Philadelphia RowHome Magazine Fall 2019

Page 1

Carl Arrigale

Russell Thompkins Jr.

Kitten Hayward

Salute to Service 2019 Blue Sapphire Award Winners Vittoria Woodill

Kenny Bonavitacola

Jane Golden

Tom Piccone


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Meet our 2019 Blue Sapphire Award Winners Carl Arrigale / Kenny Bonavitacola / Jane Golden Kitten Hayward / Tom Piccone / Russell Thompkins Jr. Vittoria Woodill photos by Andrew Andreozzi

24_ 2019 WISHROCK AWARD WINNERS Scarlet Cimillo / Victoria Rose Conroy Bianca Nataloni / Carmine Yusko photos by Andrew Andreozzi

35_ LIFE

Market Money eGift Cards support Local Businesses Italian Market launches first-of-its-kind eCards by Brenda Hillegas



Petal Pusher Florist & Decorators A fragrant 50 years still lingers by Dominique Verrecchio



Gene London & his General Store transformed a generation by Mary Ellen Sokalski photos courtesy of the Gene London Cinema Collection


78_ HOLIDAY HOT SPOTS RowHome Magazine’s Holiday Gift Guide Buy Local! Be Happy! Go Home Philly! Stop & Shop at our Local Spots!

The Anastasi family’s Feast of the Seven Fishes When food brings family together by Rachel Porter

93_ COLUMBUS DAY 2019! photos by Andrew Andreozzi










| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

Tony “Papa Luke” Lucidonio Founder, 1992

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



10_ NEIGHBORHOOD NOIR Ann & Charles Costa. Married at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church. August 15th, 1913.


Chasing Pigeons by Mark Casasanto




Lenny & Treanna Oliveri by Joe Volpe Cescaphe Founder & CEO


45 Spotlight: The Stylistics Stop, Look, Listen by Geno Thackara

44_ REAL ESTATE Ready to remodel your bathroom? WHY & HOW to get started Courtesy of Cindy & Jackie


Harvest Pork Courtesy of Chef Dan Brodeur Anthony’s Caterers at the IATSE Ballroom

31_ ROWHOME REMEMBERS What’s that smell? by Tony Santini


Ann Marie Nacchio is hangin’ out with John Travolta who was in town to promote his new film, The Fanatic.




The Singing Nun




|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| All Great Accomplishments Begin with a Dream photo by ANDREW ANDREOZZI As part of its annual Salute to Service Program, Philadelphia RowHome Magazine presents its 2019 Blue Sapphire Award to individuals whose selfless dedication to the City of Philadelphia has left a positive impact for future generations to enjoy. We’ll see you at Vie on November 6th for our Affair to Remember XIV honoring Kenny Bonavitacola, Tom Piccone, Russell Thompkins Jr., Vittoria Woodill, Carl Arrigale, Jane Golden & Kitten Hayward. Page 15.


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019


2017.01.05 appzdepot - ROW HOME - 3.5x9.75 advert.pdf





Mission Statement

Our mission is to preserve the traditions, showcase the neighborhoods and promote the local businesses that strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life for all of us. PRESIDENT | PUBLISHER


Dawn Rhoades EDITOR






Omar Rubio






Maria Merlino




Albert Fortino CMY


Andrew Andreozzi Phil Kramer Maria Merlino






Jade Rota CONTRIBUTORS Mark Casasanto Anthony Panvini David Cava Santina Pescatore Joei DeCarlo Michael Rhoades Frank DePasquale Jr., Esq Marialena Rago Victoria DiPietro Jane Roser Larry Gallone Leo Rossi Brett Jackson Anthony Santini Matt Kelchner Geno Thackara Maria Merlino Dominique Verrecchio John Nacchio Robert “Woody” Woodard Vincent R. Novello, Jr.


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. 2019 Philadelphia RowHome Inc. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the USA. Published by Philadelphia RowHome Inc.

October / November / December 2019







And the traditions that make our city so unique

Tradition [ trəˈdiSHən ]. noun

1. the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation Our hearts are light! A new day is dawning. Our neighborhood businesses are seeing new faces walk through their doors. These businesses – generations deep – are in the spotlight thanks to all of you who passed the word on to your kids and their kids. New generations are buying their hoagies from the guy who played rough touch with their dad. Bread from the same bakery where our grandparents (and great-grandparents!) shopped. We are so spoiled by the food, the festivals, the corner stores that line block after block of our beloved neighborhoods. Growing up with friends we still hang out with 50 years later!


When we all work together, good things happen! Great things happen! Like the Columbus Day Parade! There were so many people at Marconi Plaza, South Broad Street breathed a huge sigh of relief! A parade! Friends from the old neighborhood. Our favorite aromas like roast pork, tomatoe pie, funnel cakes and fried dough. Thanks to the 1492 Society for keeping your eye on the traditions that define us. Not only for Italian Americans but for every culture that left a legacy of love for us to celebrate. Now go out there and pay it forward.

River to River. One Neighborhood. Dorette & Dawn

2019 Columbus Day. See Page 93

Dorette, Dawn & GiaCapri photo by Talia Rota

Credits 1492 Society / Columbus Day Parade Bentley Continental GT Convertible courtesy of F.C. Kerbeck Thank you to our driver Anthony!




Love your magazine as a displaced Philadelphian. Thank you for the great article about my book, Diary of a Beatlemaniac, last summer by Tony Santini. Looking forward to the magazine. All the best! Patricia Gallo-Stenman / Coppell, Texas


We are extremely fortunate that South Philadelphia has a magazine that prides itself on revealing its traditions. Whether it be culinary, classical, contemporary or the greatness of the mom and pop corner store! Thank you to the fine staff at Philadelphia RowHome Magazine for always taking an interest in keeping “Old World Values” alive! Never forgetting my fellow Southern High Choir members - your hard work and dedication is what made [William Yeats concert] come to fruition! It was an honor! John Tenaglia


I love the magazine. We were buying meatballs at Pastificio’s yesterday! We love them, thanks to your magazine and his ad. Gran Caffe L’Aquila is fantastic. Worth going to Philly from NJ for it. We just don’t have these places in Cherry Hill, all chains. All we do when we come to Philly is buy food and of course we eat at Marra’s - the best antipasto and pizza. Maria Scocca


I enjoy reading this magazine so much. When I got to the Senior Prom and Major Harris article (Summer 2019 issue), it made me smile. I was at that prom and it brought back memories. Annette Simeone Gregory


I absolutely loved Dorette’s column [Pressed / Summer 2019] issue about Lifer friends. I cried while reading it. I’ve had the same childhood friends for 45 years. Every word she wrote was just so on the money. It was even more poignant because the next morning my girlfriend texted at 3:31AM to tell us all her granddaughter had just been born. That’s what lifers do. Only friends like that can text at 3:30 in the morning and we don’t even care. Shannon Roche


If you’re from Philly and you don’t have this magazine, you are missing out on so much - the old pictures and great stories are beautiful and bring back so many memories. It’s also great to advertise in. I am very proud of you for making it a big success. Julia Salerno


I received my first edition of RowHome and I love it. Great articles and makes me feel in touch with Philadelphia even though I’m living at the Jersey Shore now. Thanks for the LOVE picture on page 12. It’s awesome. Dominic and Kasia Scalfaro


Great job giving basic news, insight and all the things that are fun and interesting to the neighborhood... and beyond. Thanks ever so much. Dee Darazio

Please fill out the

SUBSCRIPTION CARD located here and drop it in the MAIL today! Your next issue of PRH will be delivered right to your doorstep! Or subscribe online at! 8

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

IBEW Local Union 98 SaluteS Philadelphia RowHome Magazine’s

2019 Blue Sapphire and WiShrock aWard WinnerS:

Carl Arrigale

Kitten Hayward

Edward J. McBride Service to Community Award

Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award

Kenny Bonavitacola

Tom Piccone

Fashion Design Award

Local Business Success Story Award

Jane Golden

Russell Thompkins, Jr.

Edward J. McBride Service to Community Award

Lifetime Music Achievement Award

Vittoria Woodill Media Award


Scarlet Cimillo Victoria Rose Conroy

Bianca Nataloni Carmine Yusko

photo by Thomas DiGilio

73. St. N

Class of 19


tary Schoo

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1969. Palumbo’s. Lucy Mattia, Julius LaRosa, Deanna Monte & Phyllis Lancello.

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Early 1950s.

t. Chubby &


Circa 19

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with Patty, Marion Passio 1972. Ralph & ildwood. W the beach in Joey & Mia on

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1984. Mark Rago outside Monti Funeral Home, which eventually became Monti-Rago Funeral Home.

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August 15, 1913. Ann an d Charles Co their weddi sta on ng day at St . Nicholas of tine Church To len. They were married 52 until the de years ath of Char les. They ha children, al d nine l in heaven with them no w.



owHome’s Brenda & Jane are hangin’ out with R friends Tim & Melissa at Celtic Classic 2019.


enise Larosa, Denise Capone, Amelia & John D Fogarino, Joe Ligambi & Cathy Lancellotti are hangin’ out at Memories for Joe’s birthday.


aria DeTheodore, Denise LaRosa, Michael Armento & M Janice Jones are hangin’ out at Caffe Luciano Lamberti.


ndrew Angiolillo with Denise LaRosa & A Co. are hangin’ out at the Crab Trap.


orette & Dawn are hangin’ out with aunt Loretta D Gillen & mom Carol Vassallo at the 1492 Society Dinner at Galdo’s. The RowHome Owners/Publishers were awarded the Hon. Anthony J. DeFino Award for outstanding service to the Italian American Community & support of Columbus Day.


owHome Rowan celebrates his first birthday (8/20) R with a pizza themed photoshoot. Photo by Iveta Buonacuore


J oe Donatucci & Dorette are hangin’ out with Donna & Anthony Anello.


owHome Carol Vassallo (aka MeMe) is hanR gin’ out with great-granddaughter GiaCapri on the Boardwalk in Wildwood.


pper Darby’s Tina Fey stopped by the KimU mel Center in August to talk about Mean Girls the Musical, coming to Philly this November.



10. J oseph, Mark, Joe, Renee, Stephanie & Stephen Ligambi are hangin’ out to celebrate Dad Joe Ligambi’s birthday! 11. A nn Marie Nacchio is hangin ‘out with John Travolta who was in town to promote his new film The Fanatic.


12. D orette & Dawn are hangin’ out with Joe Morinelli of Radio Voice Italia during a recent interview at Anthony’s Italian Coffee House on the 9th Street Italian Market. 13. D orette & Dawn are hangin’ out with RowHome Wine Columnist Vincent Novello & Pastificio’s Anthony Messina at the Vendemmia in Girard Park. Photo by Maria Merlino 14. H angin’ out with Edie Horan at Conicelli Toyota in Springfield. 15. S woop is hangin’ out with Domenic Mascitti at the Nova for Eagles practice.


16. R on Malandro Sr. is hangin’ out with Ron Malandro Jr., who placed first in the Atlantic City Triathlon in his age bracket, and Anthony Dellapia, who finished second. Both represented PHL Athletics. 17. B renda, Adrienne, Lily, Amy & Iva are hangin’ out in Ocean City. 18. S herry McConney enjoys her summer edition of RowHome on the beach!

4 12

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

19. D enise LaRosa & Co. are hangin’ out at Doc’s Oyster House in AC.

















October / November / December 2019




nce upon a time, in a row home much like yours, a loving father suggested to his dear son that perhaps getting a job after high school to help pay for a Villanova education would be a very studious thing to do. Never one to disappoint, and freshly bestowed with the wisdom of reality, the eternally grateful son walked into The Barclay Hotel in June of 1983, filled out an application and the rest, as they say, is history. Much like the decision he made to work “a semester and start classes in the spring, not fall,” this is not the direction I intended to take with this column. Both my planned feature and my backup simultaneously fell apart within days. Jeepers, Mr. Wilson, what’s a writer to do? I’ve heard it said, and I wholeheartedly agree, “If you don’t have any stories, you probably haven’t lived.” Let me tell ya, I’ve got some stories. Columnists are a different breed. Look, there’s literary license and then there are the liberties that allow for opinionated, brash and often self-serving rhetoric. Still, there’s nothing like reading your favorite column. Now, at the risk of sounding like a name-dropping blowhard, indulge me if you will. My attraction to The Barclay Hotel was plain and simple. The Rolling Stones stayed there during their previous stop in Philadelphia. Hey, if it was good enough for Mick and the boys, it was good enough for me, too. Other than that, I knew nothing about this gem of society on Rittenhouse Square. It was my first fulltime job. At the time, the position was called a bellhop. Today, who knows – probably something safe and vanilla like luggage assistant. Basically, when the desk clerk hit the bell, the employee hopped to the task at hand. “Ding. Ding!” The Barclay was unique. In addition to its


“If you don’t have any stories, you probably haven’t lived.”

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE |October / November / December 2019

prominence as an old world, luxury hotel, it also was the residence of some of the city’s most elite and notable names. Eugene Ormandy, Fredrick and Sylvia Mann, Milton and Shirley Rock, Meyer and Vivian Potamkin, and more. Almost anyone with ties to theater and music – classical or other – were frequent guests. It wasn’t uncommon to host Luciano Pavarotti, Itzhak Perlman, Barry Manilow, Esther Williams, Alice Faye. At some point, they all blew through The Barclay. Take Freddy Mann, for instance. He was a very charismatic individual. Gruff and to the point. If he liked you, you basically scored tickets to anything you wanted to see at The Mann Music Center. His English Bulldog Terrier named Vodka was very near and dear to his heart. (Picture Spuds MacKenzie and you nailed it). The Manns had an arrangement and a very elaborate dog-walking schedule set up with The Barclay bell staff. Six times a day at $5 a pop. It made for a nice envelope at week’s end if you were lucky enough to walk the canine. During a few of my scheduled walks, I saw Irish actor Richard Harris strolling around the

square seemingly lost in the beauty of the park. He was in town with the stage revival of Camelot and was staying for an extended period of time. I knew little about him. In fact, until then, one of my only experiences with theater was watching my dear friend Dana Giovinetti play the lead in a high school production of Auntie Mame. Harris approached me one day as I was standing outside the hotel grabbing some fresh air. Not one for many words, he caught me off guard with a hearty laugh, ‘No dog today, lad?’ I honestly don’t remember how I responded. Hell, I didn’t even realize this guy took notice of me walking a dog! Before long, Richard Harris, the future Albus Dumbledore of Harry Potter fame, and I were in Rittenhouse Square, walking towards a pack of pigeons. ‘There’s a proper way to chase pigeons,’ he pointed out before showing me exactly how it should be done. As it turns out, my failed attempts at shooing the birds while walking the dog amused the actor. And there we were. King Arthur and me. Chasing pigeons. The proper way.






hair by The Cutting Point makeup by Victoria DiPietro / Bella Angel location courtesy of Cescaphe / Tendenza

CARL ARRIGALE Edward J. McBride Service to Community Award / Sports by STEPHEN PAGANO


arl Arrigale, 53, born and raised in South Philly, is no stranger to sports. He grew up on 29th and Mckean Streets and like most kids, he enjoyed playing sports with his friends. “We stayed out all day and night,” Arrigale remembers. For grade school, he attended King of Peace at 26th and Wharton. “I played a lot of intramural basketball at King of Peace and at a young age, I developed a love for coaching,” Arrigale says. He also helped his dad who coached youth sports at King of Peace. Arrigale would later attend Penn Charter High School, where he was the Inter-Ac League’s MVP in the 19831984 season. In 1993, he was hired as an assistant coach under Mike Doyle at Neumann. After only one year, Doyle left to become a teacher/coach in New Jersey and Tom Dougherty became the new head coach at St. John Neumann. Arrigale worked under Dougherty for four years when the head coaching job became available. At the end of the 1998 season, he went to his uncle and business partner in a local appliance

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

A: NBA Player/ MLB Player

Q: What was your first job? A: Paperboy at 10 years old delivering the Daily News door to door after school

Q: What was your favorite pastime as a kid?

A: Playing all sports Q: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

advice you ever gave?

the shore or at home

A: You’re never gonna

Q: Who are your Phil-

be the best you can be until you make yourself uncomfortable.

Q: Favorite song from back in the day that always makes you smile?

A: “One in a Million You”

adelphia-based idols?

A: Mike Schmidt, Larry Bowa and Steve Carlton

Q: What lesser known landmark would you recommend a tourist visit in Philadelphia?

by Larry Graham (also Arrigale’s wedding song)

A: The Neumann-

Q: What is your best

Q: Tell us some-

memory from summer 2019?

Goretti Gym

A: Wildwood, NJ

thing not many people know about you.

with my family

A: I enjoy a lot of

Q: What do you con-

reality television with my daughters.

told me to treat people the right way.

sider your happy place/ your favorite place in the whole world?

Q: What’s your favorite

A: Being with fam-

A: Italian food.

Q: What’s the best

ily. Whether down

Chicken parm, pasta

A: My mom always


store and told him he was ready to take the big job and that he still had the itch to coach. In 1999, Carl Arrigale became the head basketball coach of the Neumann Pirates, and the rest is history. This year is Arrigale’s 22nd season at Neumann/Goretti High School and he has compiled a very impressive resume over his two decades as coach. His 10 championships are tied for the most in Catholic League history. He also has eight state titles in 11 years of eligibility and recorded his 500th career victory this past season. Arrigale loves working with the kids. “I really enjoy working with high school students,” he says. “I love blending their personalities and skillsets. My favorite part about being a coach is giving kids an opportunity to move onto college, especially to those who never thought it was a possibility.” Many of his students have played basketball for college teams and even overseas. When Carl Arrigale isn’t coaching, he loves spending time with his family down the Jersey shore. He also co-owns C&D Appliances with his uncle Dan, located at 8th and Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

home-cooked meal?

KENNY BONAVITACOLA Fashion Designer / Fashion Design Award by JANE ROSER


enny Bonavitacola always knew he was going to be a fashion designer. Growing up in South Philly, he would design clothing that his grandmother, a seamstress, then made. Bonavitacola was expected to take over the family business at a luncheonette but a trip to Italy in his teens changed all that. “I wanted to go to the boutiques – Gucci, Valentino, Yves St. Laurent... I decided when I got home that I’d go to design school and nothing was going to stop me.” Bonavitacola attended The Fashion Institute of Technology and has lived in New York City since 1975. He first apprenticed with Piero Dimitri at Dimitri Couture, then went on to become Director of Couture and Licensed Products at Giorgio di Sant’ Angelo. He launched an eponymous label, found his creations on three Women’s Wear Daily covers and acted as designer and/or consultant at Tahari, Kasper, Perry Ellis, Bill Blass and Tadashi Shoji, the latter seeing him work with 2012 Oscar and Academy Award winner for The Help, Octavia Spencer. Taking inspiration from designers such as Bob Mackie, Edith Head, Orry-Kelly and films like Gypsy, Auntie Mame and Imitation of Life, Bonavitacola mastered the art of haute couture. His draping, choice of fabrics, trimming and attention to detail is so precise and exquisite that the grand dame herself, Aretha (The Queen of Soul) Franklin, was a devoted client for more than 17 years. Bonavitacola attributes his work ethic to his mother Catherine who worked nights at the luncheonette while also running her own shop, Little Beth Boutique, for more than 60 years. “I was brought up by a woman who was incredibly successful. I don’t come from a background where we decide to retire at 65.” After leaving Terani Couture last August, Bonavitacola shows no signs of slowing

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

A: Fashion Designer. Q: What was your first job? A: I worked alongside a master couture tailor named Piero Dimitri. He was a menswear designer who wanted to introduce a women’s wear collection and he hired me to design the collection. On my first day there, the receptionist was out sick so Piero asked me to answer the phones. The first call I answered

down. He’s currently collaborating on a label with his sister Alexis called “I Love My Sister” which will incorporate her artwork into a design collection made in the United States. Besides writing his autobiography (tentatively titled Sew What), another project in the works is a musical Bonavitacola is executive producing about a group of Philadelphians who arrive in New York all hoping to find success in their individual careers, but then deeply affected by the AIDS crisis. The central character is based upon Kevin Boyce from Upper Darby, the first person to become a well-known cross-dresser. Bonavitacola met Boyce in 1977. When Boyce asked him to design a couture dress to wear to Truman Capote’s birthday party, Bonavitacola jumped at the chance. Boyce was such a fixture of Studio 54’s heyday that the Brooklyn Museum of Art is showcasing two of Bonavitacola’s dresses, including one worn by Boyce, in their Spring 2020 exhibit, “Studio 54: Night Magic.” Leading up to the exhibit, Bonavitacola will be posting 40 years of press (about 650 total posts) on Instagram and creating new couture pieces inspired by the exhibit. One of Bonavitacola’s top clients is two-time Oscar winner Kristen Anderson-Lopez who cowrote the songs for Frozen with husband Robert Lopez. She wore his designs to the Grammys and Golden Globes where she and her husband won Best Original Song awards for “Let It Go” from Frozen and “Remember Me” from Coco. Bonavitacola is currently working on a design she will wear to the premiere of Frozen 2 in Hollywood on November 7th. Reflecting on his long and successful career, Bonavitacola says, “I have to contemplate where I want to go from here and I don’t have the answer where I’ll wind up, but I know I’m not done.”

was from Faye Dunaway. I remember going out to lunch and calling my mother from a payphone and crying to her from the excitement.

Q: What was your favorite pastime as a kid?

A: Sketching in my grandparents B&G Luncheonette at 20th & Mifflin St., designing dresses for my father’s mother and sister.

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

A: I worked for designer Giorgio di Sant ‘Angelo. When it came to collection time, we sometimes worked

around the clock to finish. One day, with only a few more hours left until show time, I said to Giorgio ‘I bet you wish it was five hours from now.” He quickly retorted, “I do not. I wish it was yesterday. Never wish for less time. Always wish for more time!”

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

A: Never compare your career to anyone else’s.

Q: Favorite song from back in the day that always makes you smile?

A: “Downtown” by

Petula Clark.

South Philadelphia with his wife and new baby.

Q: What is your best memory from summer 2018?

Q: What lesser-known land-

A: The birth of my great-

mark would you recommend a tourist visit in Philadelphia?

niece, Quinn Scarlett Smith.

Q: What do you consider

A: The Reading Terminal.

your happy place/your favorite place in the whole world?

Q: Tell us something not

A: In a movie theater with

A: I have absolutely

popcorn and a Diet Coke.

Q: Who are your Phil-

only one regret. Not having children.

Q: What’s your favorite

adelphia-based idols?

A: Jerry Blavat. He stayed

true to himself and devoted to his community through his entire life. Rob McClure. He has a successful Broadway career but resides in

October / November / December 2019

many people know about you.

home-cooked meal?

A: My friends Bil and

Ken make the best cheesesteak and French fries.


JANE GOLDEN Founder, ED / Mural Arts Philadelphia

Edward J. McBride Service to Community Award / The Arts by MATT KELCHNER


sk anyone in Philadelphia to name their favorite mural and you’re sure to get a different answer almost every time. There are a lot of murals in and around the city. From towering, multi-story displays overlooking Broad Street to much smaller scenes tucked away in sidestreet neighborhoods. Regardless of which one you love most, you have Jane Golden to thank for helping to weave larger than life art throughout the streets of Philly. Golden is the founder and executive director of Mural Arts Philadelphia, the largest public art program of its kind in the country. She started in 1984 as a field representative with the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network (PAGN) an initiative of former Mayor W. Wilson Goode, Sr. Golden was tasked with implementing the radical idea

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

A: “I wanted to be a spy or a detective oddly enough. I had a very active spy club that I was CEO of. We were always looking for trouble – trying to see how we could better the little city of Margate.”

