Philadelphia RowHome Magazine Spring 2022

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Real People. Real Stories. Workout for Wishes APRIL | MAY | JUNE 2022 VOL 55_ISSUE 65_2022 GOHOMEPHILLY.COM $4.99 US

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28_ LIFE

Fighting the Fight MANNA nurtures many, body & soul by Anthony Panvini

30_ REAL PEOPLE REAL STORIES Life, Love & Lemonade by Pat Ciarrocchi


Live Better Therapy Solutions Breaking the stigma around mental health by Rachel Porter

59_ MENU

Philly Foodworks by Matt Kelchner



Men’s Trends Courtesy of Goldstein’s Men’s & Boys’ Apparel


84_ MUSIC & ARTS Local Band Spotlight Jamison by Matt Kelchner



Spotlight: Josephine B. Pasquarello Life’s Journey by John Nacchio




Phi lly






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The world needs your light

Mark Lynch, Jr. Business Manager IBEW Local 98




6_ FROM THE PUBLISHERS FUH — RESSSHHH – PUH – RET – zels! photos by Andrew Andreozzi

10_ NEIGHBORHOOD NOIR June 1968. MarieElena Abbruzzi, Danielle DiNapoli & Marie Rocco at Epiphany School Kindergarten graduation

50_ REAL ESTATE Home Organization Your space is your haven courtesy of Fetterman Design Group

12_ HANGIN’ OUT RowHome’s John Nacchio discovers a delicious delight with a roll from Boaggio’s Bread

56_ TIPS FROM THE PROS Make your child a taxfree millionaire! courtesy of The CPA Firm of David M. Spitzberg

16_ ROWHOME REMEMBERS Coulda! Woulda! Shouda! by Tony Santini

70_ BRIDES GUIDE Alexza & Yanni Fisfis Mediterranean Chic at The Lucy by Joe Volpe

46_ HEALTH Chef MJ’s Corner Why more people are picking up the boxing gloves by Chef Mitzi Jackson-Robinson photo by Adam Eisner

80_ MUSIC & ARTS Spring Theater Highlights Patsy Cline & Rocky in the lineup by Marialena Rago

96_ PRESSED Carol loves Cannoli by Dorette Rota Jackson






ON THE COVER ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||


Workout for Wishes

PHL Athletics is partnering with MontiRago Funeral Home to host Workout for Wishes on April 30th at the gym. Not only are they raising money for MakeA-Wish, participants and sponsors of this event are raising awareness for nonprofits and the needs they fill in our community. “Fundraisers like this give us and our community the opportunity to show how strong we are when we stand side-by-side,” organizers say. Pictured on cover (l to r) Dominic Rago (Monti-Rago Funeral Home) & the team from PHL Athletics - Ron Malandro Jr., Stasia Milios, Bill Fulginiti Jr. & Joseph Renzi, Jr.



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| MAY | JUNE 2022


Family owned & operated since 2004 Mission Statement Our mission is to preserve the traditions, showcase the neighborhoods and promote the local businesses that strengthen the economy and improve the quaility of life for all of us. PRESIDENT | PUBLISHER


Dawn Rhoades EDITOR






Joseph Volpe

Northeast Cardiology Consultants, Inc.


Nazareth Hospital - Physicians Office Building 2701 Holme Avenue, Suite 105 Philadelphia, PA 19152

(215) 335 -4944



Albert Fortino



Andrew Andreozzi Phil Kramer Maria Merlino ACCOUNT MANAGER


Michael Rhoades CONTRIBUTORS Mark Casasanto Santina Pescatore David Cava Lou Pinto Joei DiSanto Michael Rhoades Frank DePasquale Jr., Esq Marialena Rago Victoria DiPietro Jane Roser Larry Gallone Jade Rota Brett Jackson Debbie Russino Matt Kelchner Charles Sacchetti Maria Merlino Anthony Santini John Nacchio Geno Thackara Vincent R. Novello, Jr. Dominique Verrecchio Stephen Pagano Robert “Woody” Woodard Anthony Panvini Published by Philadelphia RowHome Inc. P.O. Box 54786, Philadelphia, PA 19148 Phone – 215.462.9777 | 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. 2022 Philadelphia RowHome Inc. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the USA. Published by Philadelphia RowHome Inc.

April / May / June 2022



Pining for


photos by ANDREW ANDREOZZI photography

crav·ing | ˈkrāviNG | noun a powerful desire for something

Growing up in neighborhoods where food is famous, it’s our job to point you in the right direction when it comes to authentic Philly traditions. Take the soft pretzel, for instance. We grew up on them. They were our mid-morning snack in school. Every corner grocer stacked them on their counters for first-come customers. We ate pretzels at the ball fields, block parties, festivals and walk-a-thons. Everyone knows they pair perfectly with your morning cup of coffee or a lemon water ice on a hot August night. And as soon as the spring breeze blows happy memories through your window screens, the soft pretzel cravings begin. We flash back to that familiar chant that woke us from a deep Saturday morning sleep when we were kids. Just in time to watch cartoons on the console TV. Furr-resh pur-ret-zels! We were down the stairs and out the front door in a flash with our quarter for 5! It started to smell like spring, last week, so we decided to drop in on our friend Erika at Center City Soft Pretzel Co. She was busy filling orders and packaging pickups, but we didn’t mind waiting. We knew the next golden batch to roll out of that brick oven was ours. Perfectly salted. Crust in all the right places. And that soft, flaky dough just beneath the surface. Flour. Yeast. Water. Nut-free. Dairy-free. Kosher. This, dear friends, is the pretzel of our youth. And it’s been rolling out of this same oven since 1981 when Erika’s father Tony Tonelli opened the bakery. When he retired more than a dozen years ago, Erika Tonelli-Bonnett stepped up to the gate. But get there early. She starts around the crack of dawn. Overseeing the operations. Filling orders. Waiting on walk-in customers. And making sure that one of Philly’s original soft pretzel bakeries keeps feeding this fabulous favorite to everyone who knows better.


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One family One location One damn good pretzel It’s that simple. You’re welcome!

Dorette & Dawn River to River. One Neighborhood.

Center City Soft Pretzel Co. 816 Washington Ave. Philadelphia / PA 19147 215.463.5664 M-F: 6-11 am

Retail & Wholesale Nationwide shipping available




Exceptionally Built. Eternity of Beauty.

As a new subscriber, I was so moved and impressed by the articles I read in RowHome. From camaraderie playing cornhole in South Philly to coping mechanisms for covid, the stories were well-written, insightful, and entertaining. I hold treasured memories of my row home, growing up in Northeast Philly. Your magazine is a testament to why row homes, and the neighborhoods they occupy, are so special. Donna Smentkowski, North Wilmington, DE


1721 E. Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.551.9070


Ahh, thank you for sharing our story and our special day. You all are the best! Christina Pizzi (Brides Guide January 22 )


Thank you for the push! Awesome magazine btw! Van Halen Nation


It was just about this time a year ago that my daughters and I started our fun tradition of Flatbread Fridays. You can read all about our Flatbread Fridays, along with some of our favorite flatbread recipes, in the Winter edition of RowHome Magazine. You can also read the article on my food blog at flatbread-Fridays/. Thank you, Dorette & Dawn, for the article! Dominic Condo

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| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

A leader our children and grandchildren can look up to.

WWW.LOUBARLETTA.COM Paid for by Dan Pellicciotti. Approved by Lou Barletta for Governor.

1950s. Phillies

-loving Canuso brothers: Nick, 10; Vito, 11; & Joe, 12.

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1. Congratulations to Torianne Rota & Anthony Lana who celebrated their wedding day with family & friends in Punta Cana! 2.

ouncimember Mark Squilla C is hangin’ out with friends. Photo by Andrew Andreozzi


ominic Rago & Nick D DiValentino are Hangin’ Out with Mike Giangiordano for State Rep.


enise LaRosa, Lauren D Redrow & MarieElena Abbruzzi hangin’ out at Stogie Joe’s.


angin’ Out at the annual H ski trip are lifelong friends Lou Barretta, Vince Caputo, Mike Rhoades, Joe Rhoades & Michael Nunzio.








ongratulations to the C ACPD retirees! Jerry Barnhart, Mike Arroyo, Joe Donatucci (seated), Rob Nawrocki, Monica Coursey, Rebecca Leon, Charlie Heintz, Michelle Dunford, Harry “Bud” Brubaker, with Jimmy Sarcos, Acting Chief of Police. J immy, Brianna & Lisa Davis celebrate Brianna’s 30th birthday. hree best friends are T hangin’ out at a surprise 90th birthday bash for Domenic Mascitti at the Waterfall Room! Bernie Marino, Domenic & Joseph Marra. ucy Mattia and her sister, L Dolly Paolino, celebrating Lucy’s 91st birthday at Cafe 2911 in South Philly.

10. D onna & Anthony Anello are hangin’ out for Donna’s birthday. 11. N oelle Palazzo Burg wins 1st place in the charitable dance competition for CITRS. Congratulations! Great job! 12. H angin’ Out before the wedding day with Dee Robinson, Gina DiPaolo, Sara Simic. Gabriella Tripodi, Monica Argenzio (the bride!), Francesca Lacey, Danielle Carfone, Maria Argenzio & Caroline Lynch. Photo by Asya Photography 13. R owHome’s John Nacchio discovers a delicious delight with a roll from Boaggio Bread. 14. R owHome Rowan hangs out with his friend Dahlia, making Irish Soda Bread! 15. H oward, Crystal, Becky, Kristen & Brenda hang out at a concert in Bethlehem. 16. N G alum Joe Messina Jr. comes home to support NG & deliver to his Dad (NG Coach Joe Messina) the game ball from his first win at West Chester University. 17. R ose Zavasky celebrates her birthday at Panarama with the girls 18. M onica with her parents Frank & Maria Argenzio on her wedding day. Photo by Aysa Photography 19. H angin’ out with Domenic Mascitti at his surprise 90th Birthday party at Swan Caterer’s Waterfall Room, hosted by his daughter Andrea. Ed & Lisa Costello, Dawn & Mike Rhoades, & Dorette!

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18 April / May / June 2022




THANKS for MEMORIES Clap your hands, clap your hands! ON THE CORNER




outh Jersey’s most iconic nightclub is turning 50. Through the years, clubs along the coastline, some with catchy names like The Stardust, Shamrock, Deja Vu and Chez Paree, all had their days in the sun. And like the ghosts of summers past, each with tales to tell. But the one still standing stoically, like an ageless, undefeated, heavyweight champion is Memories in Margate. No surprise really, considering the man behind the turntables is, in fact, a timeless wonder who needs no introduction. If I say Geator, you say, Jerry. Blavat – that is. With his star shining brighter than ever, the “Geator with the Heater” still lands the punch that packs the house. Now in its golden anniversary year, the place he calls home every warm weather weekend remains as hot as the summer sand on an August afternoon. For a nightclub, Memories has always danced to its own beat. Unequaled in a sense that the music is of another day and another time. Everything from his signature rap to introduce “Heat Wave,” to a jitterbugging ditty like The Capris’ “Morse Code of Love,” is delivered with the youthful enthusiasm that is uniquely Blavat. The “yon teens,” now with silver crowning their hair, remain as slick and smooth on the floor as ever. They’re still doing the Wagner Walk, Soul City Walking or just Twistin’ the Night Away. But the beauty of it all is that every generation represents, here. Memories is an eclectic blend, where the city meets the sand, all ready to let the good times roll deep into the summer night. With no cliche intended, Memories is that place where everyone knows your name. It starts with “the big boss” who seemingly recognizes everyone and always has his finger on the pulse of the club. With a simple “maa man” or a nod to your corner hang - “8th and Federal in the house!” - before long, the Geator will shout you out.


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022


It’s why I love Memories. I’m not the “clubbing” type, however. Never was. Never will be. Friday in Philly or Saturday night “Down’a shore,” it doesn’t matter. I’m just a cigar, cognac, patio chair and a hoodie away from a self-imposed good time. Although there was that one summer… I was spending a long weekend in Margate with friends. In lieu of making an ill-advised deposit at a glitzy casino, we decided on a guaranteed good time and headed over to party with the Geator. I made it maybe 30 feet past the doorman before I was bear-hugged by a former football playing friend I hadn’t seen since DVYAA in the mid ‘70s. That was just the first of many hugs, high-fives and handshakes, that night. Probably best I wasn’t in the witness protection program. Memories isn’t the place to go if ya wanna lay low! We laughed, we sang, we danced. It was the fun that should be associated with a weekend at the Jersey shore. Yet, my personal recall of that evening is trying rather unceremoniously to flip the lime in my first-ever bottle of Corona. Ahh, yes. Memories! (And a beer-stained shirt). I’ve buried a few Coronas with an inverted lime since then. I’ve also meandered my way on and off Amherst Avenue in Margate more than I can remember. I’ve boiled the appeal down to this. A night at Memories is akin to walking into a cousins’ party in the suburbs. It’s not something you do often. Then you wonder why you don’t do it more often. Finally, you realize, you must do it again, soon. That’s a tribute to Jerry. He is that guy. That cousin whose door is always open. The endearing host that defines “party over here!” As the title of his 2011 autobiography, You Only Rock Once, suggests, Blavat makes the most out of every waking minute. A virtual playbook for 50-somethings, not unlike yours truly, who still have some rocking to do, themselves. At 50 years old, Memories stands ready to help us all rock on! Happy Birthday, old friend! PRH

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Row Home Remembers PRH Life





byTony Santini

ife gives us moments which force us to make a choice – decide or do nothing. It’s probably safe to assume that through the course of our lives, we have regretted a choice, a decision or an action not taken. You can pick your preferred phrase – “the path not taken,” “the lesser of two evils,” “a fork in the road.” Each of these metaphors depicts a deciding moment when a choice is required and your sub-

sequent action or non-action, may have lasting implications. My personal favorite phrase is a line from a song by the group, Faces. In the lyric, lead singer Rod Stewart sings, “I wish I knew then what I know now, when I was younger!” Man, oh man, if this ain’t the truth! If I knew then what I know now, there would be things I would have done differently but, keeping this on the lighter side, let me share some of my “woulda, coulda, shoulda” moments. I was a shy kid. People who know


me now would dispute this but, back in the day, I was afraid to talk to girls. I could have, but I didn’t, and that lack of action means I’ll never know if that little, red-haired girl I liked in fifth grade would have gone out with me. I should have asked her out. What was the worst that could happen? She says no? Instead, I lamented when she danced with another classmate at one of our school dances. Same held true in sixth, seventh and eighth grades. Fortunately, I grew out of that shyness in my late teens

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

and, when an opportunity came up to talk to the prettiest girl in the room at a party, I took it and will be married to that same girl for 40 years this September. Other decisions made in my youth explain my aversion to risk. Like any kid growing up in South Philly, you had to learn how to climb fences so you could sneak into your neighbors’ yards to retrieve errantly thrown footballs and pimple balls. This skill involved placing your hands and feet on opposite alley walls, scaling both sides, then leaping onto the fence you were trying to hop. This was easy to do for the skinny, athletic kids. Not so for the short, chubby ones. My attempt resulted in an epic fail that left me with scrapes and bruises on both arms and legs for most of the Summer. An equally painful experience was

PRHLIFE caused by my attempt to do some trick riding on my hand-made scooter. For those of you who do not know what this is, it was a wooden crate nailed to a four-foot-long piece of wood with an old-fashioned roller skate nailed to the wood. I thought I could jump off and on it like the trick riders on horseback at the circus. I wish I knew then what I know now. Another epic fail with more cuts and bruises to arms, knees, and chin. And I don’t even want to tell you about how I tried to spray paint that same scooter with a can of silver spray paint I found in my cellar. The can was clogged. I thought I could unclog it by sticking a nail in the can where the nozzle sat. NOT! The spray covered my face and the only thing that prevented blindness was my glasses. I looked like the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz! Lucky for me, my friend’s mother cleaned up my glasses with cooking oil, so I didn’t have to explain the whole mess to my mother. I had an opportunity to buy my dream car in 1982. It was a 1965 Mustang with bucket seats, leather interior, convertible roof, and a center control stick shift. The car was in good shape but needed a new engine. The asking price for the car was $800 which, as a newlywed at that time, might as well have been $8,000. I shoulda bought it. I didn’t. I regret it. A pristine ’65 Mustang convertible, like the one I passed on, recently sold for $70,000! Not that I would have sold it if

I owned it today, but I would be one of those old guys who takes their car to the neighborhood Car Shows and sits beside it in a beach chair, waiting for you to ask him questions about the car. I was an original subscriber to Netflix. When it first came into existence, members would get a DVD movie mailed to their house. After watching the DVD, you would send it back via regular mail and, once received, Netflix would send you the next DVD on your list. The process took about 12 days. When Netflix opened distribution centers on the East Coast, the turnaround time was cut to two days. I said to my wife, ‘This is going to be huge. We should buy stock in Netflix!’ I could have. I should have. I didn’t. In 2002, Netflix stock was selling for $9 a share. Netflix stock recently reached its highest value of $399 a share. If I knew then what I know now, I’d be sitting on a beach somewhere writing this story. I had similar conversations at the breakfast table with my wife about buying stock in Facebook, Amazon, and Google. We never did. No risks, no rewards. Paths not taken. So, while I have overcome my shyness to the point where, now, I will talk to anybody, anywhere, anytime, about anything, (much to the dismay of my family and friends), I have not been able to overcome my “decision fatigue” when it comes to risk taking. By the way, does anyone know anything about Bitcoin? PRH

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April / May / June 2022



JOHN STEVENSON South Philly native named Chief of Police in North Wildwood


olding a photo of the badge of his great grandfather, and badges from his grandfather and father, John Stevenson was sworn in as the 13th Chief of Police for the City of North Wildwood in June 2021. It was the perfect backdrop for Stevenson, who has devoted his life to civic and neighborhood involvement. A fourth-generation law enforcement officer, Stevenson’s swearing-in ceremony took place in the amphitheater on the beach. His wife Maureen held the Bible while his mother Ruth pinned on the badge. His sons, John, Michael, and Gavin looked on, along with about a hundred family members and friends. Stevenson was born and raised in the Pennsport section of the city. So how did a son of South Philly get to be Chief of Police in North Wildwood? After graduating from St. John Neumann High School, he started his college career at Penn State Ogontz campus (now called Abington) with his eye on a degree in architecture. “I was going to be an architect. I was good with art but not so much with math. I could draw you a picture of how the building would look, but not sure how it would stand!” His family spent summers at his grandparents’ house at 14th & Surf in Wildwood, so he knew the area well. He ventured down the shore and started selling caramel corn, never planning on being a police officer. But circumstances as they were and his family history (his uncle at the time was a lieutenant in the North Wildwood Police


by Larry Gallone Department), he decided to start at the Police Academy in 1993. “It was an 8-week course. I was going to quit in the first week. It was hard-nosed discipline, physical. They wanted to get you ready to go out into the street,” he recalls. He realized that the training was critical for success. “If you can’t handle the made-up stress, how are you going to handle the real stress? I had made a commitment – it came easy for me.” Since then, Stevenson has held a variety of positions and responsibilities in the NWPD including patrolman, sergeant, detective sergeant, lieutenant, captain and special law enforcement officer. Throughout his career, he has received several awards and commendations. One of the most impactful experiences for Stevenson didn’t happen in North Wildwood, though. It was September 11, 2001. He recalls being sent along with the Special Response Team, which had been activated. “The Port Authority NY NJ had just issued a statewide assist officer (the largest assist officer in the history of policing). I was told to pack for several days because all we knew at the time was that America was under attack. Being assigned to a tactical team like this was a part of the job we signed up for, albeit we never thought it would be for something like this,” he says. “One minute, I’m getting ready to eat breakfast and the next minute, packing my duty bag. Within an hour, myself and five other North Wildwood Police officers (Matt Gallagher, Mike Lederer, Paul Skill, Mike Johnson and Bill Etsell) were enroute to New York City.” They were stationed at the Giants Stadium, waiting for the call and ready to deploy. Later in the day, they were told to “stand down.” “It was an empty feeling,” Stevenson

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

says. “We were close enough to feel and see what was happening but were far enough away to not be able to do anything. Not much was said during the 150-mile ride back to North Wildwood.” In his new role as Chief, Stevenson continues to look forward to the summer season, and points out that the Mayor and City Council are big supporters of the Police Department. “On any given day and moment, both on the beach and boardwalk, there are 10-25,000 people. We have officers who can respond on bikes, cars, or foot. We want to have that atmosphere of feeling safe for fulltime property owners and those coming for vacation.” (Would also like it to be known that North Wildwood has 4,000 residents in the winter and anywhere from 75-100,000 in the summer) John Stevenson has strong ties to both South Philly and his Irish ethnic roots.

He is past president of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. He is founder and Past President of the Second Street Irish Society, receiving its Man of the Year Award (1997) and elected to the Society’s Hall of Fame (2013). Additionally, he is Founder and Past President of the Anglesea Irish Society, Wildwood, NJ. He has been recognized with Proclamations in 2010 and 2019 from the Mayor of North Wildwood for exemplary service to the Irish community. His community services also extend to the athletic field. He coached basketball for Sacred Heart of Jesus CYO in his hometown Philly and Wildwood Catholic High School, North Wildwood, NJ. From his South Philadelphia neighborhood to the South Jersey shore, John Stevenson has blazed a trail of service to others. A family tradition well worth preserving. PRH



Rebecca Franco helps families discover the Museum of the American Revolution by Brenda Hillegas



hiladelphia is filled with amazing museums that highlight the artists and history of our area. Though many may not seem kid-friendly with priceless artifacts that scream “hands off,” most museums do encourage children of all ages to discover their exhibits and think about what’s in front of their eyes. Rebecca Franco, the Family Programs Manager at Old City’s Museum of the American Revolution, figures out ways for children to understand the museum with a hands-on approach. “The American Revolution is not just a moment in time, but an idea,” she says. “It’s an experiment in Liberty and self-government that we are all responsible for continuing.” Franco, previously a resident of South Philly, now resides in Montgomery County where her family loves to wander the trails of Valley Forge or Fairmount Park and spend Sunday afternoons rooting for the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. As a mother of two, she understands the importance of getting children involved in our city’s gems. Her prior work at Fleisher Art Memorial as Children and Youth Programs Manager helped her learn much about community engagement, accessibility, and building programs for young people in our city. “I still have so much love for [Fleisher],” Franco says. “But I have always had a deep interest in American history. I was extremely excited to combine that with a passion for family engagement and learning. Add to it the chance to shape programming at a new and growing institution made the opportunity irresistible.”


