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Philadelphia RowHome Magazine Presents


TO REMEMBER XV 2021 Blue Sapphire Ceremony Sponsored by Cescaphe

the Date S ave { } Wednesday, November 3rd

Join us as we honor our 2020 award recipients

Blue Sapphire Award Winners Sonny Hill / Edward J. McBride Service to Community Award Charles Ingui (Soul Survivors) / Lifetime Music Achievement Award Kenny Jeremiah (Soul Survivors) / Lifetime Music Achievement Award John Nash / Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Bob Pantano / Entertainment Award John & Joann Vacca, The Petal Pusher Florist & Decorators / Local Business Success Story Award WishRock Award Winners Brianna Mazzola / Springton Middle School Mike Raymond, Jr. / Roman Catholic HS Dan Stevenson, Jr. / St. Joseph’s Preparatory High School Cescaphe Event Group’s Vie

600 N. Broad Street / Philadelphia, PA 19123 Guests will meet on the Red Carpet at 6 p.m. for an elaborate cocktail reception followed by a five-course dinner Entertainment by The Business Tickets are $150 Tables of 10 are $1,500 and include sponsorship Individual sponsorships are also available Contact Carol at 215.462.9777 or info@gohomephilly.com





Life Without Parole: The Story of George Martorano Documentary wins prestigious Telly Award by Maria Merlino photo by Jill Frechie


Leisa Collins Hand Painted Homes: An Architectural Artist’s Pen & Watercolor Journey Across America by Jane Roser

37_SUMMER HOT SPOTS 2021 From Philly to the Jersey Shore! Our local favorites Free things to do outdoors

46_NEW! HOT SPOTS AT THE JERSEY SHORE! Philly’s favorite place to Unplug! And other Shore memories

50_WELCOME BACK LONGO! Jerry Longo’s Meatballs & Martinis opens at Bally’s Atlantic City! by Mark Casasanto

76_MUSIC & ARTS Mare of Easttown PRH chats with local actress Connie Giordano about her role in HBO mega hit by Jane Roser



80_WRITERS BLOCK Michael Caudo Return of the Prodigal by John Nacchio



Pickleball Courts come to FDR Park by Brenda Hillegas

Ph ill y








| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021


John J. Dougherty Business Manager IBEW Local 98


The World Needs Your Light



Join us as we honor our 2020 Blue Sapphire Award Winners! Sonny Hill Charles Ingui Kenny Jeremiah John Nash Bob Pantano John & JoAnn Vacca And our 2020 WishRock Award Winners! Brianna Mazzolla Mike Raymond Jr. Dan Stevenson Jr. PLUS! The meaning behind our Blue Sapphire Award

10_NEIGHBORHOOD NOIR Robert L. Woodard in his 1947 Cadillac with Nina Simone

12_HANGIN’ OUT Congratulations to our brides & grooms! Marty Hom & Jennifer Tini Hom Tara Mullen & Joseph Michael Francesco

17_ROWHOME REMEMBERS Now and Then by Tony Santini

28_REAL ESTATE Realtor Jeanne Polizzi walks us through one of her listings On the Block / 1919 S. 11th Street / East Passyunk Crossing

34_TIPS FROM THE PROS Law & Order Can I pack my pot for the Jersey shore? PA vs NJ & marijuana by Frank C. DePasquale, Jr., Esq.





62_THE MENU Pan Seared Veal Chops with Rosemary Courtesy of Lombardi’s Prime Meats

70_THE BRIDES GUIDE Elyse & Jason Dumont Dancing on Water by Joe Volpe

78_MUSIC & ARTS Philly 45s Billie Holiday - “Lady Sings the Blues” by Geno Thackara



96_PRESSED It is all about the Dress by Dorette Rota Jackson

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New Beginnings Nothing sparkles brighter than the sun, the sea & the smiles of summer. Welcome back, family & friends. We are so happy to see you!

Hot Spots 2021

People to see, places to go & things to do From Philly to the Jersey Shore! P 37 Blue Sapphire Awards Dinner at Vie / November 3 We promise it will be An Affair to Remember. Call Carol to let her know you’re coming! 215.462.9777 or info@gmail.com


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

Summer in the City 2021 gohomephilly.com




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




Andrew Andreozzi Phil Kramer Maria Merlino ACCOUNT MANAGER


Michael Rhoades CONTRIBUTORS Mark Casasanto Santina Pescatore David Cava Lou Pinto Joei DeCarlo 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 | Fax – 215.462.9770 www.gohomephilly.com | www.gohomephillyblog.com Facebook.com/PhiladelphiaRowHomeMagazine Twitter.com/RowHomeMag Instagram.com/RowHomeMag 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. 2021 Philadelphia RowHome Inc. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the USA. Published by Philadelphia RowHome Inc.

