Joe Renzi 215.778.3259


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Insurance Services

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Legal Services

Perry deMarco, Jr. Esq.

1500 Market St. Suite 4100 Philadelphia, PA 19102 215.563.6100



Dr. Denise D’Adamo DC

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_____________________________ Pennsport Physical Therapy 2101 S. Columbus Blvd. Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.467.4431


Music Lessons

Joe Cuglietta Guitar Lessons Washington Township, NJ

Specializing in blues, jazz, rock & roll Beginners to advance


_____________________________ South Philadelphia Business Assn.

Oldest Business Association in South Philadelphia

Join today! Russell Shoemaker Director of New Membership 267.597.7154


Real Estate

Leonardo Realty

2136 S. 16th St. Philadelphia, PA 19145 215.389.7944


Restaurants Francoluigi

1549 S. 13th St. Philadelphia, PA 19147 215.755.8900

_____________________________ L’Oceano Ristorante

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Security Services

Allied Universal Security Services Ron Rabena 1760 Market Street, 14th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19103 1.866.825.5433

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2440 Federal St. Philadelphia, PA 19146 215.338.0800


Senior Services

Always Best Care Senior Services Specializing in In-Home Care and Assisted & Independent Living Placement

Joe Clayback 267.812.5744

_____________________________ Senior Companionship & Home Helper Carmen DeSanto 610.908.4811

Meal preparation, grocery shopping, light housekeeping. 30+ years of experience. References available.


Spa Services Bella Angel

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_____________________________ Hot Hands Studio & Spa 2545 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.467.9666

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_____________________________ Dad’s Stuffing

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_____________________________ Dew’s Deli

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_____________________________ Giovanni’s Italian Catering

Located in the heart of South Philadelphia


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Tailoring / Custom Clothing Alana Ferr Atelier

Clothing/Accessories/Custom Clothing/Alterations

2231 S. 13th St. 215.336.6166


Travel Services

Travel with Pam Draper

Full Service Agent 856.956.3532


Specialty Foods & Catering Amici’s Deli

Authentic Italian Deli & Catering 2355 S. Woodstock St. Philadelphia, PA 19145 267.930.3235

_____________________________ The Beer Peddlers

1942 S, Christopher Columbus Blvd. Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.755.2337

_____________________________ Big Nick’s Cold Cuts & Italian Specialties 1311 W. Moyamensing Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19148

(Between 13th & Broad on Moyamensing)


Join the PRH Business Network! Call Carol at 215.462.9777 or

A leap of fayfe



a Jackson By Dorette Rot


he after dinner gang on Smedley Terrace has reached the official “ritual” status. It usually begins with Big Mike and his “Love You Latte” mug of steaming hot La Colombe coffee. We call him the “Pied Piper.” As soon as he goes outside, everyone on the block seems to follow. Neighbors make their way to the front step - beach chairs in hand - to bitch about their kids or the price of gas. Pretty standard topics for people whose families have shared a rowhome wall for a hundred years. Dawn is usually the first to call it a night as she heads back inside to watch Chicago PD. The crowd thins out within an hour, leaving Big Mike for last. He prefers mosquitoes on the terrace to watching Chicago PD with his lovely wife. I head downstairs to La Buca – a lovely name for the lower level living space I’ve been enjoying since I’ve become a houseguest at my sister’s. Life with Mike & Jollie is live entertainment 24/7. Like Netlfix reruns of Lucy and Desi. So, here I am on my recliner in La Buca watching reruns of Blue Bloods when I overhear the conversation from the living room above me. [Dawn] “Is my lip swollen?” [Mike] “No. It’s fine. What are you gonna’ do? Start nagging? I just sat down. You’re fine. Go back to sleep.”


| rowhome magazine

by Dorette Rota Jackson

Mike finally had command of the TV remote, which means - as Dawn has been known to repeat time and time again - “Anything with balls is on the screen - all day every day. How much sports can one man watch?” He wants her to go back to sleep right away so she doesn’t put her Golden Girls reruns back on. Mike heads back outside a few minutes later and I hear Dawn’s shuffling feet above me. She heads over to the mirrored wall. Then to the front door. [Dawn] “You mean to tell me you don’t fee fumfing’s wrong wif my fayfe! You didn’t even look at me!” [Mike] “Oh my God! I must have looked at the good side. Your left cheek isn’t as swollen as the other one.” [Dawn] “Thwollen!” I hear her holler. “I can’t feel my wips!! Fumfing’s wrong wif me!” I head upstairs to assess the evening’s drama du jour. I’m literally taken aback. Martin Short in Pure Luck. He has an allergic reaction to a bee sting. His face blows up to the size of a beach ball. She looks like a platypus. Slits for eyes. Cheeks flopping over her chin. Sure, I’m concerned. But I’m laughing so hard inside. I can’t believe Mike didn’t notice. [Dawn] “I could die in the kitchen and these puckers wouldn’t find me for free munts! Total lack of infrest! But let them need fumfing from me! I take time for dem!”

I grab a bag of frozen peas and a Benadryl chewy and hand them over to her. Mike and I sit quietly on the couch watching shows with balls and await the outcome of our treatment. [Dawn] “I fink fumfing bit me,” she mumbles under the Birdseye bag. Mike and I exchange a quick eye roll lest we get caught and risk the wrath of Popeye Dawn. We smother the urge to laugh. After 20 minutes, she removes the bag. Looks better, we agree. I hand her another Benadryl and wave them off to bed. I awake to the shuffling of family feet above me. I fear what awaits me at the top of the stairs. Her face was big. Her lips bigger. Like they were ready to blow out. [Dawn] “Mike’s taking me to the ER. He jumped in the shower. All I did was ask him if I looked better than I did last night. He fweeked out and frew this giant bag of ice on my fayfe! Not even a towel under it. I’m fweezing & can’t breathe!” Virtual Dawn quickly morphed into Roid Rage Dawn after docs prescribed steroids to treat the reaction. Bug bite? Maybe. Allergy to some kind of spice or seasoning? Perhaps. The blowout will forever remain a mystery. But life on Smedley Terrace is a sitcom in the making. Hey, Tini girls & Moe! I have episodes 3 through 6 written and in the can! Turkey’s Done here at La Buca!. prh

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Santino Stagliano

Santino’s Dragon Drawings Inc., Autism Awareness

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WISHROCK AWARD Rebecca Corosanite Ballerina

Bobby Hill Singer

This Award is given annually to young dreamers whose passion to succeed has inspired a new generation of believers. The WishRock symbolizes one of many steps along your journey to success. May it always remind you to believe in yourself, follow your dreams and reach out to help others along the way. Our 2016 WishRock Award winners thank the following sponsors for believing in their dream

The Original Tony Luke’s (Nate Murawski) La Famiglia Ristorante (Santino Stagliano) Iron Workers Local 405 (Alex Podagrosi) Athena Contracting, Inc. (Rebecca Corosanite) Lou Pinto, South Philly Born & Raised (Bobby Hill)

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