Image courtesy of the Museum of the American Revolution

The Museum of the American Revolution celebrates its 5th anniversary this spring and Franco spends her days planning for the years to come. “The best part of my job is that I love all of it. I love doing research and writing ideas on getting families to engage with our exhibits, and then cutting out felt hearts for making pincushions in Revolution Place,” she says. Revolution Place is an interactive kids experience at the museum open on weekends and holiday Mondays. Mark Turdo, the museum’s Curator of Collections, who was personally involved in the design and concept, explains that the idea came from FamilySearch who approached them about including a genealogical discovery center in the museum. Wanting to find a balance between that and the details of Revolutionary-era life, Turdo and his team suggested the idea of a space with “typical” neighborhood locations that touch on aspects of Philadelphia life during the 1770s and 1780s. Using the neighborhood approach - a market, tavern, and church, for example, are all parts of Revolution Place - allows modern Philadelphians of all ages and backgrounds to see themselves in Revolutionary Philadelphia. “There is always something special happening in Revolution Place,” Franco says. “Our in-person family series, History Explorer Meet Ups, is an excellent opportunity for kids to learn about the people and events of the Revolution through hands-on games and activities.” A recent example, as part of this year’s Presidents’ Day special programming at Revolution Place, included how to set up Washington’s portable campsite bed. This summer, kids can recreate

Washington’s Standard flag paper and stamps. Family programming goes beyond Revolution Place, though, and children of all ages can find ways to explore and understand the museum any day of the week. Franco’s work includes drafting guides and putting together proposals for family activities connected to current exhibitions like Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia or Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings of the Revolutionary War. She chooses family programs to tie into specific exhibits with one main goal in mind - how can the museum get families to think (or rethink) about what the Revolutionary War looked like? “There was no photography in the 18th Century, so historians have to use all kinds of clues, like clothing, objects, and stories, to imagine how a moment might have looked or felt,” Franco says. “All the programming is based on getting families to do the same kind of contextual thinking. Whether that’s looking at a painting and finding how the historical objects fit into it or trying on a coat or apron to connect to a person - how do you use what you know about this thing and link it to this event?” By creating exhibits and programs aimed at young people, Franco hopes to ignite curiosity and excitement around the Revolution. “[I want children] investigating and discovering even more than we’re able to cover in the museum. I believe that if we can light that spark and interest in learning about the American Revolution now, they will grow into adults who understand the rights and duties of citizenship, later.” Upcoming family events can be found at PRH

April / May / June 2022



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Attorney’s Journey Criminal defense specialist Gina Amoriello heads private practice for more than two decades

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| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022


by Joseph Myers

rowing up at 10th and Mifflin Streets, Gina Amoriello vacillated between wanting a career as a doctor or a lawyer, knowing that each would fulfill her strong desire to assist communities and transform lives. Feeling the latter vocation would prove more rewarding, she chose the challenge to match her wits against fellow legal aficionados and has spent the last 21 years overseeing a private practice that has gained clout in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. “I craved a chance to help people and to assist those who are less privileged,” the 48-year-old go-getter says. “The journey, of course, hasn’t always been an easy one. I feel that given the nature of what I do, I’m cut out to make a difference.” That yearning has bred status as a litigator thoroughly versed in all criminal matters. Regardless of the task, Amoriello never backs down from the call to fight for clients. She believes that in a congested field, she stands out not only because of her gender, but also thanks to her tenacity.


“I bring the knowledge, life experience, and life skills that will be key to helping them,” she said of a few distinguishing qualities that have recently made her busier than ever. “I talk to people, not at them, and I think they appreciate that personalized interaction.” Her recently increased workload suits the ambitious private practitioner just fine, as it has dovetailed nicely with a lifetime spent pushing herself to higher heights. Amoriello is the product of St. Nicholas of Tolentine School, now St. Anthony of Padua Regional Catholic School, and St. Maria Goretti, now SS Neumann-Goretti High School. “I’ve always wanted to test myself to see how much I can learn. Needless to say, this line of work has made me a lifetime student.” Following her undergraduate marketing and accounting studies at Saint Joseph’s University, Amoriello started to make her mark by graduating from Temple University’s School of Law in 1998, a connection that yielded for her the institution’s Moot Court Award, along with a commendation for excellence in litigation. Through a judicial clerkship on the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and time as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia, she learned even more about the complexities of her calling, setting her up for the educational trek that her private practice has crafted. “To say the least, we are not living in easy times, so we need compassion to do what we do,” she says of her peers. “I’d say that’s an absolute that people can count on if they have me handle their case.” With a Center City office and a Westmont, New Jersey space, the legal beagle is building on a resume that includes close to 50 jury trials - multiple homicides, federal cases, appellate duties, and personal injury matters. Making a living through an occupation that is never short on tough situations to stomach, Amoriello feels she successfully keeps her professional endeavors from weighing too heavily on her personal life and believes that achieving that balance has led to many personal gains, especially through the duration of the pandemic. “Too many people concentrate on the past and the future and are forgetting to live in the present,” she says. “That’s where we have to be most of the time.” When she allows herself to ponder what lies ahead, Amoriello thinks about building her business, feeling that no matter how crowded her calendar becomes, she can always take on more. The chance to build trust with her client pool motivates her greatly, but she knows, as her previous statement indicates, that the here and now are her chief responsibilities. To that end, she enjoys walking around her South Philly neighborhood, spending as much time as possible with her three children—one of whom intends to follow in her legal footsteps – exercising, and being a conduit for her soon-to-be two-year-old husky Luna to let out some of her boundless energy. “Multi-tasking is definitely one of my strengths,” Amoriello says with a laugh. “Being a lawyer has taught me many things, and I’m sure it’s going to teach me a few more because I definitely want to work in this field for as long as I can. One of the biggest lessons is that no matter what you’re passionate about in life, you have to give it your all.” PRH Gina Amoriello, Attorney at Law, is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.

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

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April / May / June 2022



Johnny Doc A GUY NAMED

photos by TALIA ROTA



| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

A Retirement Celebration was held recently for John J. Dougherty, Business Manager, IBEW Local 98, at Cescaphe’s Vie, honoring his nearly 30 years at the helm of Local 98.


bout a dozen & a half years ago, Dawn and I decided it was time to tell the happy tales of growing up in South Philly. We wanted to collect the stories of our neighborhoods and share the memories of who we all are and how we came to be. Stories about the old days - the music, the food, the traditions. We called it Philadelphia RowHome Magazine. We would tell the stories of the people, places and things that make us smile. We would ask people to support our local businesses – generations deep – and teach our kids to do the same. ‘Go home philly. Stop & shop at our local spots!’ would become our rally cry. And we would do this for as many sections of the city as possible. River to River. One Neighborhood. We’d start in the neighborhoods where we grew up - St. Nick’s. Epiphany. Annunciation. And ask the business owners we knew to represent the neighborhoods we love. We asked a few friends if they knew anyone in Pennsport who could get our mag to the waterfront neighborhoods. ‘You have to see a guy named Johnny Doc,’ the UPS driver told us. ‘He does a lot for the neighborhood down there. You can

stop in Doc’s Union Pub and they may be able to help you.’ On a Saturday afternoon in the middle of May, we loaded 2 cases of our first issue into the back seat of our Dad’s old Taurus & headed to 2nd & Mifflin. Unfamiliar turf to a couple of girls all the way from 12th & Mifflin. We walked in through the Ladies Entrance (does anyone really use that door anymore?) lugging heavy boxes of glad tidings. We startled just about every patron in the crowded bar. ‘Hello. We’re here to see Johnny Doc,’ we announced. ‘We just published a new magazine for our neighborhood called Philadelphia RowHome,’ Dawn added. ‘Have a seat. We’ll see if he’s around,’ a very nice bartender smiled. We sat at a table in the back – hugging 2 cases of our very first RowHome. And wondered what do two stranger chicks from the other side of town order from a 2nd street bar at noon. What were we thinking? ‘I felt Daddy’s spirit directing us here,’ Dawn mumbles. ‘He loved that we are Irish. This neighborhood needs to be represented in our mag.’ ‘While you’re in touch with the spirit world, ask Daddy what we’re supposed to say to a guy we don’t know about a mag no one knows about. Hi,

our mom is Italian. Our Dad was Irish. We’re here to merge our neighborhoods and need your help.’ Minutes later, the Ladies Entrance door swings open. In walks a tall guy in a sweaty T-shirt carrying a basketball under his arm. We obviously interrupted his game. ‘Hi. I’m John Dougherty,’ he extends his hand. We both jump up from our seats. Fair skinned, light eyes. I knew she was going to say it. ‘Omg. You remind me so much of my Dad. He was Irish and Welsh. I’m Dawn and this is my sister Dorette. We were told that you could help us get our magazine distributed in this neighborhood. Can we leave these cases here?’ John sat at the table and listened to our story. How RowHome came to be. River to river. Food, family, traditions. ‘When the next issue comes out, call me,’ he said. ‘Our neighbors would love to be part of this.’ We high-fived as we headed back home. Feeling accomplished that we met the bar owner of Doc’s. ‘He is such a nice guy to give the mags out to fellow business owners in the neighborhood,’ we agreed. When the next issue arrived, we loaded our 2 cars with cases to begin our delivery. Dawn dialed the number Doc gave us and told him we were on April / May / June 2022

our way with 2 cases for his pub. ‘Hold up. I’ll send someone to get them,’ he said. Minutes later, a few pickup trucks pulled into the lot where we stored our shipment. They loaded cases onto their trucks and headed out to help us deliver. Not only to Pennsport, but to every neighborhood on our list. A weeklong endeavor for 2 girls from 12th street was accomplished in 2 days thanks to the volunteer help we got from Johnny Doc and his friends from 2nd street. I googled his name on our way home and started reading all about him. Out loud. ‘Omg. He doesn’t head the Pub, he heads the Union,’ I told my sister. Strangers to us. Willing to help spread the positive stories that built a neighborhood of friends. River to River. That’s the man we know. Ready to lend a hand to give everyone a chance to share their memories and accomplishments. Honor our leaders, our Vets, our grandparents. And to remind us to never forget where we come from. Thank you, John Dougherty. We will never forget. PRH

Dorette & Dawn | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 23






String Theory Schools, an Education Management Organization, has set the bar high when it comes to academic and community standards. Since opening its first school – Philadelphia Performing Arts – in 2000, the organization has committed itself to providing quality K-12 education as a public charter school open to all Philadelphia residents, tuition-free, using the arts as inspiration. Over the years, String Theory Schools have expanded Philadelphia Performing Arts to three city campuses: East, West, and Vine Street. In 2012, String Theory School also opened a Renaissance School, Arts and Sciences, located in Northeast Philadelphia. To better support its students and respond to the demand for teachers in the City of Philadelphia, leadership at String Theory collaborated to develop a new teacher residency program. String Theory Academic Residency (STAR), along with their existing LIGHT Leadership and Temple Teacher Residency, are available for aspiring and current educators, K-12. STAR gives aspiring educators (who already have a bachelor’s degree) the opportunity to earn the credits needed to become licensed teachers in the state of Pennsylvania. The program has partnered with a


by Joei DeCarlo DiSanto variety of schools to help tailor the program to the needs of each individual applicant, allowing for different avenues of study. Serving more than 3,500 students in the city, despite a teacher shortage, String Theory identified a need for passionate educators who “want to be with kids and who want to be pioneers in our field,” says Danielle Shylit, Director of Innovation. “It’s a field that is constantly changing and we want creative minds who can help us to foster those changes. We are seeing this crisis as an opportunity and are looking for educators who want to be part of something bigger than themselves,” she explains. “There is more of a focus on the dispositions of the person and the ways in which they approach education. We want diverse educators, with no barriers, who are committed to educating our community. We believe creativity, innovation, and empathy have to be at the root of what teachers and leaders learn because our children, right now, need not just skilled leaders that care or skilled teachers that care, but ones that can meet the authentic needs of the current climate.” Pennsylvania certified about one-third of the teachers in 201819 than the state did in a single year 10 years ago, following a decline nationwide. Shylit noticed “a growing deficit of people interested in teacher and leadership positions that has gotten worse from the pandemic.” In the spirit of their passion to serve their

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

students and the surrounding community, String Theory based the STAR program around their existing grant-funded teacher residency program with Temple University and their LIGHT leadership program, acccording to Shylit. The LIGHT leadership program was designed for licensed teachers who have an interest in taking on a leadership role in a principal capacity. LIGHT is rooted in fostering leaders who have empathy and

Dr. Mosca also touched on the ever-changing needs of education and how older methods are not always what is best for the future. “[Education and its needs have] shown us we cannot run things the way we have. The traditional ways need to be revisited and creative ways can be pursued through programs like this.” Being a graduate of a residency program himself, Dr. Mosca was able to draw inspiration from

“[Education and its needs have] shown us we cannot run things the way we have. The traditional ways need to be revisited and creative ways can be pursued through programs like this.” utilize both design-thinking and creative problem-solving - areas that existing principal prep programs often miss. This unique program gives teachers an accelerated pathway towards certification with a focus. When asked about the inspiration and importance of STARS, Dr. Thomas Mosca, Director of Teaching & Learning explains, “The program is an aggregate of other existing residency programs. We recognized the greater needs of our community and wanted to put together what the district has and combine it with our in-house residency program that serves our community and students.”

his experiences while helping to design STARS and still does when he teaches in the existing String Theory Residency Programs. “I am hands-on and invested in this model. I became a teacher later in life through a program like this and can see the benefit from both the educator and student sides.” If you are a current or aspiring educator interested in applying to the STAR or LIGHT program through String Theory Schools, you can reach out to the program contact, Dr. Thomas Mosca, who also serves as the Director of Teaching & Learning - tmosca@ PRH

String Theory Schools is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.



Adventures of a stray cat with a rare disease by Brenda Hillegas

In January of 2021, Fishtails Animal Rescue received an email about a colony of stray cats in South Philadelphia. Their caretaker noticed one cat in particular, Marty, had mobility issues. With care from rescue founder, Dr. Lauren Cohn, and a visit to specialists at the University of Penn Veterinary Hospital, Marty was diagnosed with a rare storage disease and given 2-4 months before he would lose use of his limbs. A humane euthanasia would need to be discussed. Marty immediately moved to Fishtown Animal Hospital, the veterinary practice owned by Dr. Cohn. As the official office cat, Marty enjoyed treats, playtime, exercise and therapies to keep him moving. Not knowing how many days Marty had left, Dr. Cohn and the board members of Fishtails Animal Rescue created a bucket list for him. Through the list, Marty was able to meet Flyers’ mascot Gritty, visit the Adventure Aquarium, wear a leprechaun hat and hope for a love letter from Taylor Swift. Marty passed away on March 29th, 2022, just days after crossing off another bucket list wish meeting the Easter Bunny. Thank you for giving Marty the best life ever and helping him defy the odds for more than a year! Creating a bucket list for a beloved pet is a great way to make memories. Below are some of the Rescue’s favorite, simple list items for cats and dogs. Take a walk in a park Have a picnic with friends Create paw print art Get a treat at the pet store Throw a party Sit in the sun together Enjoy a puppuccino Have a photoshoot Take a nap together Go to brunch Spend the day at a pool, ocean, or lake


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

Robert Kerbeck Spotlight

by Geno Thackara


eople often head for New York City with dreams of acting. They also usually need jobs to live on while starting out. It’s somewhat less common that they stumble into corporate espionage instead of, say, bartending, but Robert Kerbeck readily admits his life has taken plenty of strange turns. “My family’s lived in the Philadelphia area for well over 100 years. My great-grandfather sold horse carriages before cars were invented,” he relates about their areafamous auto business. “I worked there after I graduated from Penn, but car sales really weren’t for me.” Kerbeck explains that the acting thing didn’t quite go as expected, either. Some word-of-mouth brought him a job that nobody would explain - which turned out as mysterious as it seemed. “We were infiltrating corporations to try to get them to tell us things about their plans and operations. Over time, I kind of became the world’s number-one corporate spy - at a certain point, my buddy and I got in the crosshairs of the authorities! And we were just actors that needed a job.” Eventually, Kerbeck drifted back to his creative roots. “I was

an English major, so it was full circle back to the beginning,” he explains. The latest result is Ruse: Lying the American Dream from Hollywood to Wall Street, a thrilling recounting of the spy life and a fascinating eye-opener for anyone outside the corporate world. While the story could be the stuff of pulpy paperbacks, Kerbeck’s memoir is arguably even weirder because you couldn’t make this stuff up! “That’s been in the rearview for over a decade. It’s a lot easier to see it all in hindsight,” he says. Amidst the craziness, the book’s central theme isn’t so farfetched. “I hope what people get out of it is: what’s important is not where you get to, but that you go on a journey you want to go on. The right journey is its own reward.” Keeping busy with creative plans, including a Ruse TV series in development, Kerbeck is still happy to stay true to his roots. “Even living in Malibu, I love rooting against the Los Angeles teams,” he laughs. “Nothing makes me happier than when Philly wins. My wife is from LA, so I really rub it in when my team wins.” Surely, any true-blooded Philadelphian would agree that some things shouldn’t change, no matter where the journey goes. PRH

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Fighting the Fight


by Anthony Panvini image courtesy of MANNA wenty-three years ago, Sue Daugherty, RDN, LND, CEO, accepted a role at MANNA as a Registered Dietitian Nurse (RDN) – a decision that shaped her career and her life. Upon completion of school, Daugherty started working with a healthcare system in South Jersey. Her employer at the time had gotten a contract with an infectious disease clinic that wanted a dietitian spe-

cifically for patients with HIV and AIDS. Daugherty accepted, not knowing at the time just how much it would end up shaping her career. “Off I went to this clinic and, honestly, looking back, it was lifechanging. I remember walking into this tiny room with all these healthcare providers and learning about the complications of HIV and AIDS and the importance of nutrition,” Daugherty says. “I became passionate about HIV and AIDS which is how I learned about MANNA – because I was referring clients – MANNA was an HIV/AIDS organization back then - there for nutrition services.” In 1999, there was an opening at MANNA for a Registered Dietitian. Daugherty applied and got the job. It was the start of her involvement in


changing the focus of the organization. “With the advancement of HIV treatment and medications, we shifted the focus from [providing care and comfort] as people die, to helping people live,” Daugherty says. “I was fortunate to be involved with building menus around science and around the right nutrition and making sure people had the right nutrients to win their fight.” After holding several positions throughout MANNA and continuing to contribute to the organization moving forward, Daugherty was promoted to Executive Director in 2012 and Chief Executive Officer in 2014. She immediately recognized that working her way up has benefited her tremendously in her current role today and works to provide

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

others that same opportunity. “A lot of our staff have worked their way up the ranks, and I want to give staff here the opportunity that I’ve been afforded – to grow and advance their roles within the organization,” she says. Daugherty says MANNA is often mistaken for programs like food banks or food insecurities programs. MANNA’s mission is to provide treatment to a population of clients that are the sickest of the sick. People that often don’t have the resources available to seek adequate nutrition. MANNA delivers food to approximately 1,600 households, weekly, throughout Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, offering about 13 different diet modifications. MANNA employees and volunteers work tirelessly to ensure the proper food is delivered to all their clients in a timely manner. “We provide all of our clients three meals a day, seven days a week…complete nutrition that they get the right energy and the right nutrients for their life,” Daugherty says. “That’s all done by a relatively small staff of about 55 employees,

but an army of volunteers. We are really fortunate we have close to 10,000 volunteers a year that come in here and help us in the kitchen – chop, dice, pack and deliver meals.” None of what MANNA does would be possible without those volunteers. They motivate her and the staff to work as hard as they do. “The one thing that never changes is that volunteers show up. It’s truly amazing,” Daugherty says. “They continue to show up every single day and were such an inspiration to this staff that there was never a question of should we come to work or close [during the pandemic]. We’re an essential service provider. Our clients need our services more than ever and so the volunteers are truly inspiring.” All in all, Daugherty says the main mission of MANNA would not be possible without an incredible staff and volunteers – providing people with the right nutrients to win their fight. Located in Center City Philadelphia, MANNA just celebrated its 32nd Anniversary. Its annual “Shut up and Dance” event will be held on Saturday, April 30th, at the Forrest Theatre. PRH