July / August / September 2021



RowHome Family of Readers

about the Blue Sapphire Award There are so many people out there who mean a lot to this city of neighborhoods. We want to let them know. We want to thank them for their contributions. Let them know that they have not gone unnoticed. That is what our Blue Sapphire Award is all about. It’s our way of thanking people for their Philly spirit. For leading by example. For making a difference through their life’s journey. For all of us. Then. Now. And for generations to come. We chose the color Blue. It signi-


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | April / May / June 2021

fies the two rivers - the Delaware & the Schuylkill - that surround our city. Converging into one abstract shape of glistening glass. Each one different. But always united. River to River. One Neighborhood. It also is a tribute to our father Thomas Joseph Retallick - who loved everything about this city where we were born and raised. He had an endless appreciation for its history. Its landmarks. And the diversity of people who were born and raised in rowhomes. People who appreciate family. Traditions. Knowledge. Leadership. Big things like the Tall Ships on the Dela-

ware. An event we never missed as kids. And small things. Like a cheesesteak from the corner shop. Where pinball machines and a jukebox shaped the lives of anyone who twirled themselves simple on a barstool at the familiar formica counter. Adjacent to the grill that turned ground beef into cheeseburgers and thin slices of sirloin into one of childhood’s fondest memories. Blue like our father’s eyes. It is a reminder to us that anything is possible if you believe in yourself. And a gift of gratitude to the people we meet along our journey in life.


2021 Blue Sapphire Award Recipients







Edward J. McBride Service to Community Award

Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award

(Soul Survivors) Lifetime Music Achievement Award

Entertainment Award

(Soul Survivors) Lifetime Music Achievement Award

The Petal Pusher Florist & Decorators Local Business Success Story Award

2021 WishRock Award Recipients


MIKE RAYMOND, JR. Roman Catholic HS

from the PUBLISHERS Dorette & Dawn

DAN STEVENSON, JR. St. Joseph’s Preparatory HS

Having been isolated for almost 2 years makes this night even more special. We appreciate the people we see every day. People like us who grew up in this neighborhood. And people who call this city home. People who work hard. Raise their families. Keep us safe. Make us proud. This night celebrates our RowHome family of readers and businesses. We are honored to know you. To meet you. And to thank you for loving this city as much as we do.


Exceptionally Built. Eternity of Beauty. DEAR PRH:

1721 E. Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.551.9070



It saddens me to inform you that my father Donald Paciocco passed away on Good Friday, April 2. Thank you for making his final days brighter by publishing his photo in your magazine. He was very proud of his moment in the spotlight. Be safe and take good care. Andrew Paciocco


I am again humbled by this article [Local Singer starts Digital Program for Opera Prospects Around the Globe] written by Jane Roser for RowHome Magazine [Spring 2021]. Jane’s ability to refine and articulate every nuance of our conversation is a gift! To Dawn Retallick Rhoades, Dorette Rota Jackson and Brenda Hillegas, for having the astounding gift of knowing how to keep the pulse

of our community, culturally, with a modern sensitivity that never loses its roots! We are not in easy times! I personally want to thank and congratulate you on bringing cohesiveness, positivity and leading us to the sunshine in what has been a devastating year. John Tenaglia


Thank you for all the hard work you put into publishing a magazine which consistently contains such great articles and life stories. You are a dynamic duo and fortunate enough to be sisters, too. God bless you both and keep you safe as we recover from such trying times. Janet A. Buchianico

Paul Stolfo, Director • Marianne Stolfo, Director

The Tradition Continues the Fourth Generation

The Stolfo

Funeral Home Where Everyone is Treated Like Family 2536 So. Broad Street • Philadelphia, PA 19145 215.334.7376 8

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

Order your

Subscription Today!