Q: What was your first job? A: “ My first job was junior counselor at Camp By The Sea in Margate, NJ.”

Q: What was your favorite pastime as a kid?

A: “I had two favorite pastimes. One was creating artwork. I started painting watercolors when I was 10. Second was reading. I really loved reading. I was always immersed in a world of books. I had a very lively imagination when I was young. After school, I would try to come up with really interesting scenes on the


bulletin boards - early mural paintings one could say.”

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

A: “My father’s advice,

which was to have humility, to be gracious and to be generous. I have tried to live that my entire life. When he said ‘to have humility,’ he said you have to acknowledge that you don’t have all of the answers and that you should always be curious and ask questions. He would always say, ‘Don’t be afraid to fail as long as you learn from it.’ I think my parents were generous. They did not see themselves as being disconnected from the world. So at a very young age, I was thinking about the social impact of art.”

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

A: “The advice I’ve given

people here at Mural Arts is not unlike the advice that I got from my father. Always be an organization that is fearless and ready to learn,

evolve and course-correct. I’ve tried to counsel people here to have perspective, to be appreciative and grateful, to give back, to be eager to learn from others and to work collaboratively.”

Q: Favorite song from back in the day that always makes you smile?

A: “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.

Q: What is your best memory from summer 2019?

A: “My husband and I went to Cape May Point and it was absolutely beautiful. We went bicycle riding and swimming in the ocean every day. Because I grew up at the Jersey Shore, it brought back wonderful memories.”

Q: What do you consider your happy place/your favorite place in the whole world?

A: “There are two places

for me. In Philadelphia, I really love to walk along the Schuylkill River. I love the public sculpture “Play-

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

of working with, not against, graffiti writers to help combat the rising issue of rampant graffiti. The plan was to trade artists’ illegal tags for large murals alongside of buildings, sanctioned by the city. Fast forward to today and the city is home to almost 4,000 murals – with an additional 60-100 new works added year after year. Thanks to Golden, the organization, now known as Mural Arts Philadelphia, is internationally known not just for promoting art in public spaces, but for the connections it can nurture throughout and between communities. She has led various initiatives that helped raise awareness for topics such as youth education and behavioral health – collaborating with agencies and artists alike. We are lucky to have her as one of the leaders in Philadelphia and for making a walk around a neighborhood feel like a stroll through a gallery hall at a museum.

ing Angels.” I love looking at the river because it reminds me of how much I love Philadelphia. My other place that I love is the Jersey Shore. Having grown up in Margate, I really feel this attachment to the ocean and beach.”

Q: Who are your Philadelphia-based idols?

A: “Ed Bacon. The muralist Violet Oakley. Sister Mary Scullion, and the writer Lorene Cary.

Q: What lesser known landmark would you recommend a tourist visit in Philadelphia?

A: “I have two! The first is Bartram’s Garden. It’s so beautiful, and there is so much to do there: birdwatching, kayaking, concerts, and classes, too! The other is an arts organization called Taller Puertorriqueno at 5th and Huntingdon. It’s a cultural center that has a wonderful bookstore and always has great exhibits. What makes Philadelphia wonderful is our cultural

diversity, so I think it’s a really great spot to see.

Q: Tell us something not many people know about you?

A: “I seriously considered

becoming a lawyer. In 1996, when the future of the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network was uncertain, I applied and got into law school. But, then my brother said, ‘Jane, don’t be a lawyer. You should run an art program for the city.’ But, there isn’t one, I reminded him. ‘Start one’ he replied. So, I went to see former Mayor Ed Rendell and asked if he would consider creating a public art program. He said yes, so I deferred law school and started Mural Arts!

Q: What’s your favorite home-cooked meal?

A: “My husband makes

a wonderful vegetarian chili that I love. He’s a really good cook. He puts so many great ingredients into it!”


Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award by GENO THACKARA


mong aficionados in the world of boxing, Stanley “Kitten” Hayward is a name that needs no introduction. Besides prowling the ring from 1959 to 1977 and racking up a solidly winning record in the welterweight and middleweight leagues - 32-12-4 with an impressive 18 KOs - he was a colorful character out and about town as well, known for a philosophy of “run all night and sleep all day.” Today, he remains in good shape at the ripe age of 80, full of positivity and happy to confirm that “age is just a number.” If greats like Joe Frazier were known for the Philly Fighter style, it’s because the likes of Hayward and “Bad Bennie” Briscoe took the lead and paved the way. It’s a brash approach based around quick action and dogged persistence - a natural method for someone who didn’t always intend to be a boxer but stepped up to the occasion when it was called for. “Being in Philadelphia, you had some tough streets,” he recalls. “If you couldn’t handle yourself in the street, you could forget it. In them days, they didn’t have guns. You had to battle with your fists.” After a few informal bouts at the West Philly Boys Club, Hayward’s tough resilience and willingness to learn bumped him up to the pros in seemingly no time - though the fights were no less important than


to talk and speak well and didn’t get seriously hurt in the ring.

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

A: I wanted to be somebody. I wanted to be an athlete, a ballplayer.

Q: What was your first job? A: I was a busboy, then went

to delivering packages.

Q: What was your favorite pastime as a kid?

just playing with the neighborhood kids - checkers, football, baseball.

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

A: Oh, a lot of people gave me

some good advice but I can’t recall what the hell they said! I’m in my 80s now and I can’t remember too much! I’m just glad I turned out to be okay for my age, to be able

Q: Who are your Philly-based idols? A: Gil Turner, another great

Q: What’s the best advice

fighter and my best friend.

you’ve ever given?

Q: What lesser-known landmark

A: The best advice I give, mostly to youth, is to stay out of trouble. Protect yourself, take care of yourself, and make sure you’re hanging with the right people.

would you recommend a tourist visit in Philadelphia?

A: The West Philly Boys

Q: Favorite song from back in the

Club. That’s how I became a fighter. I went to a club and watched the others.

day that always makes you smile?

Q: Tell us something no

A: “Me & Mrs. Jones” by

A: Riding horses. I also wound up

the connections and friendships that came with them. George Katz turned out to be a particularly influential one, serving as his manager for a large part of his career. Hayward explains, “He’s the one that gave me the name Kitten. His girlfriend said to call me Kitten. Why? Because his last name was Katz.” Perhaps it’s an odd tag for a tough fighter, but well suited for the personality behind the name. He still laughs heartily at the idea now. “I’m a racetrack man. If you go to races, you see, they start naming horses Kitten now. Kitten this, Kitten that, you know?” Besides the success and fame, it’s a fortunate boxer that comes through to the other side healthy and respected by all kinds of colleagues. “I met Mike Tyson,” Hayward relates as one example. “They saw me and they said, ‘Kitten’s in the house.’ And Mike says, ‘Wait! I gotta meet him!’ We had a nice time and he said, ‘Hey, you really look good. After 20 years in the game, you look like that?’ So that’s part of the gift,” he chuckles. After a string of ups and downs that took him from the local gym to Madison Square Garden, Hayward traded the boxing ring for the offices of the Philadelphia court system, making a second career serving his city until retiring in 2011. The charming Kitten shows a warm and generous spirit today, still determined to enjoy life and remember how lucky he is.

one knows about you.

my friend Bunny Sigler

A: I’m a kind and nice person and

Q: What is your favorite Philly spot

I try to get along with everybody. That’s what my mother taught me - always be nice to people.

that sparks the most memories?

A: Anywhere I am, I’m happy to be around and healthy. I’m very lucky to be here.

Q: What’s your favor-

Q: What’s your best mem-

A: I would say, um...any-

ory of summer 2019?

thing? No specialties, really. I cook for myself and my lady friends, so anything edible. Everything’s good and I’m glad to be able to enjoy it.

A: Turning 80. I couldn’t believe it. Gee whiz, really? 80 years old? They gave me a fair and everything.

October / November / December 2019

ite home-cooked meal?



Local Business Success Story Award by LARRY GALLONE


he kitchen is the heart and soul of the row home. Picture this. You’re hosting a gathering of family and friends. Where does everyone end up? The kitchen. Kids come home from school. Where do they go first? The kitchen to raid the refrigerator. With crazy schedules and family coming and going all the time, the one room where everyone gathers is the kitchen. Kitchens and their design are central to family and social life. Just ask Tom Piccone, one of the founders of A&P Kitchens on East Passyunk Avenue. Since its establishment more than 30 years ago, A&P Kitchens has been serving the community and surrounding areas – installing and renovating custom kitchens and bathrooms from South Philly to the Poconos to the Jersey Shore. In a recent interview, Piccone said his interest in designer kitchens started when he was a teenager and worked for ACME Plumbing on Federal Street. “They had a very small kitchen display set up. I saw it every day and that was that.” Tom started the business with friend Sal Aquino. In addition to working side by side every day for three decades, they routinely met for dinner and breakfast once a week. When Aquino – who was never late – didn’t show up on time one morning, Piccone knew something was wrong. His

Q&A Q: What did you want to

friend and business partner died unexpectedly in December 2018, leaving Tom to continue with the company. A&P Kitchens is a family business. Piccone, 73, does the design work and his son Christopher handles the installations. Their showroom is located at 1721 East Passyunk Avenue and they have a state-of-the-art factory on nearby Washington Avenue. While the dimensions of the row home kitchen haven’t changed much in 30 years, Piccone says the use of colors is a tribute to contemporary style. Customers are opting for brighter tones and a variety of textures when renovating this focal room of the house. When he is not designing kitchens and baths, Piccone stays in tune with the neighborhood by taking part in one of its most beloved traditions. The Mummers Parade. Tom plays the accordion for Pennsport String Band. Originally a member of the Italian American String Band, he joined Pennsport when the band dissolved along with his son Tommy, who plays the banjo. A&P Kitchens is a member of both the East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District and the South Philadelphia Business Association. This local family operation is a prime example of dedication to the community and preserving business traditions for generations to come.

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

A: Be honest with whom-

Park. It’s where I grew up. That’s where you have your fondest memories.

be when you grew up?

ever you are dealing with. Honesty is the best policy.

Q: Who are your Phil-

A: I really didn’t have any-

Q: Favorite song from

A: Frankie Avalon. Bobby

thing specific in mind...a plumber or mechanic. I have a plumber’s license.

Q: What was your first job? A: ACME Plumbing on Federal Street

Q: What was your favorite pastime as a kid?

A: Playing ball at Poe Schoolyard, 22nd and Ritner (now GAMP)

Q: What’s the best advice

back in the day that always makes you smile?

A: “Alabama Jubilee”

is a great String Band song. If I go way back, “Stardust” – a favorite of my mother and father.

Q: What is your best memory from summer 2019?

A: Relaxing at the shore

in Longport. On jet skis! I jet ski all the time.

Q: What is your favor-

adelphia-based idols?

Rydell. Frank Rizzo.

Q: What lesser-known landmark would you recommend a tourist visit in Philadelphia?

A: Passyunk Avenue! Look at how it has come back in recent years.

Q: Tell us something not many people know about you.

A: I’m pretty open, to be honest. I don’t have any secrets.

ite Philly spot that sparks the most memories?

Q: What’s your favorite

A: Don’t live far from where you work.

A: Back in the day, Girard

A: Chicken Cacciatore

anyone ever gave you?


home-cooked meal?

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019


Lifetime Music Achievement Award by MARK CASASANTO


he Philly Sound. The music of an era. Elaborate horns, blended vocals and scintillating arrangements. Although the names of the many, varied talents of the times may be fleeting, the songs remain and the music plays on. Standing in the spotlight, The Stylistics. For Russell Thompkins Jr., it all started in North Philadelphia, the area now known as Brewerytown. “My father was an artist and could sing,” he says. “He instructed my brother and I on how to do musical stuff and do a little bit of art also. My brother got the artsy part and I got the singing part!” During the time of the Motown boom, Thompkins was the only male member of the Vaux Junior High School Girls Chorus. A passionate teacher took an interest in his voice. She got him interested in classical music. She also was the musical director at Bright Hope Church. Thompkins would go to church with her and hear gospel. “She started a lot of singers from North Philly on the way to becoming [musical] artists,” he says. A happenstance opening in a local group called The Monarchs found Thompkins singing and rehearsing with the act, most of whom went to Benjamin Franklin High School. After placing first in a talent show at the school, under the guidance of yet another dedicated educator, a decision was made to merge with a group called The Percussions. Both groups were losing members to either Vietnam or furthering their education. That’s how The Stylistics got started. In 1968, the parents of founding member Airrion Love and Thompkins’ parents, both had inroads with local club owners. The newly united group would soon be performing on many of the city’s hottest stages. “Sid Booker would have to call my parents to see if it was okay for me to work at his club because I was still in high school,” Thompkins says. Before long, The Stylistics would be in the studio recording their first record - “You’re A Big Girl Now.” After consulting with his soon-to-be wife, and ultimately making the decision to give up a potential career at Progress Lighting, Thompkins found himself on the road to Newport, Rhode Island. What none of them knew at the time, their first recording was start-

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

A: I wanted to have a

good job so I could take care of my family.

A: Playing basketball

Q: Favorite song from

ite place in the world?

Q: Tell us something

Q: What’s the best advice

back in the day that always makes you smile?

A: My happy/favorite

not many people know about you.

anyone ever gave you?

A: When I first worked

with Thom Bell, he told me to bring the key down on everything so my voice would have longevity.

Q: What was your first job? A: A paperboy

Q: What’s the best

Q: What was your favorite pastime as a kid?

ing to get significant airplay back home. Music executives soon took notice. Initially signing with Avco Embassy Records, after first meeting with Thom Bell, the legendary producer, arranger and songwriter made it clear that he had no interest in working with the group. His focus instead - highlight the group’s sound solely around Thompkins’ falsetto backed by session musicians and vocalists. “The whole group was not on the first three albums we did with Bell,” Thompkins explains. The Stylistics became a recording group in 1973 after they stopped working with Bell. The Stylistics were a virtual jukebox of Seventies hits including: “You Are Everything,” “Betcha by Golly, Wow,” “I’m Stone In Love with You,” “Break Up to Make Up,” “You Make Me Feel Brand New” and “Rockin’ Roll Baby.” By the time Avco was bought out by H&L records, The Stylistics were working with Van McCoy. Even with McCoy spearheading a resurgence with newfound popularity in Europe and Japan, Thompkins had heard enough. “I went to the record company and said...the feedback is that we don’t sound like our records.” Within the group, trouble was brewing, personalities were changing and Russell wanted out. He credits former Temptation Eddie Kendricks with giving him the fortitude to stay the course after considering the impact on all involved. He stayed 30 more years! When Thompkins eventually left the stage, he took time to focus on personal health and his musical education. There was ample time for reflection and unexpected solo projects. He laughs now looking back on chance encounters with former group members. “It was like the Blues Brothers… ‘they’d be like, come on man, we gotta put the band back together!’” These days, there’s Russell Thompkins Jr. & The New Stylistics. The other half of the group still performs as The Stylistics. As for Thompkins, he’s happier now more than ever. “The second time around is always better,” he says. “Once I learned to live a certain way, life became very rewarding.”

A: Anything that

Dionne Warwick sang.

Q: What is your best

place is my home.

A: Not many people know

Q: Who are your Phil-

that I have been playing piano for over 15 years.

adelphia-based idols?

memory from summer 2019?

A: Billy Paul

A: Hanging out with

Q: What lesser-known land-

advice you ever gave?

my guitar player and music director.

mark would you recommend a tourist visit in Philadelphia?

A: Follow your heart

Q: What do you consider

A: The African Ameri-

and dreams.

your happy place/your favor-

Q: What’s your favorite home cooked meal?

A: Spaghetti and meatballs

can Museum

October / November / December 2019



Media Award by JOHN NACCHIO


ittoria Woodill sparkles with delightful charm as part of CBS3’s Eyewitness News team. Her roles as feature reporter and lifestyle expert give her opportunities to tell the stories of our amazing neighbors. She also covers local adventures and finger-lickin’ cuisine in her featured segment, “Taste With Tori.” Growing up in Northeast Philadelphia in the tightly knit neighborhood of Fox Chase -where everyone knew everyone else - gave her roots. Complemented by a very happy childhood and family life, she shared a one-and-a-half bedroom house with Dad (a small awning businessman and musician), Mom, two sisters and a brother, Woodill learned to make the best of small spaces. Her close quarters forced her to think outside the box. She closed her eyes and would dream up inspiration, motivated to be creative and polish up her fashion, beauty and lifestyle on pennies! This sparked the idea behind her successful blog,, the go-to Gal Pal guide to “Looking, Feeling and Living like a Million Bucks on a Few Shiny Pennies.” It began as a lifestyle confidence blog and later bloomed into a national web-series for Scripps

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

A: I never really knew exactly what I wanted to be when I was young. I couldn’t really picture it. I never saw myself in an astronaut suit or white doctor’s coat. But there is a home video of me around age seven where I was playing Oprah and interviewing my brother. Thinking back, that says a lot.

Q: What was your first job? A: I worked at Acme as a bagger.

Q: What was your favorite pastime as a kid?

to storytelling was “finding the story in the story.” I’ll never forget that.

happy place/your favorite place in the whole world?

Q: What’s the best

Q: Who are your Philadelphia-based idols?

A: “You don’t have to be

A: Ukee Washington, Jerry

perfect, you just have to be polished.” It’s the tagline from the lifestyle blog I created. I’ve always felt it said everything about self-acceptance, selfconfidence and self-worth. With all of our imperfections, when you believe you are deserving, life opens up to you in the most beautiful way.

Q: Favorite song from back in the day that always makes you smile?

A: “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver

my brother, sisters and cousins in the driveway of my childhood home.

Q: What is your best mem-

Q: What’s the best advice

a quick getaway to the Finger Lakes and it was the perfect hop, skip and a jump to a slice of heaven!

A: Philadelphia TV News legend Pat Ciarrocchi told me once that the key

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

A: Home

advice you ever gave?

A: Playing wiffle ball with

anyone ever gave you?


Networks, the former digital lifestyle channel. Media evolved while in college at LaSalle University, building on skills developed in middle and high school cheer-dance competitions, cheerleader championships and coaching. Woodill auditioned to be a Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader and succeeded. She performed at Lincoln Financial Field for more than 67,000 fans. Then, she was featured as Miss January in the nationally sold 2007-2008 Philadelphia  Eagles Cheerleader Calendar. Broadcasting in radio and TV unfolded. Every day, she experiences an adventure in the newsroom – never knowing what topic or event will be assigned. On her blog, Woodill is responsible for a full range of daily writing, photography, scouting, styling and editing original fashion, beauty, lifestyle and entertaining content. She enthusiastically embraces the challenge and enjoys being in the moment by bringing her audience live, unscripted storytelling, revealing the story inside the story. There’s so much more to say about Woodill, her career and her future. One loud shout out is well deserved. She readily connects in a masterful way to all of us by revealing insightfully the best of Philly living with a zest for life, love and laughs!

ory from summer 2019?

A: My husband and I took

Q: What do you consider your

Blavat “The Geator”, Merrill Reese & my Mom and Dad

Q: What lesser-known landmark would you recommend a tourist visit in Philadelphia?

A: I don’t think it’s lesser known but it is fairly new. The Museum of the American Revolution

Q: Tell us something not many people know about you.

A: I think people can guess

that I drink a lot of coffee but I absolutely LOVE coffee. It is my happy place in the morning every day and I could drink it up until I lay down for bed. I especially love to drink it out of vintage porcelain cups.

Q: What’s your favorite home-cooked meal?

A: Sunday sauce on game day

River to River. One Neighborhood.


Philadelphia RowHome Magazine Blue Sapphire Award Honor Roll 2018 Blue Sapphire Award

Bob Shannon: Bobby Rydell: Leon Huff: Lombardi’s Prime Meats: Steve Highsmith:

Quaker City String Band, Edward J. McBride Service to Community Award ifetime Music Achievement Award L Lifetime Music Achievement Award Local Business Success Story Award Media Award

2017 Blue Sapphire Award

2016 Blue Sapphire Award

2015 Blue Sapphire Award

The Phillie Phanatic: Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Ed McBride: President / EOM Athletic Association, Service to Community Award Dei Lynam: Comcast SportsNet, Media Award Chubby Checker: Lifetime Music Achievement Dee Dee Sharp: Lifetime Music Achievement Anthony Messina & Frank Sangiuliano: Pastificio, Local Business Success Story

Jim Donovan: CBS 3 News Anchor, Consumer Reporter, Media Award Billy Paul: Grammy Award Winner, R&B Soul Singer, Lifetime Music Achievement Award Frank E. Olivieri: Owner, Pat’s King of Steaks, Local Business Success Story Award Vai Sikahema: Co-Anchor NBC 10 Today, Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Dr. James Moylan: Service to Community Award

Kevin M. Dougherty: Administrative Judge, Court of Common Pleas Trial Division, Community Service Award Merrill Reese: Sports Announcer, “Voice of the Philadelphia Eagles”, Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Lady B: Artist / DJ / Old School 100.3, Entertainment Award Patti LaBelle: Grammy Winning Queen of Soul, Lifetime Music Achievement Award

2014 Blue Sapphire Award

Councilman James Kenney: Community Service Award

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

John J. Dougherty: Business Manager, IBEW Local 98, Community Service Award Kenny Gamble: Songwriter/Producer, Lifetime Music Achievement Award Ukee Washington: CBS 3 News Anchor, Media Award Joseph Volpe: CEO, Cescaphe Event Group, Local Business Success Story Award

2013 Blue Sapphire Award Michael Barkann: Sportscaster, Media Award Earl Young: Singer/Drummer/ Founder, The Trammps, Lifetime Music Achievement Award The Philly Flyers Broad Street Bullies: Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Wendy Hamilton: GM, SugarHouse Casino, Community Service Award Tony Luke, Sr.: Local Business Success Story Award

2012 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 Music Achievement Award

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

2010 Blue Sapphire Award Charles Pizzi: CEO, Tasty Baking Company, Local Business Success Story Award Bunny Sigler: Singer, Lifetime Music 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

2009 Blue Sapphire 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

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, ComcastSpectacor, 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 Mario Tropea Jr.: Spectrum Realty, Business Mentor Award Barbara Capozzi: Capozzi Realty, Business Mentor Award

Philadelphia RowHome Magazine

2019 WishRock Awards 2019 WishRock Award

presented annually to young dreamers whose passion to succeed has inspired a new generation of believers by BRENDA HILLEGAS

From the time we published our first issue in 2004, Philadelphia RowHome Magazine has honored people who have changed lives for the better. For us. For our neighborhoods. For generations of families. For years to come. Every year, we present these individuals with our Blue Sapphire Award to thank them for their selfless dedication to our City. In 2012, we decided to honor talented youngsters who aspire to the same commitment as their seasoned mentors. We call it the WishRock Award. It is a reminder that all great accomplishments begin with a dream.

CARMINE YUSKO Q: Tell us a little about yourself. A: I enjoy constantly learning. I’m

a strong believer that knowledge is everything, no matter what it is about. I live in South Philadelphia. I have my entire life. I wouldn’t trade living here for anything.

Q: What are your hobbies? A: I have many hobbies but

above all of the ones that I have to say I enjoy the most would definitely have to be watching and rating films.