Real People Real Stories

Real People Real Stories

Alex at her first lemonade stand

LIFE, LOVE & LEMONADE Real People. Real Stories. by PAT CIARROCCHI


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

Real People Real Stories


Edie Gilger with brother Kinsey

iz Scott and Emily Gilger are two mothers who look at each other with tears in their eyes. Tears of sadness and grief have given way to tears of joy and gratitude. Their families are intertwined by their infant daughters’ gut-wrenching diagnosis of neuroblastoma, a cancer most often found in children. Emily’s daughter, Edie, will soon be 13. Liz’s daughter, Alexandra “Alex” Scott, lives in her legacy of hope through selling cups of lemonade that funded the research that led to Edie’s cure. The mothers’ bond is unmistakable. “To be a part of that, and to think that Alex is a part of that, is a gift,” Liz says. “It’s incredible to know that the work Alex started is literally helping kids like her. It’s emotional, in a good way.” This year marks the 17th anniversary of Alex Scott’s passing at the age of eight, after shining a spotlight on how an idea rooted in selfless philanthropy can resonate in the laughter of children who now can live their lives in good health. Who would have imagined that the specter of a cancer can “dissolve” along with the cancerous tumor itself? A four-year-old, dark-haired, blue-eyed Alex Scott imagined even more – a cure for ALL children, sick with cancer. It seemed “impossible” in 2000 when Alex peeked out from behind her first Lemonade Stand, set up on a sidewalk outside her Wynnewood, Montgomery County home. She believed – with steely eyed determination -- the possibilities of what she called, “my idea.” Sell cups of lemonade. Give the proceeds to the Doctors at “her hospital,” Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, so they – through scientific research – could find a cure for the cancer that ruled her life since near infancy. Liz remembers thinking, “How cute! A lemonade stand to raise money for cancer research.” Media outlets told Alex’s story. Contributions poured in from corporations, individuals, and children, with their nickels and dimes collected at lemonade stands of their own. “When Alex was six years old, two years after her first Lemonade Stand, I told her that the lemonade sales had raised $40,000,” Liz says. “It would be given to her hospital, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, to fund research on her cancer, neuroblastoma. I thought she would be so happy. Instead, Alex said, ‘That’s so selfish.’” Selfish? Liz was puzzled. “I had hoped that possible new therapies wouldn’t be too late for Alex.” Speaking with pure selflessness, Alex told her mother, “All kids want their tumors to go away. We should be giving money for all kids, to all hospitals.” The Scotts couldn’t have predicted it then. “A cute lemonade stand idea”… evolved into a mission with an astonishingly profound impact. Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), created by Alex’s parents in 2005 in nearby Wynnewood, has become one of the nation’s largest funders of scientific research for pediatric cancer – the #1 disease killer of

children. The Foundation’s effort has raised $250 million so far, funding more than 1,000 research projects and programs to help families affected by childhood cancers. Today, Alex’s Lemonade Stand is iconic, standing as a symbol of the power to make a difference in one life, with your life. Thirteen-year-old Edie Gilger, Emily’s daughter, understands that all too well. At barely a year old, Edie was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, the same type of cancer that claimed the life of an eightyear-old Alex. For Alex, treatments, even promising experimental therapies, had failed her. For Edie, “the promise” came to life. CHOP’s Dr. Yael Mosse and Dr. John Maris, both scientists/physicians, have dedicated their lives to unraveling the mysteries of pediatric cancers. Their arduous work in their laboratories has gone deep into the genetic make-up of pediatric cancers, especially the often-lethal neuroblastoma. Supported by grants from Alex’s Foundation, Doctors Mosse and Maris’ research identified a genetic mutation that was present in the cells or tumors of children with neuroblastoma. That mutation matched a cancer gene found in children with a rare kind of lymphoma. A drug – known as Crizotinib – that would inhibit the growth of the cancer was found to be successful in the pediatric lymphoma cases. They asked, could that be a key to a treatment for aggressive pediatric neuroblastoma? The idea was promising. For Edie, the timing was perfect. For the Gilger family of Virginia, who after seeking new cancer treatments nine years ago for their two-year-old Edie, came to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, with hope. It’s here that the “possible” morphed into a “cure.”

Jay Scott (Alex’s Dad) & Pat at a CBS3 Telethon for Alex’s Foundation As Dr. Mosse explained, Edie’s type of neuroblastoma – with this unique cellular mutation – presented in every cell in her body, not just in an isolated tumor. She would need a “systemic treatment.” Edie’s mother Emily remembers being handed Edie’s medicine - the Crizotinib. It was the same drug used to treat pediatric lymphoma cases. It was a powder, to be mixed with a liquid. Edie could return to Virginia with her family. Emily would “mix” the medicine … and give it to Edie every day for 28 days. Was it safe? Would it work? Emily trusted that no harm would come to Edie. A return trip to CHOP was ordered for new body scans. The CHOP radiologists who read Edie’s scans were satisfied that the “surgery” really worked. “There was no evidence of tumors,” they told Dr. Mosse. Dr. Mosse rushed to the CHOP radiology lab to look at the scans herself. April / May / June 2022


Real People Real Stories

cer that had responded to treatment – a treatment that financial support from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation helped develop. In our conversation, Liz allows herself to ponder, “What if?” “If Alex – who had to endure three years of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and a time of paralysis after her surgery – could have taken a drug that would have melted away her tumor, her entire life would have been different.” For the Scotts and Alex’s three brothers, who lift the mission of their inspiring sister with their own work, it’s amazing to see so much progress for those other children – the ones Alex knew wanted their tumors to go away, too.

You see, there had been NO surgery. Edie had only been on the medicine that the doctors believed could inhibit the cancerous growths. The treatment fell under an early phase clinical trial. It was an “experimental treatment.” Edie’s parents anxiously awaited the scan results, emotionally preparing for the worst. Parents of children with cancer carry that “defense mechanism” within them. They steel themselves for the “difficult” news because they know they will have to live with that, too. This time, it was different. Edie’s tumors were gone. Dr. Mosse told them, “The tumors have dissolved.” That was 2011. Now in 2022, Edie is 13 years old, celebrating with her family. From the day her parents learned that the “tumors have dissolved,” she has been cancer-free. The ironic twist to this story involves the subsequent sequencing of the cells in Alex’s tumors. Alex had surgery at a New York hospital in 1999. At that time, the doctors had nothing more to offer the Scotts to give them hope. The Scotts, who had been living in Connecticut, were crushed. Nothing? It’s then, they were told, “Go to Philadelphia to see Dr. John Maris. He’s making lots of advances.” Alex’s cure was not meant to be. But her cancer has illuminated research on many levels, including what Dr. Mosse and Dr. Maris learned when her tumor, preserved for nearly 20 years, was studied. Alex’s tumor had a similar genetic mutation to Edie’s tumor – a can-

Dr. Yael Mossé, MD Pediatric Cancer Researcher at Penn Medicine


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

Liz & Jay Scott with Edie and her mom on Edie’s 10th birthday Today, Edie Gilger is one of those children. She carries a wisdom that seems lightyears beyond her 13 years of life. She offered this grateful perspective, in an email to me: “I think that having cancer and going through everything that I did has given me a bigger, more positive outlook on life. If I could say anything to Alex today, I would say, ‘thank you’ for everything you have done for me. If it wasn’t for her, her wish to cure childhood cancer, I probably wouldn’t be alive today. If it weren’t for the doctors, and the research they are doing that help treat childhood cancers, many children wouldn’t be alive today.” The ALSF grants that make Liz and Jay Scott the proudest are given to “young investigators.” They are the scientists who need research success, to prove their work worthy of further study and bigger grants from funders like the National Institutes of Health. Another is a “reach grant” that puts money and scientific experts in the pipeline to get scientific discoveries from the lab to patients in a clinical trial, quicker. With pediatric cancer patients waiting for new and more effective treatments, there is no time to waste. This mission represents what Alex’s mother Liz Scott calls Alex’s legacy of hope. Hope that comes one cup of lemonade at a time. June is Lemonade Month. Lemonade stands will pop up throughout the Philadelphia region and in cities around the country. Volunteers are welcome. The bonds among the broader Alex’s families are profound. In the years of doing the Telethon, it has been my privilege to tell her story. To learn more, go to the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation website. PRH

Real People Real Stories

SALVY STRONG In this family, no one fights alone photos by Andrew Andreozzi

Local businesses, neighbors, family and friends answered the call from Kim Righi who organized an event to support Salvatore Messina, 19, who raised money and awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as he tackles his own journey back to health. “I want to try to help others in my position the way that those around me have helped me,” he says in a Light the Night post for the nonprofit. “I want to be able to provide support and strength that I know is needed to get through this… Thank you all for the love and support.”

April / May / June 2022


Real People Real Stories




by April Renzetti

ary Costa, aka “Mary Toot,” was born on November 3, 1959. After more than 60 years of a beautiful journey through life, she died from pancreatic cancer on March 28, 2021. Mary, the youngest of six sisters, was born with Down Syndrome at a time when there was little understanding of how to care for someone with that disability. After her birth, her parents were told that she would not live very long. They were told to leave her at the hospital because no one knew much about tending to, caring for, or educating a child with Down Syndrome. Instead, Dominic and Rachel “Merchel” Costa, my grandparents, walked out of the hospital with their newborn baby girl Mary and embarked on a mission to provide her with a life that some of us could have only dreamed about. She went to elementary school in South Philadelphia before moving to Washington Township, NJ, where Mary attended public schools and graduated with “honors” and a high school diploma. She was involved in Special Olympics as a bowler and achieved Silver Medal status as an Olympic athlete in 1979. Mary was the heart and soul of our family and of the neighborhood. She was fairly educated, endlessly spoiled, deeply loved, meticulously cared for, and truly treated like the princess we all wished we were. She was the light of all our lives. She had numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and nephews. She loved every one of her family members with the depths of her heart and made each feel as though they were truly her favorite. Speaking of her favorites, Mary had many, to say the least. She was an avid Disney lover and believed the Frozen sisters were an extension of her real-life sisters – Donna, Marlene, Anna Mae, Elizabeth and my late mother, Linda. Her must-have items in life were simple, but well-known by those closest to her. Paper was a priority. She needed paper for the notes she wrote, which she then attached to her clipboard. Batteries were essential so she would never be without her headphones. She loved her snacks, especially peppermint patties and Luigi’s Water Ice. Mary was witty, sarcastic, humorous, and always told you exactly what was on her mind. She was not afraid to let you know what she wanted, when she wanted it and how she wanted it. Always with a smile on her face, Mary left a deep-rooted mark on


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

the lives of the people lucky enough to have been a part of hers. I must thank my Aunt Mary for the mark she left on my life. Being raised with Mary, she taught me the meaning of compassion and gave me purpose. In fact, she is the very reason I decided to teach Special Education. Her diligence, tenacity, stubbornness, and interest in all the things that she loved made me want to create that in others with disabilities. I will never be able to thank her enough for the love and guidance she gave to me – as a teacher, a mother, and an individual. It has been a quick year since Mary left us, but it feels like she has been gone a lifetime. Mary Toot, we all loved you every day of your life. We will forever miss you the rest of ours. Keep your eyes of protection on all of us you left behind, along with your message of love we have clipped to our hearts. PRH

Real People Real Stories

MARIA LANDIMUNI Grateful for the gift of life


by Maria Merlino

ervent prayer, a donated liver, a superior physician, the love and support of family, and a supernatural admonition saved the life of East Marconi resident, Maria Landi-Muni. Her walk down memory lane includes many obstacles. Her father died when she was six years old. In 2019, she lost her mother. In between those bitter moments, she lost four brothers and her husband Albert. But she had much happiness in her marriage and with her children, Nicole, 39, and Benny, 35. Her grandchildren Benny Jr., Danica, Dario, Anthony, and Damian - complete her circle. She’s also very close to her two sisters, Carmela Shipley and Anna Giordano. In 2006, five years after the passing of her late husband, Maria met Stephen Muni. They hit it off right away and a romantic proposal soon followed. Imagine her distress in early 2020, when she started to feel sick. “My stomach started swelling up,” she says. “I had to have my stomach pumped three times due to fluid.” Not thinking this was serious, she went on vacation in late summer. “I didn’t feel myself. After we got home, I passed out on my bedroom floor and was rushed to the hospital. I was in and out for over a month back in September 2020. I finally got all kinds of tests done and MRIs. I stayed overnight and Dr. Jesse M. Civan at Jefferson told me I would need a liver transplant in a few years.” Little did she know how fast it would happen. At the end of January 2021, she needed a minor heart procedure, a cardiac catheterization, for a new valve. But from there, she started to decline due to her liver. Maria was put on the liver transplant list. “My liver numbers started to get high. Two or three times a month, I was at the doctor’s office. I had all kinds of tests done to make sure all the labs were completed before I was even put on the transplant list. In July, I was going to get an Upper-GI. Right then, my phone rang. The hospital called to tell me there was a donated liver. I went home and called my kids. By 9 PM, I knew it was on. I was petrified.” As her voice breaks with emotion, Maria says, “Throughout the whole time, I was really scared because I didn’t know if I was going to make it. I asked everyone to say prayers for me. I talked to those who passed on. I talked to my mom, my brothers, and my husband Albert. The day I went to get the transplant, I called everyone to please put me in their prayers. My baby sister Carmela and my then fiancé Stephen went with me to the hospital and stayed throughout the whole surgery.” During surgery, performed by Dr. Warren R. Maley, Maria had a vision of her mother. “She came to me and for some

reason, this is the only thing I remember about the whole surgery. She said, ‘Maria, I’m not here to take you with me. You need to stay here for your two sisters. They need you.’” Maria married Stephen on New Year’s Eve, 2021. She’s thankful for all his love and care during her ordeal. “I wouldn’t be here without him. We had to postpone the wedding twice. He is my everything. And here I am today. My enzymes are good. Soon, I’ll only need my anti-rejection medicine.” She now sees life through a new lens. “I’m living. I survived this major transplant. It makes you more grateful for the things you do have. My sisters and brotherin-law have been wonderful. My grandchildren bring me joy every day and my husband is my soulmate.” PRH April / May / June 2022


Real People Real Stories


A Perilous Personal Journey by John Nacchio


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hronic kidney disease (CKD) affects more than 1 in 7 adults in the U.S. - or an estimated 37 million Americans, but only 10 percent know it. About seven months ago, I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. I was a high-energy adult, living a happy, enthusiastic life of fun with my friends and family. Suddenly, one day in September 2021, I started feeling drowsy, weak, dull, and uncomfortable doing my ‘normal’ activities. I felt intense spasms in my bladder, a doubling-over feeling like I had to vomit. I thought with rest and relaxation, those symptoms would soon disappear, but they didn’t. In October, my journey began. I set up a visit with my long-time primary doctor, Joseph Boselli, who sternly said, “Don’t go home. Go directly to the emergency room. I called ahead and Jefferson in Center City is waiting for you.” At first, I thought it was simply that my urinary flow had backed up and the excess fluid needed to be relieved. I had been urinating, but for many years, an enlarged prostate often made it difficult – typical for many men as they get older. The 50 or more seats in the ER waiting room at Jefferson were filled with tense, impatient people telling their medical maladies to the nurse at the admittance desk. I anxiously waited until my name was called, thinking “emergency” is just a word. I was assigned to a mobile bed in the ER hallway since every cubicle room was already overloaded with patients. A young nurse inserted a tube to relieve the pressure in my bladder. I later learned this was the gossip “talk” of the entire hospital staff - a patient with more than seven liters in his bladder! Days turned into weeks in my hospital room on the 7th floor, tended by a rotation of more than 50 nursing staff members that were incredibly caring, competent and

Real People Real Stories kidneys. I was astonished to learn that 1 in 5 people with high blood pressure have kidney disease. The other common cause was that nearly 1 in 3 people have diabetes. Dialysis was highly recommended for my acute kidney injury - a process of being hooked up to a machine for three to four hours, three times a week, to purify and clean the toxins from the blood since the kidneys could not do it. I began it in the hospital and then at the Girard Estates DaVita Dialysis Center. Dr. Larry E. Krevolin, a respected and experienced nephrologist overseeing the center, said it is hopeful that my kidney injury was temporary. Kidney disease, I now have learned, has a range from treatable disorders without long-term consequences to life-threatening conditions. Acute kidney disease develops suddenly, lasts a short time, and can be serious with long-lasting consequences or may go away completely once the underlying cause has been treated. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) does not go away with treatment and tends to get worse over time. CKD eventually leads to kidney failure, described as end-stage kidney disease or ESRD. Currently, CKD is only treated with a kidney transplant or dialysis. The only way to know for sure if you have kidney disease is to get tested. However, you may be at risk for kidney disease due to high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history or if you’re older than age 60, so it’s important to get tested annually. Be sure to mention any symptoms you’re experiencing to your healthcare practitioner. As for me, I have maintained hope, faith, and gratitude for every day of life that I have experienced. The most significant factors have been the support of family, friends, and the faithful prayers of many and numerous medical professionals. In my perilous personal journey, I embrace gratitude and philosophy. PRH

10 Possible Signs of Kidney Disease The National Kidney Foundation ( 1: You’re more tired, have less energy or are having trouble concentrating. 2: You’re having trouble sleeping.


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4: You feel the need to urinate more often. 5: You see blood in your urine. 6: Your urine is foamy. 7: You’re experiencing persistent puffiness around your eyes. 8: Your ankles and feet are swollen. 9: You have a poor appetite. 10: Your muscles are cramping.


cheerleaders - and at times, kept me alive. The daily rounds made by a lead doctor and a group of attending student interns kept my spirits and health plan positive. The first medical issue to address was my bladder that had been so stretched out of shape, the veins were bleeding, resulting in a considerable loss of blood. The blood count nose-dived below 6 from a normal 13 and I was always faint with anemia. I had to sign a waiver to receive blood. And after more than a month’s stay that required hours and hours of more than 30 separate blood transfusions, my blood count rose by only a point or two. Still, the transfusions kept me in a safe zone. My hospital room was like a warehouse as boxes and boxes of saline solution piled up for the continuous flush by way of a urinary tube through my bladder 24 hours a day. This went on for days and the volume must have been more than an above-ground swimming pool. The nurses were like soldiers lifting the heavy boxes and bags of saline and guarding the flow day and night. Finally, I was scheduled for the operating room to seal the bleeding. Again, the rule of don’t eat or drink hours before turned into two days, waiting for operating room availability. I was starved and growing weaker. The first operation did not stop the bleeding and needed to be repeated. I then had surgery by Dr. James Ryan Mark, who performed a “robotic” removal. It’s a less invasive surgical procedure to remove the enlarged prostate (the cause of the fluid retention). After a month of endless and perilous procedures concluded, I suddenly was told to go home (with urinary tubes still attached)! Going home was a positive, but the intense care that kept me alive would be gone. At this point, I could not even walk and had to have physical therapy to regain my walking abilities. After many tests, exams, and monitoring, I learned that the fluid retention had injured my for more information Email: Phone: 609-318-4933

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April / May / June 2022



Live Better Therapy Solutions Breaking the stigma around mental health Danielle Tucci, LPC (left) & Dr. Tara Drames, PsyD, Licensed Psychologist


by Rachel Porter n the past two years, society has dealt with lockdowns, restrictions, protests, Covid-19, conspiracies, mass fear, and ultimately, fatigue and exhaustion from it all. Many people began to feel like their world became a never-ending cycle of concerns about safety, uncertainty, anger, fear, and desperation. As individuals do their best to protect themselves and others from so many worries, the lingering effects on mental health is taking its toll. Dr. Tara Drames, a licensed psychologist in the state of Pennsylvania, and Danielle Tucci, a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in


the state of Pennsylvania, observed the rising demand in mental health services during the pandemic. They saw people were struggling with cases of anxiety and depression, job loss, personal effects from quarantining, stressors of parenting, and other factors that elevated during the pandemic. Both women are well-trained in evidence-based treatments and wanted to shed light on the importance of taking care of your mental health. “I was always fascinated with people’s stories, their relationships, and experiences,” Drames says. As a result, Drames has worked in community mental health in Philadelphia for the past seven years. She’s been in the field overall for the last 12 years, received her Master’s in Counseling and Clinical Health in 2011 and 2014, and a Doctorate in Psychology in 2016 from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Tucci earned her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling in 2016 at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic


Medicine, as well. She is also a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor. She and Dr. Drames knew each other after working together for several years in the same field. Inspired by the impact of the pandemic and access to telehealth, they founded Live Better Therapy Solutions. Their goal was to make people feel comfortable reaching out – no matter the purpose – to talk about their feelings and concerns through telehealth appointments. In the fall of 2021, they opened their practice and began helping patients navigate the challenges of life during a pandemic. Some common concerns of their callers included working from home, questioning whether to attend certain gatherings or not, wanting to find meaningful relationships, the impact of virtual dating, and seeking stability in a world that was changing at a rapid pace. One of the significant goals of Live Better Therapy Solutions is to help patients achieve balance wherever they need it in their lives. Drames and Tucci want to help people normalize

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

the need to reach out, go to therapy, and find ways to cope with anything that is concerning them regarding their physical and mental health. “We want to empower people. We want them to take the tools from therapy and feel they can manage themselves on their own,” Drames says. Trying to find the right therapist isn’t always simple, they say. They like to engage their ‘down-to-Earth’ personalities to help break some stigmas surrounding therapy and mental health, and make patients feel more secure. “We’re all flawed. Everyone is going through something, and everyone can find improvement,” Drames says. Although in-person appointments may be possible one day, Drames and Tucci find telehealth beneficial because patients have flexibility with their time and can attend appointments at their convenience. “We’re going on two full years now of a global pandemic and many people are continuing to face challenges in their relationships, at work, and in their home lives,” Tucci says. “We’re grateful to be able to offer support to our clients as they navigate this new world we’re all living in.” “It’s been really exciting to help people from the comfort of their own home and break the barriers. Everyone’s been impacted by this process. It really brought home the importance of taking care of your mental health,” Drames says. To request an appointment of your own, visit PRH

Finding it in Her Heart Dr. Veronica Covalesky has locals pumped over her dedication to cardiovascular health


by Joseph Myers photo by Andrew Andreozzi ommendations and congratulations have often come to Dr. Veronica Covalesky over the course of her medical career, but the Fellow of the American College of Cardiology thrives not on increasing her accolades, but on adding years to patients’ lives. The Hahnemann University alumnus keeps tickers going like clockwork through the Cardiology Consultants of Philadelphia’s Roxborough and South Broad Street locations. RH: What can a person do to strengthen cardiovascular health?