Your next issue of PRH will be delivered right to your doorstep! Call us at 215.462.9777 or m subscribe online at gohomephilly.co gohomephilly.com

Tony “Papa Luke” Lucidonio Founder, 1992

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


1941 at Palumbo’s. Catherine Sacchetti (white hat) & husband Henry (with the musta che) with friends. Read more about Catherine in this issue’s Writers Block section.

ngo, llick, Jerry Lo y “Rat” Reta D’Aguanno. lly 1980. Anthon Bi & e or po” Pescat Johnny “Pom

1964. 10th

& Carpente r. “The “Old Head Gang.”

1946. Joanie Ru th LaRosa with her grandparen Josephine & Bi ts lly Ruth & Uncle Tommy Ruth at home on 6th & Fitzwate r.

1949. Al & Val Maruz zi with daug hter Mena.

1949. Joe Testa

Circa 1981. Robert Antonelli & Co. performed as Menergy at Palumbo’s and Harry the Hats all summer. Gene & Robert Cabella, Joey Polutro, Maria Guidotti Edelstein, Cindy Vicarious Atkins, Joanna Merlino Carfagno.

Joe e Band. ine Whit hur 1973. Erm elo Esposito, Art o, Ang ntessa. n o ri C g n le h el o P ,J AJ DeFeo Novello,

with Janet Ia


1935. Tommy Retallick on his bike with sister Lorraine & brother Donald.

tto) Antonelli Circa 1953. Jeri (DelCio N. Wildwood at her family’s home in and brothers). dad her by lt bui ly (actual

Robert L. Woodard , The Wynnefield Barber, sits in his antique 1947 Cadillac with Nin a Simone.


9. E

na. daughter An Pittman & . et re 1960. Ann St of S. 12th 1800 block

l to Michae t birthday arie. 1s y p ap om, M 1964. H ith his m Alessi, w

1993. RowHome’s Jane Rose r at her senior art show, Moore Colle ge of Art.

June 1961. Antho ny LaRosa & Joan Ruth LaRosa on their Wedding Da y.









Octobe r 1954. Pete Honey moon a & Nancy Santi t the P ni on th ocono eir Mounta ins.






 rian Stevenson with Medal B of Honor recipients Brian Thacker, Barney Barnum, Mike Thornton and Tom Norris at the 10th Annual Families Behind the Badge Children’s Foundation Gathering of Heroes. Photo by Andre Flewellen


 enise & Co. are hangin’ D out in Deerfield Beach for Marie Elena’s birthday.


 enise LaRosa & Co. D are hangin’ out at Jerry Blavat’s Birthday Party at Memories in Margate.


 RH congratulates the P bride & groom! Marty Hom & Jennifer Tini Hom. Photo by Baiada Photography


 icoletta Rudi is hanN gin’ out with her family (Rudi’s Formal Wear) as she graduates Summa Cum Laude from Thomas Jefferson University.


2 7.


 enise & Co. are hangin’ D out with the Geator at Memories in Margate for Marie Elena’s birthday.  RH congtratulates the P bride & groom! Tara Mullen & Joseph Michael Francesco Photo by Paulette Brockenbrough  owHome Rowan is hangin’ R out at the Philadelphia Flower Show in FDR Park.


 orette & Dawn are D hangin’ out at the Jersey shore with Lisa Davis & Nancy Hinkie!

10. P  PACS String Theory 8th Grade Class of 2021 - Mia DeJesse, Carmen LaRosa & Bianca Tavella are hangin’ out. 11. D  anny Pezzetti & son Lorenzo are hangin’ out at the big game! 12. R  owHome’s Larry Gallone is hangin’ out with Ray Didinger at a book signing in June. 13. D  awn & Elle are hangin’ out with Jack Rhoades (center) & his brother Nick at his graduation party! 14. A  nthony Santini Jr. is hangin’ out with his nephew, Michael Impagliazzo, III. 15. R  owHome Dawn is hangin’ out in Ventnor at Agnes Cafe with owner Agnes, Lisa & Nancy. 16. R  owHome family engagements! Congratulations to our guys & their girls! 16a. Michael (Rhoades) & Dominique 16b. Anthony (Retallick) & Alana 16c. Michael (Gillen) & Meghan 16d. Brett (Jackson) & Alexa Let the celebrations begin!