Q: What is your favorite song? A: Such a hard question but currently my favorite song is “Please Mr. Postman” by The Marvelettes.

that has held up the strongest is, my mother always does Christmas Eve and my grandfather always does Christmas Day.

Q: What do you and your family like to do together?

Q: What are some of your favorite places in Philadelphia?

A: I’m going to have to go with my eighth grade teacher Mrs. Rucci, who teaches at St. Monica’s School. She never lost hope in any dreams that I had and always pushed me to do the best that I can do.

A: How can you choose? There are

Q: Name a person in history you

A: My mother and I enjoy traveling and going out to eat. My father and I enjoy going to concerts together. When the whole family is together, there’s honestly not a favorite thing we like to do. We do everything together.

so many wonderful places - Phil’s Steaks, City Hall, Rittenhouse Square, The Italian Market.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

A: Hopefully, a profes-

Q: Do you have any special tradi-

sional singer/actor.

tions unique to your family?

Q: Name a teacher who made

A: We have many but the one

a lasting impression on you.

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

would like to have dinner with. Why?

A: Oh, this one is simple! Frank Sinatra. I’d like to have dinner with him for many reasons that I can put on this piece of paper. Oh come on - think of the stories that man has! Plus I’d like to get a couple pointers from him on singing and acting, too.

Q: Tell us about an accomplishment

ing with actual musicians. Not just backing tracks.

know more about his life and how he was able to make such a difference in not only his country, but the whole world.

Q: What advice would you give

Q: Tell us about an accomplishment

to someone who is working on achieving their goals?

that has made you the most proud.

that has made you the most proud.

A: When I first started work-

A: You’ve always got to work with

the best if you can, and of course, the best are the best because they’re different. They expect certain standards and they’re usually very difficult people to work with. That’s what makes them the best. Eventually, the best you can be.

a lasting impression on you.

A: Becoming a member of the

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

A: I go to Merion Mercy Academy

and was born and raised in South Philadelphia. I love to sing, dance, act and play instruments. I love spending time with my family and friends and learning new things!

Q: What are your hobbies? A: Singing, playing instruments and dancing. I also love to cook and bake.

Q: What is your favorite song? A: “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. Q: What do you and your family like to do together?

A: My family and I love to travel

and experience new things together!

Q: Do you have any special traditions unique to your family?

A: My family and I have a Christmas

cookie tradition that we do every year. We spend every Sunday in December baking together for hours and eat our cookies at our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners.

Q: What are some of your favorite places in Philadelphia?

A: Spruce Street Harbor and City Hall.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? A: I see myself making a difference in the world with either my musical skills or in the medical field. Q: Name a teacher who made a lasting impression on you.

A: My grade school music

teacher, Mr. Micheal Borton. I would not have such a strong love of music if not for him!

Q: Name a person in history you would like to have dinner with. Why?

A: Nelson Mandela. After spending three weeks in South Africa last summer, I would love to

A: We just love spend-

Q: Name a person in history you

Q: What advice would you give

would like to have dinner with. Why?

A: There isn’t a specific historical

in yourself. You are your own best friend and source of motivation.

figure that comes to mind. I would, however, like to have dinner with some of my ancestors to see how similar and different we live today.

Q: What is your favorite mem-

Q: Tell us about an accomplishment

A: Always persevere and believe

that has made you the most proud.

ory from summer 2019?


traditions unique to your family?

East made a lasting impression because she always inspired me to follow my dreams and gave me the confidence to take on every challenge.

National Honor Society.

to someone who is working on achieving their goals?

A: My biggest accomplishment was

A: Going to Austra-

being the starting first baseman on Rowan’s softball team, winning the regional final and then travelling with the team to Minnesota to compete in the College World Series.

lia with my choir.


phia and moved to Cherry Hill, NJ when I was 6 years old. I played for my Cherry Hill East High School softball team. While taking a nutrition class in my freshman year of college, I made the decision to become a vegetarian. I am currently on the Dean’s List at Rowan College. My name in Italian means “Big White Christmas.”

Q: What are your hobbies? A: Cooking, baking, going to the beach, traveling, listening to music and drawing.

Sun” by The Beatles.

ily like to do together?

A: I’m Scarlet Cimillo from

A: I know this may sound

funny, but we love to eat!

Q: Do you have any special traditions unique to your family?

A: We make homemade pasta

together. Our specialty is gnocchi.

Q: What are some of your favorite places in Philadelphia?

A: I have always enjoyed

Foundation is incredible. Obviously Rittenhouse Square and my entire neighborhood near Rittenhouse is just so cozy and great. La.Va Cafe has always been a tranquil spot.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? A: Hopefully songwriting with and for other people and hopefully, I have made some sort of name for myself as an artist.

Q: Name a teacher who made a lasting impression on you.

A: Satchel Victory from my high

Q: Name a person in history you

mer job a few days early so that I could enjoy some time on the beach before I headed back to my regular job and my last semester at college.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

Q: What do you and your fam-

A: I have so many. The Barnes

A: Being able to leave my sum-

self. No one knows you better than yourself. Patience is important and with hard work and dedication, everything eventually falls into place.


Q: What is your favorite song? A: “Here Comes The

Q: What are some of your favorite places in Philadelphia?

Q: What is your favorite memory from summer 2019?

A: Never stop believing in your-

A: I was born in South Philadel-

ing time together!

school. He was my English teacher and I’m friends with him and his amazing girlfriend Stephanie to this day. He was so creative with his approach and he was just real about everything. He didn’t sugarcoat or try and hide things from us, he was just real and treated us like adults. On top of that, we learned so much and he was always so encouraging of my creativity.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is working on achieving their goals?

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

Q: Do you have any special

A: Dana Tete from Cherry Hill

Philadelphia. I write, arrange and perform R&B/Soul music. I attend The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU Tisch. I love being inspired and creative. Singing was my first love and always will be.

Q: What are your hobbies? A: Writing and performing.

would like to have dinner with. Why?

A: Amy Winehouse. I would love to ask her about her writing process, the experience in recording such iconic records. I would want to know everything.

Q: Tell us about an accomplishment that has made you the most proud.

A: I took a gap year before going to NYU to get my general ed credits out of the way. I moved from Philly to Dallas for high school, but for my gap year, my family and I moved back to Philly. I knew no one my age or anyone in the music scene. I met Drexel kids and they helped me get signed to Drexel’s label. I was gigging and I spent months in their studios making an EP. I started with nothing in Philly and accomplished so much for my music in a year.

going to South Street and of course my grandmother’s house on 6th & Federal.

I’m also a huge movie buff so I watch a lot of films and go to the theater a bunch.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is working on achieving their goals?

Q: Where do you see

Q: What is your favorite song? A: I don’t think I’d be able to

A: Don’t compare yourself.

yourself in 10 years?

A: Running my own food deliv-

decide! The song that made me want to do music is “Hysteric” by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

ery service specializing in the dietary and nutritional needs of people or going into the medical field as a nutritionist.

family like to do together?

Q: Name a teacher who made

A: We like seeing movies together!

Q: What do you and your

October / November / December 2019

Q: What is your favorite memory from summer 2019? A: I went to Austin, Texas for my boyfriend’s birthday in July. He lives there but we just have the best time when we’re there together. One of my favorite cities ever.



TOM LAMAINE From Fighter Jets to Foggy Forecasts

The Sky’s the Limit for this Celebrity Veteran


by MARIA MERLINO ith 50 years in broadcasting, Tom Lamaine’s military service could have easily been overshadowed, but this veteran stands tall. “I’m prouder of the fact that I did serve in the military more than anything that I’ve done, simply because it was a very unpopular time for the military,” Lamaine says. “Not all wars are popular but the Vietnam War was the most unpopular time


and the most difficult time for any military man or woman to serve. We always say ‘Hate the War, but not the Warrior.’ It was a time when lots of people I knew were going out of their way to find ways to avoid the draft. I couldn’t do that. There was no way I was ever going to do that.” Lamaine’s father and his two brothers served in the Pacific in WWII. “My dad’s oldest brother was a Pearl Harbor survivor and I am always amazed at what the men of that generation did in the war. Dad never spoke much about his war experiences until I was in the Navy and then he opened up a little.


To this day, that remains true.” Lamaine says he wanted to use his college degree to get into officer school. He even shared that plan with his parents. One day, a Marine recruiter came to the radio station where he was working and talked him into trying out for Aviation Officer School. “I didn’t think I would qualify. I was a Liberal Arts Major and I shunned the entire math syllabus because I never thought I would need them. In flight school, you do need them. Much to my surprise, I graduated from Flight School in the Navy and I’m very proud of that career, short as it was. It was early on in Vietnam when military

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

personnel were called advisors and support troops because we weren’t officially in the war,” he explained. “That didn’t happen until the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, when two U.S. Naval destroyers were attacked. But at the time, if you were discovered or your aircraft was shot down, you weren’t supposed to be there anyway. By the time Vietnam heated up, my tour was over and I resumed my broadcasting career.” Lamaine has high praise for his flight school instructors and Marine drill instructors for the training and the values that shaped him. “The instructors I had in flight school were every bit as good or better than the professors I had in college. In the words of a Marine drill instructor I had, ‘We’re not going to be able to replicate everything that you’re going to face in combat but what we’re going to teach you to do will make the rest of your life pretty easy.’ And it has.” “Before the Navy, the only thing I flew was a kite!” Lamaine

Take Your Building Supply Shopping Experience to the Next Level! laughs. In just 18 months, he was flying fighter jets. “I still say, ‘How the hell did I do this?’ But when you’re 20-something, you’re able to do a lot of things.” Lamaine anchored weather and sports parttime from 1979 before joining KYW full-time in 1984. Before that, he was an on-air broadcaster for WIP-AM where he also hosted Eagles pre and post game reports. He also broadcast 76ers and Flyers pre and post game TV shows. “We were in a pinch one night. I had already done the 6 o’clock sports when the news director asked me to do the 11 o’clock weather the same night.” ‘As a pilot, you must know something about weather,’ his director said. “Back then, we didn’t have a weather service. The person doing the weather did his own forecasting. “No Accuweather or National Weather Service. I had to do my own forecast,” Lamaine recounts. “Then they asked me to fill in when the guy went on vacation. Eventually, I weaned away from sports and went into weather to finish my career in television. Without the Navy and without them knowing I was an aviator, I would have probably never been asked to do the weather.” Although he does no personal flying today strictly military - he still has a class A ticket with the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels. “I get invited to go up with them and do maneuvers. I’ve also flown with Air Force Thunderbirds and was awarded with a 9G pin when I controlled an aircraft after pulling a 9 gravitational force. Not too many people are able to do that. A 10G can kill you!” Over the years, Lamaine has been supportive of the military. “Any time I can, without a doubt.” He has emceed the Marine Corps Birthday Party at Cookie’s Tavern since its inception more than three decades ago by James “Daddy Wags” Wagner. “To this day, it’s the only public event that recognizes the birthday of the Marine Corps; surprising in that Philadelphia is the birthplace of the Marines. When Daddy Wags came home from serving, he could not believe it was not recognized, so he started one of his own, formalized it and I was happy and honored to carry on that tradition.” Is there a Military Mindset? “I don’t like the military to be a last resort and for many, it is. That’s the reason some of the qualifications and restrictions have been lessened. When the draft was in effect, you got top quality people signing up for the military for duty or careers. I’m very proud to have someone say you must be a military guy. If that shows, I’m thankful.” Tom Lamaine was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia “Hall of Fame” in 2003. He retired from CBS3, KYW-TV in the Spring of 2008 PRH.


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October / November / December 2019








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any people have chosen to nurture a me-me-me mindset but Cole McCafferty enjoys fostering a them-them-them approach, with homeless veterans as the beneficiaries. Through #coleschallenge, the 14-year-old is striving to secure $50,000 for a kitchen that will assist that population in the city’s Fairhill section. “People have so many responsibilities so it’s easy when they’re taking care of those tasks to forget that thousands of other individuals need help,” the St. Joseph’s Preparatory

School freshman says. “I believe it’s right to make those who have served our country and have since fallen on hard times a source for that sort of involvement.” Since late 2017, the adolescent has been aligned with the Veterans Multi-Service Center, which received a hefty donation from him that Christmas season through a GoFundMe page he had started for downtrodden service personnel. Immensely grateful, the site sensed it had a tireless ally and presented him with a challenge— the raising of $50,000 for the Edison 64 Veterans Community building that contains 66 permanent housing units. The undaunted youth, whose hashtagged endeavor also promotes the performance of random acts of kindness, had amassed nearly $20,000 as of early September, with some prestigious backers among his helpers. “I think I have received this support because people are gravitating to the fact that it’s a child who’s showing concern for veterans and because they realize the sacrifices our military makes,” Cole, whose contributors include Philadelphia Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie and Starbucks’ chairman emeritus Howard





| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

Schultz, says. “I wasn’t the most confident person when I began this but I like putting myself out there to help their cause and show that no matter who you are, you can make a difference.” Cole credits his parents Melissa and Brian, and his Catholic education schooling for his abundant compassion. He hopes to meet the Center’s challenge by early next year and loves leading this charge to reduce homelessness among those whose roles could have cost them their lives. “Again, because of busy schedules, it’s easy to take for granted what we have and there are so many who would accept a fraction of our troubles for a chance to have a residence to call their own,” he says of homeless veterans, who, according to a December 2018-issued report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, numbered nearly 38,000 in January of last year. “I’m not exceptional for doing this to help the Center because, I think, it takes very little to give so that others can know we’re thankful that they preserved our freedom.” To contribute to #coleschallenge, contact 267-978-2930 or email PRH



Unveils All New State-of-the-Art Sportsbook by JIM LLEWELLYN, RIVERS CASINO Philadelphia Sportsbook Manager (formerly SugarHouse Casino)


s I write this article in early October, we are days away from opening the all-new $5 million state-of-the-art Sportsbook at Rivers Casino Philadelphia, formerly SugarHouse Casino. We can’t wait for you to see the bigger, better space that includes a huge HD video wall that measures 10.5 feet high and spans more than 56 feet across the room. We can program the monitor to show more than a dozen games at once – which means great views of Eagles, Sixers, Flyers and Phillies games; all the college football and basketball you can handle; soccer; tennis and more! The new Sportsbook, which was designed by DMAC Architecture of Chicago, is a sleek sports lounge featuring club chairs and table seating for approximately 113 guests. At 5,300 sq. ft., it’s nearly three times the size of the previous temporary space and includes eight additional flat-screen 80-inch HD monitors to accompany the video wall. We continue to offer free parking and an envious game day cuisine, complete with a $5 menu featuring burgers, wings and nachos, which are all available on our text-to-order menus. You can have a Geno’s cheesesteak or Tacconelli’s pizza delivered right to your seat without missing Carson Wentz’s next touchdown pass. And when you head to the Wells Fargo Center, you may do a double - or triple-take because the arena has two new sports lounges that have the same look and feel as the casino’s Sportsbook. The Rivers Casino Philadelphia Sports Lounge and Sports Lounge will be our homes away from home. The new hightech lounges are part of a multiyear partnership between the casino,, the Wells Fargo Center and the Philadelphia Flyers. From the arena to the casino, Rivers Casino Philadelphia is already the next big thing in Philly sports! PRH

October / November / December 2019




Out & About by MARIA MERLINO 1.-Labor Leader John J. Dougherty, State Rep. Maria Donatucci & Judicial Candidate David Conroy get ready to march in the 2019 Labor Day parade. 2.-John Dougherty & Ken Adams enjoy the cameraderie of the Labor Day parade. 3.-1st District Councilman Mark Squilla & 6th District Councilman Bobby Henon at the Labor Day parade. 4.-Ken Adams with Judicial Candidates James Crumlish & Josh Roberts. 5.-State Rep. Mike Driscoll & City Commissioners Chairwoman Lisa Deeley believe in the Boilermaker’s Union Local 13 motto, “Working Hands Building America.” 6.-Republican City Council Candidate Matt Wolf, Chairman of the Republican Party PA Laurence Tabas & 55th Republican Ward Leader Chris Vogler at the Republican Clambake. 7.-Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt & Republican City Committee member Camille McColgan. 8.-Longest representative in office - Republican Councilman Brien O’Neill with County Chair of the GOP, Mike Meehan, at the Republican Clambake. 9.-Kathy Steinmetz, Barbara & Paul Steinmetz, Pat Meehan and her son, County Chairman Mike Meehan & Skip Steinmetz. 10.-John Fundus, NY IATSE Representative and VP of Motion Picture Studio Mechanics & Michael Barnes, Business Manager of IATSE Local 8 (Stagehands). 11.-Congressman Brendan Boyle, Rochelle Bilal, who won the Democratic nomination for Philadelphia sheriff and State Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell at IATSE Hall. 12.Ken Adams & Philadelphia City Technician Billy Ivers represent IBEW Local 98 at the Republican Clambake.










| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019





Row Home Remembers  PRH Life

St. Monica School

Smell? What’s that


by Tony Santini

ertain smells can trigger a childhood memory. Specific childhood memories often revolve around scents from our past. Even if we haven’t smelled them in years, they still register in our brain as if we were smelling them directly. Back in the day, if you had a prescription to fill, you headed to any one of the individually owned and operated pharmacies in the neighborhood like Bertolino’s, 12th & Dickinson; Irrera’s, 22nd & Jackson; Buccieri’s, 18th & McKean; Gratz’s, 7th & Mifflin; Sherman’s, Passyunk & Moore; Zevin’s, 8th & McKean. When you walked in, they all had an odor permeating throughout the store. What was that? Iodine? Alcohol? I’m not exactly sure what it was but they all smelled the same. If my memory serves me right, I also recall those establishments had a pharmacist behind the counter who had the same name as the one posted on the sign at the front door. Sure, I can still get my prescriptions filled today at a store in the neighborhood. But there is no Mr. CVS, Ms. Rite-Aid or Mr. Walgreen to converse with on a

regular basis. And what happened to that smell? If I stick with the pharmacy theme, then just mentioning these products should instantly bring the memory of their smell to your brain. Vaseline, Olivo Hair Gel and Vicks Vapo-Rub. Another product scent that sparks memories is talcum powder. As a teenager, I was thrilled to move on from Johnson & Johnson to Showerto-Shower. There was no mistaking that your friend got a fresh haircut if you smelled Clubman Pinaud. If you think fragrances are all the same or don’t leave a lasting impression, then why is it that the nose in my brain can still recall the scent of Aramis, Acqua di Selva and Hai Karate for men; Sweet Honesty, Jean Nate and Musk Oil for women? Certain food smells elicit childhood memories. Fresh-baked pretzels from Federal Pretzel Company on a weekday morning. Fried meatballs and fresh gravy on a Sunday afternoon. A pepper and egg sandwich any time of the day or night. So many smells, so many memories. If you are of a certain age, then the mere mention of the following phrases will bring that smell to mind.

A freshly opened pack of Topps Baseball Cards The inside of a pimple ball Freshly popped popcorn in the movie theater Pine Sol on white marble steps The leather and glue at the shoe repair shop Fresh provolone hanging from a hook at the butcher shop Fresh baked rolls from Tally Ann Bakery The inside jacket of a new record album A new pencil case on the first day of school The orange sawdust they threw on the floor when a student got sick The Old Hickory Distillery when crossing the Walt Whitman Bridge If these phrases do nothing for you, then ask an aunt, uncle or parent for an explanation. In the meantime, I am going to try to find one of my old

grade school nuns or teachers to see if I can borrow their mimeograph machine and print out a few pages. I want to smell that paper once again.


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Junior School:

1720 W. Ritner Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145

Since 1908 Proud of Our Past Committed to Our Future Early Learning Center (Pre-K / ages 3-4) Kindergarten – Grade 8

After school Programs Register today To visit or register, call the Senior School Main Office at 215.467.5338 For information about St. Monica Early Learning Center (ages 3-4), call 215.334.6001 Pastor

Reverend Joseph Kelley Principal

Sister Mary Regina Matulka, IHM Early Learning Center Director

Sister Rosemary Peterson, IHM


October / November / December 2019


Phestival photos by ANDREW ANDREOZZI *




was a proud sponsor of the 6th annual Yo’ South Philly Phestival that kicked the fall season into full gear with its daylong block party style celebration featuring exciting music, fabulous food and hundreds of friendly faces. Phestival ‘Phounder” Dan Vanore of The Business said the event is his way of bringing people together to showcase the talent of local musicians and entertainers. Special guest Charlie Gracie joined The Business in the lineup that included DJ Johnny Looch, Benny Marsella, Carmine Yusko, Gabby Delisi, Justin Gonzalez, Retro 5, Tony Mecca & the Heavy Mental Gypsies, The E.G. Band, Felicia Punzo & Sugar Rush Rocks. Special guests included King Arthur, Johnny Pompo & Paige Romano.




| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

PRH Life


15 years of experience as a full time realtor working throughout the Philly area with a network of incredible clients. Most of my business is “Word of Mouth” from past very satisfied clients. My “Hands On” approach sets me apart - taking fewer clients at a time ensures that you have my undivided attention throughout the entire Buying and Selling process. EIGHT Time Winner “Five Star Professional” as seen in Philadelphia Magazine.

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October / November / December 2019


PRH Holiday Gift List  PRH Life

Add these top picks to your Wine Gift List Or learn to make your own custom blend There is no better way to welcome the

fall season than to make your own wine. Grab yourself a partner and let the fun begin. There is something special about creating your own personally concocted beverage that is meant to be shared and enjoyed with your family and friends. As the saying goes, the pleasure you have making wine is only second to sharing it. Some of my most memorable times have been enjoy-

ing a glass of wine with my family and close friends. So go out and give it a try! In past articles, I have given step-by-step instructions on winemaking. However, sometimes you may need to learn firsthand. I would be more than happy to help anyone interested in making their first batch of wine. If interested, I can be reached by email: …and remember “Never save your good wine for tomorrow!”

Wine Recommendations ❚❙❘ WHITE WINES


STERLING Pinot Grigio* $14


LES FONTANELLES Chardonnay $12


CHATEAU GABARON Bordeaux Blanc $10






*Great Holiday Gifts …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.


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

PRHLIFE Market Money

eGift Cards support


local Italian Market launches first-of-its-kind eCards

by Brenda Hillegas


he South 9th Street Italian Market Business Association recently announced the launch of their new mobile community gift card. It’s the first of its type in Pennsylvania and supports the mission to develop new and progressive ways to enhance the shopping experience at the Italian Market. The card promotes local shopping, dining and gifting in our community. “9th St. Market Money” is an eGift Card that’s accepted in nearly 30 shops and restaurants throughout the shopping district! This is an easy and fun way to keep local

spending with local merchants. The card is also great for the holiday season. You can send it to family, friends and colleagues via email, text or printed. Recipients can choose to use it at one of the participating merchants in the shopping district or mix it up and spend it at multiple locations. “We are thrilled to participate in this innovative program on the Market. It is simple and easy to use and we are ready to welcome new customers into our market!” said Domenick Crimi, Business Association President and GM at Cappuccio’s Meats.

munity through a combination of profits paid to local owners, wages paid to local workers, goods and services procured locally for internal use or resale, and charitable giving within the community. For more information or to participate as a merchant in the program, contact the S. 9th St. Business Association at 9thStEC@gmail. com or visit the Italian Market Visitor Center & Gift Shop at 919 S. 9th St. on the Italian Market.