Veronica Covalesky: My father’s older brother, a psychiatrist with eight children, died after bypass surgery in his early 50s. He had given me a heart sounds recording prior to getting ill, and it struck a note with me. In medical school, I met Dr. Pat Procacci, my mentor, who really loved taking care of cardiac patients and further inspired me.

VC: Check with your doctor about blood pressure, blood sugar, weight (BMI) and cholesterol. Learn your family history. Discuss your risk factors with your primary provider. There are risk calculator tools on each of the hospital system websites to do your own scoring and get an idea if you could be at risk. There are screening tests available to detect silent heart disease in early or middle age, such as calcium scoring. Don’t ignore symptoms of chest discomfort or other symptoms, especially if they occur with exertion.


RowHome: What led you to choose your specialty?

RH: What are some misconceptions that people have about cardiovascular health? VC: That things happen “out of the blue.” The habits of a lifetime can set the stage for serious heart disease as you go through life. RH: What advice would you offer to enhance women’s cardiovascular health? VC: Women need to realize they are at risk for heart disease. Many women are still only focused on their gynecologic and breast health, but if a female has a family history of heart disease, they should be finding out if they are at risk.

RH: What will the future of your field involve? VC: I think cardiologists will approach the diagnosis of heart disease much more like cancer doctors, meaning, using newer tools for earlier diagnosis and treatment to lower future risk of heart attack, heart failure or heart rhythm disorders. The risk factors for these cardiac conditions are similar and the public health education messages will be stronger and more consistent. Personal (wearable) monitoring will continue to evolve and also help with

earlier diagnosis. The medications and treatments for blocked arteries, worn out heart valves and rhythm disturbances are getting better all the time. Genetic testing for some cardiac disorders will be more widely available. Imaging technologies such as our new PET/CT camera in our Broad & Morris office have shortened the time for imaging when paired with a medication stress test using lower doses of radiation and are more accurate. RH: How long have you been helping South Philly and Roxborough residents? VC: I have been seeing our South Philadelphia patients three days a week since 1990! I see patients in Roxborough one day a week. I perform an administrative job for the practice on Fridays, so I could be going to any one of over 30 CCP offices depending on what my assignment is for that day. RH: Why should people seek you as their cardiovascular health specialist? VC: My practice is dedicated to providing high-quality and compassionate care. We have invested in stateof-the-art imaging equipment right in our offices so for most testing and some procedures, you do not have to go anywhere else. We work closely with your primary care provider to communicate a detailed care plan. I have patients who have brought their husbands, siblings, children and parents to see me or one of my partners. Many couples come on a “date” for their cardiology appointments to see me. It is my privilege to do so. April / May / June 2022

RH: What are some non-job pursuits/ interests that keep you going? VC: I love to cook and try to make dinner for my family every night. I have a garden, two big furry dogs, a cat, and ride a horse or a bicycle when time permits. I am also in charge of the Nuclear Cardiology Imaging for my entire practice. I work with the Cardiovascular Institute of Philadelphia to organize continuing education programs for physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and technologists who work in cardiology. We bring national and international speakers to Philadelphia to educate our providers and work with local hospital systems to plan these programs. RH: Tell us about your family! VC: My husband, Dr. Nick Leasure, is a breast cancer doctor in Reading. I have three wonderful children, Nicholas, Michael and Emilie who we have raised while juggling two full-time, demanding careers. We will soon have a lovely daughter-in-law, Hannah, who became engaged to Nicholas earlier this year. RH: What is your top cardiovascular health tip? VC: Stay fit and schedule time for it. It is important for healthy aging, and you are worth the time! PRH Cardiology Consultants of Philadelphia are members of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.



your Hair says a lot about your health

courtesy of Joanne Masciantonio The Cutting Point Salon


A hair professional for 42 years, Joanne Masciantonio, stylist, and owner of The Cutting Point Salon, says it’s important to understand that your physical wellbeing has a lot to do with the health of your hair. Through the years, customers have shared many experiences about their health and its effect on their hair with Joanne and her salon team. As trained professionals, they have a close eye on changes in their clients’ hair

and can recommend ways to get your tresses back on track. Q: How does your health affect your hair?


Joanne Masciantonio: Changes in your hair might be related to nutrition or health issues. If you have a dry scalp or hair, you might need more healthy fats in your diet. Hair a little thinner? Add more proteins to your diet. Q: What changes in hair should clients report to their physicians? jm: I have talked to my clients about specific changes in their hair so they can talk to their physicians about it. Research shows


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

that changes in your hair’s look, texture, or thickness can be signs of underlying health conditions like iron deficiencies or thyroid disease. Side effects of certain medications can make hair thin or brittle. Hormonal imbalances (menopause & pregnancy) can cause hair loss or change the texture of your hair. We all know that stress can cause hair loss, including alopecia areata (bald spots). Hair needs nutrients like iron, protein and zinc. Ask your physician to recommend vitamins that could benefit you. As you age, keep in mind that hereditary pattern baldness is a common condition that affects both men and women, and can result in thinning or loss

Life & Wellness Coach

Teri Lombardo

Research shows that changes in your hair’s look, texture, or thickness can be signs of underlying health conditions like iron deficiencies or thyroid disease. of hair. Covid can also take a toll on your hair. Clients, especially those who had serious cases with high fevers, have reported weak, brittle hair or hair loss approximately 8-9 months afterwards. Q: Tips for healthy hair jm: Everyone’s hair type is different. Some need to shampoo daily, others can shampoo weekly. Generally, I suggest my clients follow these regiments. Straight Fine Hair. Shampoo more often with a volumizing shampoo like Matrix, High Amplify. If your hair is short & fine, you do not need to condition as often as long hair but when you do, use a milder conditioner like Matrix, High Amplify. Color / Highlighted Hair. Always shampoo and condition with color-safe products like Goldwell DualSenses for fine or coarse hair. Course & Curly Hair. You can go longer between shampoos but always use conditioner after shampooing your hair. Try products like DevaCurl. There’s something for every type of curl. Before styling, apply a leave-in conditioner like Sexy Hair or Seal the Deal that will serve as a detangler and help prevent hair breakage, reduce frizz and the effects of humidity. Q: What products should you use before blow drying? Air drying? jm: Use a heat protector before styling with a curling iron or flat iron. You wouldn’t touch a hot pot without a potholder! It’s a 10 miracle leave-in plus Keratin. If your hair is curly, air dry it! Apply the right product to help lock in moisture like DevaCurl, Melt into Moisture. Avoid applying heat. Q: What other products and services should be used to promote healthy hair and scalp? Linkage Meu by Milbon, an in-salon treatment that layers and massages the treatment into the hair. Clients get (4) takehome treatments to extend and prolong

the effects of the salon treatment. When shampooing your hair, make sure the nape beneath your hair is cleansed. Sometimes, we focus primarily on the tops of our heads. I tell clients to flip their heads over in the shower and start shampooing the underneath first. It will keep your scalp healthy and prevent oil buildup that will eventually smell. If you have thick hair, avoid clipping it up while it’s still wet. Mildew will find its way onto your wet locks. Q: How do I get the most from the curly hair I was born with? jm: When caring for curly hair, moisture, moisture, moisture! Try DevaCurl Leave-In Decadence. Use products that will drive moisture into your hair. After conditioning, don’t fully rinse it out. A little conditioner left on your hair will moisturize it. Fill a spray bottle with half water / half conditioner and use it to refresh your curls before and after styling! Style with cream products, instead of gel. (DevaCurl Defining Gel & DevaCurl Supercream) And lastly, avoid applying heat. Air dry your hair to keep those curls from drying out! Q: What is the best schedule for color treatments? jm: Hair color has come a long way over the years. For instance, bleach, toners, and glosses from Goldwell has IntraLipid™ Technology that will repair your hair while enjoying these services. Root Touchup. Depending on the client, touchups are recommended between 3-6 weeks. Highlights. Every 3 months. Toners. May be used to refresh your hair between highlights or when darker colors have lost their rich sheen. All products recommended in this article are available at The Cutting Point, 17th & Oregon Avenue. Call 215.389.8100 to book your appointment. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Instagram. PRH

The Cutting Point, A Total Image Salon, is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.

tel: (215) 869-0319

Superior Physical Therapy delivers the highest level of professional care in a compassionate and friendly environment. 2547 S. Broad St., Phildelphia, PA 19148 Phone: (215) 462-3303 | Fax: (215) 462-3304

Danielle Tucci, LPC Dr. Tara Drames, PsyD

Providing Telehealth services to Philadelphia and Pennsylvania residents


April / May / June 2022




Dominic Rago (MontiRago Funeral Home), PHL Athletics' Ron Malandro Jr., Stasia Milios, Bill Fulginiti Jr., Joseph Renzi Jr.




| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

oung Professionals of Make-A-Wish Philadelphia, Delaware, & Susquehanna Valley recently organized “Workout for Wishes”an event where attendees participate in a predetermined workout created by the trainers of PHL Athletics. The South Philadelphia gym partnered with nearby Monti-Rago Funeral Home to host this event at the gym on April 30th. Each participant tries to complete as many rounds of the workout as possible. With a minimum donation fee of $25 per participant, the team can reach its goal to provide children with their dreams! Organizers Ron Malandro of PHL Athletics and Dominic Rago of Monti-Rago Funeral Home talk about why it’s so important for young businesses to support nonprofits like Make-A-Wish and what they hope will be gained with the money raised from this event.

Q: What do you hope to see happen with the money raised from the event? A: We think it’s pretty simple - we

want nothing more than someone or multiple kids’ wishes granted.

Q: How important is it for young businesses to be involved in non-profits like Make-A-Wish? A: It is extremely important for ALL businesses

to be involved in non-profits like Make-A-Wish. It separates us from the business aspect of our everyday work. It’s not about turning over a dollar or making a profit, it’s about putting forth our maximum efforts for a good cause that has such a strong impact on someone’s life.

Q: How many participants have signed up? A: We are hoping to have a minimum of 50

participants sign up. The sponsors and people who show up that day to support our efforts will be just as important as the participants, however. We want to see the South Philly community come together as much as possible to give back for such a strong cause.

Q: How important is it for the community to support fund-raisers like this? A: It’s important for many reasons. One

of the main reasons, for us, is that a fundraiser like this gives us and our community the opportunity to show how strong we are when we stand side-by-side.

Q: What message do you want to share with your peers and sponsors about giving back? A: We, the South Philadelphia commu-

nity, can be such a force of positive energy. Coming together at high volume like this shows true character about where WE are from and what WE are about. PRH Even if you cannot physically join the workout event (or if you’re reading this after the event takes place), please know that your generous donations are continuously appreciated and will directly impact the Make-A-Wish Foundation! To donate, fundraise for volunteer your time, please visit

April / May / June 2022



HEALTHY SUN HABITS courtesy of Dermatology Partners The start of spring means more time spent outside and increased potential exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in America. According to, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the United States than all other cancers combined. Learning the risks associated with sun exposure is an important first step in protecting yourself and reducing your risk of developing skin cancer.

Practice healthy sun habits


Protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays is the first step in skin cancer prevention. Photoaging is the result of the cumulative sun exposure a person receives throughout their life and is responsible for 90 percent of visible changes to the skin. While genetic factors, such as being fair-skinned or a family history of skin cancer, contribute to a person’s lifetime risk of developing skin cancer, the likelihood of developing skin cancer is strongly associated with exposure to UV radiation. Regular application of sunscreen with SPF of 30 or more and consistent usage of a hat to protect your scalp and ears from the sun’s harmful rays help prevent unnecessary UV exposure. A person’s risk for melanoma doubles if they have had more than five sunburns, so don’t skimp on the sunscreen. Apply 30 minutes prior to going outside and reapply every two hours of being in the sun. The sun’s rays are most intense between 10 am and 2 pm. The FDA recommends applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to all uncovered skin. Regular daily use of SPF 15 sunscreen can reduce your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) by about 40 percent and lower your melanoma risk by 50 pecent.


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

Don’t worry about your vitamin D! Many people think that using sunscreen can lead to vitamin D deficiency, and that the best way to obtain enough of the vitamin is through direct sun exposure. While sun exposure is the most important natural source of vitamin D, there are other ways for your body to get the levels it needs without compromising the health of your skin. Clinical studies have not determined that daily use of sunscreen can lead to vitamin D insufficiency. Depending on the strength of your sunscreen, anywhere from 2-7 percent of solar UVB rays are still reaching your skin, giving your body the opportunity to manufacture vitamin D.

Schedule your annual skin cancer screening today Getting an annual skin cancer screening by a professional can be instrumental in identifying any suspicious lesions and treating them early. Scheduling your yearly full body skin exam with a dermatologist is the most important step in detecting skin cancer. Melanoma can be found anywhere on the body, and are sometimes overlooked on selfexams, especially on the back or scalp. Catching skin cancer in the early stages, when it’s easiest to treat, can make all the difference in the treatment plan your dermatologist will recommend. Call Dermatology Partners today to schedule your next-day appointment; 215-463-3939! Dermatology Partners is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.

The hot sun can take a toll on your skin no matter what time of year. While sunscreen - and reapplying - can keep us protected from the sun’s rays, lips are also a delicate part of your body and need special attention year-round. Here are some ways you can protect your lips from the sun.

1 2


: Apply moisturizer daily (products with vitamin E & aloe vera work well).

: Orange & yellow vegetables, red bell peppers, mango, cantaloupe & tomatoes will make your lips (and the rest of your skin) happy. Eat them up!

: Get in the habit of applying lip balm with SPF daily. Look for sticks or tubes with shea butter, coconut butter or coconut oil.




: Flavored products like cinnamon, citrus, mint & peppermint can irritate your lips. Check your makeup, lotions, balms, and other products you use on or near your lips for these ingredients.


: Clean your lips gently with a soft brush or washcloth each morning. Make this part of your facial routine. It will help remove dry skin and keep your lips smooth and healthy.


: Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water or use a humidifier in your home to increase moisture in the air.


: Exfoliate weekly. Apply lip balm before bed. When doing your makeup, apply a lip primer before lipstick to keep your skin moist.

13th Annual Methodist Hospital Foundation Fashion Fundraiser Sunday, June 5, 2022 | 12 p.m. The Crystal Tea Room Located in the Wanamaker Building 100 East Penn Square, Philadelphia, PA 19107

For more information: 215-952-9006 Sponsorship and Tickets: Proceeds support the purchase of early mobility equipment for patients in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Methodist Hospital. RECEPTION | BRUNCH | MUSIC | RAFFLE | SILENT AUCTION


April / May / June 2022




Though boxing originated in Greece in 688 BC, Philadelphia, and its surrounding areas, have been known for boxing since 1876 when Jimmy Weeden and Billy Walker fought before a crowd of gamblers near Pennville, NJ. My goodness, I mean people come from all over the country to just pose in front of the famous Rocky statue in Center City Philadelphia! So, why has this sport been around so long and what are the benefits? Boxing, fitness, and nutrition go hand-in-hand, and it is no longer just a man’s sport. Women are picking up the boxing gloves, too. So, what’s all the hype about? Boxing has been known to improve balance, help posture, strengthen upper body and core, boost endurance, increase alertness, improve your mood, and improve hand-eye coordination. For women, there are additional benefits such as boosting your confidence, and it’s a great stress reliever. Lowering our stress levels can reduce belly fat, help us sleep better, and overall, help us live better lives. Add a balanced diet to this and

photo by Adam Eisner



courtesy of Chef Mitzi Jackson-Robinson @mj_thechef

Welcome to Chef MJ’s Corner, where we will feature food, nutrition, health, the latest trends and hotspots and, last but not least, stories that give inspiration to each reader. You know my motto, “Food is a segue into intimate conversation! So, take a load off and get intimate!”

you’re winning all around. The 50-0 Champ, Floyd Mayweather, spent 21 years at the top of the sport of boxing and never lost a fight. He attributes boxing to saving his life. He recently launched fitness gyms all over the country that are based on his actual training regime. According to Curtis Singleton and Robert Johnson, owners of Mayweather Boxing + Fitness Marlton, these workouts are fun, empowering, and effective due to wearing a heart rate monitor in an instructor-led class. Add foods that are nutritional with your workout regimen and you’re well on your way to a healthy body and mind. So, what foods should boxers eat? Here are a few suggestions. Complex Carbohydrates: whole grain breads, pasta, fresh fruit, rice, oats, and potatoes Lean Proteins: white meats, lean red meats, fish, and low-fat dairy Healthy Fats: nuts; avocado, fish, olive oil If you’re interested in learning more, check out Chef Mitzi at Mayweather Boxing + Fitness Marlton www. Or visit my website PRH

CARDIOLOGY CONSULTANTS OF PHILADELPHIA � Complete Cardiology evaluations-same day appointments available

Cardiology Consultants of

� Echocardiograms

Philadelphia offers

� Stress Testing including a brand-new state of the art PET nuclear camera for more precise diagnosis

state of the art healthcare to our patients. Our boardcertified physicians of cardiovascular

� Cardiac Catheterizations and interventions


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treat the full spectrum

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Dr Brett Victor, M.D. Dr Suman Jaswal, M.D.

Dr Dean Karalis, M.D. Dr Daniel McCormick, M.D.

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

Dr Pasquale Nestico, M.D. Dr Concetta Milano, M.D.

We have 3 convenient South Philadelphia locations: 1703 S Broad St. 3rd Floor Philadelphia, Pa 19148 215-463-5333 1809 S Oregon Ave. 1st Floor Philadelphia, Pa 19145 215-389-3890 1809 S Oregon Ave. 2nd Floor Philadelphia, Pa 19145 215-465-3435

Dr Howard Rosner, M.D. Dr Paul Varano, M.D.




Where are all the Therapists?

irections Outpatient Center in Philadelphia, PA offers therapy for those struggling with substance use disorder and cooccurring disorders with evidence based treatments. We have a family atmosphere that treats individuals and their loved ones with healing. We offer various levels of care, MAT, individual therapy, family therapy, and group therapy.


2300 S. Broad Street / Philadelphia


DERMATOLOGY SPECIALISTS Specializing in medical and surgical dermatology At Dermatology Partners, our caring team of dermatology experts are dedicated to helping you with all of your dermatological and skin needs. Our dermatologists are experts in treating a full spectrum of diseases of the skin, hair, and nails, and specialize in the detection and treatment of skin cancers.

DR. DAVIDA KRUPNICK Certified by the American Board of Dermatology

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N E X T DAY A P P O I N T M E N T S AVA I L A B L E 2 15-46 3 -3 93 9



| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

by Theresa Collins BA CADC Facility Director/Primary Therapist Directions Outpatient Centers It is no secret that the pandemic has left us feeling an increase in anxiety and depression. The pandemic, coupled with the epidemic, has left mental health facilities and substance abuse facilities reaching increasing numbers of clients seeking help. While the stigma in seeking help is diminishing, so are the therapists. One alarming event that has been occurring is the number of counselors and therapists that are leaving the field due to overwork and burnout. The change that continues to occur that allows people to work from home is still appealing to other professionals as substance use facilities continued to treat people in-person during the pandemic. Many facilities in the city and surrounding areas are desperate for more clinicians to join their team. Seemingly, we have seen counselors who are either underqualified or ones that are asking for such a large amount in salary that most substance abuse facilities are unable to cover. While there has been a push for taking care of some of our other professional colleagues in other areas of practice, we fear as counselors that the push for the respect and care that is needed to continue to bring the best clinical care to


Directions Behavioral Health of NJ is now offering treatment in Cherry Hill, NJ.

d i r e c t i o n s t r e at m e n t . c o m

those who deserve it the most, is lacking. Burnout for clinicians, especially in the drug and alcohol field, is real. Self-care and taking space to refuel are imperative for clinicians to not feel burnout. Some practical ways to avoid burnout are: 1.

Find a self-care routine and stick with it


Take advantage of your PTO days (the clients will be fine for a day, we promise)


Have your own therapist or spiritual community


Make time for the people you call family


Don’t take for granted the power in confiding in colleagues and friends

Directions Outpatient Center is a unique space that fosters a team and family spirit. Our staff has been together, and we’ve stuck by each other through the thick of the epidemic and pandemic. We are fortunate that we have been able to create a space of happy employees which in turn creates a space for healthy healing of clients. We look forward to speaking with other facilities during this time and find ways to take care of our clinicians so we can take care of our vulnerable populations. PRH

Directions Outpatient Centers is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome Magazine (PRH) Business Network. Directions Outpatient Centers 2300 S. Broad Street | 1 877.228.2073

THE PHILLYDREAM DIFFERENCE Let us help you find your Dream Home! Mario Tropea Jr. & the Dream Team

Serving the Philadelphia Real Estate Market for 40 years We understand the market. That is why most of our business comes from referrals and repeat customers whose trust we have earned. Our agents live in the same communities where we do business. This is our home. We want it to be yours, too. It is our privilege to share our knowledge with you.

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Rental Properties

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PRHREAL ESTATE PERSONALIZED SERVICE. POWERFUL RESULTS. 17 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.