3 12

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6 4

5 7


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16c July / August / September 2021








| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

The Oak Ridge Boys (l to r) William Lee Golden, Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, Richard Sterban



Joe Bonsall of The Oak Ridge Boys ON THE CORNER  with  MARK CASASANTO


t was an early winter’s evening in December of 2019. I was standing stage right at an arena just outside of Baltimore when I got a radio call that I was needed upstairs. It was about 30 minutes before house lights, so I hustled through back of house, eventually ending up outside at bag check. In the chill of the night, I was introduced to a lovely couple hovering over a brown bag containing assorted boxes of TastyKakes. Before I could even get a steam-enhanced word out, they started to make their case for the goodie bag. ‘We’re from Philly and this is a gift for the boys…’ Fair enough, and not much of a risk. I gave the okay and in they went. Quicker than I could say Coconut Junior, the TastyKakes found their way to the edge of the stage with a grateful acknowledgement from The Oak Ridge Boys. Growing up in the shadows of Harrowgate Park, Joe Bonasall will tell you he was a wanna be hoodlum. “Hanging with the wrong kids on the wrong corner… every day.” Still, he wasn’t all that much different than any of the neighborhood boys. He played Pop Warner Football at Lighthouse Field on Erie Avenue. Admittedly, he was a pretty damn good player – an all-star wide receiver four years running. But when he finally strolled onto the field at Frankford High School thinking he could be the next football star for the perennial powerhouse, reality hit fast. And hard! “They weeded me out quick. I didn’t have the meat to run into a guy 225 pounds,” he laughs. “I joined the choir and I’ve been singing ever since.” Looking back, Bonsall realizes just how fortunate his twist of fate actually was. The school’s

famed choral group, The Ambassadors of Song, was then under the direction of Robert G. Hamilton, who later went on to lead the world renown Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale. “We got to tour Europe and it was quite the learning experience,” Bonsall recalls. “Frankford High School was always really good to me.” He continued to find his voice in song through the persistence of some Christian teens from Calvary Church of the Brethren. “These kids stayed on my tail and eventually invited me to a gospel quartet show in Ardmore.” Experiencing groups like The Couriers and The Blackwood Brothers singing Southern Gospel for the first time, Bonsall knew immediately that he wanted to sing in a quartet, someday. It also became much easier for his newfound friends to keep him off the corner. After attending a Christian Endeavor camp, he found Christ as his Savior and, as he proudly proclaims, “I’ve been on a good road ever since. It was an answer to my mother’s prayers.” It was during that time, at the age of 15, that he met a 19-yearold bass singer from Camden, New Jersey. Despite kicking around with different groups early on in their careers, Richard Sterban and Joe Bonsall have been friends ever since and remarkably, almost 60 years later, they’re still singing together, today. “It’s a very unique brotherhood,” he says of fellow Oaks Duane Allen, William Lee Golden and Sterban. “We’ve gotten old together and bring more history to the stage than any other act in the business.” More importantly, “We’re feeling good and singing good.” In June, they released an album called Front Porch Singin’ and

“We’ve gotten old together and bring more history to the stage than any other act in the business.” More importantly, “We’re feeling good and singing good.”

are currently touring in support of the new effort. “We wanted to make new music… we were getting antsy during the pandemic,” he says lightheartedly. The result is stunningly beautiful. A relaxing journey from four seasoned vocalists, harmonizing freely on easy chairs, on a breezy country porch. The resulting tour is also a chance to highlight the 40th anniversary of what has become their signature song, “Elvira.” A song that has certainly withstood the test of time amongst everchanging musical genres. Bonsall appreciates it all. “What a great way to celebrate… new music, “Elvira” turning 40, and coming out of the pandemic!” Although many years removed, his finger remains on the pulse of Philly, especially his beloved Phillies. It’s actually quite telling that a performer who is enshrined in the Vocal Music, Gospel and Country Music Halls of Fame, recognizes two Philadelphia-based honors amongst the biggest of his career: Frankford High School’s Alumni of the Year (1982) and induction (with Sterban) into the Philadelphia Music Alliance’s Walk of Fame. “Wow!” he exclaims of the latter. “That just blew me away!” Despite an incredibly active itinerary, life in The Volunteer State, coupled with family time on the farm by the Tennessee-Kentucky border, suits Bonsall like a pair of well-worn boots. He’s completing a semi-autobiographical book called I See Myself and hopes to have it released in the coming year. “It’s basically short anecdotal stories that bounce between growing up in Philly and being on stage with the Oak Ridge Boys,” he details. “You know,” he says contemplatively before eventually chuckling, “I could probably move back to the city, but it would take a team of wild horses to drag my ass out of Tennessee!” PRH Onthecornermark@gmail.com *The Oak Ridge Boys will appear in concert at Parx Casino on August 29, 2021.