Local companies have already expressed interest in using the Market Money for employee rewards, customer appreciation and marketing. “It’s a great way to “give back” to our community,” said Anthony Anastasio, 4th generation owner of Anthony’s Italian Coffee House, who purchased the very first eGift Card to include in their September fundraising event. “We value the opportunity to reinvest in the community where we live, work and play, rather than awarding gift cards that leave the region.” By supporting local businesses, more money circulates in the com-

Purchase your Market Money cards at or the visitor center.

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October / November / December 2019


PRH Life

St. Paul’s Church


Businesses & Blessings go hand-in-hand


by Maria Merlino ather John Large, Pastor of St. Paul’s Parish, and Anthony Anastasio, a 4th generation family business member and owner of Anthony’s Italian Coffee and Chocolate House, are working together to keep the traditions of the Italian Market alive. Father Large traces those traditions of mutual support way back to 1843. Fr. Patrick F. Sheridan, the Church’s first pastor, wanted St. Paul’s to be located close to a business

district so his parishioners could find jobs. In return, a thriving community would support the Church. Fast-forward 175 years and the idea still is viable. “Our pastor is our spiritual advisor and also has a seat on the Board,” Anastasio says. “We work together to try to promote our area, our business district. Part of that is realizing the significance our Church plays in the community,” he says. “It’s vitally important to us we continue the traditions that were established by our ancestors, specifically how the market and the Church work together along with the community.” One of those mainstay traditions is the Procession of Saints. Every year, St. Paul’s Church coordinates the parade of beloved statues through the neighborhood streets as part of the parish’s annual May celebration. This time honored event occurs


simultaneously with the Italian Market Festival, marking two of the community’s most cherished rituals. “Unfortunately, the Church is very old and in need of repair,” Anastasio laments. “They started a capital campaign to repair the buildings but there was a shortfall. We, as a business community, came to the Church and offered our assistance in securing and raising funds. One of the ways is the Give Back Wednesday Fund.” As a pilot program, merchants donate a portion of sales to the Church on certain months. In May and June of this year, businesses raised $4,000. While the Church has many followers who live in the neighborhood, many may not be shopping and supporting the small businesses, Anastasio explains. They are missing out on the chance to participate in

unique events the businesses sponsor for the community like the Back from the Shore Festival Dinner. “They may be more familiar with national names,” he adds, referring to the chain stores that are popping up on the outskirts of the neighborhood. But the Church promotes the local shopping district and aims to create and build on the relationships it establishes. “The newer people moving into the neighborhood may not understand this so we try to explain the importance of supporting the local businesses. It’s tough. We use social media and mass e-mailings to keep the community engaged and build friendships and relationships.” Those relationships include supporting the Church, he says. “The Churches are the cornerstones of the communities. You seldom hear of a closed Church that has re-opened.” “St. Paul’s has room for 500, yet each Mass has only a hundred people who show up,” Father Large says. But he is on a mission to bring more people through the doors of this historic landmark. “There are parishioners who are greeters before Mass. I walk through

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

and shake hands with the new members and learn their names. After Holy Communion, we all shake hands with them to welcome them.” Fr. Large says the Church greets new parishioners with welcome packets when they register with his Parish. Materials include information about the Church, the neighborhood and the local businesses that line the historic Italian Market corridor. Those packets may even include coupons and discounts from nearby restaurants and shops. In addition to monetary contributions to St. Paul’s, Father Large is looking for donations of time. “We have socials and we invite guests to bring a friend. We have Men’s Bible Study, a Rosary night, Advent activities and potlucks.” Fr. Large says he is always fine-tuning his Sunday sermons, too. “If people are going to give up an hour and a half of their time on Sunday, I want to give them something they can take with them during the week. When you come to Church, if you want to cry, you cry. If you want to laugh, you laugh. It’s something to carry through the week…the inspiration that helps interpret spiritual feelings.” PRH




WE STAND BY OUR WORK tel : 917-300-8343


by Matt Kelchner larry fine by David McShane photo by Steve Weinik

outh Street - one of Philadelphia’s most famous streets. While its heydays may be behind it, there are still a number of incredible and beloved landmarks to cherish. Whether it’s Jim’s, the Magic Gardens or the TLA, there’s a little something for everyone. Creativity is no stranger here with unique art galleries sandwiched between shops and restaurants. Watching over the busy city blocks like it’s his kingdom rises the most memorable of The Three Stooges, Larry Fine. Located near his birthplace at 3rd and South, a larger than life mural of Fine looms above Jon’s Bar and Grille, close to where he was born. Between the wiry hair, squirrely expression and the black and yellow target-like background, it can’t be missed! Born Louis Feinberg in 1902, Fine grew up just off South Street and attended Central High School. In addition to making people laugh, he also played the violin and even squared up opponents as a boxer. Despite the fame that grew out of The Three Stooges, Fine’s connection to Philadelphia was relatively unknown. Thanks to one of the local newspapers, this would all change in the year 1999.

The movement to honor and recognize Larry Fine came from The Philadelphia Weekly (RIP) in the beginning of the year. Over the course of the next few months, several fundraisers were held to help raise money. The city’s division of public art, the Mural Arts Program, stepped in to link up with artist David McShane to create what would come to be the original Larry Fine Mural at the corner of 3rd and South. Later that year in October, the site would be formally dedicated to Fine. The original design featured a black and white close up of Fine in one of his iconic looks, behind a wall painted in an alternating black and yellow target-like pattern. Six years later McShane would revisit South Street to give the mural a new look, the one we have today. It displays Fine playing the violin, staring off to the surrounding block. From decade to decade, South Street has taken on many different lives. It has always had a distinct character to both locals and tourists. The quirkiness is apparent everywhere you look and one cannot help to think that Fine, sitting atop a perch above his birthplace, is watching over to make sure that kind of spirit does not fade away. PRH


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October / November / December 2019

Looking for a local doctor?

Start here  PRH Life


Dr. Mark Testa opens new office On-site testing and treatment focus on patient wellness & convenience


fter more than 20 years of practicing family medicine in South Philadelphia, Dr. Mark Testa announced the opening of his new facility at 2208 S. Broad Street, where he will focus on Internal Medicine and provide patients with a wide range of healthcare services from the convenience of his office.

From flu shots to on-site cardiovascular imaging, Dr. Testa said he looks forward to offering a wide array of diagnostic and preventive care services tailored to a patient’s individual needs. Q: Why did you decide to open a new office space? A: After 25 years of practicing medicine with my former partner, I decided it was time for me to start my own practice so that I may better construct the operation in a way that is optimal for patient care. One aspect of this better treatment model is a focus on risk stratification and prevention of cardiovascular disease and obtaining a complete analysis of our patients’ overall health. Q: What are some highlights of your new location?


A: Conveniently located near Methodist Hospital and centrally located in South Philadelphia, it is ideally situated to serve the South Philadelphia community. We will have state-of-theart equipment, real time testing and an extremely friendly staff dedicated to your health needs. Q: What can patients expect when they walk into your office? A: A friendly staff, caring clinical staff and responsiveness in all areas of patient care. You should also expect a comprehensive workup which will enable us to get a snapshot of your current health needs and make fully informed clinical decisions. Most importantly, you will be greeted by the same friendly staff and treated by the same doctor every visit to ensure continuity of care.

Q: The focus of your new Practice is on Internal Medicine. What services will you offer? A: We will offer comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services ranging from flu shots to cardiovascular imaging right in our office. You will be able to get a full workup including phlebotomy (blood draw), electrocardiogram (EKG) and your normal vitals (height, weight, etc.) in one visit. This enables us to get a complete picture of your overall health and prescribe medications, treatments and recommendations that are narrowly tailored to fit your individual health needs. Q: What are some things we can do at home to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease? A: Focus on having a balanced diet, while also engaging in 15 minutes of cardio activity per day. A combination of a balanced diet and exercise is important for your cardiovascular health. If you are elderly and/or unable to exercise regularly, it is important for you to seek a physician to ascertain your current cardiovascular health and recommend any combination

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

of medications and diet in order for you to maintain your heart health. Q: What will patients remember most about your Practice? A: Our focus is to give patients increased access to a physician and overall care. We take pride in our ability to see our patients timely and take the best possible care of them. We do this through increased focus on cardiovascular disease prevention through imaging and treatment programs. We work closely with all specialists to coordinate your care and make sure it is integrated between your Primary Care Doctor (us) and your Specialists in order to achieve the optimal level of care and treatment plans. This is our focus and I believe it is an essential part of our practice that distinguishes us from many Internal Medicine practices in this area. Contact Information Mark Testa, DO 2208 S. Broad Street (Broad & Jackson Sts.) Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.309.3222


October / November / December 2019

Brighten stained teeth with whitening, bonding or veneers ❱❱ Repair worn or broken teeth with crowns or veneers ❱❱ Restore teeth with strong tooth colored fillings ❱❱ Replace missing teeth with a dental bridge ❱❱ Permanently replace missing teeth with dental implants Voted Top Dentists in South Philadelphia Keeping you smiling for over 30 years

Call t patie oday — nts w n elcomew e!



cosmsultation etic p roceds for ures

Drs. Steven A. Moskowitz and Kenneth S. Donahue invite you to make an appointment for a whiter, healthier smile.

1517 Packer Ave, Philadelphia (Across from Chickie’s & Pete’s) 215.462.2424


NOT ALL PAIN is created equal

Courtesy of Paul DeLuca, DPT Pennsport Physical Therapy

Listen to your body


Not all injuries occur as a result of trauma. It’s easy to ignore symptoms and continue to push through our daily routines. When normal everyday activity becomes difficult and quality of life decreases, speaking with your doctor about physical therapy treatment can be the first step towards regaining your freedom.

Participate in your treatment plan

Not all pain is created equal

When you attend your first session and are evaluated, don’t be afraid to ask questions and discuss your expectations with your physical therapist. Every person is different and the mores specific your goals are, the better your program will be tailored to you.

Be consistent

Be ready to feel some occasional discomfort throughout the process. Muscle soreness and tenderness from exercise and treatment are normal. Your therapist will be able to guide you through what you should expect along the way.

You get out what you put in. Consistency will help decrease symptoms, build muscle and return you to your favorite activities much faster. Different injuries will require different frequency of treatment.

It doesn’t end when you go home Follow your physical therapist’s recommended home program. Whether it’s during your period of treatment or after you are discharged from their care. This will provide the best chance for short and long term success.

Pennsport Physical Therapy is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.

Jefferson Health’s location at the Navy Yard has added even more services to better serve your primary and specialty care needs: •










Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

• •

Gastroenterology Mammography

• •

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Physical Therapy/ Occupational Therapy

Primary Care


Otolaryngology (ENT)

Sleep Medicine

Pain Management



October / November / December 2019



In the Philadelphia Navy Yard! Francis S. Matarazzo, DDS Anita M. Milici, DMD

Drs. Matarazzo & Milici have been creating healthy, beautiful smiles for patients from the Main Line to the Jersey Shore. Both doctors have dual-specialty training from the University of Pennsylvania’s elite Periodontal Prosthesis Program. Their team is dedicated to ensuring a warm and personal experience. •Cosmetic Dentistry: Veneers. Zoom! and KÖR Whitening. Porcelain Restoration. •Periodontics: Laser Therapy (LANAP). Gum Sculpting & Grafting. •Implantology. Surgical Placement & Restorative. 3-D Radiology. •Invisalign Orthodontics •Sedation/Sleep Dentistry


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019





id you spend summer days worshipping the golden globe in the sky? Did you forget to use a 30+ SPF sunscreen and wear a hat? Is that person in the mirror who looks so old really you? Skin is an organ. The largest organ of the body. It is a vital living entity. Skin consists of three layers. The outer layer (epidermis) provides a waterproof shield and gives our skin its tone. The middle layer (dermis) is composed of tough connective tissue, hair follicles and sweat glands. The deepest layer of the skin (hypodermis) is made of fat and connective tissue. Our skin has many functions. It protects our body against harmful bacteria and prevents us from losing excessive amounts of water. Skin provides insulation for our deeper organs and helps us regulate body temperature. The sun gives off ultraviolet rays that can lead to skin damage and cause sunburn. Over time, these rays can lead to wrinkles, dark spots and other signs of skin damage. Research shows that 80 percent of the skin’s aging is directly related to the sun. And YOU spend a summer adoring this monster!

Vampire Facial

Summer is over. It is time to make your skin the best that it can be. A Vampire can make your skin feel alive again! Don’t let the name fool you. This procedure can be done in daylight! A Vampire facial uses your own platelets and plasma to regenerate skin and promote collagen growth. This facial actually rejuvenates the deepest layer of the skin. A tube of blood is drawn (from your arm) and is spun down to separate platelets and plasma. Very tiny “micro” needles create channels in the skin. Platelet rich plasma can be infused into the skin through the needles and massaged into the surrounding areas. For maximum benefit, plasma is massaged into the skin over the next 24 hours. A day or two of a “sunburned” look and you will be rewarded with glowing, healthy skin.



Are vampires and blood a bit scary? Then “Fillers” may be right for you. The sun is not the only menace to skin. The aging process causes skin to lose volume. Aging plus sun damage causes collagen loss. The results are wrinkles, sagging and lip thinning. Hyaluronic acid based gels can fill in deep wrinkles and plump up lips and enhance cheeks. These products are injected directly into problem areas. Fillers do not affect facial movement. The injections are easily tolerated and side effects are limited to minor bruising or redness at the injection site.


When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Tiny lines around your eyes? Wrinkles between your eyebrows? An angry look? Years of squinting or frowning can cause skin to furrow and crease. As you age, the skin becomes less elastic so frown lines remain even when you are relaxed. Neurotoxins may be the answer you are looking for. Neurotoxins – medications that include Botox, Dysport, Newtox – are injected into the problem area with a very tiny needle and reduce the muscle activity. Your face will not look “frozen.” You will still be able to frown or look surprised – minus the wrinkles!

Schedule a Skin Evaluation

Are you unsure of what (if any) procedure is right for you? Our office offers consultation with experts in skin evaluation. In addition, we have a Reveal machine that enables you to look into layers of your skin and determine if the sun has caused deep damage. A consult and evaluation will help you choose the skin treatment that is right for you. We at the Professional Aesthetics & Wellness Center invite you to drop by for a consult. We are offering some fall specials that are too good to refuse! We look forward to seeing our old friends and making lots of new friends, soon! PRH

Harness the healing power of your own platelets Youthful skin is in your BLOOD!!!


$50 OFF


Dr. Richard Dittrich and Professional Aesthetics & Wellness Center are members of the Philadelphia RowHome Magazine (PRH) Business Network.

CALL TODAY (215) 465-9600 1315 Wolf St. Philadelphia, PA 19148

October / November / December 2019




Relationship Banking Defined Your banker knows you by name ACCOUNTABLE TO CUSTOMERS for life Competent staff who care Great rates, Good Products & No Gimmicks






Ready to remodel your bathroom?

why & how to get started




.com Philadelphia Offices 1510 Packer Ave. 215-467-4300

Broad & Passyunk Ave. 215-389-5500

732 South 10th St. 215-923-8490




2535 West Chester Pike 610-325-8800

301 Baltimore Pike 610-544-9090

35 E. Baltimore Ave. 610-627-0100

New construction in Margate

317 N. Argyle Ave.

Located in the lovely Brunswick Gardens neighborhood of Margate, yet close to the beach and Ventnor boardwalk.

• 5 bedrooms, 4 baths. Completed and ready to move in.

New price


Robin “the Realtor” Mitchell Certified New Home Specialist BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors Margate Office 9218 Ventnor Ave. Margate, NJ

Office: 609-822-4200 Direct: 609-487-5013 Cell: 215-266-8334

why �� A remodeled bathroom will increase the value of your home. �� A remodeled bathroom will improve the style & function of this essential space. �� A remodeled bathroom will provide you with serious personal satisfaction once your project is complete.

how Establish a design plan. This plan will detail exactly how your remodeled bathroom will look and function focusing on key elements like lighting, flooring, fixtures and functionality. Should your toilet, sink or tub be relocated? Should you exchange your tub for a shower stall? How will you accent your remodeled room? Paint, tile, wood trim, accessories. Are you ready to commit the time and energy needed to take on this task? Or should you enlist the help of a professional designer like Fetterman Design Group to help you craft the details and functionality you seek. Hiring a designer has plenty of other perks, too. Your design team will be your personal shoppers both online and in stores. They will order, arrange for delivery and oversee every aspect of

your remodel project to complete things on time and on target! Set a realistic budget. Keep in mind that you may need to scale back or eliminate some elements in your initial design plan to stay within the budget you set for the project. Give yourself some wiggle room in case you run into any unforeseen glitches (rusted pipes, leaks). It’s always best to plan ahead. Satisfaction guaranteed. Your designer’s main goal is to make sure you are completely satisfied with your finished project. Communicate. From the initial consult on, communicate exactly what you like and don’t like about every detail of your project. Prioritize your wish list. Do you want a larger sink or will a new coat of paint and updated hardware refresh your existing vanity. Effective communication, early and often, leads to a seamless and successful remodel minus the stress! If you need help with your home design needs, contact Cindy and Jackie at Fetterman Design Group, 856.264.6816. Fetterman Design Group is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network. 44

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019


Team In Our Market

Center City South Team

Michael Giuda & Mario Tropea Jr., have built the Center City South Team into a top producing real estate team. Having a strong passion and drive for all aspects of real estate, Center City South Team With Keller Williams has a very impressive and accomplished resume, with an outstanding reputation. With their established and reputable career, you can trust you are in the best of hands. Their knowledge, connections and enthusiasm will ensure a seamless and successful real estate experience.

Michael Giuda Office 215-227-3333 Mobile 215-783-3697 Email

Mario Tropea Jr Office 215-389-2222 Fax 215-389-0337 Mobile 215-783-3698 Email

Philly Dream Homes



On the Block Renaissance Estates Top quality new construction in Packer Park nears completion

Barbara Capozzi and Frank Scaramuzza are proud to present Renaissance Estates, (14) high-quality custom homes in Packer Park. Foundations, pilings, new underground utilities and stormwater protection are close to completion. Settlements due Spring 2020.

SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDED IN BASE PRICE! 3,200 square feet Full 10-year Tax Abatement Lower level 2-car garage 5-Stop elevator Sub Zero / Wolf appliances Porcelanosa kitchen cabinets, flooring, tile Dual Zone HVAC Andersen 440 Windows Interior sprinkler system Ample sound insulation Large roof deck & much more!


4th Floor. Full master suite with deck, large bedroom & luxurious bathroom, ample closets 3rd Level. 2 large bedrooms with their own full baths, full laundry room, more closets 2nd Level. Entertainment area featuring large open kitchen with deck, dining area, large living room 1st Level. Spacious living room, powder room, closet, 2-car garage Lower Level. Large window, 4th bedroom or ample den or playroom All floors accessible via spacious elevator


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019


Lot selections are taking place now with ample opportunity to select cabinetry, flooring and tile finishes. Or upgrade from the alreadycustom options included in the base price.


These homes are designed by Landmark Architects. Anthony Valenti, Design Builders, is onsite Project Manager. Together, we are constructing large, state-of-the-art, contemporary Center City style homes with the huge PLUS of being located in suburban Packer Park – the safest, greenest, most convenient community in the city.


Exterior structures are being built off-site, indoors, by Blueprint Robotics, so weather conditions do not compromise the completion of these homes at all, ever! Once finished off-site, homes are delivered with floor systems, exterior waterproof sheathing, some interior walls and full service electrical, plumbing, fire protection and dual zone HVAC, plus gorgeous Anderson 400 Series windows. Homes are delivered as a watertight package. While brick and facade work starts on the outside, all interior customization begins. This is top-quality construction that also respects our existing neighbors by cutting way down on noise, dirt and length of on-site construction.



1325 Snyder Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19148 tel: (215) 755-9050 email: WWW.LANDMARKAIA.COM

RENAISSANCE ESTATES • Full 10 Year Tax Abatement • 3000+ Sq Ft.


Packer Park is minutes from Philadelphia International Airport, I-95, the Walt Whitman Bridge and a short walk to the Sports Complex. More importantly, these homes are located right up the block from historic FDR Park – 350 acres of Olmstead-designed nature that includes tennis, golf, skateboarding, walking trails, a playground and more! This lovely gem of green space will undergo a $300 million renovation over the next 8 years, further enhancing its spectacular natural assets and wildlife preserves while adding amenities like cafes, a Hospitality Center, larger playgrounds, Restrooms, Observation Hill and improved sports fields. Stay tuned for updates on both of these desired Developments that will further enhance our community.


• 2 Car Garage • 5 - Stop Elevator Included • Lower Level & Roof Deck w/ 4 floors of luxury in between • Reserve your lot now & start Customizing your new home.


• SUBZERO / WOLF Appliances

Check in often at our website,

• PORCELANOSA Cabinets, Flooring, Tile

Email Barbara Capozzi at bcapozzi@ to learn more.

.... and so much more

Please email

BCAPOZZI@KW.COM for further info

3320 S. 20th St

October / November / December 2019





Q: Can you be charged with

a DUI if you use CBD oils you buy at a corner store? My friend smokes the oils and said he failed a DUI test because he tested positive for marijuana. No, a person can’t be charged with DUI as a result of using CBD oil legally purchased in a store because over-the-counter CBD is made from Hemp not marijuana. Hemp-based CBD is legal and contains less than .3% of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana that produces the “high” sensation. CBD oil made from marijuana is not sold over-the-counter and can only be purchased in a medical marijuana dispensary or illegally on the street. If your friend was charged with a DUI as a result of CBD oil consumption, he did not purchase it at a corner store.



Construction & Improvements LLC Licensed and Insured

215-669-7248 215-260-0748 48

It forces people to pay the tax at the time of sale, as opposed to at the end of the year when you file your NJ state return, at a rate of 8.9% of the profit or 2% of the selling price, whichever is higher. It was enacted to stop people who move out of the state from not paying their taxes on income earned from the sale of a property.

Q: Can credit card com-

panies put a lien against my property if I can’t pay them? I thought unsecured debt can’t be attached as a lien. Credit card companies are getting very aggressive with collection of credit card debt. They are now filing suit against the cardholder and obtaining a judgment. The judgment then becomes a lien against the cardholder until paid.


Q: What is NJ Exit Tax? I am

Frank C. DePasquale, Esq., is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.


Once again, Frank DePasquale has been recognized by his peers as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for 2019. He heads DePasquale Law Offices, 2332-34 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145. P: 215.755.4410. Email him at or visit

a senior citizen and my daughter wants me to move back to Philly. A friend said I have to pay an exit tax if I sell my house & move out of the state. It is a misnomer and not a tax on moving out of the state. It is a flat tax on the profit from the sale of a property in New Jersey.

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019


Brand New 3-story Townhomes with Garages starting at $475,900 Invest in a unique and luxurious lifestyle in Packer Park, one of Philadelphia’s most desirable neighborhoods, with its own fusion of style, culture and personality. Sports and entertainment venues are nearby, and great restaurants and FDR Park are right around the corner.

New Phase Now Open!

Where else will you get this much space, your own private driveway, 9’ ceilings, a private balcony, a gourmet kitchen with stainless steel GE® appliances, hardwood floors, and great views of the Philadelphia skyline?

Ask About Quick Delivery Homes!