Jeanne Polizzi REALTOR ®, SRS

Certified Relocation Specialist International Presidents Elite Club (C) 215.767.7814 (Efax) 267.937.1919

Home Organization

Your space is your haven courtesy of FETTERMAN DESIGN GROUP


Construction & Improvements LLC Licensed and Insured

215-669-7248 215-260-0748 50

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

uring the last few years, we’ve had to reevaluate our spaces. Words such as hybrid, face masks, and social distancing became the norm. Home gyms, home offices and outdoor spaces were a hot commodity. This resulted in us having to face the reality of the lack of organization of our spaces. Here are a few tips to help get you on your way to creating an organized space. To avoid becoming overwhelmed, start with one room or even begin with the dreaded junk drawer. Organizing starts with planning. Begin by separating your items into three categories.


Next is Sorting! Sort items based on “like with like.” For example, hair products should be grouped together; baking goods on one shelf or in a basket. Lastly, Maintain! Adhere to the “one in, one out rule” and repair or replace broken items. Have a plan in place to get ahead of clutter with scheduled daily, weekly and monthly tasks. Living in an organized space offers many benefits. It reduces anxiety, increases productivity, allows us to accomplish goals and save money. Remember your space is your haven. So, make sure you fashion a space that emits positive energy and relaxation. Our world is so stressful that creating a sense of calmness at home is key to one’s overall wellness. For more tips and tricks call Fetterman Design Group! Check out our Instagram @ fettermandesigngroup to see how we can help you make the most of the space in your home.

Fetterman Design Group is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.

The Ferullo Insurance Agencies LLC has your best interests in mind.


Easy Ways to

Update your Home this Weekend


: Get organized. Whether it’s a closet shelf or a kitchen drawer, there are plenty of containers, baskets and cubes that will add some visual appeal to those cluttered spaces. Side-by-side or stacked, you will be pleasantly surprised with minimal effort.

At the Ferullo Insurance Agencies LLC it’s not just our job to help guide you to a future worth looking forward to, it’s our passion. The way we see it, putting you first means understanding your needs and making sure you get coverage at the right price.


LET’S TALK TODAY. John Ferullo 1636 S FRONT ST PHILADELPHIA, PA 19148 215-468-4116





Products underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Affiliated Companies. Home Office: Columbus, OH 43215. Life insurance is issued by Nationwide Life Insurance Company or Nationwide Life and Annuity Insurance Company, Columbus, Ohio. Nationwide, Nationwide Is On Your Side, and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2020 Nationwide CPC-0435AO (09/17) 12071560


: Focus on your lighting. Do you need more overhead light? Low light to soften the room? Update your lampshade or buy a new tabletop fixture. There are so many affordable options that will bring new life to any room in your home.


: Add some texture to your hardwood floors. An area carpet can add some visual interest to your favorite space. Flat, fluffy, prints or solids in a variety of sizes and shapes will update any room in the blink of an eye.


: Add a Diffuser to the room. Soothing scented oils will fill your home with a continuous mist of musk or lull you to sleep with lilac and lavender. A variety of sizes, shapes and styles to choose from.


: Add a plant. Bring the outdoors inside with the perfect foliage. Or choose a lush green imitation if maintenance-free fits your busy lifestyle.

6 7 8

: Change the hardware on your kitchen cabinets. Is it time to ditch the dingy knobs for something sleek in chrome or brushed nickel?



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: Change the frames! Display your favorite family photos in updated frames. Is it an old black & white? Pick a frame that depicts the era.

: Toss a few pillows around. Nothing says comfy like a few cushy pillows scattered around the room. A great way to add a pop of color to complement your décor.

Only Available Through

Subject to collateral underwrite and approval. AnnieMac Home Mortgage, 700 East Gate Drive, Mt Laurel, NJ 08054. American Neighborhood Mortgage Acceptance Company LLC (dba AnnieMac Home Mortgage, The Mortgage Company, LoFiDirect) Licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking as a Mortgage Lender (#33587).


April / May / June 2022



The Mike Giordano Jr. and Sr. Duo at

Historic Property

Your favorite South Philly father/son real estate duo for all of your real estate needs in PA and NJ! 1608 E. Passyunk Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19148 Cell: (calls and texts) 267-688-1449 | office: 215-334-3333

Lazaretto Building 97 Wanamaker Ave, Prospect Park, PA

PAINTING OF DISTINCTION INTERIOR • EXTERIOR Office: 267-930-3420 w w w . fac e b o o k . co m / faux pa i n t

Faux Finish Specialist

Joe LaFiora


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022



After the Yellow Fever Epidemic in 1743, the first quarantine station for Philadelphia was built not far from where the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers meet at what is now known as Penrose Ferry Road. Sick people arriving at the port resided here in what was called the Pest House or Old Lazaretto. In 1802, when the building was sold, a new quarantine building was erected about six miles west. The Lazaretto Building. Efforts to control disease epidemics in Philadelphia did not actually begin until after the Yellow Fever Epidemic which killed between 4,000 and 5,000 people – about one-tenth of the city’s population at the time. As a result, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania created a Board of Health in 1798 and erected the Lazaretto Building a year later, just south of the city on the banks of the Delaware in Tinicum Township. In 1864, the Municipal Hospital of Philadelphia burned down. The Board of Health relocated the hospital to the Lazaretto until a new building was complete. All passenger and cargo vessels bound for Philadelphia docked at the Lazaretto for inspection. Anyone suspected of Yellow Fever, typhus, cholera, or smallpox were quarantined in the hospital until they recovered or died. Infested cargoes were fumigated or destroyed. The Philadelphia Board of Health operated the facility and enforced quarantine regulations until the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania took over in 1893. After the Lazaretto Building closed as a hospital, the Philadelphia Athletic Club turned the grounds into a country club. In 1917, it was used as the first seaplane base in Pennsylvania and one of the first in the United States. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Thanks to the work of local preservationists, it was saved from being demolished. Tinicum Township purchased the building in 2005 and refurbished it to use as township offices.

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are Blooming in South Philly

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Specializing in the REMOVAL, TRANSPORT & DISPOSAL of all commercial rubble & debris Contact

Michael Rhoades

A proud Associate of the Philadelphia RowHome Magazine Business Network 54

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

he Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) recently celebrated the return of spring with 20 free PHS public gardens and landscapes blooming across the Philadelphia region. PHS public gardens and landscapes are a very important part of PHS’s mission of promoting health and well-being through horticulture. The vital green spaces create tree canopies, attract vital pollinators, and benefit both physical and mental health. Along with gardens at the Delaware River Waterfront, Love Park, Eastern State Penitentiary, and Drexel University, you can find great spaces to explore here in South Philly - home of Philadelphia RowHome Magazine.


Look for displays of spring bulbs - tulips, Camassia, and Alliums and many new trees in the Navy Yard Arboretum. Walk along the waterfront to take in beautiful perennial gardens and, of course,

this is a prime spot to view the passing ships and planes flying above! Seasonal gardeners will be on-site throughout the campus to talk about all things garden. If you’re looking for some green thumb tips or would like to know more about the horticultural displays, feel free to ask one of them.


PHS has partnered with the Sports Complex Special Services District to renovate Geary Park, Broad & Geary Streets, and provide a brand-new space for the community. This project was a result of feedback calling for more open spaces and gardens for visitors to enjoy. A lighting plan includes programmable colors for holidays and Philly sports game days, of course! Look for various brick walking paths, new furnishings, a nature grove, and flowering plants and trees. The ribbon-cutting ceremony is May 24th. A complete list of public gardens and landscapes in our area can be found at other-public-landscapes


Gina Amoriello Attorney at Law



to keep You & Your Valuables Safe

Never Leave Your Luggage Unattended

Philadelphia Office

1515 Market St. Suite 1200 Philadelphia, PA 19102

215-389-3090 New Jersey Office

courtesy of RON RABENA Chief Client Officer, Allied Universal




�� Stop mail and cancel all deliveries or ask a friend or neighbor to make daily collections.

�� Carry a minimum amount of cash. If you use travelers checks, keep records of the numbers separate and in a safe place.

�� Before leaving for the airport, familiarize yourself with its layout on the airport website.

�� Hide empty garbage cans. �� Have a neighbor maintain your yard. �� Put an automatic timer on lights, televisions, or radios. �� Leave your blinds or shades in their normal position. �� T ell a trusted neighbor your departure and return dates. Supply that neighbor with phone numbers in case of an emergency and leave them a house key. �� Ask the police department to periodically check your residence. �� Lock all windows and doors, including the basement and garage.

�� Keep a careful watch on your traveling tickets. Carry them in an inside pocket. �� I f driving, plan your route. Have your car serviced, including your tires. Always lock your car when it is parked and keep valuables out of sight. �� Never pick up hitchhikers. �� Carry your cell phone. �� When you stop for the night, remove bags and other valuables from the car. �� Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries, flares, fire extinguisher and a first aid kit.


�� Leave your valuables, jewelry, designer luggage, etc., at home. �� Walk with confidence. Keep your head up and look forward at all times. �� Immediately report any suspicious activity to airport security, including any abandoned bags. �� Only use taxis and transportation services with official markings. �� Never accept gifts or packages from unknown parties. �� Never leave your luggage unattended. �� Mark your luggage so you can easily identify it and pick it up right away.

About the Author: Ron Rabena, Chief Client Officer at Allied Universal, is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome Magazine Business Network. Allied Universal is the leading global security and facility services company.

210 Haddon Ave. Westmont, NJ 08108

Elect Billy Lanzilotti as your Ward Leader in the

26th and 39th Wards. From the Neighborhood. For the Neighborhood. April / May / June 2022



Make Your Child a

Tax-free Millionaire!

Courtesy of the CPA Firm of David M. Spitzberg

Want to jumpstart your child’s retirement with a million-dollar tax-free account? Consider this.

The million-dollar idea As soon as your child begins to earn income, open a Roth IRA and set a contribution goal to reach before they graduate from high school. Assuming an 8% expected rate of return, the investments made by age 19 will grow to FORTY times its value by the time they reach 67 (current full retirement age). For example, $2,500 invested before graduation will be $100,000 at retirement. If you can bump that up to a $25,000 investment before graduation, at retirement it will be worth $1 million!

Why it works Compounding interest occurs when interest is earned on the interest generated from the initial contribution. The more time the investment has to grow, the more exponential growth will occur. By starting to save prior to graduating from high school, the investment will have almost 50 years of compounding growth. Even better, while contributions to Roth IRAs must be after-tax contributions, any earnings are TAXFREE as long as the rules are followed! Simple to say, but how do you get $25,000 into a child’s Roth IRA? Here are some tips. • Hire your child. Roth IRA contributions are limited to the amount of income your child earns, so earned income is key. If

you own a business or even make some money on the side, consider hiring your child to help with cleaning the office, filing or other tasks they can handle. • Look for acceptable youngage work ideas. Babysitting, yard work, walking pets, shoveling, and lawn work are all good ideas to get your child earning income at a younger age. Cashbased income is harder to prove, so don’t forget to keep track of the income and consider filing a tax return, even if not required. • Leverage high school years. Your child has their highest earning potential before graduation, between ages 15 through 18. Summer jobs, internships and part-time jobs during the school year can produce a consistent income flow to contribute to their Roth IRA and still provide spending money. • Parent or grandparent matching idea. The income earned by your child doesn’t have to be directly contributed by them to the Roth IRA – it simply sets the contribution limit. Make a deal that for every dollar of income your child saves for college, a parent or grandparent contributes a matching amount to their Roth account. It can be a college and retirement savings in one! By helping your child get a head start on saving, it should ease any anxiety regarding retirement and help them focus on school, starting their career, and other personal development goals.

The CPA Firm of David M. Spitzberg is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022



Serving the Community since 1937

Vincent C. Gangemi Jr., Supervisor Vincent C. Gangemi, Founder (1915-2005) James L. Guercio, Funeral Director (1954-2016)

w w w. G a n g e m i F u n e r a l H o m e . n e t

a Drop in Traffic Stops Means Rise in Risk

Funeral Pre-Planning Available Relieve your loved ones of future responsibility for funeral expenses

Handicapped Accessible


Q: What is the impact of Philly being the first city in the U.S. to ban low-level traffic stops?


Philadelphia’s ban of lowlevel, secondary traffic offenses means that police officers are not able to stop vehicles for such offenses as driving with headlights or brakes out, having registration not clearly visible or displayed, or driving without inspection or emission stickers. Such practices in the past have revealed vehicles that were illegal or were in possession of drugs or weapons, thus keeping our communities safer. I am sure you have seen first-hand that drivers are taking advantage of the police’s limitations and not obeying red lights or stop signs.

Relationship Banking Defined

Drivers can now operate their vehicles without being compliant with inspection and registration standards, making our roads and communities less safe. To the drivers who are trying their best to obey such traffic laws that have been in place and regulated by police for decades prior, it is best to remain diligent and patient when driving, and to be aware of other cars on the road that may not be as careful as you. Keep following traffic laws that are in place to protect yourself and others around you and be mindful of cars that are not. Such practices can help keep you, your families, and our community safe during this time when police power has been restricted.

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



215.467.4300 www.

Once again, Frank DePasquale has been recognized by his peers as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for 2022. He heads DePasquale Law Offices, 2332-34 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145. P: 215.755.4410. Email him at or visit


Philadelphia Offices 1510 Packer Ave. 215-467-4300

Broad & Passyunk Ave. 215-389-5500

732 South 10th St. 215-923-8490

April / May / June 2022




2535 West Chester Pike 610-325-8800

301 Baltimore Pike 610-544-9090

35 E. Baltimore Ave. 610-627-0100





l o m b a r d i m e at s . c o m

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 Photo by Andrew Andreozzi

INGREDIENTS ❍ 4 (2 lb) baby back pork ribs ❍ 1/4 cup light brown sugar ❍ 2 tbsp paprika ❍ 2 tbsp steak season-

ing for grilling ❍ 1 tbsp ground cumin ❍ 1 tbsp dried oregano ❍ Vegetable oil

for grill ❍ 1/4 cup honey ❍ 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar



Prepare ribs by turning bone side up. Using a paring knife or the tines of a fork, get under the membrane and pull it off. Leaving it on will make the ribs chewy. Mix brown sugar, paprika, steak seasoning, cumin, and oregano in a small bowl. Pat all over the ribs. Place it in a large Ziplock bag or on a baking tray covered with plastic. Refrigerate 6-24 hours. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill. Clean the grates and rub with vegetable oil using a wad of paper towels. Pre-heat a gas grill to medium high and prepare for indirect cooking by turning off one or two of center burners and reduce the remaining burners to

1805-07 Washington Ave Philly, PA 19146 215.546.2233


W W W. C H I C K S P H I L LY. C O M

medium low. On a charcoal grill, bank the coals to one side leaving the center open. Place a drip pan to avoid flare-ups. Place the ribs bone side down on the cooler or indirect part of the grill. Overlap the ribs slightly to fit. Cover. Cook for 2 - 2 1/4 hours, rotating the ribs once during grilling. Meat should pull away from the bones. Mix honey, vinegar, and pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Transfer the ribs to direct heat. Brush with the honey mixture and continue to grill uncovered for five minutes. Brush again and grill five more minutes until glazed. Transfer to a cutting board and cut apart ribs to serve. Serves 6.


Large selection of CRAFT BEERS available for Dine In or Take Out. Signature Cocktails. Wine. Spirits. 58

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022





ver wish you could indulge in the fresh, juicy taste of locally grown produce while avoiding the crowds at farmers’ markets? Since 2014, Philly Foodworks’ online market has been making it easy for Philadelphia families to enjoy the bounties from our local farmers, year-round. Now, thanks to a recent expansion, Philly Foodworks will be increasing its delivery areas all the way down to the South Jersey shore towns for the first time, this summer. “Why give up the local products you love while at your summer home?” asks VP Anne Steelman as she excitedly discusses the details surrounding their big move. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, weekly deliveries will be available from Brigantine south to Cape May. This is in addition to the longstanding 25-mile radius that Philly Foodworks currently serves, sending boxes of farm goodies to every address from West Chester to Phoenixville, Landsdale to Bensalem, and even into Southern New Jersey. The shore delivery announcement coincides with the recent opening of Philly Foodworks’ new warehouse, an undertaking that began back in February 2020 after they started to reach the capacity at their previous location. Then, when the pandemic began, the need for more space became even more apparent. When COVID hit and people relied heavily on food deliveries, Philly Foodworks’ business tripled in size. To meet their immediate demands, they temporarily rented space while the search for a new place to call home continued. Steelman details, “Ultimately, we felt our best option to accomplish this was purchasing and completely retrofitting a 20,000 square foot 70-year-old warehouse.” Previously used as a tile distributor for both commercial and residential customers, the building lay vacant since 2016 and was in desperate need of renovations. After 18 months of upgrades, repairs and new additions, Philly Foodworks began operations out of 1978 West Hunting Park Avenue. Steelman adds that even more plans are on the horizon. “In the future, we will do our own prepared foods, host events, run a neighborhood farm stand, and be a community resource for the neighborhood.” To go along with their growth, Philly Foodworks will also increase its partnerships with a few of the New Jersey farms they’ve worked closely with over the years. “We turn to our New Jersey farm partners for tomatoes, sweet corn, melons, cucumbers, and more,” Steelman shares while going through the long list of summer produce available.

Over the years, the group of providers has been carefully curated based on a number of factors including product quality, worker health and safety, and the associated environmental impacts. “Two of our favorite New Jersey farms are A.T. Buzby Farm in Woodstown, NJ, and D&V Organics in Swedesboro, NJ,” Steelman says while discussing the many producers they work with. “We’ve been working with both for the last few seasons and their crops are absolutely amazing!” Ask any farmer that Philly Foodworks has partnered with and it’s clear that the love and respect is mutual. “We have been working with Philly Foodworks

since 2014 and have developed a loyal and trusted relationship,” says Dawn Buzby, co-owner of A.T. Buzby Farm. “As farmers, we appreciate their commitment to high quality, locally grown produce.” She adds that the commitment to farmers is every bit as equal as that to their customers. Have you ever tried a kiwiberry? These tiny, tasty treats are best described as hairless miniature kiwis, Steelman explains. “You can pop the whole thing in your mouth!” Thanks, again, to Buzby Farms. They’re one of the many options available to order. “The Buzby family also grows the best white sweet corn you can April / May / June 2022

get your hands on!” Steelman isn’t shy to admit. Be sure to check out the great selection of your favorite, freshly grown summer foods. Steelman’s favorite? “Sweet corn! Is there anything better than grilled corn on a hot summer day? Closely followed by juicy melon!” Whether staying cool at home or beating the heat down at the shore, Philly Foodworks will have you covered with deliveries to your door. Visit Philly Foodworks at https:// to sign up. Use code ROWHOME for $25 off your first order of $50 or more! PRH PHILLY FOODWORKS IS A MEMBER OF THE PHILADELPHIA ROWHOME (PRH) MAGAZINE BUSINESS NETWORK.





INGREDIENTS ❍ 1 lb potatoes, peeled & cut into 1-inch chunks

❍ 1 1/2 tsp salt or to taste

❍ 2 red onions, peeled & each cut into 6 wedges

❍ 6 skinless chicken thighs, each cut in half

❍ 1 bag of carrots, scrubbed, peeled & cut into 1-inch circles

❍ 3 tbs olive oil, divided

❍ Juice of 1 lemon ❍ One lemon cut into wedges

❍ 8 garlic cloves, unpeeled

❍ Pinch of red pepper flakes

❍ 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning

❍ 1/2 cup chicken stock

❍ 1 tsp dried rosemary



Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic to a large-rimmed baking tray or a large roasting pan. Sprinkle the dried herbs over. Season with salt to taste. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of the oil, then toss everything together. Spread out the vegetables in an even layer and roast for 15 minutes. Now season the thighs with the salt. Remove the tray from the oven and mix vegetables. Nestle the chicken pieces among the vegetables and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Squeeze the lemon juice over it and sprinkle with the red pepper flakes. Return to the oven for 15 minutes. Carefully add stock to pan. Continue cooking for a final 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are soft and tender. Find the garlic cloves and squeeze out their contents into the tray. Serve with lemon wedges.

A tray bake is a complete meal in one pan. It is popular for a Tuesday night dinner.


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022



… and Li’l Nick’s too!


photo by ANDREW ANDREOZZI ’m waiting in the back office at Big Nick’s Deli. The walls are covered with newspaper cutouts of stories of best cold cuts seven years in a row, Readers Choice plaques and accolades that span more than four decades. Just as I’m reading them, in walks Nicholas Maiale, a.k.a. Big


Nick, singing “Maria” from West Side Story. “I watch that movie all the time. It’s great!” he exclaims. Nick is a true South Philadelphia character: humorous, loving, steadfast, devoted to the breadth and depth of the neighborhood that only a dyed-inthe-wool graduate of Epiphany School and Bishop Neumann can be. “My brother, who is sadly no longer with us, got me started in the business. He had a deli called Rica’s Italian Deli. It was on the corner of Percy and Porter Streets. He got me involved. I used to hang in there, so I said to myself, ‘I’m going to try one of these.’ And I did it! We started in 1974 at Iseminger and Shunk Streets, right across from where I am now. I was renting for a while. Then the owner of

the building wanted to sell. I wanted to buy, but I only had a few dollars in my name. We worked a deal where he held the mortgage for me. That old man made money, 9 percent! But I was there for 30 years. I took a year off and then bought this place at Clarion and Moyamensing Avenue. I’ve been here for 18 years. That’s 48 years,” he says. His son Nick Jr. is the owner of Li’l Nick’s Deli, a sandwich shop specializing in cooked-to-order Chicken Cutlet Hoagies (a Craig LeBan favorite), Italian, Turkey Inferno, party platters and other sandwich masterpieces. He’s been established since 1997. It’s located right next door at 1311 Moyamensing Avenue. Growing up in his father’s store ingrained in him the work ethic needed to run a clean, popular shop. There

is a yellowed clipping from the 1970s lying on the desk. It is of Nick and his two sons, Nick Jr. and Brian. “My father took us to the store at a young age. I think I was eight at the time. We grew up with the kids around here. We waited on their mothers and grandmothers. My sister Dana works here, too. Now we wait on another generation of the same families.” All products are top quality in both stores. Big Nick’s has a wall of imported Italian specialties. He also carries “all kinds of prosciutto, sliced see-through thin, Italian salami. We cut a lot of lunchmeat,” Brian laughs. “All day, every day!” You’ll see Big Nick at the Produce Market every morning at 5 AM. He searches for the best he can find, especially seasonal, like fresh figs. His sons do the prep work. “I get my meat from Lombardi’s. My wife Arlene does all the cooking. She holds us together, believe me.”