July / August / September 2021


Life Without Parole

The Story of


“I’m out in the free world after being in a cage for a very very very long time...each ‘very’ is a decade. That’s three decades, over thirty years. My release date said, ‘Release Upon Death’.” -George Martorano Life without Parole: The Story of George Martorano was a winner at the 42nd annual Telly Awards in May. The documentary, from filmmakers Jill Frechie and John Ricciutti of Main Line Television (www. mainlinetv.org), took home one of the Bronze trophies in the Social Responsibility for Television category.


by Maria Merlino photo by Jill Frechie ounded in 1979, the Telly Awards honor excellence in local, regional and cable television commercials, and in nonbroadcast video and television programming. Works are judged by members of the Telly Awards Judging Council - a group of more than 200 experts from some of the most prestigious companies in entertainment, publishing, advertising and emerging technology, such as WarnerMedia, NBC News, Framestore NY, Vimeo and others who have

previously won the Telly Awards’ highest honor. The awards committee received more than 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents. “We entered Life Without Parole: The Story of George Martorano and it’s a huge honor to win,” Frechie says. She and co-producer Ricciutti share a passion for social interest stories. They were moved by Martorano’s story and lifelong sentence without parole in 1984 for marijuana-related offenses. “We met George through a mutual friend of ours; a well-known forensic


fashion photographer,” Ricciutti says. “George proceeded to tell me his story and I immediately contacted Jill.” “No parole means you die in prison. He had no chance of getting out. He lost his appeals and went into solitary for five years,” Frechie said. “We were struck thinking about how this could happen. We contacted everyone that was related to the case. If the person was dead, we would contact a relative.” His story led to larger questions, according to the filmmakers. Why

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

can a judge have this much power to send someone away for life without parole? Without any former convictions? No violence and no one got hurt? How much power does the government have? “The government used all kinds of tactics on him to rat out his father,” Frechie reveals. Martorano’s father was Philly mobster Raymond “Long John” Martorano. It is believed that George’s sentence, though only a first-time offender, was solely based on his father’s mob ties. “We didn’t think that was fair.” “Based on the people we interviewed, his sentence was just horrible,” Ricciutti says. “We’re not here for the glory, but how it affects and benefits the community. We’re in the midst of prison reform and George’s story exemplifies it.” Stressing humanity and the will-

ingness to change and turn their lives around, the filmmakers want to let people know that “there are a lot of lessons to be learned and we must do a better job at rehabilitation. George is a changed man and that is what we have learned.” At the time of Martorano’s release in 2015 at the age of 71, he was the longest-serving first-time nonviolent offender in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The trailer for Life Without Parole: The Story of George Martorano can be found on YouTube. Please visit www.MainLineTV.org to find out how you can currently access the full documentary or attend a screening. You can also contact John Ricciutti at jricciutti@comcast.net with questions regarding upcoming screenings. View all of the winners of the 42nd Annual Telly Awards at www. tellyawards.com/winners PRH gohomephilly.com

Row Home Remembers  PRH Life

Now and Then


byTony Santini hen I’m thinking about a story for an issue of RowHome, I try to write about something that will get friends and family talking about the same topic at their next barbecue, beach day, or just around the kitchen table at a family dinner. This story came to mind after watching the 1995 film Now and Then starring Demi Moore, Melanie Griffith, Rosie O’Donnell and Rita Wilson. It’s about

four friends who reunite in present day and reflect on their summer together in 1970 when they were 12. When I was around that same age, my father always told me stories about how things were when he was a kid. I have no reason to believe these stories weren’t true, but somehow, I feel they were more about teaching moments rather than complaints about hardship or adversity. One of my favorites was when I asked him for a dollar so I could buy a Wiffle Ball. Dad said, “A Wiffle Ball? A WIFFLE BALL! When I was a kid, we didn’t have a dollar to buy a Wiffle Ball. We used to roll up old newspapers and wrap it with electrical tape. That was our Wiffle Ball. Get outta’ here. Go get a job.” Another classic was when Mom wanted a new Toaster Oven. Dad said, “Toaster oven? TOASTER OVEN!