SALES CENTER LOCATION: 2300 Hartranft Street Philadelphia, PA 19145

215.339.5390 |

DECORATED MODELS OPEN: Mon, Thurs thru Sat: 11 AM-5 PM Sunday: 12-5 PM

Broker cooperation is warmly invited and appreciated.

All prices and features subject to change without notice. Please see sales associate for details.



Now’s the time to tune up your

SNOW BLOWER courtesy of


Chief Administrative Officer, Allied Universal

During the winter months, you can count on unpredictable weather patterns. Follow these tips for handling heavy snow, icy roads, strong winds, rain and extreme cold. These conditions could cause property damage and put lives at risk. Knowing what to do in a winter weather emergency is the best protection for your safety and security.

❚P revent Flooding

Inspect your home or property to identify potential water intrusions. Give attention to gutters, altering rooflines and keep sandbags ready. View FEMA’s extensive section on floodproofing.

❚D riving During Severe Weather

Avoid it and other methods of travel until conditions improve, if possible. Listen to weather reports for the latest conditions and always allow for extra time to reach your destination. Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area. Wear your seat belt and keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up. Know how your vehicle handles the ice and snow: Does it skid quickly? Pull to the left? Have touchy brakes? Drive slower than the posted speed limit and leave plenty of room to stop, which is about three times more space than usual. Keep your headlights on and clean to increase visibility. Brake gently to avoid skidding and if your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake. Never use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads, and be especially careful driving on bridges, which tend to freeze quickly. Make sure your windshield is clean and your wipers are in good working order. Tie a brightly colored cloth to the vehicle’s exterior if you get stranded. Move anything you need from the trunk into the passenger area and stay awake. Keep your body temperature up by wrapping yourself in extra clothing and run the vehicle heater for about 10 minutes every hour, ensuring you keep a window slightly open. Prepare emergency kits for your office, home

and vehicle. Items to include: ice scraper, jumper cables, battery-powered radio, road flares, oil, antifreeze, first aid kit, gloves, blanket, fuses, flashlight and batteries, screwdrivers, pliers,wrench, tire inflator, rags, paper towels, duct tape, pocketknife, pen/ paper, any personal medications, additional outerwear, waterproof footwear, matches, snacks or energy bars and bottled water.

❚D uring a Storm

Only use fireplaces or wood stoves if they are properly vented to the outside. Do not use extension cords to plug in space heaters and never leave them unattended. Never use a charcoal or gas grill indoors. Do not leave lit candles unattended; use flashlights or lanterns instead of candles, if possible. Leave all water taps slightly open so they drip. Open cabinet doors underneath the kitchen sink to improve air circulation near pipes.

❚A fter a Storm

Check ceilings and exterior/interior walls for any leaks, stains or cracks, and seal any you find. Protect your building’s pipes from freezing—locate the turnoff valve and drain the lines, protect spigots with Styrofoam attachments and wrap rubber sleeves over pipes. Have your chimney or flue inspected yearly. Clean out all of your gutters and drains to ensure water can move freely through them. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test the batteries every month. Insulate walls, attic and any water lines that run along the outer walls. Caulk and weather-strip your doors and windows; install storm windows or cover them with plastic from the inside. Contact an HVAC professional for a furnace inspection and change your furnace filters monthly. Service your weather-specific equipment: drain gas from lawn mowers, tune-up snow blowers, replace worn shovels and buy bags of ice-melt or sand. Trim any branches that hang close to the building or electrical wires.

Ron Rabena, Allied Universal, is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network.


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019




A flavorful, dry-rubbed pork with Frangelico cream sauce and apple chutney side


➜ Pork Tenderloin, 2 lbs. ➜ 1 tsp. cinnamon ➜ 1/2 c. sugar ➜2 tbsp. butter ➜➜ 2 tbsp. butter ➜➜ 1 oz. Frangelico ➜➜ 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced ➜ 1/2 c. sun-dried cranberries ➜➜ 1/4 c. toasted chopped wal-

hazelnut liqueur ➜ 1 c. heavy cream

Apple Chutney

nuts (optional) ➜ Pinch cloves ➜ 2 tbsp. butter + 1 tbsp. butter ➜ 1 tbsp. honey ➜➜ 1 tsp. brown sugar ➜ Pinch salt

TO MAKE HARVEST PORK Melt the butter and brush onto the pork. Mix cinnamon and sugar. Roll buttered pork in the sugar mix. Spray a non-stick sauté pan with Pam or other coating and heat on medium high. Place the pork in the pan and sauté 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from heat. Place on a non-stick baking pan and let rest for about 10 minutes.

215-336-3557 800-248-3557

➜ Pinch salt ➜ Pinch white pepper ➜ Pinch black pepper ➜ 2 oz. apple cider ➜ 1 oz. cranberry juice ➜ 1/2 tsp. cinnamon ➜ Cornstarch to thicken, if needed

Now place the sautéed pork into a 350 degree oven. Set the timer for 20-25 minutes (inside temperature should be 145 degrees on a meat thermometer). Once the pork is done, remove from oven and allow to rest for 2-3 minutes before cutting.


Melt butter in pre-heated sauté pan, medium-high heat. Add FranMelt butter in saucepan, mediumgelico liqueur – be careful of flame. high heat. Add apple bits, stir and Add heavy cream, salt and pepper, cook 6-8 minutes until tender. Add stir. Reduce heat to medium. Simcranberries. Cook 2-3 minutes. Add mer 2-3 minutes to reduce. Finish honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, with a pat of butter. Stir. Remove cloves, salt and pepper. Reduce heat from heat once butter has melted. and cook 3-4 minutes. Add cider PRESENTATION and cranberry juice. Simmer until Spoon chutney onto the plate. reduced to desired consistency. Slice the pork and lay sevAdd walnuts (optional). Add final pat of butter. Simmer and stir until eral slices in a fan shape. Drizzle pork with Frangelico sauce. butter melts. Remove from heat.



PRH Signature Wine Pairing by Vincent Novello La Reserve Malbec $13


1921 South Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19148


Harvest Pork

Frangelico Sauce


Andreozzi Photography


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

October / November / December 2019




THE SEVEN FISHES When food brings family together by RACHEL PORTER 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 & Vincent “Three generations; a 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


he Feast of the Seven Fishes, also known as The Eve, is a popular meal celebrated by Italian-Americans on Christmas Eve. Families get together during this joyous time and feed off the good fortune each fish provides. For Janet Anastasi, fourth-generation co-owner of Anastasi Seafood in Philly’s Italian Market, she gets to watch families come together for this traditional meal and wish for good luck. “One of the most fascinating things I get to see are customers’ grandparents and kids, and their kid’s kids. Maybe they only come around once a year but they get to celebrate their own seven fishes,” Anastasi says. Christmas is a really special time for her family, dating back to when Anastasi was a kid and watched her grandma prepare the traditional dinner. “I’d ask her ‘Why always make eels for grandpa? Gram, why make the calamari? The baccala?’”

Anastasi grew up surrounded by fish, not just at holiday dinners. Her family has owned Anastasi Seafood for almost a century. As time passed, Anastasi’s brother, Salvatore, took over the business when he was a teenager and eventually, she also joined full-time. On Christmas Eve, the restaurant, bar and fish market stay open until 6 pm. After they close for the night, the Anastasi siblings head home to celebrate with immediate family. Their traditions continue on as the family grows and evolves. Now, it’s Anastasi’s sister-in-law who prepares the seven fishes. “We believe [the seven fishes] bring good luck to us because we feel the love that’s associated with the holiday,” Anastasi said. Anastasi Seafood offers a full bar and food menu, as well as catering and take-out. Food and beer delivery are also available via their website or PRH

Photo by Andrew Andreozzi


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

DIRECTIONS In a microwave-safe heatproof bowl, heat wine until steaming (alternatively, heat wine on the stovetop in a small saucepan). Add raisins and saffron, if using. Set aside. In a small skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add ground fennel and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add breadcrumbs and cook, tossing, until lightly toasted. Transfer breadcrumbs to a bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Mince half the fennel fronds and reserve the other half whole. In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add diced onion and diced fennel bulb and cook, stirring, until onion and fennel are soft and tender, about 8 minutes. Add anchovy fillets and cook, stirring, until dissolved in the oil. Add wine, raisins and saffron, and cook, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan, until wine is almost entirely evaporated. Add pine nuts and sardines and cook,

stirring, until sardines are just barely cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente, then drain, reserving at least 1 cup pasta cooking water. Transfer pasta to skillet along with 1/4 cup pasta cooking water. Return skillet to medium-high heat and cook, stirring and tossing, until pasta is well coated in sauce and any excess liquid has cooked off. Drizzle on some fresh olive oil (don’t be shy) along with the minced fennel fronds, and toss well. Season with salt. Add a very small handful of bread crumbs and toss once more. If at any point the pasta becomes too dry, add additional pasta cooking water in 1/4-cup increments, and toss to loosen and moisten (you can also drizzle on more olive oil as desired). The noodles should be slick and glossy with a sheen of sauce, but not sitting in a watery puddle. Divide pasta into serving bowls, making sure to distribute sardines, pine nuts and raisins evenly. Top with a more generous handful of breadcrumbs. Garnish with fennel fronds and serve right away.


Pasta con


➜ 1/2 cup dry white wine ➜ 1 1/2 ounces golden raisins (about 1/4 cup) ➜ Pinch saffron, optional ➜ 4 1/2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil, divided, plus more as needed ➜ 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed ➜ 1 1/4 ounces panko bread crumbs (about 1/2 cup) ➜ Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

October / November / December 2019

➜ 1 cup minced peeled and cored fennel bulb (about half of one large 1 1/2-pound fennel bulb with fronds), fronds reserved ➜ 1 cup minced yellow onion (about half of one large 1-pound onion) ➜ 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets ➜ 1 1/4 ounces pine nuts (about 1/4 cup), toasted ➜ 5 whole sardines (about 3/4 lb.), filleted and cut into 1-inch pieces ➜ 1 pound bucatini or spaghetti



chokes ➜8 cups chicken stock ➜1 /2 cup white wine ➜ J uice of 2 lemons

INGREDIENTS ➜4 tablespoons extra

virgin olive oil ➜4 cloves chopped garlic ➜1 medium chopped onion ➜2 cups Panko bread


➜1 /2 cup grated

parmesan cheese

➜2 tablespoons fresh parsley

➜1 /2 cup pancetta

DIRECTIONS Cut artichoke stems and tips of leaves. Remove center leaves and scoop out the center choke with teaspoon. Rub lemon juice to prevent choke from browning. In a saucepan, heat oil, garlic and onion until golden brown. Add pancetta. Allow mixture to cool, stir in bread crumbs, grated cheese and parsley. Place artichokes in a baking dish, stuff center and around all the leaves with mixture. Pour in the white wine and chicken stock. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 for 90 minutes. Cooking is complete when leaves pull off easily. Serves 4.




PRH Signature Wine Pairing by Vincent Novello Sterling Pinot Grigio $14


1909 East Passyunk Avenue Philadelphia, Pa. 267.319.1678

n o i r r e s t a u r a n t a n d b a r . c o m 54

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019



Deli l Catering l Gift Baskets

215.463.9666 | 215.463.4975 Fax 1338 Jackson Street • Philadelphia p 19148 WWW.DEMARCOSFOODS.COM


Give us a call because we do it all j Full-Service Deli j Homemade Daily Specials j Soup j Signature Salads j Hot & Cold Sandwiches j Free Delivery!

j Corporate & Private Catering j Event Planning Gourmet Gift Baskets & Specialty Italian Foods Shipped Anywhere!

This recipe was given to my sister, who passed it down to me. The original creator was her friend’s mother who was born in Poland. She took this little taste of home with her when she moved to America. The original recipe calls for cooking in a pot on the stove but I prefer the low and slow version of the Crock-Pot. It is very simple to make and quite good, especially on those cold days when you are craving “comfort food.”




➜1 lb. beef strips or

cubes ➜1 small can of beef broth ➜1 packet of au jus gravy (I use this to

add more flavor)

➜1 /2 pint sour cream ➜1 lb. bag egg noodles ➜2 tbsp. flour

➜3 cups water ➜S alt ➜P epper ➜G arlic powder ➜ F resh parsley

PEZONE CELLO TempTing TasTe for ValenTine’s Day: ChoColaTe sTrawberry Order today for the Holiday season! 267.374.7590 38 Jackson Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145

DIRECTIONS Fry the beef srips in a pan with olive oil and garlic powder. Then season it with salt, pepper, garlic powder and fresh parsley to taste. Put the slow cooker on low and add one can of beef broth, packet of au jus and 3 cups of water. Add the beef and let it cook for about 6-7 hours. Add 2 tbsp. of flour to the pot to thicken it up. Cook the egg noodles, then place noodles in a large bowl with the beef mixture. Stir in 1/2 pint of sour cream and serve. This is a great meal to make when you’re working because when you come home, your dinner is ready in 10 minutes.

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October / November / December 2019







INGREDIENTS ➜ 1 1/2 oz. Vodka ➜2 oz. Eggnog ➜G round Nutmeg ➜ I ce DIRECTIONS Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Add vodka and eggnog. Shake, shake, shake! Pour into a chilled martini glass with a strainer. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Serve!


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W W W. C H I C K S P H I L LY. C O M Large selection of CRAFT BEERS available for Dine In or Take Out. Signature Cocktails. Wine. Spirits. 56

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

The Birthplace of Freedom

Still Has a King. 9th & Passyunk Avenue


VEAL OSSO BUCO w w w . l o m b a r d i m e at s . c o m

INGREDIENTS ➜6 portions of veal ➜ ➜ ➜ ➜

shank (about 6 pounds total) 4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil 1 /4 cup flour 1 cup finely chopped onions 1 /2 cup finely

chopped carrots


➜1 /2 cup finely

➜1 can Marzano

➜1 large clove garlic,

➜1 sprig fresh rose-

➜1 1/2 cups dry

➜1 bay leaf ➜S alt and freshly

chopped celery minced

white wine

➜1 1/4 cups lowsodium chicken

tomatoes mary

ground black pepper

FOR THE GREMOLATA ➜2 tablespoons of

finely minced fresh

Italian parsley

➜ Z est of 2 lemons

➜1 tablespoon of olive oil


215.755.7180 3120 S 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145

Monday-Thursday • 11am-9pm Friday&Saturday • 11am-11pm Sunday • 12pm-8pm

Benny Marsella and friends appear every Saturday night! Happy Hour - Monday-Friday 4 PM-6:30 PM. Call for more entertainment information. Visit our website for all of our upcoming events!

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Dust shank pieces with flour. Heat the oil in a heavy casserole large enough to hold the veal in a single layer. Add half of the shanks and lightly brown on all sides over medium heat. Remove shanks and brown the other half. Do not allow them to become dark or blackened. Remove the shanks from the casserole and lower heat. To the casserole, add onions, carrots and celery and sauté, stirring until they begin to soften. Add garlic and sauté a minute longer. Add wine and cook over medium-high heat, scraping the pan until all the brown bits clinging to it have dissolved. Stir in the tomatoes, stock and herbs. Return the shanks to the casserole, basting with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, cover and bake in the preheated oven about one and one-half hours until the meat is tender when pierced with a fork. Baste the shanks several times during baking. Remove shanks to a serving dish and keep warm. Taste sauce and correct seasonings with salt and pepper. Sauce should be about the consistency of cream. If it’s too thin, place the pan on top of the stove and reduce the sauce for several minutes. Mix together gremolata ingredients. Pour sauce over the shanks and top with a little of the gremolata. Serve with polenta, rice or wide noodles. LOMBARDI’S PRIME MEATS IS A MEMBER OF THE PHILADELPHIA ROWHOME (PRH) BUSINESS NETWORK

PRH Signature Wine Pairing by Vincent Novello Villalta Valpolicella Ripasso $12

w w w. p o p i s r e s t a u r a n t . c o m 58

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019


PIZZELLES Recipe from the 1950s

FINE EYEWEAR NOW IN SOUTH PHILLY Eyeglasses, eye exams and a very friendly staff, conveniently located on Passyunk Avenue.

1815 E. Passyunk Avenue (215) 575-5188 This recipe for Fante’s Special Pizzelles was found in my mom’s pizzelle iron box when she got married in 1952. I substitute anise seeds with a shot of sambuca.

INGREDIENTS Anise Seeds ➜6 eggs ➜1 tablespoon Vanilla ➜1 /4 lb. of sugar (1 1/2 cups) ➜1 /2 orange or lemon ➜1 0 oz. of melted shortening (1 ➜1 lb. 6 oz. of 1/4 cups)

➜1 tablespoon

flour (4 cups)

DIRECTIONS Beat eggs and sugar until light and foamy. Add melted shortening a little at a time, then add anise seeds, vanilla, grated rind and juice of either orange or lemon. Gradually add flour to make a very light dough, light enough to drop on the pizzelle maker with a spoon. Pre-heat iron and heat just before using. Use a knife to push off dough from spoon.

October / November / December 2019


PRH Brides Guide


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

Lenny & Treanna Oliveri Two families Become One by Joe Volpe


s the weather starts to cool down, all of our Cescaphe kitchens continue heating up! I had the pleasure of speaking with one of our Cescaphe couples - Treanna Criniti and Lenny Oliveri - who shared their love with us at Cescaphe Ballroom on May 11th, 2019. Not only did Treanna and Lenny create memories of an unforgettable wedding day, they also celebrated Lenny’s 30th birthday! What better way to celebrate this milestone of a birthday! It was an honor of ours to host both of these very special occasions with an elegant evening filled with dancing and fine dining, enjoying the delicacies of Cescaphe. As you know, our staple and our love for seafood – and might I add, Treanna and Lenny selected one of my personal favorite entrees – our signature Cescaphe Crab

Soufflé. Sounds to me like quite the celebration! I am excited for what the future holds for Treanna and Lenny and delighted to introduce their most special moments and journey of love with you! How did you meet? We met in Wildwood the summer of 2015. It was men’s weekend for Quaker City String Band and I was out with friends at Westy’s. One of the guys in our group left to go to Keenan’s and came back with Lenny and his cousin. We were talking and laughing but didn’t think anything of it. We saw each other later on that weekend at their annual fundraiser. It is tradition that all the playing members of the band play a few songs for everyone. Well one of the songs, they had Lenny sing. AND HE WAS SO GOOD! I was front and center sitting next to his family. I was trying so hard not to fan-girl! A few weeks later, Lenny messaged me via Facebook and the rest is history! How did the proposal happen? August 5, 2017. The proposal happened at my shore house in Wildwood (where it all began). I walked into the house to see rose petals

all up the steps, ring-shaped balloons, our song was playing in the background and a banner saying “My TreTre, will you marry me?” I was in complete shock! We discussed getting engaged at some point that year but I DEFINTELY was not expecting it! He coordinated everything with our parents to make sure it was everything I wanted. He asked my dad for permission – and in most Italian households, you have to ask the bride’s mother, too! I wanted an intimate engagement with very few people around then I wanted to celebrate with our family after. My parents, mother & sister-in-law and aunt were upstairs videotaping. Once that was all said and done, he said ‘Tre, go outside. Everyone is waiting.’ I opened my yard door to see both of our families waiting to celebrate! (Clearly, he is a good listener!) The next day (literally), we started planning our wedding! I was already calling for availability. They were like, ‘Congratulations, when did you get engaged?’ “Oh, 12 hours ago.” Why did you choose a Cescaphe Wedding? We would be silly if we DIDN’T have a Cescaphe

wedding! They are truly the best in the business. It’s hard to compete! Every one of their venues is beautifully charming in their own way. We wanted a more traditional and classy wedding – and Cescaphe Ballroom was the perfect fit! When working with Cescaphe, you don’t have to worry about a thing! No stone goes unturned. Their packages include everything! Complete soup to nuts! And of course, the staff and the entrees are impeccable. Every one of our guests left our wedding raving about how it was the best wedding they have ever been to and no one left hungry! What was your favorite part about wedding planning? ALL OF IT! (Well for me, Treanna – anyway). I studied event planning in college so to be able to plan my own wedding was the perfect way to put my skills to use. Aside from that, it was amazing bonding time for both of our families, especially for me, my mother (Theresa) and my mother-in-law (Lynne). From saying yes to the dress, to invitations, to florals – we did everything together as a team.

What was your favorite part of your wedding? Surprisingly, Lenny with his birthday cake! His 30th birthday was two days after our wedding and he thought it was just going to get swept under the rug. (Silly him!) When we went for our menu meeting, we discussed having a twosided cake (bride and groom side). Lenny is a die-hard Philadelphia sports fan so he was very excited about having all four Philadelphia teams’ logos on each tier. On the day of the wedding, when we did our first look of the ballroom, Lenny looked at the cake and was super disappointed that they “forgot” to put his sports logo on there. He was so shocked when his uncle brought out his own 4-tier sports themed birthday cake dressed like Jerry Lewis (from the movie Hardly Working, an inside joke amongst his family) with sparklers and balloons, while of course, the string band played happy birthday! His reaction was priceless.

What did you do to make your wedding day extra special? We made it about everyone. We had our aunts read at church, the uncles presented the gifts, both of my parents gave me away, we had a special Mother’s Day dance at the reception. Lenny sang – and of course I sang (just not as well). We made sure that we included everyone and made everyone feel important and involved. It’s not just about the bride and groom – it’s about the celebration of two families becoming one! What advice would you give to future brides and grooms? Everyone will tell you this and you brush it off until it is over with, but your wedding day will be over in the blink of an eye! It goes by so quick! Take a few minutes with your new husband/wife and take everything in. It becomes such a blur.

CESCAPHE Credits Client Development Associate: Lisa Lucke

Event Event Manager: Mary Ma Coordinator: Danielle Fisher


Maitre D’: Jarred Cruz

Head Servers: Carlene Acello

Cescaphe is a member of the PRH Business Network.

Ever keeping his eyes focused on the latest wedding trends, Cescaphe 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, Tendenza, Vie, The Down Town Club, The Water Works and The Lucy combine a captivating ambiance with exquisite cuisine for an unforgettable experience. Visit or call 215.238.5750.


Venue: Epiphany Church (ceremony) & Cescaphe Ballroom (reception)

Band/DJ: Benny Marsella (cocktail hour) & Masquerade (band for reception)

Photographer: Matthew Gruber Photography

Transportation: Cescaphe Trolley & First-Class Rolls Royce

Florist: International Florists

Invitations & Stationery: Invitations by Me

Videographer: New Pace Wedding Films

Dress Designer/Dress Shop: Jay West (shop) & Justin

Alexander (designer) Menswear Designer/Shop: Suit Supply (groom); Enzo Custom (shirts); Rudi’s Tuxedo Rentals (men)

Additional Vendors: for makeup and John Paul Church Musicians: Justin Hairdresser (on 12th & Wolf) Gonzalez (cantor) & Anthony for hair; AJR Entertainment Trombetta, Jr. (saxophon- for Photo Mirror at the recepist); Insomnia Cookies for tion; Lowes Hotel Philadelfavors; Dominique Speca phia for the room block.


October / November / December 2019

227 quarry st suite 1225, philadelphia, pa 19106

@oldcitysanta | | 215.928.9189

Old City Santa Brings the Magic of Christmas by santina pescatore Once upon a time, a little drummer boy appeared in the movie TAPS. That boy was Phil Kramer, who would go on to start his photography career with a scrapbook of photos taken on set. “The cinematographer, Owen Roizman, encouraged me to pursue photography after taking a liking to my photos. After graduating high school, I enrolled into Antonelli Institute to study photography,” says Kramer.