The secret of their success? Dedication. “It’s our life. We’ve been consistent. Our prices are reasonable, we’ve grown with the neighborhood.” They are still a rare gem - an Italian, family-owned business. “If you come to my store, you will find something to cook, tonight,” Big Nick says. “The pork roast is our biggest seller and you get a container of gravy with it. But we also have ground beef, fresh chicken cutlets, fresh sausage, fresh flounder, and a lot of seafood - including crab cakes. There are containers of fresh mozzarella balls, marinated olives, homemade long hots, olives from around the world, potato salad. During Easter, we cut chunks of meat and cheese for the pies. During the holidays, we have all the traditional foods. We’re known for our cleaned and fresh escarole! So, if you don’t know what to make for dinner tonight, stop in. We have what you need.” PRH


April / May / June 2022




RIGATONI 2655 S. Juniper Street (corner of Juniper & Oregon Ave)

We Deliver! Sunday - Thursday / 6 am - 1 am Friday & Saturday / 6 am - 2 am Cheesesteaks Try our Buffalo Chicken Cheesesteak with our house made sauce!


Classic / White / Sausage Long Hot / Upside Down / Florida Style Inside Out Try our White with Truffle Honey Breakfast Sandwiches Breakfast Pizza

And so much more! Delivery also through

UberEats / DoorDash / GrubHub


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

INGREDIENTS ❍ 1 jar (if using jarred sauce) or 28 oz can of tomato sauce or purée ❍ 1 12 oz-16 oz container of ricotta

(meatballs, Italian sausage, etc.) ❍ Grated Italian cheese (your favorite one is the correct one) ❍ About 8-12 whole basil leaves

❍ 1 large egg

❍ Fresh or dried parsley

❍ 1 whole mozzarella (16 oz)

❍ Garlic powder

❍ 1 full box or bag of rigatoni - use rigatoni only

❍ Salt

❍ 4 pieces of your favorite gravy meat

❍ Ground black pepper or crushed red pepper

IN ADVANCE Prepare your sauce as you would when making your Sunday Gravy. Prepare your gravy meat. You will not finish your meat in the sauce so be sure to fry the meat most of the way through as it will finish the rest of the way in the oven. Slice the meat into bite-sized pieces, set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta, egg, some grated cheese, parsley, and a pinch of salt. Stir



until blended. Prepare the rigatoni accordingly to al dente just before you’re ready to assemble the skillet preparation. If not, your pasta will dry out and stick. Drain well. Cut your block of mozzarella in two. A 3/4 thick piece and a smaller piece, 1/4 thick. Take the smaller of the pieces and shred it with a cheese grater. Set grated mozzarella aside. Lightly grease a 12” cast iron skillet with an olive oil spray. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

DIRECTIONS Spoon a coating of sauce into the skillet to completely cover the bottom. Toss the drained pasta, with 3/4 of the sauce, in the pot it was boiled in. Save remaining sauce for the end. Take half of the coated pasta and spoon into the skillet. Cover the pasta with the ricotta evenly and push some of the ricotta mix down the insides of the skillet. Lay the sliced gravy meat over the ricotta and sprinkle the grated mozzarella over. Spoon in remaining pasta over the meat and ricotta. Do not mix! Pour remaining sauce over pasta making sure to cover it and drip into crevices. Cut

the remaining block of mozzarella into small to medium size pieces and place evenly on the top of pasta to integrate with sauce. Be sure to edge mozzarella on the skillet. Place the basil leaves evenly on top. Sprinkle crushed black pepper, garlic powder and more grated cheese on top. Bake at least 30 minutes at 350 degrees on lowest oven rack and be careful not to burn the top. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving. You can use a spoon or a spatula to serve. Pairs well with homemade garlic bread because you can bake it at the same time!



DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix the egg, ricotta, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, herbs and salt and pepper. Mix well. Divide the mixture between three to four ramekin dishes or spoon it all into one 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and drizzle the top with olive oil. Serve warm with toasted crostini or crackers. You can add additional toppings, such as crisped prosciutto, sun dried tomatoes, sliced fruit, or drizzled honey just to name a few!


If you are a fan of spreadable baked cheese appetizers, like a baked brie, then you must give baked ricotta a try! The key to really making this recipe special is fresh herbs. The herbs that I prefer using are fresh thyme and oregano, along with grated parmesan for that slight nutty flavor, and salt and pepper to taste. The real fun happens when you start to incorporate toppings. Ricotta is a versatile cheese, compatible with fruits and vegetables, drizzles of honey or glazed balsamic, or additional fresh herbs. Anything from apples and strawberries, to tomatoes, sage and rosemary would all work beautifully. My personal favorites are crisped prosciutto, sun dried tomatoes and drizzled honey.

oregano (or 1/2 tsp dried oregano) ❍ 1 tsp fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme) ❍ 1 tbsp olive oil ❍ Salt & pepper to taste



INGREDIENTS ❍ 1 16 oz container whole milk ricotta ❍ 1 large egg ❍ 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus 1 tbsp for topping ❍ 1 tsp fresh chopped

MAY 21-22, 2022 · 11am to 6pm Wharton To Fitzwater Streets

April / May / June 2022



Eggplant BALLS


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A few months into the pandemic, Americans were adapting to strict ‘stay at home’ orders. ‘Stay at home’ may seem like a simple instruction, but following it requires a profound shift in the way people lead their lives, forcing them to avoid family, grocery stores and restaurants. At a young age - and as an Italian American South Philadelphia native - I developed an intense passion for cooking. I always gravitated toward the sights of food and the sense of smelling a home-cooked meal. Being surrounded by comfort food provides me with an overwhelming sense of warmth. As Americans adapted their

eating habits, I wanted to share how I planned delicious meals, shopped for affordable groceries, and how cooking became an essential part of my life as the pandemic unfolded. Home cooking with love is more than just a sentiment. The power of food brings people together even in unforeseen circumstances. During quarantine, I reevaluated one of my favorite childhood recipes, Polpette di Melanzane. I altered the recipe to add my own taste of home. Whipping up a delicious dinner doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Spring has sprung, and this dish is sure to make you feel lighter and brighter!

INGREDIENTS ❍ 2 large, firm eggplants ❍ Light olive oil (two turns in pan) ❍ 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs ❍ 1/4 cup of plain panko breadcrumbs (optional) ❍ 1 egg

❍ Fresh basil and parsley, chopped (to taste) ❍ 1 tsp granulated garlic ❍ 5-6 cloves of garlic 1 shallot, chopped ❍ Salt & pepper ❍ A mixture of BelGioioso

cheese (Asiago, Fontina, Parmesan, Provolone) ❍ 1 tbsp grated Romano cheese ❍ 1 day-old roll soaked in half/half or milk


W W W . G R A N C A F F E L A Q U I L A. C O M



1716 CHESTNUT STREET PHILADELPHIA, PA 19103 215.568.5600

Skin your eggplant halfway. Cut in half, then lengthwise, then cube. Place in mixing bowl and season with salt, 2 cloves of pressed garlic and a drizzle of oil to coat. Toss and then sauté it in your pan for about 25 minutes. Cook down, place in bowl to cool, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Once cooled, add as follows: soaked bread, granulated garlic, basil, parsley, all cheeses, seasoned breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, egg. Mix well. Roll your balls to the size of your liking. Once rolled, you can coat them in the panko if you like them crisper. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, then fry in light olive oil

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

until browned. Set on paper towels to drain excess oil. Add balls to your simmered marinara pan to cook for another two minutes, covering them in sauce and topping off with cheese of your choice. Makes 12-14. Top with additional fresh basil and enjoy. To make fresh marinara (begin this process while your eggplant mixture is cooling) Add two turns of EVOO, 3 cloves of garlic (chopped), and 1/2 shallot (chopped) into a pan. Cook until sizzling, then add one can of 28 oz whole peeled tomatoes and 1/4 cup of water (swirled from the can). Break down tomatoes with wooden spoon and add salt (keep stirring). Cook on low for 30 minutes.




w w w . p h i l ly f o o d w o r k s . c o m

‘O Sole Mio Ristorante & Pizzeria Napoletana Family-owned & operated Authentic Italian Cuisine made from the finest imported ingredients

Old World Brick Oven Pizza

Daily Specials Book your table today. We’ll do the rest.

824 South 8th Street

215.468.1689 Tuesday-Saturday: 11 am - 10 pm Sunday: 1 - 10 pm Parking Available Order online for Delivery & Pick-Up Let us Host your Private Parties & Funeral Luncheons Call 267.466.6721 for details

NEW YORK BAKERY Located in the heart of South Philly, we’ve been providing the neighborhood & surrounding area with quality service for more than 90 years.

Philly INGREDIENTS ❍ 3 to 4 lemons (2 tsp. zest, 1/2 cup juice) ❍ 8 ounces uncooked ricotta cavatelli (or small pasta shape) ❍ 1/4 cup spring onion, minced ❍ 2 tbsp extra vir-

gin olive oil ❍ 1 tbsp Dijon mustard ❍ 1/2 tsp salt ❍ 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper ❍ 1 1/2 cups asparagus, blanched

2215 S. 11th Street Philadelphia, PA 19148

and chopped ❍ 1/2 cup chives, minced ❍ 1 cup chopped parsley ❍ 1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted

215.389.5912 Fresh brick oven bread, rolls & tomato pie baked daily.


DIRECTIONS Grate zest from lemons to equal 2 teaspoons. Cut lemons in half; squeeze juice from lemons to equal 1/2 cup. Prepare pasta according to package directions keeping in mind fresh pasta has a shorter cook time. Whisk together spring onion, olive oil, mustard, and lemon juice. Toss together pasta and spring onion mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 to 48 hours. Toss together pasta, asparagus, parsley, chives, almonds, and lemon zest just before serving. Add salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice to taste.


Stephen Candeloro Owner

April / May / June 2022






w w w . p h i l ly f o o d w o r k s . c o m

INGREDIENTS ❍ 1 oz baby kale ❍ 1/4 cup sliced strawberries

❍ 1/4 cup diced cucumber ❍ Juice of one lime

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS ❍4 asparagus spears (blanched & chopped)

❍P ecans ❍ Crumbled Feta

DIRECTIONS Toss all ingredients together until combined. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Squeeze lime juice over the salad. Top with your favorite salad dressing or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Serve as a side salad or main course. PHILLY FOODWORKS IS A MEMBER OF THE PHILADELPHIA ROWHOME (PRH) MAGAZINE BUSINESS NETWORK.


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022



Paella Boaggio’s Bread Now Offers Catering for all of your Events. Check out our extensive menu online. If there’s something you don’t see, ask! Pick up only at this time. Great for any occasion! Shop at


In my 20s, I had the privilege of backpacking across much of Europe. One of my favorite places was Barcelona, Spain. I stayed at a hostel just up the hill from the city’s charming and vibrant Las Rambla Boulevard, overlooking the picturesque Mediterranean Sea. Each night, the guests came together with whatever ingredients that purveyed at the local markets and we would try to make a feast that recreated the flavors we had devoured on our adventures. We didn’t have a traditional paella pan like the fancy restaurants did, so we made do with a sheet pan. What we learned was that the most important ingredient was fresh seafood and then you can pretty much use whatever flavors you had on hand. Whatever ingredients you have will be delicious, as long as you don’t forget the sangria! Buen provecho!

or in-person Wednesday to Friday: 11am – 5pm Saturday: 10am – 4pm 823 Eastgate Drive, Suite #3, Mount Laurel, NJ 08054


Sandwiches • Pizza • Stuffed Breads • Cookies Cannoli • Italian Pastries • Prepared Foods • Catering

INGREDIENTS ❍ 2 tbsp olive oil ❍ 1 1/2 cups short grain rice (such as Arborio) ❍ 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken or veggie broth ❍ 1 bay leaf ❍ 1 tsp black pepper ❍ 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ❍ 1 1/2 tsp saffron ❍ 1 tsp salt ❍ 1 cup dried chorizo, diced ❍ 1 cup canned chopped tomatoes ❍ 1 shallot, thinly sliced

❍ 1 cup sliced roasted red peppers ❍ 1/4 cup sliced green olives (such as Castelvetrano) ❍ 1 lb Medium Raw Shrimp, peeled & deveined ❍ 1/2 lbs mussels, scrubbed and debearded ❍ 1/2 lbs clams, scrubbed ❍ 1 cup frozen peas, thawed ❍ 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve (optional) ❍ 1 tbsp chopped parsley, to garnish (optional)


DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 16x11-inch rimmed baking sheet with the oil. Spread the rice on baking sheet and toast in oven 5 minutes. Bring broth, bay leaf, pepper, paprika, saffron and 1 tsp salt to a low boil over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and carefully pour broth mixture over rice, stirring to combine. Top with the chorizo, shallot, tomatoes and roasted red peppers. Invert a second baking sheet and use to cover the rice mixture. Return to oven and cook 30–35 minutes until rice absorbs liquid. Remove both baking sheets from oven and stir paella. Discard bay leaf. Discard second baking sheet, as well. Stir the paella (again) and top with the shrimp, mussels, clams, olives and peas. Bake 5–10 minutes until shrimp is pink and the mussels and clams open up. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and parsley, if desired.

A toast to the past with a taste of the future. PEZONE CELLO is a traditional Italian liqueur with a modern row home grown flair.

For purchases visit us at PEZONECELLO.COM or call us at (267) 374-7590 April / May / June 2022





This is my grandmother’s recipe. It’s a hit every time I bake it and she won awards at bake sales when my mom and aunts were in school!

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CAKE ❍ 1 box of yellow cake mix ❍ 1 box (3.5oz) of French vanilla instant pudding

❍ 4 eggs ❍ 1/2 cup of oil ❍ 1 cup of whole milk ❍ 1 shot of whiskey

❍ 1/2 cup of butter, melted

❍ 1 cup of sugar

❍ 1 cup of walnuts or pecans, chopped well ❍ 1/2 tsp flour

FOR THE ICING ❍ 1/2 cup whiskey

DIRECTIONS FOR THE CAKE Combine all ingredients, except nuts. Mix in the mixer for 3 minutes. Place the chopped nuts in a Ziplock bag or bowl; mix/coat with 1/2 teaspoon of flour. Add to cake mixture. Mix for another 2 minutes. Pour into a well-greased Bundt pan and bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees. Toothpick should come out clean.




| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

Mix all ingredients and cook on the stovetop on medium heat until sugar is dissolved, and mixture is brown (about 10-15 minutes). You can do this when the cake has about that time left in the oven. Remove cake from the oven. Leave the cake in the pan and using a toothpick, poke several holes into the cake. Pour 3/4 of icing onto cake. Let set 15 minutes. Flip cake onto plate. Brush remaining icing onto top and sides of cake.

Alexza & Yanni Fisfis Mediterranean Chic at The Lucy by Joe Volpe

PRH Brides Guide


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022


appy Spring season to all our Brides Guide readers! This past fall, I had the absolute pleasure of working with one of Philadelphia’s best and brightest couples, Yanni and Alexza Fisfis! From meeting at a Greek convention to finally tying the knot at their family’s Greek Orthodox Church, their heritage has played a very large role in the telling of their story. Their beautiful Mediterranean themed wedding at The Lucy was certainly one for the books and surely one worth sharing with all of you!

How did you meet? We met Memorial Day Weekend of 2017 in Clearwater, FL at a Greek convention.

How did the proposal happen? On March 8th, 2019, in Rittenhouse Square! After coming back from where they met in Clearwater, FL, Yanni had a whole evening planned to ask Alexza to marry him. Their evening started at the Ritz Carlton in Philadelphia. On their way to Barclay Prime for dinner in Rittenhouse Square, Yanni stopped to propose to Alexza! It started to flurry as they walked through the park and at that moment, the whole park cleared out as Yanni got on one knee. The couple continued their evening to Barclay Prime after Alexza said YES! Little did she know…Yanni had a whole proposal party planned at U-Bahn with all their family and friends. Alexza was so surprised walking into the party to have all her family and friends in town from Maryland to celebrate.

Why did you choose a Cescaphe Wedding? We have only heard wonderful things from family and friends who have attended weddings at multiple Cescaphe venues. When we first got engaged, we knew we didn’t want a traditional ballroom style wedding. The Lucy was the perfect mixture between a rustic and elegant feel. They exceeded our expectations on our wedding night.

VENDOR CREDITS Venue: The Lucy by Cescaphe

Transportation: Cescaphe Trolley

Ceremony: Annunciation Evangelismos Greek Orthodox Church-Elkins Park, PA

Wedding Rings: Kusturiss Jewelers

Florist & Decor: Anthos Floral by Eleni Agatsiotis Favors: Kentrikon & Noufaro Lighting: Beautiful Blooms Band/DJ: Greek Band: Seizmos Music / Charlie Cavallo of C&C Productions Photographer: Kseniya Berson Invitations: Margo & Bees Videographer: Wise Films

April / May / June 2022

Dress Designer/Dress Shop: Martina Liana from Posh Bridal in Urbana, MD Accessories: Jewelry: Chanel (earrings), Fendi (bracelet), Hermes (bracelet), Jimmy Choo (Shoes), Dareth Colburn (Veil), David Yurman (ring) Menswear Designer/Shop: Black Tux/ Loake (shoes) / Ralph Lauren Purple Label (Bow tie, pocket square & socks), Hair: Kathleen McNamara Makeup: Raquel Cervantes Nolde


What was your favorite part about wedding planning? Being able to work together to bring our vision to life and meeting all our wonderful vendors along the way that helped make that happen.

PRH Brides Guide

What types of traditions were important to both of you when planning the wedding? CEREMONY

Alexza and Yanni are both Greek Orthodox, so incorporating their faith into their traditional ceremony was the most important aspect of their wedding. Following in their parents’ footsteps, they were betrothed and crowned at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

the ceremonial walk, & the final blessing. The most recognizable Greek wedding tradition are the Crowns, also known as Stefana. The Stefana represents the honor given by God, to present the joining of two people. The ribbon, which joins the crowns, represents the couple’s unity and the blessing of Christ.

What was your favorite part of your wedding? Our favorite part of the wedding was finally being able to dance & celebrate with our friends and family after having to postpone our plans over a year. Between the Greek traditional dances, spraying Co2 cannons and sparklers lighting up the dance floor, it truly was the most perfect day! What did you do to make your wedding day extra special? After having to postpone our wedding and plan everything during the pandemic, we wanted to make sure every detail of our special day was a unique representation of our personalities and love for one another.

What was the inspiration behind the décor for your big day? Our Greek culture! Our theme was “Mediterranean Chic” which is why we chose lemons, olives and greenery for our decor.

What advice would you give to future brides and grooms? Nothing matters the day of! Don’t stress and stay positive that everything will be perfect. All the work you put into this once in a lifetime event truly comes together so make sure you enjoy every single moment of it. Take it ALL in! Take time with your husband/ wife to just look around the room to see and feel all the LOVE! CESCAPHE Credits

in Elkins Park, PA. They had the honor of being married by Alexza’s Uncle alongside the parish’s priest, in the church that Yanni grew up in. The wedding ceremony consists of two parts: The Betrothal and The Crowning. During the ceremony, there are many symbolic parts including: The exchange of rings, the lighted candles, the joining of hands, the marriage crowns, the scripture readings, the common cup,



During the reception, it is common for the bride and groom to start off the evening by dancing to a traditional Greek wedding song, led by the bride. While dancing, guests will throw money on the couple as a fun and symbolic way to congratulate the couple on their new marriage. These dances are an homage to their Greek roots while celebrating in a modern way.

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

Client Development Associate: Betsy Shoustal

Event Coordinator: Nikki McNelisn

Event Manager: Jimmy DiGuglielmo

Maitre D: Vince Wisniewski & Andrew Govannicci

Head Server: Carolyn Baret


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. Creating Once-in-a-Lifetime, Distinctive Events with Genuine Care and Passion, Treating Our Guests Like Family as We Exceed Their Expectations. Visit or call 215.238.5750.


from the


Celebrate Good Times, C’mon! ❱❱

Instagram: @bellaangelbrides by VICTORIA Facebook: BellaAngelLLC

MANY OF US HAVE HELD OFF ON CELEBRATIONS FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS. Well, thank goodness, it’s time to say goodbye to skipping events, and hello to beauty! Time to reemerge and focus on ourselves, our health, and the milestones we love to celebrate. Bella Angel provides hair and makeup services for weddings and special events. I want to help you get the perfect look on your own if a beauty professional is not available for your occasion, or if you simply want to add some glam even when there is no “special” event!

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bronzer to complete this look.