When I was a kid, we didn’t have a toaster oven. If we wanted toast, my brother and I would put the bread on a piece of wood and then stick the wood in the furnace. One of us would watch the bread; the other would stand by in case the wood caught fire! We don’t need a toaster oven.” When I became a parent, I embellished my own Now and Then stories to my kids. For example, “Allowance? ALLOWANCE! You want an allowance? When I was a kid, I used to take the #23 trolley to Federal Street then walk four blocks to Federal Pretzel Baking Factory and buy a basket of pretzels. I would walk home yelling, ‘Frrrr-eeeshhhh Perrrrretzels’ all the way until the pretzels were sold. That was my allowance! Get outta’ here. Go get a job.” I asked some friends to share their favorite Now and Then

stories. Maybe they ring true for you? More than likely, you have plenty others to share. Now: Cell phones and text messages. Then: When my father wanted me in from playing outside, he would go out on the porch and whistle three times. Wherever I was, I heard it and knew I had five minutes to get home. Now: Order a pizza and have it delivered. Then: Mom would say, “Here’s a dollar. Go to Fabio’s and buy a pound of dough. On your way back, stop at the grocery store and get a half pound of American Cheese. I’m making pizza for dinner tonight.” Now: I’m thirsty. Can someone bring me a bottle of water? Then: Hey Mister…can we get a drink from the hose?

fill-up and can you check the oil, tires and clean the windshield please?” Now: I just ordered clothes from Amazon and got next-day delivery. Then: If you lived on the West Side of Broad Street, your folks put you in the car and drove you to Lit Brothers, Robert Hall, Sears, Renel’s or Atlantic Thrift. If you lived on the East side of Broad Street, you shopped at the Eagle Shoe Store, John’s Bargain Store, Mandel’s or any of the many other retail stores on 7th Street. Now: Why don’t you go outside? You’ve been inside on that X-box all day! Then: Why don’t you come inside? You’ve been outside on your bike all day!

Now: Hello? HELLO? Is anybody there? I need to get gas and my credit card won’t work at this pump. Then: Hey, how are you? Can I get a

Now: Should we watch Netflix or Hulu? Or do we have something on DVR? Then: I hope there is something good on Channels 3, 6 or 10 tonight because Channels 17, 29 and 48 are fuzzy. And there’s never anything good on Channel 12. PRH

July / August / September 2021




i love summer EVERYONE LOVES WARM AND SUNNY weather, especially our RowHome kids! Here are a few summer smiles to brighten your day. Thanks for sharing your babies with us. We’d love to see more of your summer celebrations. Tag us in your Instagram posts @rowhomemag!


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021



30 years experience serving Philadelphia & South Jersey

Frank Fioravanti Termite Specialist 215-768-1804 FrankieBugs707@gmail.com

“We Rid Your Pests So You Can Rest”

Pest Control Frankie Bugs, He’s the Best!



The Mario Lanza Museum Sharing his superstar legacy with fans for years to come by Joei DeCarlo


n our 2018 Summer Hot Spots issue, I had the pleasure of writing about the Mario Lanza Institute & Museum. Lanza, a Philadelphia born tenor, rose to fame for his operatic and theatrical talents. His legacy has been commemorated right here in Philadelphia for people to learn about his work for generations to come. When I spoke to the institute’s President, Bill Ronayne, for our 2018 issue, he was hoping to have the museum moved to its fifth location. With the help of board member Michael Giangiordano II and through generous donations and hard work from the community, the move to 1214 Reed Street was a success. A soft opening was held in October of 2020 and the museum officially reopened in March of 2021. The museum offers guided tours by Ronayne on Saturdays from 1-4pm and by appointment. Guests can expect an improved tour with displayed memorabilia, films running on the 75” TV with a state-of-the-art sound system, as well as the opportunity to attend educational programs like lectures, vocal master classes, concerts and screenings of Lanza’s films and television appearances. Tours are $10 for ages 18+, free if you’re younger. Guests can take photos and will have the opportu-

nity to purchase books, CDs and other items. The museum space is also available to rent for events (plenty of cafe tables and chairs are already on site). A lecture on Frank Sinatra called Classics by Sinatra will be held on August 28th. Tickets are $20/person, limited seating. Most recently, the museum has been honored with the 2021 Save Our Sites Award for excellence in historic preservation. The City of Philadelphia Council declared the 1200 Block of Reed Street Mario Lanza Way in honor of what would have been Lanza’s 100th birthday. The state of Pennsylvania declared January 31st Mario Lanza Day, in honor of his birthday. The Mario Lanza Institute (a 501 c 3 nonprofit incorporated in 1962), which operates out of the museum space, holds an annual vocal competition and awards the winner with a scholarship. The awards are held during the museum’s main fundraiser, the Mario Lanza Ball, scheduled this year for November 20th at IATSE Ballroom. If you would like to learn more about the Mario Lanza Museum, please call 215-2389691 or email info@mariolanzainstitute.org. You can also visit www.mariolanzainstitute.org or on Facebook at MarioLanzaInstitute. Those wishing to make a donation can do so online or send a check to the museum’s address. PRH