“…a magical space that embodies the same coziness as a Dickens novel” He would go on to start his photography studio in Old City, Philadelphia in 1986 at the age of 24. Since then, Kramer has photographed over 3,000 events and portraits. He has been named Best of Philly by Philadelphia Magazine and worked with a wide range of corporate clients and celebrities. Kramer’s newest venture, in collaboration with his business partner Mimi Janosy, brings the magic of Christmas to his Old City studio at 227 Quarry Street. “Once we opened the new location on Quarry Street, we believed we had a magical space that embodies the same coziness as a Dickens novel. We transformed the space from a water-damaged mess into a winter wonderland,” he says. Through Old City Santa, children gather in “Santa’s secret workshop” at the studio. After a storytelling session, children then write a letter to Santa and mail it through a magical Christmas mailbox. Soon after, Santa Claus himself is revealed to the children, and they are able to sit on his lap, read a book with Santa, help pack toys in his sack, and find the North Pole on the globe. “We created Old City Santa as a solution for families to escape dull lines at the mall for lackluster images with inexperienced photographers,” said Kramer. Kramer explained that Old City Santa sessions are booked in advance and hosted from mid October to December 23rd: Regular sessions are held on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11AM-8PM. Special pets-only photos with Santa can be booked on Saturdays and Sundays from 9AM-11AM. The cost for an Old City Santa session is $250 in October, increasing to $300 in November and December. Following the photo session, clients are emailed a direct link to purchase photo packages beginning at $30. To book your unforgettable Christmas experience with Old City Santa, visit


Petal Pusher Florist & Decorators A fragrant 50 years still lingers


by Dominique Verrecchio

his year, Petal Pusher Florist & Decorators celebrates 50 years in a business they began around the same time they started their life together as a married couple. In honor of this huge milestone, owners John and JoAnn Vacca sat down with RowHome to tell us their story. After high school and drafting school, John Vacca worked as a window designer in Center City. He also

worked part time at a local flower shop in the neighborhood – a job he really enjoyed. While he and JoAnn were dating, John had the opportunity to buy a property on South Broad Street. As they began planning their new life together, they started rehabbing the old building they bought. That’s when they decided to open their own business and get married. Petal Pusher Florist & Decorators took root on Broad Street where it still flourishes today. Why flowers? Well, John enjoys a good challenge and owning your own business offers that nearly every day, especially in the floral industry, he says. From the time they opened their doors, John’s unique designs established Petal Pusher Florist & Decorators as the specialty florist in Philadelphia. “From slot machines to a hand of cards to instruments, if you think it up, John can create it using flowers,” JoAnn says. “That’s what brought in customers from all over. His works are looked at as works of art and people really appreciate his talents.” JoAnn says that just like any other industry, they have experienced numerous changes in the last 50 years. They chose to embrace those


changes and integrate them into their business model. “Of all the advances, perhaps the most significant is the impact of online ordering,” JoAnn says. “When we first started back in the ‘70s, the focus was more face-toface and building relationships. Then with the increased use of credit cards, those relationships transformed into phone sales. From there, we began supporting national wire services like TeleFlora and their idea of creating a ‘branded’ floral product, which we can offer locally.” JoAnn says the ease of integration of these products and services with the innovative floral designs Petal Pusher offers provides more opportunities for this local business to spread its wings. “Coupled with our regional delivery partnerships, technology enables us to have greater reach, all of which is accessible with a click of the mouse. No matter how people order, we pride ourselves on never losing that personal touch.” Petal Pusher Florist & Decorators specializes in everything from custom funeral designs to elegant bridal bouquets. “They are certainly our two most cherished and favorites to create above everything that

we do here. Our funeral designs are perhaps our most noted works. Our bridal bouquets strive to capture the unique personalities of our brides. Their flower choices often hold very personal meaning for our customers and our ability to capture that in flowers makes us proud.” For John and JoAnn, their greatest inspiration is their clients. “Whether it is working with a bride for her magical day or comforting a family during a recent loss, we take pride in capturing those personal emotions through our designs to create lasting memories.” What is the secret to running a successful business for 50 years? JoAnn says there really is no secret. “Perseverance would be the key trait that any business owner should possess, but the dedication, ability to adapt and the power to focus all play key roles in building and sustaining a business,” she adds. “We live and work here every day for 50 years, building a legacy business for our family and our community. “We are a family owned and operated business that adores our community. The relationships that we developed with all of our workers, neighbors, customers and other businesses mean so much to us. They are part of our family.” The Vaccas say they are “honored and humbled” by all the love and support they have experienced over the past 50 years. And they look forward to many more years of doing business in the neighborhood they call home. “Fast forward five decades, two

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

children and four grandchildren,” JoAnn says. “We are still right here working together! It has been an amazing 50 years for us.” John Vacca agrees. He said his idea of starting a business years ago blossomed into something so much more than he ever imaged. Petal Pusher – the business – has served as the foundation of their home. The place where they raised two daughters – Jill and Cheryl. The place where they taught their children the importance of hard work, perseverance and determination to succeed in life. As their business and family have grown, so has their extended family, including dedicated employees who have worked side-by-side with them through the years. “Petal Pusher is a gathering place for our family and friends,” John says. “Even though we are here working, our doors have always welcomed the children of our friends and our daughters’ friends.” Today, the Vaccas welcome sons-in-law and grandchildren through those same doors. Whether they are helping out in the shop or stopping by for a water ice after school, the love has multiplied along with the years that Petal Pusher has been a mainstay on South Broad Street. “We’re a family with a generational business and we have been so blessed over the past 50 years,” John smiles. PRH Petal Pusher Florist & Decorators is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network.

t ing a r b e l Ce ARS!


50 YE

“The Unusual Is Our Specialty”

Summer days drifting away…

Glow up!

FLORIST & DECORATORS John & Joann Vacca Flowers For All Occasions

Winner- 2018 Readers' Choice Award!



2515 S. Broad Street / Philadelphia, PA 19148



Pat & Anna Scioli

Brand Name Designer Suits from Italy Sports Jackets • Pants • Dress Shirts Ties • Cashmere Top Coats Custom Alterations for men & women 1744 E. Passyunk Avenue 215.334.0990

on getting that golden glow and now it is all coming to an end. Or is it? You can keep your glow even though the sun sets on a golden summer. I love, and may be somewhat obsessed with, looking tan. Don’t get me wrong. I always use a sunblock when I am in the sun and you should, too. The sun provides us with much-needed Vitamin D, but as we all know, it is harmful to our skin. This includes the appearance of our skin, which can be ravaged by too much sun. ALWAYS wear a sunblock, at least a 50 SPF, so that you are protected.

Custom Tan

One of my favorite products to help me maintain that glow is MineTan Luxe Oil Illuminating Tan Drops™. These drops enhance your glow in summer and bring that glow with you into the colder months. The drops are formulated with a decadent blend of coconut oil, hemp seed oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, rosehip oil, grapeseed oil and avocado oil. Mix these drops with your daily facial moisturizer or serum for a custom-made self-tan. Bank account warning: The drops are not inexpensive but they last. I purchased a small 25ml bottle for $30 from QVC and it was so worth it.

Emphasize your Eyes

This season, let’s emphasize your eyes with extreme emphasis on your lashes. Think blunt, Sixties-style eyeliner and lashes layered with thick coats of mascara for a very wearable look. Keep your complexion and lips as natural as possible for contrast.

Choose your Red

You can never go wrong with a Bold Red Lip. Simple, sophisticated, sensual. When choosing the right red, pick a vibrant shade or deep burgundy. Gloss or Matte. Whatever you choose, keep the rest of your makeup simple and soft this season. Summer may be gone but there’s still time to transition your look into the cool season ahead. Glow up!

Victoria DiPietro, Bella Angel Bridal Hair & Makeup, is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

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

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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




His General Store transformed a generation


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019


by Mary Ellen Sokalski photos courtesy of the Gene London Cinema Collection sk any native Philadelphia Baby Boomer, “Who was Gene London?” and you’ll see an instant smile. Most of us spent years transforming our imaginations daily with London, a mild-mannered but charismatic children’s TV personality from 1959-1977 on WCAU Channel 10. He wasn’t merely the TV host of Cartoon Corners, AKA The Gene London Show. He was an artist, a puppeteer, a performer and supreme storyteller all wrapped up


in one young, tall, dark, handsome, curly-headed package, with a splash of humility. His show’s simple set – a General Store – and perpetual dreamer persona - mesmerized kids with his drawings, stories, Greek mythology, shenanigans, puppets, with life lessons interwoven. Always the underdog – a clerk who earned 3.5 cents a week from his Scrooge-like boss Mr. Dibley - London delivered big messages in the simple language of his little viewers with a Pied Piper’s prowess far ahead of his time. Boomers agree…he was Philadelphia’s greatest storyteller. London was born Eugene Yulish in Cleveland, Ohio during the Great Depression on June 9, 1931 to poor Russian immigrants. With no money for a crib, London slept in a top dresser drawer. One day, his mother found him standing in the drawer, facing the wall, pretending to paint it. “Look, Izzz, he’s painting! He’s going to be a famous artist someday.” Throughout his life, he was drawn to the arts, later becoming a camp counselor where he came alive while teaching arts, crafts and puppetry to kids. London always knew he had a gift with children. “I knew my

strengths, which stories made their eyes grow wide. I wanted to use my art talents, storytelling and puppetry. It all came together for me when I auditioned for WCAU-TV.” He left New York with little money in his pocket after secondary parts on other children’s shows weren’t developing. He walked from Center City all the way to City Line Avenue to audition at Channel 10. London won the role through his storytelling and when mixed with his other talents of drawing, puppetry and performing, Cartoon Corners quickly became the top-rated Philadelphia children’s TV show, running for 18 years. When asked why he became so popular, London answers confidently. “The intimacy I had with telling the story to the children. It was from ME to THEM. Today, that’s ‘authenticity.’ I knew no one else was doing it. I knew I could do it better than anyone else. I could tell from how quiet the kids were. You could hear a pin drop in the theater they built specifically for my show. It held 250 kids – LIVE.” But then one day as new forms of programming developed, the show was cancelled and London had to reinvent himself. He followed his love of fashion to New York City and became a dress designer, opened a retro clothes

shop, became a sought-after Hollywood movies and Broadway fashion consultant and then celebrity rep for companies such as Morimoto Cultured Pearls. All the while, he was quietly acquiring – as a hobby – an extensive collection of costumes, gowns and dresses worn by vintage Hollywood movie celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Joan Crawford, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and others. Before he knew it, the collection ballooned to 60,000 dresses, costumes and accessories. At age 71, he debuted his first exhibition of his collection at “Gene London Presents: Hollywood Glamour,” and now at 88, he is delighted his collection has achieved museum status. The Allentown Art Museum will feature London’s Hollywood costumes as history and art now through December 22, 2019. Back in November 2009, London was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia’s Hall of Fame. But his influence and service to the Delaware Valley ripples far further than the airwaves of yesteryear. His positive lessons, creativity and character have influenced countless young minds, which then became living examples for future generations. Even today, as he crests into his 90s, his lessons of transformation and education are still resonating through our community through his exhibitions and performances. The most universal fan compliment, London reports, is, “You were my mother’s greatest babysitter.” But others like these resound: Glenn Zimmer, an awardwinning children’s book animator

October / November / December 2019

wrote, “He was an inspiration for me to become an artist.” 40-year now retired kindergarten teacher Michelle Olivieri-Sumner recalled, “His special magical way of telling a story stayed with me all through my teaching career. “Let’s pretend that it’s story time... I sang that song for 40 years!” Attorney Pete Williams remembers, “I was twice struck down with rheumatic fever, bed-ridden for months. My father would carry me downstairs to watch his show each morning. His drawings and stories helped me escape my bed and imagine I was a cowboy, knight or astronaut for the day. He helped a sick, sometimes lonely and scared little boy, get through a difficult time.” When told about RowHome Magazine’s Salute to Service “hero” feature, that boyish humble grin reappeared, with a tear in his eye, twinkling as if a wish from his Golden Fleece was granted (which he still has.) “A hero? I’m honored. I’ve loved you and I’ve loved performing for you. It’s wonderful to know that I made a difference. Can I give you a hug?” PRH Mary Ellen Pahlka-Sokalski, a South Philly native, is an awardwinning storyteller, speaker and marketer because of Gene London’s influence, and is finally thrilled to meet her childhood idol. (Yes, she did get a hug AND a kiss.) Reach her at See Designing Hollywood, Gene London’s latest exhibition at the Allentown Museum of Art at Rodale, Scheller & Fowler Galleries until 12/22/19.



Da Vinci Art Alliance Presents


Bella Angel


Bridal Hair & Makeup


a Vinci Art Alliance (DVAA) will host South Street from the ‘90s, an exhibition of mixed-media works by DVAA member Phoebe Murer. The public opening reception will take place on November 3 from 1-3 pm. The exhibit runs until November 24th. Murer uses layered paper and boxes to create sculptures that address how gentrification can destroy the personality of the neighborhood. Due to rising rent and the struggle of small-business owners to keep up, South Street looks and feels very different than it did in the 1990s. TLA Video, Tower Records, Pearl Paint, Zipperhead, Soho and Book Trader are just a few of the small businesses that have been redeveloped during the most recent phase of gentrification. Murer’s process of layering and recycling old materials into nostalgic landscapes preserves the memories of a space in the ‘90s. Her 3D collages will bring some of the distant culture back to South Street. In

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addition to this exhibition, DVAA has created an instagram account - @southstreetinthe90s- digitally collecting and archiving photos of South Street during that time. Following the November 3rd opening reception, there will be a party at Tattooed Mom (530 South Street) where the community is invited to color ‘90s-inspired line drawings by Murer. In addition, Tattooed Mom will be selling ‘90s-inspired screen prints by the artist. Phoebe Murer is a mixed media artist and writer born and raised in Philadelphia. Learn more about her work at PRH Da Vinci Art Alliance, founded by nine Italian immigrant artists in 1931, is located at 704 Catharine Street. Named the best place to buy affordable art by Philly Mag this year, DVAA builds community through 30+ free and engaging exhibitions annually and outreach programs for the public. Open gallery hours are Thursdays - Sundays from 12-5 pm, or by appointment. Visit www. for more info.

856-227-7774 www


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019


West Coast

Ballyhoo Reimagines a Bygone Era by JANE ROSER PHOTO BY KIET THAI



Cliff Retallick

A “silent movie” isn’t actually silent at all. A century ago, when silent films were all the rage, a pianist, organist or even a small orchestra would provide accompanying music to heighten the drama and enhance the audience’s screening experience. This is far from a lost art. Musician Cliff Retallick’s new musical Ballyhoo was directly inspired by his time performing music for silent films. Hailing from North Carolina and growing up influenced by George Gershwin and Cole Porter, Retallick studied music composition at North Carolina School of the Arts before heading to Los Angeles. There, as a music director, he worked with iconic artists such as Alice Cooper, Wanda Jackson and Cat Stevens. Silent films, though, kept calling him back to a bygone era. “I discovered a place called The Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax Avenue,” Retallick recalls. “It had been there since the 1940s and was very well known. Before I knew it, I was substituting for this gentleman who used to play for movies in the 1920s. After he passed away I became the resident accompanist.” Retallick has played piano or organ accompaniment for UCLA Film & Television Archive, American Cinematheque and Grauman’s Egyptian Theater. For several events at the Women’s Club of Hollywood (once a finishing school for girls, Charlie Chaplin sent his daughters there and Jean Harlow was a student), Retallick had the honor of being one of the few musicians to ever perform on Chaplin’s piano. “Silent films are extraordinary,” Retallick says. “The stars were big, like Rudolf Valentino, Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, Douglas Fairbanks - all people I have portrayed in Ballyhoo. Buster Keaton is my personal favorite, though. I think especially with physical comedy, you can’t beat the silent medium.” The idea for a musical had been percolating for a while before his wife pushed him to write it down. “Many songs evolved from the music I played for silent films, like “Dead Pan Man” which is Buster Keaton’s song. I actually used to play that for Buster Keaton films - it’s a little quirky like he is, but also very fast and athletic. The music is bright and illuminates the subject, but the story is dark - very film noir.” Ballyhoo was recently showcased in L.A. for the Foundation For New American Musicals (FNAM) and is currently in development. Without giving too much away, the plot revolves around a small town couple, Julie and Austin, who are lured to Hollywood. They buy an old, decrepit silent movie theater and set about restoring it to its former glory. Julie becomes engrossed in a scandalous relationship, while Austin starts seeing the ghosts of long-dead silent film stars who attempt to warn him of his wife’s betrayal and murderous plans until... well, you’ll just have to see it to find out what happens next. For more info on Cliff Retallick and Ballyhoo, visit PRH

October / November / December 2019



Artist Spotlight:



by Brenda Hillegas photo by Matt Madison-Clark

Philadelphia resident Zachary James has appeared across the globe in many of the world’s opera houses. The stage and screen actor’s credits also include South Pacific and The Addams Family on Broadway and television hits like 30 Rock and the recent Murphy Brown reboot. This September, for Opera Philadelphia, Zachary sang the role of The Cook in Sergei Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges. Up next, he will be making his Metropolitan


Opera debut as The Scribe in Akhnaten, an opera written by the American composer Philip Glass that focuses on the life and religious convictions of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhnaten. The opera will broadcast live around the world this November. RowHome sat down for a Q&A with Zachary to find out more about his background in opera, his favorite Philly spots and learning how to juggle for his role in Akhnaten!


Q: Where did opera begin for you? What made you say “this is what I want to do”?

a: Gosh. It was a total fluke. I was studying musical theatre and not loving it as much as I thought I would and my voice teacher said we were going to switch gears to opera. I was about to drop out of school and she changed my course. Q: What is your background in opera? Where did you study?

a: I studied at Ithaca College and got a musical theatre degree, but focused on opera privately. I’m glad in the end that I studied theatre as I got intense acting, movement and dance training which is not included in conservatory voice programs. It’s occasionally tough because I didn’t get the diction, language and music theory training of many of my opera colleagues but I got a leg up in the performance practice arena and have ended up having a versatile career in many genres. Q: What has been your favorite stage and/ or TV role to date?

a: I haven’t done a ton of TV but I got to play a federal agent named Carl on 30 Rock opposite Steve Martin and Tina Fey. Zero complaints there. I also recently played the head

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

Secret Serviceman to Mike Pence on Murphy Brown. Murphy was my FAVORITE show as a kid so it was pretty surreal to be a part of the final episode of that series. Playing Lurch in the original cast of The Addams Family on Broadway was also a huge moment that I’ll take with me forever.

Q: Tell us about Akhnaten, which plays at the Metropolitan Opera. What’s the storyline of the show and tell us a bit about your role?

a: Akhnaten is about the great controversial pharaoh who declared Egypt a monotheistic society. This is pre-Moses, so the idea of one god only was pretty radical. People hated him and wiped him out of history until he was discovered again through artifacts relatively recently. The show follows the rise and fall

of Akhnaten. I play his dead father, Amenhotep III, who is also the narrator of the entire show. The show opens with my funeral and the coronation of my son, Akhnaten, and ends in modern day. I like to think of myself as the flight attendant for the audience’s experience. I’m with you start to finish keeping you informed. It’s an incredibly demanding role, physically and vocally. I couldn’t do what I do on stage in this one without the intense acting and movement training I had at Ithaca College. It’s really a culmination of all my experiences.

Q: You juggle in Akhnaten. Did you learn specifically for this role?

a: Woof! I sure did. Oh man. So as a kid I was terrified of throwing and catching. It’s a miracle I passed gym class since I hid in the corner every day. When I was asked to learn to juggle, I was totally freaked out but I needed the job so I said I would. And now I’m a juggler! It’s still terrifying to do it in front of thousands of people on stage but privately, it’s become one of my favorite pastimes. Q: How did you become involved in Akhnaten?

a: Phelim McDermott is the

director of Akhnaten and also directed The Addams Family on Broadway. After Addams closed, Phelim pulled me over to Philip Glass world and got me an audition to play animatronic Abraham Lincoln at DisneyLand in a Glass premiere, The Perfect American, which played Madrid, London and Brisbane. Phelim then asked me to come on board for Akhnaten in London. Philip came to see it and called LA Opera and The Met to say he wanted me to do the role with them as well. It’s pretty trippy stuff when I think about the people, places and things that had to link up for all that to happen. The Addams Family is not a natural progression to Philip Glass operas but here we are!

Q: You just finished performing with Opera Philadelphia in the role of The Cook in The Love for Three Oranges. Do you enjoy cooking in real life? What’s your specialty?

a: I love cooking and loved playing the cook! I’m a veggie master. My roasted cauliflower with smoked paprika will change any naysayer’s mind about vegetables. I also have a garam masala sweet potato that’s pretty baller. I’m excited for soups and baked goods as we get into autumn. This year, I’ll have Thanksgiving with family from Florida who are coming up for Akhnaten at the Met. We will gather at our place in Philly, which will be very special. Q: Akhnaten will broadcast live around the world in November. How does that feel?

a: CRAZY! I can’t believe how far it will reach. It’s too much to think about. I’m so thrilled to have the chance to share this incredible production with the world. It’s both a lot of pressure and an enormous dream come true. Q: How can we watch the broadcast?

a: The Met’s Live in HD series is broadcast worldwide to 70 countries and every state. It plays in movie theatres live on November 23 with an encore on December 4. Q: What is your dream role? Wotan in The Ring Cycle; the title role in Boris Godunov; Javert in Les Miserables. Something amazing not written yet!

Q: What has been your favorite opera house to perform in to date?

a: English National Opera’s London Coliseum is a very spe-

cial venue. It’s the opera house I’ve performed in the most.

Q: You live in South Philly. What’s the best thing about your neighborhood?

a: We actually JUST moved to Graduate Hospital from Pennsport. My boyfriend works at the U Penn Hospital and is on call most weekends so we needed to be a little closer. I loved Pennsport and already miss Herman’s Coffee. It’s fun to explore a new neighborhood though and the access to the Schuylkill trail is awesome.