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Focus on your eyes

Spray on Foundation

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As a makeup artist, I focus on the eyes before any other areas. This is how the professionals do it. Sometimes, when applying eye shadows, the eye shadow can drip under your eyes. If this happens after you have already applied your foundation, concealer, and highlighter, you will have to go back and wipe up any residue. This means retracing your steps, using more product, and unnecessary frustration. Always apply eye makeup first and use a shadow primer before applying your eyeshadows and eyeliner. This will create staying power and is a makeup artist’s best kept secret for lasting makeup. Some of my favorites are TARTE™, TOO FACED™ or Urban Decay™. These primers are professional-

60 Minute Signature Massage $49 60 Minute Signature Facial $59

A skin prep will hydrate and moisturize your skin before additional makeup is applied. This will make your foundation go on much better and give you a glowing look. A few favorites are CHARLOTTE TILBURY MAGIC CREAM™ or BOBBIE BROWN EXTRA ILLUMINATING MOISTURE BALM™.

Next, choose a foundation. To cover any skin imperfections, choose a full coverage foundation. Most of our brides choose airbrush foundation, but I’d like to recommend something almost as good: DIOR AIRFLASH FOUNDATION™. This foundation comes in a can, is sprayed on a brush, and is then applied to your skin. The results are incredible, especially when applied on top of BOBBIE BROWN’S EXTRA ILLUMINATING MOISTURE BALM™. This foundation dries quickly and there is no need for a powder on top. Apply your favorite blush or

Finally, your lips. I highly suggest always wearing lipstick, even for a natural look. If you have a full face of makeup on and no lipstick, you will look washed out. If I had to choose one type of makeup to wear on my wedding day and nothing else, I would always choose lipstick. If having color on your lips is a concern, then try a natural lipliner with a soft natural lip gloss. This will show minimal color while completing your look. If your concern is your lip color wearing off, apply a lip pencil all over your lips and your favorite lipstick color on top. This will help the lipstick last much longer. If you’re worried about your lipstick coming off during kissing, try NARS POWERMATTE LIP PIGMENT™, STILA STAY ALL DAY LIQUID LIPSTICK™ or MAYBELLINE SUPERSTAY 2 STEP LIQUID LIP COLOR™. These lipsticks stay on your lips 12-24 hours and shouldn’t come off, even if you try. Enjoy these tips and enjoy yourself as you venture out! PRH

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

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| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022


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Local Actor is fit for his Roles by DEBBIE RUSSINO photo by Lisa Hancock Photography

reddie Mangano – also known by his stage name Freddie Ganno – was born and raised in South Philadelphia. He realized he had a passion for acting at a very young age and began to perform in school plays. From there, he went on to become a popular local actor, appearing in films like American Lottery, Father Gaudio’s Confession, Nothing But The Truth, The Tournament, and Mafioso: The Father The Son. “My greatest experiences have been auditioning for characters and booking jobs I thought I’d never get,” Mangano says. “Going on a set and being surrounded by such talented people from every walk of life has been one of the many blessings in my life. The excitement and emotion I feel when I am on stage is a personal experience that cannot be described.” After seeing him perform at One On One Studio in NYC, Chazz Palminteri (Bullets Over Broadway, A Bronx Tale) asked Mangano if he would play the role of Tommy Marino in his 2018 television movie, Unorganized Crime. He gratefully accepted and the two remain great friends. Another favorite role for Mangano was for the movie The In Crowd where he plays the part of a personal bodyguard (Orson) for Joe Pantoliano (Perry Parker). This movie, filmed in Philadelphia in 1988, is a nostalgic look at a televised teen dance show set back in the sixties. Coming up, Mangano plays the role of Zeke in Who Killed Jimmy Gumdrops? which begins filming this summer in South Philly. For Mangano, the project is bittersweet. His friend and fellow actor, Tony Devon, was also cast for the movie but recently died. Mangano recently added published author to his list of accomplishments. His book, My Family Book of Workouts and Inspirational Quotes, was inspired by his beloved dad who bought him a set of weights when he was a child and ignited his fitness journey. Mangano is a master trainer, certified by The National Federation of Professional Trainers. “I owe my amazing life to God and family. My wife Maria has been by my side every step of the way and continues to support me with everything I do,” he says. PRH

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JILL FRECHIE’S Life Without Parole wins numerous awards

George Martorano, Jill Frechie & John Ricciutti at Villa diRoma.

Where will her stories take her next?

by Maria Merlino photo by Peter Frechie


ou don’t look for a cause. Causes find you,” explains Jill Frechie, a videographer/journalist and Senior Adjunct Professor in Computer Science at Montgomery County Community College. “I want to give voice to the underserved, to those who want a larger voice in the community such as artists and people in prison who are silenced. It’s very easy to


forget about people. The fact that George Martorano spent so many years in prison, his voice was silenced. One percent of the prison population are falsely convicted. That’s 20,000 people!” The documentary film, Life Without Parole, was an overwhelming success. Upon receiving a coveted Telly Award for Martorano’s story, the film went on to the prestigious Los Angeles/Philadelphia FirstGlance Film Festival. As the Co-Director/Editor, Frechie was awarded Best Woman Documentarian in the Philadelphia / Main Line area. Filmmaker John Ricciutti received the Best Director award. Life Without Parole also won Best Documentary, Audience Choice and Best of the Fest awards. Martorano received a lifelong prison sentence without parole in 1984 for marijuana-related offenses. At the time of Martorano’s release in 2015, at the age of 71, he was the longest-


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

serving first-time nonviolent offender in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The film partners are currently looking for other ways to get Martorano’s story out to the public, either by self-distributing or finding distributors that are already in business. Additional concepts such as a streaming series or movie are also being considered. “We have all the transcripts and that is our goal. You don’t want to do these things and not have anybody watch,” she laughs. “George is great to work with, he’s very cooperative. John is extremely helpful and we just clicked.” Frechie believes a touring visual show is also an up-and-coming form of expression, something from which Martorano’s story could benefit. “We can see that with the Immersive Van Gogh Experience. There is no real artwork. It was all manufactured media through video and images. It’s portable and you can go from city to city and display it on a giant screen.” Frechie says that of all the people

they interviewed for a potential feature, Martorano turned out to be the most credible. “At the beginning it was like, I can’t believe the stories,” she says. “But everything he told us checked out. There was never a lie.” For her next project, Frechie would like to do something in the music world. “I’m listen-

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Jeff Kauffman, George Martorano, Andrea Giovino (Divorced from the Mob), John Flahive (brother-in-law) and defense attorney Louis Busico. (By Jill Frechie) ing to a lot of Latin American music. I work with David Uosikkinen of the Hooters, too. He’s very involved. I think Philadelphia could be the next music mecca if we do it right.” Frechie and Ricciutti also are interviewing Holocaust survivors. Her favorite of these interviews, so far, comes from a man, David Tuck, who survived the Auschwitz Concentration Camp and a woman who had to change her name to survive. “David Tuck: A Story of Holocaust Survival is written by Lise Marlowe. “That man doesn’t have a millimeter of hate in him!” she says. “He gives lectures to adults and children. He says we must learn from the past because, if not us, then who? Another survivor was five years old when she was hidden in a convent in Southern France. She couldn’t use her Jewish name, Ruth, so she was given the name Renee. She came to America, taught French and wrote a book, Your Name is Renee. She’s in her ’80s now. I didn’t realize how lucky she was to come here. There is so much anti-Semitism in the world.” How do these stories come about? How do they decide who to interview? “Typically, John will suggest interviewing a person. I always, always say no! We have too much to do. But he’s always right and it tends to be great and interesting. People really appreciate telling their story and having a voice. It’s a win-win.” PRH Visit Frechie’s production company, Main Line TV, at to view more of her work and a trailer for Life Without Parole.



April / May / June 2022


PRHMUSIC&ART Stephanie Kyung-Sun Walters in Theatre Exile’s Today Is My Birthday, photo by Robert Hakalski

The Theatre Geek This spring, theater companies all over Philadelphia are blooming with new shows and performances! Here are some picks from stages in and around the city.

Walnut Street Theater


Always…Patsy Cline Celebrate the unlikely friendship between country singer, Patsy Cline, and housewife, Louise Seger. The musical shares their letters, visits and stories of laughter and heartache all while featuring 27 of Cline’s classic songs. This is the second time Walnut Street Theater will be presenting Always…Patsy Cline. The last time was during their 2015-2016 season, when the show sold out all performances during its three-month run in the Independence Studio on 3 series. (April 12 - May 15)

SPRING THEATER HIGHLIGHTS Patsy Cline Rocky in the lineup &

Theater Exile

Today is My Birthday Theater Exile is celebrating 25 years of engaging the imagination of their audience members. Their final show this season is about finding human connection in our digital-obsessed world. Emily, a wannabe writer, moves back home to Hawaii and creates an alter-ego for a radio show. Told through live radio, voicemail, and phone calls, it asks the question, what is real and what isn’t? (April 28- May 22)

Azuka Theatre

Reverie When Jordan answers a knock at his door, he encounters Paul - the father of former boyfriend. Reverie talks about grief, being true to yourself and the family dynamics that can make everything else so challenging. (May 5 - May 22)

Arden Theatre Company

by Marialena Rago

School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play This hilarious and biting story depicts high school ambition and the pageantry of competition when Queen Bee Paulina is threatened by an unlikely newcomer. (May 5-June 5)

People’s Light

Bayard Rustin Inside Ashland Written and directed by Steve H.


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

Broadnax III, this story follows Bayard Rustin, chief organizer of the March on Washington and openly gay Civil Rights Activist. Set in 1944 during the time of Rusin’s prison sentence in Ashland, Kentucky, it explores his time in the prison as he was targeted for his sexuality and nonviolent resistance to a system that was stacked against him. (May 18-June 12)

Theatre Horizon

Athena Athena and Mary Wallace are determined and preparing for battle at the National Fencing Championships. Will they become friends with their competitors? Watch a series of fencing matches and quick wit! It’s a comedy about glory and friendship. (May 19 - June 5)

Lantern Theatre

Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine Undine has it all…until her life begins to unravel in one funny event after another. Soon, she is forced to return to a life she had left behind. But can she really go home again? Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage is behind this satirical comedy. (May 26 to June 26)

The Academy of Music

Rocky in Concert There are always so many great shows at the Kimmel Cultural Campus. But for Philadelphians, experiencing the cinematic masterpiece that is Rocky with a live orchestra performing the score, this event is a must! For one night only, the celebrated classic and one of Philadelphia’s beloved heroes will be shown on larger-than-life screens in an all new production. If you are a Rocky fan, you will not want to miss this. (June 3)

EgoPo Classic Theater

Curse of the Starving Class In this classic Sam Shepard play, an idealist son is forced to shoulder the burden of keeping up the family farm while his family is falling apart. The Tate family is said to have a curse put upon them. Since they are broke, hungry, and always fighting, it is not too far of a stretch, but is the family too doomed to pull themselves out of their downward spiral? Or can they alter their futures? (June 15-26)

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ou’d think that living with a deadly pandemic would be more than enough for the world to handle. As awful as that is, though, it’s easy to forget that the damage from Covid-19 goes beyond just the people who get sick. The isolation and general uncertainty also cause their share of wider problems on top of it - and for some especially sensitive souls, it turns out that avoiding the virus still isn’t enough. Tragically, Major Lee Van Winkle was one of those non-obvious

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

“It’s not the quantity of life, it’s the quality. By that standard, he had a wonderful life.” Major had a deeply musical family to grow up in, being both the son of Don (a longtime local fixture with his own band The American Dream) and the nephew of Rich and Charlie Ingui, who are beloved among Philadelphians as founders of the Soul Survivors. It was only natural for the youngster to develop a natural knack, though of course he took it in his own direction. Anyone on Spotify or Youtube can search his name to find a small but wickedly clever catalogue mainly rooted in hip-hop. The strange spring and summer of 2020 put the brakes on what would have been his next album and tour but gave the father and son time together to work on more new music instead. Van Winkle recalls, “It started out okay. We ended up working together on songs. I got a lot of communion with Major before it happened.


casualties. The Philadelphia music scene knew him as a wildly creative and colorful figure. Eagles fans might have known him for doing an occasional pre-game rap on the 94WIP radio show. As his father Don tells us, though, Major spent his life struggling with issues just as mysterious as Covid and just as invisible. Manic depression was a constant presence throughout - and while the up moments would sometimes help feed his music, the downs eventually led him to suicide in September of 2020. Don (or just plain Winkle if you meet him) explains that it was a consequence of many factors, but that year’s sudden isolation was the last straw. “I think he was an old soul. He was an outstanding, loving, caring person. The mania was a big part of his motivation and talent, so it was a really fine line he was walking,” the older Van Winkle relates. “But he had been struggling with the lightness and darkness for a long time. He was infatuated with the afterlife, and I think the demons in his mind got the best of him. The funny thing is, if you go back to his lyrics, all the pain and struggle is in there. I just mistook it for creative soul-searching. I didn’t realize it was so autobiographical.”

We lost his mom in 2017, so it was just us in the house. A bunch of songs just came out, 13 of them. I tell you, it was like a premonition. I never write that prolifically. I might finish a song here, then maybe one more. But this just kept coming early in 2020, song after song after song. I think it was the cosmos preparing me for some big event, it turned out to be.” Those pieces are being mixed into an album for release later in the year, with Major singing a handful of leads. “I really wanted him to sing on the whole thing. I said, I’m 73, people are tired of hearing me,” Don continues. “I was lucky enough to get three songs recorded with him on lead vocals. The rest is all the material that swamped me that year.” Alongside that final recording comes A Future Denied, a documentary by filmmaker Scot Sax that was Kickstarted in early 2021 and is due to be screened this spring. The tribute promises to be a “heartbreaking yet hopeful” portrait of the young artist largely told through his own words and music. Van Winkle explains, “It all just speaks to the loyalty of Major’s friends and the love he exuded. It’s really a story of who he was, and who he was to other people. There are some heartbreaking moments, but also a lot of joyful ones in the film itself. We had to tell both sides, the whole story, otherwise it wouldn’t be honest. “One of Major’s dreams was also to be on vinyl, so one of his friends and I put his latest album Selfish Presley out on vinyl, and all the profits went to an organization out of Ardmore called Minding Your Mind. They deal in mental illness and suicide prevention. In 2020 and 2021, we had marathons where people all over the country – actually, all over the world - would run to one of Major’s songs and then mail in a video, and for each one we contributed money. We raised about $8000 each year. People just jumped on it. There were people from Brazil that sent snippets of themselves running to his music. It was a beautiful thing.” Minding Your Mind ( will also receive any profits from the upcoming album and Sax’s documentary. Van Winkle and Sax agreed that the best tribute they could pay was to continue spreading the love and help for those still out there who might need it. “I think that mental health awareness has really been at the forefront of everyone’s mind since Covid,” he says. Since the pandemic has no end in sight and there will doubtlessly be other levels of isolation to come, he’s happy for Major’s memory to provide a positive way to connect. “I’m blessed to have this channel for my grief, to be able to turn it into the music, and now this film which is a very positive project,” he concludes - truly the best gift he can pass along to friends, loved ones and those who have yet to discover his son’s legacy for themselves. “It’s not the quantity of life, it’s the quality. By that standard, he had a wonderful life.” PRH April / May / June 2022




e’ve found that by incorporating traditional Irish and Celtic music into rock, pop or even dance beats, we can open listeners up to a music that they would have otherwise not given a chance,” says Frank Daly while discussing the importance of keeping the roots of traditional music alive in this modern day and age. Daly sings and plays guitar (among a collection of other instruments) in one of the Philadelphia area’s best Irish bands, Jamison. The group is known for mixing a night of rock, country and pop covers with more traditional songs, jigs, and reels. “Since we’ve been playing for almost 20 years, we have had some fans tell us that they didn’t like Irish music until they heard us and now are fans of all types of Irish and Celtic music.” Jamison got its start back in 2003 when Joe Driscoll, the talent booker for Finnigan’s Wake, noticed that their upcoming show schedule had nights that still needed to be filled. The iconic Irish bar that sat on the edges of Northern Liberties typically had live music three to four nights a week. After making a few rounds of calls, the band was born and made its debut on St. Patrick’s Day of the same year. Leading up to the night of their first performance, Driscoll was on the phone with one of the local newspapers, providing the rundown


by Matt Kelchner of the shows that weekend. At the time, the group was nameless. While talking, the glow of a neon Jameson Whiskey sign gave Driscoll all the inspiration he needed and thus Jameson was born. A handful of years and one cease and desist letter later, the group slightly altered its name to that which they go by today - Jamison. While none of the founding members are still playing in the band today, the current lineup has been together for the last several years. Frank Daly and John O’Callaghan share lead vocal, guitar, mandolin and tin whistle duties. Additionally, all the band’s recorded originals were written by either Daly or O’Callaghan. Rounding out the group is Alice Marie on fiddle, viola and vocals; Sean Hicks on lead guitar and harmonica; Anthony Lusi on bass, and AJ Marx behind the drums (with vocals, as well). Introducing fans to Irish and Celtic music they might not have come across either on their own, plays a special role with the band. The way these styles are weaved into songs, rather than making it the centerpoint, helps to pass these centuriesold traditions down to the next generation. “Snippets of our songs could have been played by our grandparents, great-grandparents or even beyond,” Daly explains. “Traditions matter!” The same philosophy is applied to the collection of cover songs that get incorporated into a night’s performance. Jamison approaches each new song they learn by determining

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

the ways that they can intertwine a Celtic or Irish feel, while keeping the words and melodies at the tune’s core. “Sometimes, the Irish instrumentation takes care of that. Other times, we will change the time signature or throw an Irish reel into it.” After watching Jamison play just a few songs, it’s easy to tell that their thoughtful preparation and planning results in the same outcome - a crowd full of singing (or yelling, depending how far into the night it is) and dancing along. Jamison’s summer schedule has them mostly down the shore playing for people on vacation. This includes performances in Wildwood and Wildwood Crest. Locally, you can find them at Pennypack Park in the Northeast for a performance in July. Occasional full band and solo gigs for Daly will take place around the Northeast and in the city, too. The turning of leaves marks the fall festival season for Jamison, which includes The Bethlehem Celtic Classic, North Wildwood Irish Weekend and The Maryland Irish Festival. Daly notes, “Beyond that, we will be working on our annual American Celtic Christmas Show.” Head over to for the most up-to-date concert schedule and be sure to check out Jamison as they make their way around greater Philadelphia and the surrounding areas! To enjoy the band from home, their music can be found via iTunes and Spotify by searching “Jamison Celtic Rock”. PRH

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by Jane Roser Our good friend, paranormal investigator Katrina Weidman (Portals To Hell, Paranormal Lockdown, Paranormal State) is currently recording a new single with musician/ producer Barb Morrison (Blondie, Rufus Wainwright). You can also catch her on Portals To Hell Season 3 which premiered April 9th on the Travel Channel and Discovery Plus. Katrina graciously took some time out of her busy schedule to talk with us about her music and what’s next on the paranormal horizon.


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Q: Tell us about your new single! A: The new single is called “Suffer Me” and it will be coming out this year. It’s a dark cinematic pop song I wrote recently and when I played it for Barb [Morrison], we both knew we had to record this one.

Q: Where have you been recording it? How was the recording experience? A: I’ve been recording at Barb’s studio in New Jersey, Superposition Studios. It’s been great. What I really love about working with Barb is how nurturing they are. Music especially can be a really vulnerable medium and Barb has made the studio feel like home, which is so important for vocals. You can hear every emotion when tracking the voice and it’s key to be relaxed.

Q: How did you partner with her? A: It’s a funny story. I’ve been social media friends with Barb’s wife for years. She had her own cooking

show and I was doing Paranormal State at the time. We both lived in the same area and became connected. One day, Jaime, Barb’s wife, posted online about Barb’s mentorship program. I checked it out, emailed Barb, had a conversation with them and it seemed like a good fit. After my band broke up a few years ago, I was having a really hard time writing new material. It was like a creative blockage, I would write, but nothing really felt right to me. I thought the mentorship might help me get over that hump. Sure enough, during my eight weeks with Barb, it was like the floodgates opened. Tons of songs came pouring out of me. When it came to the end of the program, we talked about working together more and here we are.

Q: What’s next for you? What are you working on now? A: There’s a lot on the slate that I’m really excited about. We’re putting the final touches on “Suffer Me” as well as going back in the studio to track more songs. I also have a YouTube project, Travel the Dead, that has been a long personal journey for me. I’m taking my best friend, Heather Taddy (Paranormal State, Alien Highway), with me to explore our private cases. We have new locations and will be revisiting some previous investigations. I also have two podcasts in the works and am currently producing new content. Virtual lectures will also be coming in Spring 2022. Check for more content and virtual events.


Josephine B. Pasquarello Life’s Journey



by John Nacchio osephine B. Pasquarello is a writer, public speaker, and small business entrepreneur motivated by a passion for her Italian heritage, her hometown of Philadelphia, and family life. In her 2022 release, Life’s Journey, Pasquarello recounts the heroic journey of a young Italian peasant in 1899 who travels to South Philadelphia searching for a better life and love. Pasquarello, who graduated from West Philly Catholic Girls’ High School in 1967, is the 10th of 12 children born to Italian immigrants. During her lifetime, she has worked in the restaurant


business, owned a housecleaning service, and owned and operated a successful storefront in the Philadelphia area. In 2000, Pasquarello finally retired to devote time to her family (she is a wife, mother, and grandmother currently living in the suburbs). She also enjoys traveling – especially to small villages in Italy – attending Broadway musicals, working out, cooking the way her mother taught her, and, of course, writing. Pasquarello’s sense of humor always shines through in her writing and speaking.