2839 S 13th Street Philadelphia, Pa. 19148 Office 267.668.2020 | Cell 609.636.9783 HARRYSELLSPHILLY @ GMAIL . COM

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July / August / September 2021




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VB is very community oriented,” begins Howard Briskin, Vice President and Business Development Officer of Huntingdon Valley Bank. “We’re very committed to the community of South Philadelphia in particular. I live in South Philly and HVB is a great fit. I’m glad to be home and help make the community a little better.” The award winning HVB has a 5-Star Superior Rating and is one of the strongest in the nation, excelling in areas of capital loan quality, financial strength and more. The new branch is located in the heart of South Philadelphia at 2444 S. Broad Street, at the corner of Broad and Porter Streets. What makes HVB stand out from the crowd? “One of the things we do is to connect people and different businesses. It certainly helps drive business for us and also creates opportunities for a lot of South Philadelphians, what they do and their specific business models.” To get to know the people in their new neighborhood better, HVB is planning to host a few small gettogethers. “We’re looking to grow the community. We’re known for business development, new commercial lending, residential programs and accounts.” How can HVB meet client expectations when changing to a new bank? “We make the process easier and stress-free by knowing the landscape of South Philadelphia,” Briskin says. “We’re a relationship bank, not just a transaction bank. The people we generally deal with are people we’ve known


William Guyon Jr

Award-winning Bank is a Great fit for the Neighborhood

for years. We’re not like the bigger banks where you may be considered just a number.” Briskin says it’s all about relationships at HVB. “With relationships, more can be accomplished. We take pride in that and it’s what we’ll be driving. Even though we’re new to South Philly, we all have strong vibes here. Good things come out of conversation.” HVB also hired a superstar in local banking, Jackie Fitzpatrick. With her impeccable reputation, honesty, skill and success, her work ethic and knowledge of the market have earned her the trust, respect and goodwill of the community. “When it became apparent that HVB was putting a team [together] for South Philly, Jackie got on board. She’s as real as it gets and will keep strong customer relationships,” Briskin says. Even though HVB has been around for 100 years and likes to do things “old school,” it is a fullservice bank where you can apply for commercial loans, construction loans, lines of credit and commercial mortgages. Its large residential mortgage program gives them a competitive advantage. “On a personal note, I’ve worked close to 30 years at the Department of Recreation. I’m well known at Murphy Rec on 4th and Shunk Streets, and I do a lot of things in the community,” Briskin adds. “The lines are grayed because all parts come together in terms of just being out there and by being a face in the community. That’s one of my passions, to help kids in the community and to continue developing these relationships. Our bank is a perfect fit. HVB will be very successful here. It’s who we are and what we’re trying to get done.” PRH

HVB is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network. www.rebornwithphoenix.com

Nick Liggio (609) 923-4069 | Nick DiValentino (856) 481-2211


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021


The historic rebirth of one of Italy’s premier cafes


PERRY deMARCO, JR. picks his prime Philly Hot Spots


by Larry Gallone


ummers down the shore. That’s what I remember most,” Perry deMarco, Jr. recalls about growing up in Philadelphia. “You see so many people down the shore from the neighborhood. It’s like you are back in Philly.” deMarco’s love of the shore started when he was young, spending summers in Margate (and other points), enjoying the sun and ocean, and oh, yes, working. “I couldn’t wait to get out of school but from an early age, my parents always stressed working. My first job was at Scott’s Dock, selling tackle, bait and pumping fuel for the fishermen headed out for the day. I also worked at the iconic Parti Pak Deli, where I made friendships that continue to this day.” He said his favorite time at the shore was late in the day. After the work was done and most people left the beach, he found himself relaxing by the ocean, enjoying a pizza and watching the sun set. “Working gave me an appreciation for what my parents did for the family. It’s what they instilled in us.” ‘I don’t care what you do, but do it the best you can,’ deMarco remembers his father saying. Now an attorney who specializes in criminal defense like his father Perry deMarco, Sr., deMarco still enjoys those summers at the shore. Although expansion of his firm has recently relocated his offices to Delaware County where they can better serve the entire region, he spent years in Center City and still enjoys being around the