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Q: What are your favorite Philly hangouts or places to eat?

a: Rittenhouse Square is my special place. I love grabbing a banana whip from HipCityVeg and chilling in the park. I’ve been hanging in Rittenhouse since I first came to Philly in 2004 and it feels like home. I can also be found walking the piers along the Delaware. Q: What’s next? What are you looking forward to in 2020?

a: The thing I’m most excited about in 2020 is officiating my brother’s wedding in Florida! I’m also very excited to be trying on the title role in Don Giovanni with Wilmington Concert Opera in December of 2019 right after Akhnaten at the Met. It’s free and open to the public with performances in both Delaware and Pennsylvania. In January and February, I’m bringing solo concerts to St. Petersburg, Des Moines and Sun Valley and I’ll be spending a big part of 2020 in the Midwest with the world premiere of Paola Prestini’s Edward Tulane at Minnesota Opera, Macbeth at Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera and Platee at Des Moines Metro Opera. @_zachary_james_

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October / November / December 2019


PRHMUSIC&ART The Theatre Geek

TAKE YOUR SHOT! Cheers! We salute our Veterans

Hamilton is making history in Philadelphia


Anthony Fanelli Your Local Realtor

www . ajfsellshomes . com Cell: 215-301-4382 Office: 215-309-3269 74


by Marialena Rago photo by Joan Marcus

f you walked along Walnut Street recently, you may have noticed the crowds lining up outside the Forrest Theatre. That’s because Hamilton mania has officially hit Philadelphia. Though the show doesn’t touch on America’s birthplace (Mr. Miranda, you have some explaining to do), it doesn’t mean that Philadelphians are missing their chance to be in the room where it happens. In fact, the demand for tickets is so high, the tour has its own ticket lottery. The #HAM4HAM lottery was so successful in New York and travels with the show across the U.S. so as many theatergoers as possible can witness the groundbreaking musical. Here’s how you can enter: Lucky Seat Visit A limited number of tickets for each event performance listed on each entry page will be sold to winners of a random drawing. Winners can purchase two tickets at $10 each. To enter, create an account on by clicking the “Sign Up To Enter” button. Each day you’ll see the lottery opened for the next upcoming show. Select that performance on the entry page and press the “Login to Enter” button. Only one entry per person, per performance. Entries for the drawing for each performance will be accepted the day before the performance up until 9 AM EDT and the drawing time is the day before the performance at 10 AM EDT. If you are lucky enough to win, you must purchase the tickets the day before the performance by 4 PM EDT. Hamilton App Download the Hamilton app to your phone, click the lottery button and you’ll see a list of all available lotteries. Pick Philadelphia. Make sure you create an account and enable push notifications so you can see if you’ve won and when the next lottery becomes available to enter. The rules are the same as Lucky Seat - one entry per person for each performance and the winner can purchase two tickets at $10 each. Entries on the app are

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

accepted until 9 AM the day before the show. Winner and non-winner notifications will be sent out around 11 AM the day before the performance via push notifications. Winners must purchase their ticket(s) with a credit card by 4 PM the day prior to the show. The Hamilton app is fun for fans - you can play trivia, sing karaoke or take pictures of yourself using show-themed filters. Raise a Glass! If you have tickets to the show and are looking for dinner/drink options, a lot of nearby restaurants are featuring Hamilton specials. Here are just a few examples of the many restaurants creating Hamilton-inspired menus. Next door at Moriarty’s Irish Pub, sip on cocktails like “The Blue Coat” that features Philly’s own Bluecoat Gin or “Lafayette’s Martini.” Barra Rossa has a three-course pre fixe dinner for $40 and a “Smoking Gun” Burr-Bon cocktail. Want to feel like Thomas Jefferson coming back from Monticello? Visit Caribou Cafe, a Parisian Bistro that offers a $39 three-course pre-fixe dinner and a $10 cocktail that looks like Hamilton’s logo. Across from the Forrest Theatre is Destination Dogs with a $10 three-course deal that includes your choice of a “Founding Frankfurter” - try the “Franklin, PA” with an all-beef hot dog, cheesesteak, peppers and onions and cherry pepper relish. The restaurant also has a nice selection of themed cocktails including the “Gin Manuel Miranda.” Urban Farmer will be offering up “The Founder’s Fizz” (the official cocktail of the original Hamilton in NYC). It’s made with gin, fresh lime juice and seltzer. Show your ticket for $2 off. Square 1682 offers a pre-fixe menu for $36 and includes a cocktail (or wine/beer). The “You’ll Be Back” is inspired by Hamilton’s birthplace in British West Indies and features ingredients familiar to our founding fathers. Now take your shot! History is happening in Philadelphia! Enjoy the experience. PRH Read our review of Hamilton in Philadelphia on the RowHome blog at


45S The Stylistics:

Stop, Look, Listen


by Geno Thackara


nappy suits, ruffles and bow ties, big hair and impeccable synchronized dance moves - the times had a style, indeed, and a singing group couldn’t claim a name like The Stylistics if they didn’t live up to the idea. Their particular version built on the traditions of R&B and the Motown sound that had been well established by the late ‘60s, then gave it a new makeover for the decade of soul that was about to begin. They made a striking sight onstage and occasionally appeared on a 45 cover in dazzling technicolor. But that’s really not what this particular group has always been about. The quintet shared the main characteristics of Philadelphia soul though they did it with a flair not quite like anyone else. When the new genre’s burgeoning sound was breaking out in a jumble of funky grooves and disco beats, they leaned toward the more smooth and romantic end of the scale instead. The Stylistics’ key behind-the-scenes names were Thom Bell and Linda Creed, who co-wrote most of their bestknown tunes and gave the recordings a sonic stamp that managed to look both backward and forward. Some artists go through an early rough patch before really figuring out their sound but The Stylistics had it in place with their first selftitled LP. When listeners dropped the needle on “Stop, Look, Listen” at the start of side one, the defining stamps were already there. An easygoing woodwind line floats over a swaying string section to set a lightly exotic mood and soon, Russell Thompkins Jr. is smoothly singing about loneliness in a way both sad and reassuring. His not-really-falsetto lead voice was another element that set them apart: it anchored a mix of high and clear harmonies that stayed closer to past R&B doo-wop-ers than the deeper crooning voices becoming more common at the time. “Stop, Look, Listen” isn’t really about loneliness, though. It isn’t even about love for that mat-

ter, however much it checks the obvious boxes of classic love songs. Bell and Creed chose a theme a bit more thoughtful and introspective than the song’s wine-and-candlelight vibe would suggest. The tune is centered around a simple cute line - “Listen to your heart / Hear what it’s saying” that sounds romantic, but smoothly sidesteps the obvious idea of finding or being with the right person. A couple years later, Motown Records also chose it for a duet between Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye - high praise indeed. The team was establishing their own branch of the Philly soul tree here. While a roster of the city’s artists and producers turned out a stream of grooving dance tracks from Sigma Sound Studios, their productions tended to pour on the easy ballad dressings like thick syrup over a stack of pancakes. Lush harmonies, dreamy electric keys and soft strings defined The Stylistics through two more LPs and five gold hits, including such famous staples as “Betcha by Golly, Wow” and “You Make Me Feel Brand New.” Okay, that last one may be better remembered for being used in a commercial or two, but let’s forget that part. Everyone’s got to pay the bills somehow. The Bell and Creed sound went on to touch other groups like The Spinners, eventually lending itself to minor hits by Dionne Warwick and Elton John, as well. For their part, The Stylistics racked up a few more mostly-overseas hits and have continued almost uninterrupted in one form or another up to the present day. Both parties had their share of ups and downs and other successes, though their early-’70s work together brought the biggest chart recognition and remains the thing they’re all best known for today. If the likes of “Stop, Look, Listen” are regarded as quaint oldies now, well, that’s one unfortunate side effect of songs that help define an era. Still, beautiful voices and sweet harmonies never get old. And this one makes a piece of solid and timeless advice for anyone at any time. PRH

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October / November / December 2019




by Rachel Porter


hen discovering talent at a young age, sometimes experiments are necessary to find the best route. With Paige Nickole Romano, her love for singing was discovered on a family trip to Disney World when she was four years old. Her mom joked about doing karaoke but Romano surprised her family when she sang “The Star Spangled Banner.” Impressed with her voice, her family asked Romano if she liked to sing. Her answer? Yes! She loved music. Shortly after, Romano’s parents enrolled her in music lessons. For a decade, she participated in theatre and music classes. In elementary school, she started writing songs about whatever came to mind. “I remember my first song. The melody in my head. It was about my friends. It was called ‘My Friends,’” Romano says. As she got older, she requested to attend the same music school her mom once did – Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP) in South Philadelphia. She loved it. “I met a lot of people I could converse with about music. That was fun for me,” she says. After graduating, Romano transitioned from solo work to the rock band lifestyle. She favored ‘60s and ‘70s music and wanted to adapt to that environment. She was briefly part of a local band called Sugar


Rush Rocks then formed her own band, Flip the Paige. Currently, she is a vocalist in The Morning After Band, a local North Jersey wedding band that discovered her. The band’s drummer, Dom Lizzio, runs Rock University but Romano didn’t know him before joining The Morning After Band. Two of Romano’s friends - who were previously in bands with her – connected Paige with Dom. Romano said it took her a while to learn the aspects of the band since they perform short segments of hundreds of songs - four specific sets to mix and match, to be exact. However, it didn’t take long for things to skyrocket for her and The Morning After Band. For each wedding they play, they get two requests for wedding bookings. Wordof-mouth gigs keep the band busy. Had someone asked her years ago if she saw herself being part of a wedding band, she’d shake her head no. But she loves where her music has led her and has grown attached to her beloved crew. “I couldn’t have ended up with a better group of people. Each person individually is more talented than the next. When we come together, I feel our sound is like no other.” PRH For booking/contact information, visit

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019


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NUMiNOUS Magazine // Stephanie Price


Hot Waves

Stephanie Price & husband Edd Glassmire


by Jane Roser photo by Robert Smee fter graduating from Moore College of Art and Design in 2013, NUMiNOUS Magazine founder Stephanie Price was feeling a bit directionless. “I basically started the magazine because I was bored,” she recalls. “Being out of school was rough because you no longer have projects or deadlines. I wanted to create something that would give me the same feeling I had in school where I was constantly creating art.”


Stephanie had several connections in the local art and design industry, including photographers, artists, fashion designers and models, so she decided to build a platform that brought it all together. Besides being a unique, edgy publication, NUMiNOUS is well known for spectacular events. From their can’t-miss seasonal fashion shows at Philadelphia Brewing Company to First Friday art events at Tattooed Mom, be prepared for a one-of-a-kind experience that will titillate the senses and rattle the soul. NUMiNOUS publishes quarterly and all event themes originate first with the magazine. Stephanie and her husband Edd Glassmire will brainstorm throughout the year, sometimes crowdsourcing for ideas before settling on a theme. “It’s a complicated process,” Stephanie says. “We try to pick specific themes

that relate to multiple art mediums. We’ve done culinary themes, sexy themes, horror themes and other artsy themes like abstract...and artists who participate in our issues are also in the events. It’s really interesting to see the variations of interpretation for each theme.” In mid-September, NUMiNOUS held its Fall Art and Fashion Show at the Philadelphia Brewing Co. to celebrate the recent release of the magazine’s Occult issue. The event featured a tarot card reader, live portraiture, BBQ and cocktails. The winter issue’s theme will be Modified and expects to feature art based on modifications like piercings, tattoos, surgery and bodybuilding. If you would like to be included in this collection, the deadline for submissions is November 1st. Visit www. for submission guidelines. You can also follow NUMiNOUSmag on Facebook at for future themes and events. PRH

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October / November / December 2019

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PRH Holiday Gift Guide From Some of our Neighborhood Hot Spots! Philly


It’s time to make your Local Gift List with some of our season’s favorite presents. Visit any of RowHome’s top hot spots – neighborhood shops and members of our PRH Business Network – for the best gifts in town! If you see these businesses in RowHome Magazine, they are a local HOT SPOT! Book your reservations, buy your gift cards, schedule your facials and order your cookies, cakes and specialty trays from our family-owned and operated shops! There’s something for everyone! Gifts as unique as the neighborhoods we live in. Here are just a few ideas!

Anthony’s Italian Coffee & Chocolate House Visit the “shop” section of www. for a huge variety of holiday gifts. From custom baskets, tea, chocolate-covered figs, peppermint bark, cookie collections and the best coffee to go with it, Anthony’s has you covered! New this year is the Family Coffee Box - two pounds of their Holiday Blend, one pound of Italian Market Reserve, wrapped with a bow and


a personalized message from you ($50). The Ricotta Cannoli Gift Box ($50-$80) or the Anthony’s Sfogliatelle ($50) are also the perfect treats to share with co-workers or take to a holiday party. Order on their website or stop by their shop in the heart of the 9th Street Italian Market!

The Cutting Point. The Staff is expertly trained to help you select the best products for your lifestyle. Goldwell, Bioelements Skin

Care, DevaCurl & more make the perfect gifts for someone on your list. Gift Certificates available for all Salon services from Facials to Color, precision cuts to Hotheads Extensions. everyone on your list. Conveniently located at 2537 S. Broad St.

D. Olivieri Jewelers. Since 1957! Diamonds. Gems & Stones. Custom Designs. Engagement Rings. Wedding Bands. If you can dream it, Olivieri can create it! Shop online at www. or visit them at 2523 S. Broad Street. Goldstein’s Men’s & Boys’ Apparel. Since 1902! Suits, Ties, Shirts, Sweaters, Jeans, Jackets, Shoes. Casual. Formal. Designer brands like DKNY, Tulliano, Michael Kors. There’s a gift for you and

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

Hot Hands Spa Treatment. Relieve the stress and tension with a relaxing massage or facial. Enhance your total body care. Packages & Specials. Gift Cards available. 2545 S. Broad St. Innervison Eyewear. The largest selection of men’s & women’s designer eyewear in the City. From vintage to hip-hop to custom styles from some of Philly’s

painted stocking with a pound of biscuits (any flavor, with your dog’s name on each biscuit). Check out their website for more unique holiday gifts!

specialties. Cookie Trays, Antipasto Trays, Sandwich Trays.

The South Philly Strut frame finest artists, you will leave this local shop with a new sense of self! Schedule your Eye Examination. Submit your Vision Insurance. Browse the Philly Eyeworks Collection. Innervision Rittenhouse / Innervision South Philly. www.

Lombardi’s Prime Meats. The Holiday Feast begins with a Roast. (Or a fresh Turkey, Lamb Chops, Homemade Sausage, Filet Mignon…) USDA Choice & USDA Prime.

Matteo’s Italian Food Products. Try their new pumpkin ravioli with a cream of sage sauce or their sweet potato gnocchi with a pumpkin cream sauce. Available at NJ location only. Select locations in South Philly carry other Matteo’s products. Look for their ad in this issue for details.

Melmos Dog Treats. Holiday gift sets for Christmas & Hanukkah will fit any flavor and budget! Personalized dog stockings ($22) include a hand-

NUMiNOUS Magazine. NUMiNOUS is a platform for artists to share their talent and a haven for art lovers to find new, affordable pieces for their private collections. The local magazine prints quarterly and celebrates all styles of art, from traditional to the most obscure. The upcoming winter fashion and art show will also provide a unique shopping experience for last-minute holiday gifts. Order back issues for the artists in your life. at www.

Penrose Diner. On-Site Bakery. Pastry Chefs bake everything from scratch, every day of the week! Cheese Pies & Pastries, Danish, Muffins, Cookies, Cakes & Pies. Greek Baklava from a family recipe!

The historic rebirth of one of Italy’s premier cafes

authentic italian restaurant & bar Pezone Cello. Row Home Grown Cello. Exotic flavors like Chocolate Banana, Lemon Cream & Strawberry are the perfect gift for your holiday list. Available at the Reading Terminal & a list of local state stores. Visit www. for details.

gastronomic gelato artisan coffee roasting assaggi (tapas) / crudo regional italian wine & beer italian cultural school

Pasquale & Anna Scioli. Fine Imported Italian Suits, Jackets, Pants. Cashmere Coats & Jackets. Custom fit and tailored on-site. Women’s alterations also available. 1744 E. Passyunk Ave.

Pastificio Homemade Pasta Co. Manicotti, Ravioli, Rigatoni, Cavatelli & so much more! Made fresh onsite along with homemade sauces like Marinara, Pesto, Vodka Cream to name a few! Imported Cheeses. Mozzarella made fresh onsite daily! Holiday Gift Baskets with all your favorite Italian

The Philadelphia RowHome Magazine Gift Shop! You’ve been asking! We listened! Just in time for the Holidays! Spread the word about your favorite local magazine by purchasing some RowHome Grown swag! A variety of products are available on our new SpreadShirt website. Pick from hats, shirts, coffee mugs, baby onesies and more with our RowHome logos. Lots of colors too! If there’s a product you’d like to see that isn’t on the site, let us know and we can help create it. SHOP.SPREADSHIRT.COM/ROWHOMEMAGAZINE

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October / November / December 2019


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ur resident J.T McConnell, The Homie’s Homie, or more commonly known as Justin DiVirgilio, has always been entangled with sports growing up. Whether it was playing them or watching the pro teams, DiVirgilio tried to surround himself with sports whenever possible. After jokingly explaining that he realized at quite a young age that being a pro-athlete wasn’t in his forecast, he shifted his attention to a more attainable goal that would enable him to still be involved and relevant in the sports world. “The inception of me wanting to be a sportscaster started when I was about


13 and I really got into local sports talk radio,” DiVirgilio explains. After hearing an ad for Connecticut School of Broadcasting, DiVirgilio wound up attending the school where his interest in broadcasting and talk radio led him to seek more interest in podcasts. “I’ve been listening to podcasts since I was about 14,” DiVirgilio says. “I’ve always been interested in people that could speak on something that they’re passionate about - whatever it is - and have an opinion and things to say.” On September 20th, 2018, DiVirgilio launched The Outlet Pass Podcast where he discusses basketball in general, The Philadelphia 76ers and the NBA. DiVirgilio took pride in his ability to host his podcast in an authentic and genuine way. “When you listen to my podcast, it’s my take or it’s from me. I feel like my personality comes off authentic and it’s actually me speaking,” DiVirgilio says. In addition to his podcast, he also contributes to a blog titled The Sixers Sense on Like the podcast, his writing on the blog features stories about the Sixers and their offseason news

as well as projections for the upcoming season. One popular topic on both his podcast and blog was his footrace with Mike Scott, a Forward for the Philadelphia 76ers. Long story short, DiVirgilio took advantage of a window that opened for him through Twitter and challenged Scott to a footrace. Scott accepted and won. Despite losing the actual race, DiVirgilio explained how the event as a whole was a win that not only helped him out, but also brought the community together for an event, a meet and greet, pictures, media coverage and more. “In the beginning, it was like ‘this is crazy and surreal.’ It definitely got me more attention for my podcast and blog without knowing anybody. I was excited to race [Scott] and meet him,” DiVirgilio says. “We’re going to meet again and I plan on filming when he eats his first Philly cheesesteak [since he won the race] because that’s another little moment for the city and I’m looking forward to that.” Make sure to subscribe to The Outlet Pass Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud and YouTube to stay up to date with Justin’s events with Mike Scott and all Philadelphia 76ers news.

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earing a player tell you that they can’t wait until the next game or practice is why the SPST staff and I coach and teach. Players with that mindset exude passion, desire and love for the game. Baseball anticipation is a feeling that can’t be explained or taught but when that feeling is present, we as instructors have a duty to help that player keep the feeling alive during the season and now during the off-season. With the warm summer months in everyone’s rear view mirror and fall on our doorstep, keeping players engaged, motivated and hungry for the upcoming season is a challenge that my staff and I embrace. We call this cultivating The Offseason Edge. The following are some tips from SPST that I want to share with players of all ages, with some insight from former pro and one of our lead instructors Al Baur. These tips are for all players (baseball and other sports) to keep their competitive drive going

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| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

•Homemade fresh cheese ravioli and varieties of pastas as well as continue to develop both physically and mentally in the offseason. This is how we build “The Offseason Edge!”

Find opportunities to play baseball in the off season.

Baseball is no longer a spring and summer sport only. Living in the Philadelphia area is not an excuse not to train when the weather gets colder. Just ask local standouts such as Jimmy Kerrigan, Albert Baur and others who don’t let their peers from warm weather states outwork them. Opportunities are everywhere. Players must find them. We suggest finding a way to play baseball through fall ball or instructional leagues prior to the start of spring. SPST provides that opportunity seven days a week. We encourage and welcome any player to make SPST their fall and winter home for cutting edge baseball instruction and preparation for the upcoming season. Additionally, throughout the off-season, SPST will offer training clinics, indoor camps and holiday break-related activities designed for the growing athlete from grade school to college.

2. Train with balance and purpose.

Baur explains, “Baseball seasons more so than any other sports seasons is long, grinding, frustrating at times but it can be exciting at others. It is a mix of emotions and every player needs to learn how to take the highs and lows accordingly. They need to learn balance in order to stay in the game.” The off-season is a great time to take a day or two to look back on the previous season, celebrate your strengths, work on your weaknesses and build a plan. At SPST, we work with each player on an individual basis to bring out the best in them and develop a plan. Whether it is hitting, fielding, pitching or base running, strength and conditioning, we help each player tap into their potential with purpose and help balance out the mental and physical parts of their game.

3. Have and welcome a support system.

Everyone needs the support of friends and family when setting goals for life or sports and embarking on their journey. I was blessed at a young age to have the strong

support of my family and friends who believed in me and respected my dreams and goals. Each day that I get the opportunity to work with young people and young athletes, I try to gift each of them with the same support that was given to me. No matter what a player’s goal may be to enhance their on-field abilities or achieve off the field success in the classroom or the workplace, a proper support system is the cornerstone of a journey that will keep things in perspective through good and bad times. Having a support system and welcoming that support and feedback is essential to the development of all players.

4. Never give up.

“This is easier said than done, but we sometimes forget this valuable phrase as adults. In the world of baseball, and in life, you are going to achieve mixed results each day. Remember baseball is the only sport built on failure. Simply stated, if you get a hit 3 out of 10 times, you’re one of the best! Some days you’re on top and other days you are struggling to find a purpose. If players remember to never give up at a young age, they’ll carry that mindset into the classroom, on the field, into the workforce and impact society. Life is more than a batting average and wins and losses, it is about making a difference. Each player that SPST has the opportunity to work with is someone who can make a difference. So throughout this off-season, remember to find opportunities to play and love playing. Train with balance and purpose. To obtain “The Offseason Edge,” schedule baseball instruction with Nicky Nardini or Al Baur. Discover more about SPST, become a member of the SPST family, purchase an instructional gift certificate for an athlete or book an upcoming camp, clinic, birthday party, group outing or corporate event. Call 215.767.8103 or email Please follow SPST on Twitter @SPSTPhilly and Instagram @_SPST_ for weekly baseball tips, updates, information and exciting event happenings. SPST is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.