Q: What motivates you as an author? A: My motivation for writing my books is learning about my Italian family heritage. I wanted to know and understand more about ancestors that came before me, what I can learn from all their struggles with

life, and how they handled the blockage in front of them when they came to America. They moved forward and never allowed anyone or anything to hold them back. They had such a strong sense of determination. I wanted some of that in me, as well. Q: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? A: Over the years, I heard many family stories from my mother and other relatives at different times. I began to write down the stories to avoid forgetting them. The interest I have inside of me for writing about my family came from my wanting to know more about them. Starting from my great-grandparents who came to America in 1888 with their three sons, one being my grandfather Raffaele. I wanted to tell my grandchildren about how proud they should be of their family. My granddaughters should be able to tell their grandchildren

about our family tree - not only the names of family members, but who they were and how hard they worked to make a new life in America. Q: What inspired the title of your previous release, 2017’s Love and Loyalty? A: My parents. They were so in love with one another and there was no one who could have ever taken their love away. When my dad was in the hospital dying, they shared how they both love each other and their 12 children. Loyalty came from how my mother stayed true to her agreement with my father - she alone would take care of their 12 children. She would raise them to adulthood and then join my father in eternity. And that’s exactly what she did! Q: If your books were made into a movie, which actors would you like to see play your characters? A: Well, the first one to come to my mind would be Sophia Loren! She would be my grandmother Geltrude Carmela in Life’s Journey because she has beauty and intelligence just like Geltrude. Olympia Dukakis, who passed away last year, would have been my pick for Love & Loyalty. I found Olympia to have my mother’s courage and fortitude April / May / June 2022

Q: You have expressed a known interest in traditional food as a subject. What are your favorite dishes? A: I could eat pasta every day but that would not be the healthiest for my body! I definitely could go for eggplant parmesan, cheese ravioli, endive salad and some fabulous crusty Italian bread. Now that’s living! I don’t eat meat anymore, but I still make a mean pot of gravy and meatballs! Q: Do you have any other projects you can tell us about right now? A: I am working on my third project, but I don’t want to give away what I have in the works. It’s a big surprise so you have to wait! Q: What nugget of wisdom would you like to share with our readers? A: My therapy with writing has been a wealth of knowledge for me. Learning about my beautiful family - with all the research I did I have fallen in love with each and every one of them. They have warmed my heart and I feel there is more to come my way. I will accept this with open arms and embrace all the love they want to give me. I will continue on with expressing my love and gratitude for them. Be proud of your heritage and learn from it. PRH




by Jim Glidea

Words matter. Acknowledgement matters. Being told that you are appreciated and loved matters. Thanking people using words matters.

ecently, one of my mornings was spent in Center City, prepping to undergo a routine medical procedure at Farm Journal Building. It happened that one of the nurses assigned to review my medical history is an alum of Goretti (she had graduated two years before I began teaching in South Philadelphia). We talked about her teachers - teachers who became my colleagues and friends. Her face lit up as I scrolled through a list of educators and staff who taught at Goretti during her four years. As she finished entering her last bit of information in the computer, she stood by my gurney, telling me how grateful she is for the four years she spent at the high school at 10th and Moore Streets. As she left the room, I thought about what she had said, and then knew what the subject for this issue of RowHome would be. It has been eight years since I retired from teaching, and four years since I moved permanently to Longport, after four years in Neumann-Goretti’s guidance department. Living in a shore town year-round has its bless-

Binati Sheth

ings and curses, from the highs and lows of seasonal guests to the serenity and desolation of winter. For the past several years, I have submitted essays to RowHome. Sitting at my computer, collecting and structuring my thoughts into a 400-word essay four times a year adds a schedule and objective to my mornings, especially when braving the wind and chill that Mother Nature has sent down 35th Avenue is out of the question. I am grateful to Dawn, Dorette and Brenda for such opportunities to share my words with their readers. I have written about Christmas bells and Maya Angelou, crossword puzzles and Susie Scout. My essays have attempted to show relationships between persons, places or objects, showing how A has touched and influenced B. My intent this time is the same. RowHome affords me this chance to express my words of thanks to all the students, staff, faculty and administration for all that they have added to my life. Whatever I have given to them pales in comparison to all they have given me. It is my good fortune to be a part of the Neumann-Goretti family, something I will never take for granted. PRH

Thank you.

Meet me at the Penrose

PENROSE DINER 20th & Penrose Avenue Philadelphia, Pa.

215.465.1097 Open 8am to 10p m daily

Food for thought 88

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

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

Clean as a Whistle


by Charlie Sacchetti think it must be part of the genetic makeup of Italian American “housewives” over 50. If, in fact, it isn’t, I sure can cite several cases that make this premise at least worth considering. The gene to which I refer causes these ladies to keep a spotless or near spotless home – inside and out. Take my wife LuAnn, for example. We have been married for 46 years and throughout this time, she has kept to her housekeeping tasks religiously. We are polar opposites


in this regard. I may be described as “neatness challenged.” My office is cluttered but I know exactly where things are. This, of course, bothers her, so she pops in once a week to “straighten things out.” Also, while I may see no need to check on areas that aren’t the least bit used, that’s not the way her mother taught her to take care of a house. Each room is cleaned on a particular day. The fact that she could easily skip a week is of no consequence. She was taught that if you take care of the area routinely, it will never get bad enough to cause a problem. I’m really not complaining since living in a messy home would be much worse. It just has taken me a long time to appreciate her efforts and all the work that it entails. But LuAnn has had lots of company among our family and friends. Her late paternal grandmother Lucy, and her late Aunt Grace were neighborhood legends when it came to cleanliness. Mother and daughter, they lived together in a tiny row home on the 900 block of Fernon Street in South Philadelphia. The

home was built well over 100 years ago and was designed with some of the unique characteristics of that time. Among them were the four white marble steps that led into the front of the house. When weather permitted, Granny would clean those steps each week while bending over with her firm bristled scrub brush. She never did it the easy way, with a mop and a bucket, because she said the scrub brush method made the steps look nicer. Besides, if she was going to sit outside on the steps in the evening, she wanted them to be as clean as possible. But that was only one of Granny’s exploits. Even well into her 80s, she would sit on her second-floor bedroom windowsill while leaning out to clean the glass. When her son, my father-in-law, would go to visit, it wasn’t uncommon for a neighbor to grab him to express concern that she’d someday fall out. However, neither he nor Grace could stop Granny from her appointed rounds! By the way, she died at age 94 of natural causes and reports that she was buried with her scrub brush were never actually confirmed! And then there was Gracie, who was no slouch in the cleaning

department. Although seriously ill for many years, she generally took care of the inside of the house. The mirrors, carpet, kitchen floors, bathrooms and walls were always spotless. I remember after I signed the lease for our first apartment in Delaware County, I would have the apartment for about a month prior to our wedding and, of course, would live there myself until our wedding night. In those days and in our families, cohabitation prior to marriage was not even a consideration. That month would give me the opportunity to fix the nice twobedroom place up in preparation for the big move-in. LuAnn would come over on Saturdays to perform some house prep duties as required. One day, she brought Aunt Gracie, who upon taking one look at the kitchen stove, oven, and exhaust fan, expressed horror, then rolled up her sleeves and transformed those greasy appliances into clean and shining fixtures that would be well-suited for use in any hospital kitchen. Finally, I’m pleased to relate the accomplishments of our dear, departed friend, Edith LaCava. Edith was the wife of my dear friend, the late Dr. Joe LaCava, a well-loved South Philly neighborhood dentist near

Broad and Wolf Streets. We loved them like family and were honored to have them stand as Godparents to our son. Joe maintained his dental office in his home and Edith made sure his facility was germ-free and sparkling. The appearance of the office area aside, what impressed LuAnn and me the most was what she did in a different area of the house. During our visits, we would naturally end up in the kitchen for tea and pastries. We’d love to stop at one of the many local bakeries and bring over some pizzelles or biscotti to help move the conversation along! Upon entering the kitchen, you could not help but be struck by the beautiful white metal cabinets that adorned the walls. She kept those cabinets so clean that you’d almost need to reach for your sunglasses when she turned on the kitchen lights! When we would sit down, I would occasionally tease Edith and say the cabinets were going to give me migraines or cause blindness in my old age. She would just laugh and give that little smile that showed that she understood the veiled compliment I was paying her. It was obvious, with all these ladies, that the pride they took in their homes was something that couldn’t be disguised. PRH

Charlie Sacchetti is the author of three books: It’s All Good: Times and Events I’d Never Want to Change; Knowing He’s There: True Stories of God’s Subtle Yet Unmistakable Touch; and his newest, Savoring the Moments: True Stories of Happiness, Sadness and Everything in Between. Contact him at April / May / June 2022




Talia RoTa PhoTogRaPhy @taltography 267.240.5302

Hero by Robert L. Woodard The Wynnefield Barber

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

Phone: 609-506-5500 Email:




iolence in our streets is continually reported. It can have startling effects on our health and welfare, especially for young children. We as a human society should realize that positive energy is a negative energy deterrent. Hence, when more positive stories are prioritized with the same vigorous energy as negative news, it enables the external energy of a loving environment to become stronger. Through this, we can learn the importance of loving our neighbor. Good neighbors always seem to be at the right place at the appropriate time. For instance, there is 16-year-old Anthony Alexander, Jr., a ‘good neighbor’, at the right place and the right time. On February 21, 2022, Anthony was with his friends at Collingdale Park in Delaware County when a little girl ran up to him asking him to help her friends.

help, so I got to help them. I wasn’t going to sit there and let them drown like that.” This selfless heroic act of love and kindness lives in the hearts and souls of all ‘good neighbors.’ Loving your neighbor as you love yourself opens a door to the internal universe of yourself. As a human being, remember, at times you will do things that seem to be superhuman. The laws of nature have a way of taking over and making you a tool of something greater than yourself. We, as a society, should learn to plant the seeds of ‘Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection’ in our children, so they, too, will learn that human life is the most valuable natural resource we have on earth. By sharing this universal law with our children, we can produce like-minded individuals that could grow into responsible adults. That love for human life was shared with us by Mr. Anthony Alexander, Jr. Now, we as a very grateful community, must promote this

“They really needed help, so I got to help them. I wasn’t going to sit there and let them drown like that.” This selfless heroic act of love and kindness lives in the hearts and souls of all ‘good neighbors.’ Anthony called 911 as he ran down to the pond to find three elementary school-aged children who had fallen through the ice. He grabbed a tree branch to rescue them but ended up falling into the frigid water. He then pulled one little kid out and the other, a girl, was close enough for him to reach her, so he pulled her out, too. The third child was rescued by a police officer who had arrived on the scene. Anthony said, “They really needed

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

extremely humane and heroic act of love for our fellow human beings. He showed Philadelphia and the whole world just what love has to do with it. He truly is a very special person and one of the greatest neighbors of all time. He will forever be a hero! PRH. Take the “RACE Test” today for a better way at

Twilight Zone


by John Nacchio immy woke up at 6 am. He did this every day. But on this sunny day, he woke up in a slight sweat and felt uneasy. He heard a knock at his door and went quickly to look, thinking it was the Amazon package he ordered, last week. No package. He said aloud, ‘I hope no one stole it.’ It was Saturday and Jimmy had a routine. South Philly surrounded him his whole life. It was like a small town, peaceful


and neighbor-friendly, filled with guy pals and women that crushed his heart with a wink or a smile. It was a place where most who grew up there didn’t like things to change. But sadly, things were about to change. Jimmy had just crossed over into a twisting tense tidal wave of the Twilight Zone. He quickly dressed in his best black sweats, a tee with the I love South Philly logo, and white sneakers just polished with Hollywood SaniWhite. Hair combed and slicked back with gel, he was ready to exit to the street. But everything was gone! ‘WTF?!’ It was like a scene from The Giver. Everything was black and white. No neon, no aromas of fresh crusty baked breads, pizza, or garlic skillet grilled foods. It was pasty white flour triage plagu-

ing everywhere, surrounded by electric cars and airplanes without engines. The football team was named the “Ducklings” and the stadium was replaced by campsites, cooking veggie hot dogs over open flames. “Fly Ducklings Fly,” was heard singing over an empty parking lot that seemed solemn and echoed an empty rallying tune. ‘Where is my butcher? My baker? My barber? My little corner store and favorite delis?’ Jimmy was craving a classic cheesesteak for lunch and wanted to pick up fresh, homemade ravioli later for dinner. He reached in his pocket to reveal his lucky penny and made a wish. Suddenly, a cold breeze blew through the colorless corridors of his small town. A buzzer rang loudly, and Jimmy once again woke in his bed, hearing a knock at the door. His Amazon package arrived. Jimmy put on a CD, pushing the play button several times. Al Albert’s music filled the room, joy-

fully singing, “On the Way to Cape May.” Jimmy sang along. He gently opened his package with anticipated excitement. None of his guy pals would believe it. A cookbook? Favorite Recipes from Philadelphia RowHome Magazine. He smiled a classic grin like the Cheshire Cat. He had truly obtained a Philadelphia National Treasure not even Nicholas Cage could uncover for fame and fortune. Jimmy’s heart and soul were totally South Philly. Pressed between his fingers, he again held tight the lucky penny his grandfather gave him one day when he picked up the groceries from Millie’s little corner store. Grandpoppy liked his homemade red wine, crusty bread, and cheese with thinly sliced prosciutto. He often ribbed and joked at Jimmy’s expense, but his eyes gleamed with warm affection. In a moment, Jimmy felt another overshadowing tidal wave and a buzzer rang loudly. He once again woke in his bed, hearing a knock at the door. This time, Jimmy paused and glanced in the mirror by the door. Completely taken with his own reflection, he remained still, almost paralyzed and realized, nothing was missing. He, himself, was the heart and soul of South Philly. PRH

April / May / June 2022



St. Monica School

Senior School:

2500 S. 16th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145

Junior School:

1720 W. Ritner Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145

a Brand New Day

The changing of the seasons, whether gradual or abrupt, is one of the simple joys of living in the Northeast part of the country. Saying goodbye to the quiet chill of winter and hello to the more active and noisier spring is, for me, the most anticipated amongst the four. Along with spring comes the not so anticipated activity of spring cleaning. While exploring forgotten spaces of my home, I came across the first draft and illustration notes for my children’s book, Little Carl Clark. It’s hard for me to believe that the journey into publishing began 20 years ago. Over the years, my brother and I collaborated on a few projects that never saw the light of day but despite life slowing the process, our four-year labor of love was published in 2006.




The tiniest of spaces in far away places are where small children can laugh, run and play Bundled up nicely - boots and gloves tied up tightly Bathed in sunlight at the dawn of a never-ending day

Since 1908 Proud of Our Past Committed to Our Future

There’s a gate made of steel, when unlocked will reveal an enchanted entrance into the playground of the mind Colors green, shades of gray, a splash of orange on this day Forever frozen in the imagination of a child

Early Learning Center (Pre-K / ages 3-4) Kindergarten – Grade 8

Over hills and across the land with rope and compass held in hand The adventure begins much the same way each time But remember, it’s not a test - there’s no direction, no East or West You’re free to go and do exactly as you please

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

Pick a branch up from the ground - swing it high, then throw it down Is it a sword or a bridge to cross the mighty creek Up and Down may suit you fine in the never ending corners of your mind But don’t forget to take some time to listen Don’t be timid, jump and fall – it’s much more fun than playing ball The trees you see are great big living toys These woods are thick and a joy to roam – it’s getting dark, you head for home Remember to fly, please do not walk back to bed


Reverend Joseph Kelley Principal

Sister Mary Regina Matulka, IHM Early Learning Center Director

Sister Rosemary Peterson, IHM 92

My intention was do more than just tell a story. I wanted the book to be an example to our children that when you give something your best effort, you don’t walk through life, you fly. In many ways, the season of spring brings with it fresh perspective and renewed optimism that we can use to “spring” into action. Longer days and warmer weather are an invitation to open windows and allow the harmonious blend of fragrant air with the melodious sounds of springtime into our homes. Drink it up with a giant gulp of endless possibilities, for there is an adventure waiting just around the corner. My poem titled A Brand New Day is on the last page of Little Carl Clark. Enjoy this beautiful time of the year. Get out there, inhale a deep breath of life and be inspired. Because when we do our very best, we fly.

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

Whispers quiet, gentle light, the setting sun, the moonlit night For a few, there’s always one more game left to be played Some will grow as tall as trees - with no more bruised or scraped up knees Others find they are able to keep the child inside forever Home, with its wide-open spaces - is the most familiar of all places Pictures, songs, poems and stories live forever Time balances itself out with age - the perfect story’s final page This is my gift to you, on this, a brand new day





continues to climb!


ow! I do not know about you, but January, February and March flew by. Spring is in the air at SNG (though as I write this, the temperature outside is a balmy 28 degrees) and with spring comes new beginnings – warm weather and spring flowers. As we begin to come out of the pandemic (fingers crossed), SNG continues to fire on all cylinders. Our athletics department and cheerleaders were busy cheering on our men’s basketball team, that not only captured the Philadelphia Catholic League title, once again, but also a state championship, along with our Lady Saints - our ladies basketball team – that captured a state championship, as well. These two spirited teams have overcome much adversity over the past two years, and they should be commended, along with their coaches. Congratulations! SNG continues on its upward path. In the past five years, year-over-year, we have added more incoming freshmen to our roles than we have had graduating seniors, and this year will be no different. We already exceeded our incoming 9th grade enrollment goal for the Class of 2026, the earliest we have accomplished this in more than 15 years. If you are a parent contemplating sending your

Joseph M. McColgan

President, Ss. Neumann-Goretti High School

Greetings from 10th Street!

son or daughter to SNG for the upcoming academic year (22-23), whether as an incoming freshman or transferring in from another school, please reach out to our admissions director, Mrs. Edwards (215.465.8437). She will walk you through the process. We continue to build on our community relationships through our Director of Community Partners, Rory Sweeney. SNG has now teamed up with Vetri Community Partnership and our students are learning about nutrition while enjoying the art of cooking. We have also partnered with WHYY and created an amazing opportunity for students interested in media production and journalism through our new media lab. Students who participate in the program qualify for paid summer internship opportunities. The administration and faculty are always searching for new and innovative ways to educate our students. Once again, I must thank all our alumni and alumnae who generously continue to give their time, talent, and treasures. Without you, our mission would be very difficult. As always, thank you, and remember, all contributions to the school, stay at the school. As I say often, SNG is not only good for the community – we have been educating the neighborhood since 1934 - but the community is good for SNG. We’ll talk soon. PRH

April / May / June 2022


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/ February April / May / March / June 2022 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 95

Carol loves





| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2022

e knew we were in for it when our mother started googling Pet Rescues. After the recent loss of Thunder, her beloved Pomeranian, we were sure we convinced her that her memories would be more than enough to keep her company. ‘She’s on Google, Dear God,’ Dawn texted me. ‘She told me she found a puppy who needed a good home. She’s mad at me because I told her the Rescue she was looking at was in Minnesota. We have to step in. If she’s getting another dog, at least I can steer this along.’ A few phone calls later, Carol called a local Rescue about a shih tzu named Cannoli. ‘He’s a year old. He loves people and pets,’ she repeats what the foster mom is telling her about the puppy. A week later, Cannoli strutted through the front door and into Carol’s heart. After a few puppy kisses, we knew that destiny found its way home. It started out slowly enough. A few text requests for soft treats and special dog food “if you happen to be in the Acme this week. And he loves squeaky toys! I bought him a few but he will love new ones,” she tells Dawn over the speaker phone while we’re driving to another meeting. I knew from the look on Dawn’s face the next morning that something was up. ‘She wants us to buy him a bed. And some spring clothes. She told me he’s the only naked dog on the block.’ I shrug my shoulders as I start my car. “She’s excited,” I say. “She wants the best for him.” ‘She wasn’t this interested in buying me a spring wardrobe,’ Dawn huffs. ‘I got your fluffy floral hand-medowns when we were kids. ‘What was it with you and the bonnets? And gloves! I hated those stupid gloves. They made me sweat. I always felt like I had to throw up in Church. The hat, the gloves. The matching

coat and dress set. It was so hot with all those clothes piled on.’ “I loved those gloves,” I tell her. “Some had little pearls around the edges. I put them in my little white purse with my little white Bible every Easter Sunday,” I smile at the memory. ‘All I wanted to do was sit on the couch and eat my coconut cream eggs from my Easter Basket,’ she snarls. ‘Noooo. We had to get dressed. In gloves and bonnets. Flowers & straw. Everything was patent leather. White. Ridiculous,’ she goes on and on. “How did you get there from here,” I interrupt her tirade. “We were talking about Cannoli, not my Easter bonnets.” ‘It’s Easter and she wants an outfit for the dog. You don’t think she’s losing her mind a little?’ I laugh as we pull into the Pet Smart parking lot. “Don’t forget. He only eats soft treats,” I remind her. ‘He’ll eat what we give him,’ she answers in her stern voice. ‘He’s a dog. She’s coming undone.’ She finally realizes where we are. ‘Why are we here? I can’t take the smell of frogs right now. I’m serious. Reminds me of the circus.’ “Yeah. We had to leave there early, too,” I remember. “You fainted as soon as you smelled the horse stalls. I don’t think we got to sit through one single circus start to finish when we were kids.” We head to the fluffy bed section. We start comparing texture and fluff. Too small. Too itchy. ‘I found it!’ Dawn hollers from the aisle behind me. ‘Feel this fluff! It’s heavenly!’ “And it’s chocolate brown” I add. “Matches Mommy’s furniture.” ‘Where’s the clothes aisle?’ she asks the kid in the fish tank department. He points. I’m confused. “After all your nagging, you’re actually going to buy him something to wear?” I laugh. ‘It’s Easter. We all need something in yellow.’ Welcome to the family, Cannoli. You’re in good hands. PRH

“Spring. A lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be.” –Tracy McMillan

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