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meet the


Joei DeCarlo Writer

When did you start writing for Philadelhpia RowHome Magazine? 2016 How did you discover RowHome? I went to the same school as Dorette’s and Dawn’s sons (GAMP) and they knew I loved to write. Dorette reached out to me during my sophomore year of college and I’ve been writing for RowHome ever since. Name a story you’ve written for RowHome that makes you proud. My story about Covenant House Pennsylvania (CHPA) in 2017. They work tirelessly to help homeless, runaway and trafficked youth. It was an honor to write about all they are doing for children in PA. They host sleep-outs where people fundraise and sleep outside as an act of solidarity for homeless youth. They’re a wonderful organization! Did you grow up in Philly or live here at some point? What neighborhood? Born and raised in South Philly, around 17th & Wolf. I still live in South Philly and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Who was your best friend growing up? Why? My grandmom, “Moey.” We spent a lot of time together while my mom worked as an ER nurse. She’d take me everywhere with her, we’d do puzzles and play board games together. As I got older, I loved to help her cook dinner after school. What’s your favorite quote? “You’re not the only one who’s made mistakes, but they’re the only things that

you can truly call your own.” - Billy Joel from “You’re Only Human (Second Wind).” What’s your favorite row home memory? I grew up in one and had no idea what a row house was until I visited family in Jersey and noticed that their houses weren’t connected to other houses! They had grass instead. To me, row houses are the quintessential place to live. You have awesome neighbors, tend to foster tight-knit communities, awesome family dinners. What got you into writing? I’ve always loved ELA classes in elementary school and I continued that love in high school when I took AP literature. Once I got to college, I knew I had to study something that would allow me to write every day. Today, I work as a department administrator at Temple University, where communication is a crucial part of my role. What other sites/magazines/ papers do you/did you write for? I’ve written for Temple University’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)’s online blog and printed newsletter, and Temple’s studentrun PR firm, PRowl’s online blog. Favorite memory with RowHome Magazine? Attending Taco Fest in 2017 at SugarHouse Casino OR Margarita Rumble in 2018 at The Piazza at Schmidt’s in Northern Liberties. Both were an awesome excuse to enjoy authentic tacos/margaritas and take photos of them. Are you on Instagram? What’s your handle? Follow me! @joei_decarlo

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October / November / December 2019



I was born and raised in the South


Philly that is This is an excerpt from 50 Shades Of Gravy, Our Saucy Adventures of Being South Philly Born and Raised that Debbie Russino and I are in the process of writing. The stories you’ll read in our book are true antidotes from a funny little boy who didn’t realize he was funny and a pretty little girl who always rooted for the underdog.


by L ou Pinto

y life story is about characters. In my high school yearbook, my childhood friend Mike Gonella wrote; “There are people and there are characters. You Louie are a character. Don’t change! Stay just as you are!” So, it’s appropriate that this character lived in a place that had character. When people ask me what my hometown is, I don’t say Philadelphia. I say, “I’m from South Philly.” Quite a few famous people are from my hometown of South Philly. Growing up I would hear, “It must be something in the water that all these talented people are from this small part of the city.” As a little kid, I had the idea to sell the water from South Philly and give people “abilities far and above any mortal man” (I was a big Superman fan). I could make a fortune! But then I found out that South Philly got their water from the same place that the rest of the city did. When I told my Dad of my idea of bottling and selling the water, he smiled and said, “Who would buy bottled water?”


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

Up until now, I worked various part-time and odd jobs around the neighborhood. I worked a newspaper route. The route belonged to my best friend at the time - Lenny Moffa. I would “help” him out on some days and substitute when he couldn’t work. The next day, he would correct all my mistakes as much as he could. If I missed a house or delivered it to the wrong house, someone would get yesterday’s paper or some people would get a free paper. So mostly he just apologized. When there was a problem, our neighbors didn’t say anything because they liked seeing me. I was the funny kid that made everyone laugh. I always had this ability to make people laugh for as long as I could remember. The funny (excuse the pun) thing is, almost every time I did make them laugh, I didn’t even realize I was being funny. Today, that is still the case. I also had a job delivering groceries using my wagon for a local grocery store that Danny Esposito owned. Danny was one of four brothers from Esposito’s Meat Market located in South Philly’s Italian Market, what we called “9th Street.” The Esposito family was huge! When I say huge, I mean one brother was bigger than the other. Danny was the smallest of the brothers and he was pushing 350 pounds. His brothers Joe, Louis and Lee made him look small. I would pile all the groceries in my wagon and walk to the neighborhood houses to deliver their orders. If anything was frozen or needed to be refrigerated, they would be defrosted or melted by the time I arrived at most of the homes. This was a summer job and the temperatures were pretty warm that year.  Being a cute 10-year-old - and Danny being a family friend, he’d wind up delivering most of the orders and still paid me. My first “business” that I created on my own was a window washing business. I made up flyers that said, “WE DO WINDOWS by – YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDERKIDS – Louie, Johnny and Lenny.” I was a Marvel fan, too. All the streets in South Philly had row homes. Each street had 53 houses with either a picture window or two regular windows side by side. I figured I would charge $3 a house for the outside first floor windows and $5 if they wanted the inside done. I usually didn’t offer to do the 2nd floor windows and it wasn’t because I was afraid of heights. Back then and still today, I was and am very accident prone. Dad would say that I could trip over a matchstick. I enlisted my brother Johnny and friend Lenny to help do the windows. We would average about $84 per block if half the block wanted their windows washed. Our expenses were low. Paper towels, a squeegee and Windex were all we needed. Then I got this bright idea to save money. Windex was our most costly product/ tool. It was about $1.98 a bottle back then. I thought if I bought a bottle of ammonia for 64 cents and a gallon of bleach for 98 cents and mixed them together, it would clean and put a shine on the windows at a lower cost. That was my first lesson in chemistry. Thank God I mixed them outside and Dad saw what I was doing. You don’t mix ammonia and bleach. It creates a deadly gas and if inhaled can really mess up your day. We decided to keep using Windex and eat the extra cost. PRH

October / November / December 2019


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rmand was a staple in my neighborhood for as long as I could remember. If you knew him, he would be impossible to forget. He was our official birthday greeter! My family and I lived on the corner of 10th & McKean connected to my father’s store, Bob’s Fruit Market. I don’t remember how or when it happened, but Armand became a regular in my dad’s store. He was always red-faced and cheerful as he helped my dad with deliveries and errands in the neighborhood. Armand became an extended family member and it was always a given that he would attend our birthday celebrations. If I had the chance to interview some of the people who remember him, I am certain every one of them would have a funny story to tell about this colorful and unique man. The thing that stood out the most about Armand was his uncanny memory with numbers. He knew everyone by the month and date they were born because in his world, no one had a name. For example, I would be walking down the street with my friends and if he saw me he would wave his hand in the air

and shout, “Hey May 11th!” Of course, everyone would laugh and think it was weird but to me it was perfectly normal. On your birthday, if you weren’t ready to blow out the candles when he came to your house then you better get ready because he wasn’t leaving without having a piece of cake! I remember my father as a man who helped the underdogs, misfits and outcasts. He did this because he felt he was among them. His mother died when he was three and his father was not fit to raise him. With no family members willing to take him in, he was put into foster care. To say the least, he did not have an easy life. I believe he felt compassion for Armand and took him under his wing because he was different and that is never an easy road to travel alone. The kindest and most courageous people in the world are the ones who stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. As I look back on these quirky and bizarre chapters of my life, I realize they have become the narrator of my bittersweet and nostalgic childhood. Thanks for the memories Armand and Happy Birthday in heaven! PRH

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Friday Night, November 15th, 2019, 6:30 p.m. Galdo’s , 1933 W. Moyamensing Avenue

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019


well Deserved

Love Tap

by Charlie Sacchetti

St. Anthony of


Regional Catholic School


rowing up in a strict Italian-American family was never dull, although it was quite predictable. My father, who was most certainly the head of the clan, had few rules that were explained with fanfare, but my sister Kathy and I clearly understood what was expected of us because he led by example. Of all the lessons Dad imparted to us, I would say the two that stand out in my mind are the importance of a strong work ethic and the absolute necessity of showing respect for others. One day, when I was 13, I learned a valuable lesson regarding respect. It took less than 10 seconds. On a beautiful fall afternoon, I was engrossed in a hotly contested, two-hand touch football game at our “Coliseum,” otherwise known as the St. Barnabas schoolyard on 64th Street in Southwest Philly. When I glanced at my watch, I noticed the time was 4:58 p.m., which was significant considering one of Dad’s strictest rules simply stated: Dinner is at 5:00 p.m. and don’t be late. Dad arrived home from Westinghouse at about 4:30 daily, and Mom always was sure to have the meal prepared so Dad wouldn’t have to wait too long for the nourishment he needed after the physically demanding factory work he endured for many years. We had a typical row home on 64th Street and Buist Avenue. It was comfortable enough, although the kitchen was somewhat cramped. When Mom’s chair was in her place at the table, she would not have enough room to stand at the stove so she always pushed it off to the side while she was cooking. Therefore, out of respect for my Mother’s labor in the hot kitchen, it was my job each evening to place Mom’s chair in its spot at the table before I, myself, sat down to eat. So, when I glanced at my watch and saw the dreaded 4:58, I knew, for me, the football game was over, and I’d better hustle home, which was one block away. As I ran into the house, I could see that Dad and Kathy were

already seated and Mom was just finishing up. Dad had already started enjoying the Escarole soup with the little meatballs. Ignoring Mom’s chair, I rushed right to my seat, sliding past hers like Fred Astaire on the dance floor. I was in a hurry and I was hungry. As I sat down, Dad asked me, ‘Where’s Mommy’s chair?’ In life, we all sometimes say things that we wish we could immediately reel back into our mouths. That’s how I felt after I uttered the fateful words, “Oh, she can get it herself.” My father, without missing a single stroke of his soup spoon, grabbed his favorite bread knife by the blade, and, with the skill of a conductor waving his baton, popped me on the head with the black wooden handle with the three gold dots. No words were necessary. I immediately got up, retrieved Mom’s chair and placed it in its rightful home at our dinner table. I NEVER forgot the chair again. In these politically correct days, I suppose some might call that little love tap “harsh treatment.” After all, I was just a hungry kid and it wasn’t a big deal for Mom to push her chair over there herself. But that wasn’t the point. I had disrespected Mom and disrespected Dad. He wanted me to grow up to be a man who deserved respect and that could only happen if I were a man who showed respect. When I eulogized my Dad at his funeral Mass, I recounted this story. Most of the attendees, especially my cousins on my father’s side, laughed and gave nods of familiarity. They weren’t a bit surprised because their parents probably would have done the same thing. Back then, there wasn’t much of a gray area like there is today; there was simply right and wrong. I closed the story by saying that Dad’s reaction at the dinner table only proved that he was a master of “non-verbal communication.” Indeed, in just 10 seconds, Dad taught me a very clear lesson on respect and how to show it. PRH

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t Woodard’s Barbershop, I get a chance to pick the brains of many seniors who have lived very extraordinary lives. I call it “Barbershop Talk. Working on the Head and in the Head.” Barbering is like traveling through time by conversation. One afternoon, my friend, Mr. Cody Anderson, was in my chair. He was the General Manager of WDAS Radio Station and the owner of WHAT and WURD Radio Stations. He was also the Founder of UNITY Day here in Philadelphia. While cutting Cody’s hair, we were discussing the history of music in Philadelphia and its worldwide popularity. During our conversation, Mr. Roscoe Draper, a living legend, walked in the door. Mr. Draper is a Tuskegee Airman, one of the Heroes in American History. As soon as he entered, the conversation shifted. As I introduced Mr. Draper to Mr. Anderson, I realized that these two famous men were already familiar with one another. This steered the discussion in the direction of American History. The question was posed, ‘Why is Black History often neglected in our American History narrative?’ I replied, “I believe it’s because it isn’t taught in educational institutions and is rarely mentioned in the media.” Mr. Draper agreed. ‘Did you know that in March 1941, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt flew with a Black pilot, against the advisement of her staff, to prove that Black men could fly a plane?’ Draper asked. The Pilot’s name was Charles Alfred Anderson. After that historic flight, the Army named him Chief Instructor and Commander of the Tuskegee Airmen. Mr. Draper then asked, ‘Did you know that when Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, one of the First Responders was a Messman Third Class stationed on the

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

USS West Virginia by the name of Doris “Dorie” Miller?’ He helped save the life of the wounded Captain by moving him out of harm’s way on the Bridge. He then manned an anti-aircraft gun, despite not receiving formal training to use it. The conversation shifted again when a white college student sitting in the shop joined in and asked, ‘Wasn’t it a Black guard who discovered an open door at Watergate? What was his name?’ Cody replied, ‘It was Frank Wills.’ An Asian Student chimed in, ‘What about this year in an Oregon school, where the Black security guard, Keanon Lowe, tackled a student wearing a trench coat armed with a shotgun? He prevented a possible massacre!’ It got me thinking, again, as I continued our chat. “I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Black billionaire Robert F. Smith. He paid the debts of Morehouse College’s 2019 Graduating Class.” The past, present and future converged in Barbershop Talk. There are many Blacks in American History that are rarely discussed. However, in Barbershop Talk, my diverse patrons learned as well as shared that day. This type of education is rare in today’s technical society because some people text instead of talk to each other. It needs to extend to all of our learning institutions. All American History is necessary to help share every ethnicity in the American story. This knowledge will help dispel some of the negative stereotypes placed on certain groups of people. By saluting with a well-balanced hand, we can bring fairness to all heroes. Take the “RACE Test” today for a better way at PRH Woodard’s Barbershop, 5031 Diamond Street, is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network.





“We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 about something real?”


t makes sense that a person who enjoys writing would also enjoy reading, right? In my case, not so much. By the time I was 20, I read five books. Please don’t judge. After a couple pages, the words would blur together and all I wanted to do was close my eyes and nap. But there was something about those first five books that inspired me to power through the hazy vision and started my appreciation for writers that were able to bring their stories to life. The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton Started writing this iconic story when she was just 15 years old. Susan Hinton wrote about her friends in Oklahoma and I’m not sure how she did it, but I was there with Ponyboy during his conversation with Cherry Valance at the drive-in. Stranger yet, I felt the connection he had with her. John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. No spoilers, but that ending shook loose a piece of me that at the time, I didn’t know existed. I walked around for days thinking about what George did. A piece of fiction, nothing more than words on paper, produced a real emotional blow. I can’t be the only one that thinks of Lennie whenever I see a rabbit. The Catcher in the Rye Made me laugh. J.D. Salinger’s Holden Caulfield was a complete screw-up, but also completely relatable. The Grapes of Wrath Is an award-winning book about a family’s trek across the country

during the Depression. Upon realizing that, I was immediately off to buy the cliff notes. But to my surprise, I could not put it down. I later learned that many in California were upset about how John Steinbeck depicted the work camps and groups burned the book in protest. I guess it’s true that the pen is mightier than the sword. Fahrenheit 451 Is my favorite and possibly even more relevant today than it was when first published in the ‘50s. A story about a dystopian future where books are endangered, creativity is replaced by mass media influences and a constant onslaught of digital sensation replaced all critical thinking. Sound familiar? Ray Bradbury understood the importance of books and warned that if a society didn’t value reading, ignorance and apathy would surely ensue. Surprise, surprise. Kids don’t read for enjoyment as much as they did just 20 years ago. Studies show that a teenager’s use of traditional media such as books, magazines and even television has dropped significantly. The average smartphone user swipes their phone more than 2,600 times a day. Dopamine is released in the brain every time our phone dings, chemically motivating our response. Reading a novel, on the other hand, increases blood flow and improves connectivity in the brain. I know that reading isn’t always the easiest thing to do but maybe if we can get everyone to read more, we can avoid a zombie apocalypse. Ray Bradbury reminds us, “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” PRH October / November / December 2019



President, Ss. Neumann-Goretti High School

G the

S N G Makeover More students, higher test scores & new carpets

reetings from 10th Street! It is hard to believe yet another academic year is upon us – my third since arriving in August 2017. Since then, we have accomplished much. To name a few, student enrollment continues to rise year-over-year. As a result, SNG was the ONLY Catholic high school to add teachers for the 2019-2020 academic year. All other Catholic high schools saw a decrease in the number of teachers at their school. Academic outcomes – test scores – continue to rise. As for the facility itself, upgrades were made to lighting inside and out of the building. Twenty-three new security cameras were recently installed for the safety of everyone who enters our building - whether for 180 seconds or 180 days. New carpets were installed in all administrative offices; we’ve completed a total renovation of our chapel and much more. Our students are non-stop, filling their years at SNG with classes, projects, service trips, clubs and teams, always striving to become the best they can be. Our young faculty members continue to inspire our students and make constant advances as leaders and innovators while our staff works assiduously to support and grow all facets of SNG. The

future is indeed looking bright, but we have much more to do! Looking ahead to the next chapter in the SNG story, it is time to widen our perspective and think bigger, bolder. Again, we have much to do and it will take a commitment from ALL alumni - Southeast Catholic, Bishop Neumann, St. John Neumann, St. Maria Goretti and of course, Saints Neumann-Goretti. As we go to press, we are kicking off our Annual Campaign and have a goal to raise $750,000 in the next eight months to fund scholarships, financial aid and continued upgrades to our building. Hopefully, you will join us in reaching our goal and rest assured, every dollar you donate remains with the school. Over the course of the next 12 months, it is our intention to write a new and ambitious strategic plan in order to shape the school over the course of the next 10 years, building upon our strengths while honoring the legacy of those who have come before us. It is our mission to improve the experience of those who are in enrolled at SNG today and open our doors wide to those who will join our community tomorrow to create the finest 21st century high school in the City of Philadelphia. Until next time…the future is bright!









| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019


Italian Americans

Celebrate their Heritage photos by ANDREW ANDREOZZI poster by VICTOR DELLABARBA

THE 1492 SOCIETY KICKED OFF ITS ANNUAL Columbus Day Celebration with a Dinner at Galdo’s honoring Philadelphia RowHome Magazine owners/ publishers Dorette Rota Jackson and Dawn Rhoades (Hon. Anthony J. DeFino Award); Hon. Ronald Donatucci (Frank L. Rizzo Award); and UNICO. All were recognized for their “outstanding service to the Italian American Community and support of the Columbus Day Parade.”

PRH Life

October / November / December 2019



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_____________________________ Posh Painting by Rita llc. Rita CocciaTrombetta 856.986.0252


Home Services

Dr. Denise D’Adamo DC

_____________________________ Pennsport Physical Therapy


Music Lessons

Joe Cuglietta Guitar Lessons Washington Township, NJ

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



Professional Organizations

South Philadelphia Business Assn.

Oldest Business Association in South Philadelphia


Join today! Russell Shoemaker Director of New Membership 267.597.7154

We rid your pests so you can rest

Real Estate

CPR Restoration

Restoration & cleaning service Fire/Smoke/Water/Mold 215.704.4958

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

_____________________________ Fetterman Design Group, LLC. 211 East Palmer Ave Collingswood, NJ 08108 856.264.6816



Anthony's Italian Coffee House

903 & 905 S. 9th St. Phila., PA 19147 215.627.2586

Philip's Moving & Removal Services

Caffe Chicco

Free Estimates. We will beat any written estimate. Licensed & Insured. 5-year warranty on all work.

_____________________________ No job too big or small. Licensed & Insured. Free Estimates. 215.500.3903


Insurance Services

Troast-Singley Insurance Agency, LLC Kim Troast-Singley 2700 S. 18th St. Philadelphia, PA 19145 215.339.0333



Olivieri Jewelers

2523 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.336.1130

_____________________________ Voted Best of Philly 2017 / Roast Beef Sandwich

2532 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19145 215.334.3100

_____________________________ Stogie Joe's Tavern

1801 E. Passyunk Ave Philadelphia, PA 19148 215-463-3030

Join the PRH Business Network!

Call Carol at 215.462.9777 or

Security Services

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

_____________________________ SPI Security Services Inc.

2440 Federal St. Philadelphia, PA 19146 215.338.0800


Senior Services

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

158 N. 3rd St. Philadelphia, PA 19106 856.227.7774

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

_____________________________ Philly's Nail Spa

Wellness and Beauty Spa Refer three customers and get $20 off the service of your choice! 2502 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19145 215.271.9831


Specialty Foods & Catering The Beer Peddlers

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

_____________________________ Cannuli’s Sausage

1640 Ritner St. Philadelphia, PA 19145 215.468.7997

_____________________________ Giovanni’s Italian Catering

Located in the heart of South Philadelphia


_____________________________ Mike's Hot Dog Cart 24th & Passyunk

Swan Caterers

Now serving at 2 locations 2015 S. Water St. Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.389.8888 1500-02-04 Shunk St. Philadelphia, PA 19145 215.389.2045


Tattoo Artist

Michael DiGiacomo Tattoo One Five

Custom Tattooing & Art Gallery

815 S 4th Street 215.644.9444

Travel Services At Escapes

Your boutique travel company Gina Casella / Founder & President 917.514.5566

_____________________________ Travel with Pam Draper

Full Service Agent 856.956.3532




y sister and I were reminiscing childhood during Chicago P.D. commercial breaks. We weren’t even 10 seconds into the “You can’t fake steak” Longhorn commercial when she brought up my nun stint. The topic was Halloween. Reese’s Cups, Butterfingers, Mallo Cups and Chunky. How there was no such thing as “sample size” bars of candy when we were kids. Everything was giant sized. And every house on the block – at least the ones with their livingroom lights on – gave you a spectacular treat when you rang the doorbell. “You were always some kind of princess,” I laughed. ‘Yeah. And you were a nun. Every Halloween,’ she snorted. ‘Ridiculous.’ I knew it was only a matter of minutes before the bashing would begin. She never lets me forget. Let me fill you in. I was the Singing Nun. Literally. I was so awestruck by Debbie Reynolds’ movie about this real-life nun who wrote beautiful songs (“Dominique” was a chart-topper in 1963!) that I became her. Every day after school, I dressed in my nun garb. Long black robe with black rosary beads dangling down the side. I had a veil and all. As soon as I got home from school, I’d plop my album onto the record player in my room and sing every tune. Both sides. So, when Epiphany was signing up some serious acts for its talent show back in 1966, I showed up in flowing frocks, guitar and all. I was only in the second grade so chances were slim that I’d even


be considered for this prestigious lineup. Turned out, the Sisters of St. Joseph were so touched by my passionate tryout, they ignored the fact that I couldn’t sing a note and signed me up! They even dressed me in authentic nun-wear they borrowed from a very short nun at school to add to the authenticity of my act – black robe, white bib and matching triangular headpiece – long flowing veil and a genuine set of Rosary Beads blessed by our Pastor, Fr. Gillooley. It was a tough decision to make but I chose to perform the ever-popular hit, “It’s a Miracle,” and to my pleasant surprise, it was an overwhelming success. The nuns were so pleased with my performance, they paraded me from one classroom to the next so I could share my song with the entire school! ‘It’s a miracle anybody ever talked to you again,’ Dawn mumbled from her corner of the couch. As usual, I ignore her. And as usual, it doesn’t stop her from flapping her lips. ‘You wore that stupid nun costume every Halloween. You wore it EVERY DAY after school!’ the rant continues. ‘I thought you were an idiot... And that stupid nun album ... I remember you skipping down the hallway with that fake guitar singing every song over and over again ... I thought you were nuts! And mommy let you do it! Where was her head?’ I turn up the volume on the remote hoping she gets the hint. My show is on. My interest in this conversation is over. But she’s just getting started. ‘What were you thinking? How did you take yourself seriously in a nun dress singing in front of all the kids at school? They had to be peeing themselves...I guess they figured it was better than practicing

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2019

penmanship ... Haaaa!!.... I bet those kids still remember that ridiculous kid singing the nun tunes back in the ‘60s! They just don’t know it was YOU!!...’’’ Hahaaahaa!! We should ask them! We know some of those people who were in your class in Epiphany... They would crack up!...’ Hmmm. I wonder to myself. Is it possible, 50-something years later that any of my classmates recall my stellar performance in the Epiphany of Our Lord talent show? Circa 1966. The names flood the recesses of my mind. Donna Galvin, Maryanne Giacobbe, Elaine Germano, Debbie Scavetti, Florence Soli, Donna Ellis, Michael Hinkle, Gary Perry. They were all in my class. Is it possible? Do they remember my singing nun performance from yesteryear? I hate to admit it, but I’m feeling a bit accomplished. Is this what it feels like to leave somewhat of a legacy behind? The sound of a YouTube song pierces the silence of my reflection. Dominique, nique, nique S’en allait tout simplement Routier pauvre et chantant En tous chemins, en tous lieux, Il ne parle que du bon Dieu, Il ne parle que du bon Dieu I snap out of it just in time to see my sister’s smirking expression as she turns up the volume on her cellphone. And I missed the entire episode of Chicago P.D. So much for the legacy. PRH

“Elegance is the only beauty that never fades.” — Audrey Hepburn

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