City Hall apron - catching up on work, making phone calls, enjoying a coffee or quick lunch. “I’m not too far from court if the judge calls. I can be right there. And I can meet people in a more relaxed atmosphere,” he says. deMarco also takes time to head to Rittenhouse Square for lunch. He says he likes take-out so he can sit in the Square. Gran Caffe L’Aquila is one of his favorites, where he enjoys the Italian cuisine and culture. After traditional working hours, he often heads to Ristorante La Buca, which was started by his late grandfather, A. Charles Peruto, Sr., a prominent Philadelphia attorney. Another favorite hot spot is Reading Terminal where deMarco likes people watching and seeing the tourists (“you can spot them”) enjoy some of the finest foods Philly has to offer. “They may have had something called a Philly Cheesesteak or Roast Pork from their hometown, but once they experience the authentic ones here, you can see them wide-eyed and really enjoying it.” deMarco says he has an appreciation for Philly history. He spends time in Washington Square Park and Old City, embracing the area’s history and its impact. “The heritage of our city is amazing. After all, it is the birthplace of our nation. My love of the Constitution and working to defend it provides passion in every case. Coming up as a thirdgeneration attorney in the fast-paced courtrooms of Philly afforded me an unparalleled experience. After all, there’s the old quote, ‘Three Philadelphia lawyers are a match for the very devil himself!’” PRH

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Perry deMarco, Jr., Esq, is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network. www.attorneyperrydemarcojr.com

July / August / September 2021




by EMILY DOÑES, Rivers Casino Community Relations Manager

offers more than Jobs It offers Careers!

Fun in the sun, beaches, ballgames, waves and water ice are helping us get through a scorching summer. Another hot topic: jobs and careers at Rivers Casino Philadelphia. Earlier this year, Rivers Casino adopted a $15-per-hour minimum wage for non-tipped employees, property-wide. Our leadership knows how invaluable our Team Members are to our daily success and this is one more way Rivers is committing to its team, which continues to vote the casino a Top Workplace. Many great Team Members started on the ground floor and worked hard to advance their careers.

Meet Mike Miller

Rivers Casino Player Development Executive

“I came to the casino looking to get a foot in the door,” says Mike Miller, a six-year Rivers Casino veteran, “and have taken advantage of every opportunity along the way.” Mike has an impressive work ethic and continues to be a shining success story. After starting as a security officer, he was promoted to VIP Concierge in less than two years. Mike’s now a player development executive whose engaging personality has built strong relationships with our team and, most importantly, with our guests. “If you do what you love, you never work a day in your life,” says Mike, who’s been a player development executive for almost three years. “I love helping people, building relationships and staying connected. And I get to do that every day as a familiar face at the casino.”

“There’s always an opportunity at Rivers and you can move up, very fast. If you have a plan and work hard, it’ll be noticed. When there’s an opening available, you’ll be considered.” In addition to job growth and on-the-job training, careers at Rivers Casino Philadelphia include great benefits (medical and dental coverage, matching 401(k) and PTO, to name a few), flexible hours and a diverse workplace.

Dealer Certification Full-Time Dealers Earn $45K+ Annually

If you’re a people-person who likes working in a fast-paced, fun environment, then the Rivers Casino dealer position might be for you. Applicants who are at least 18 years old and complete our dealer certification program can expect to average a first-year income of $45,000 to $50,000. The approximately four-week course is open to the public and no experience is necessary — just bring your enthusiasm, dedication and motivation.


• FREE three-to-five-week certification ($2,000+ value) • Available year-round (next certifications begin 7/26 & 7/30) • High school diploma or equivalent required • Weekday and weekend training offered • Full-time job offer with benefits upon completion • Part-time positions available Please visit our website at RiversCasino.com/Philadelphia/Careers to apply for dealer certification or any Rivers Casino job opening. There are great opportunities for seniors and veterans at Rivers, as well as for those looking for jobs with flexible hours. When your job search heats up, please remember that Rivers Casino Philadelphia is a cool place to work!

Rivers Casino Philadelphia is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome Magazine (PRH) Business Network.


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021



from the


Time to Rest Post pandemic symptoms will take time to subside by Jamie Flowers, LCSW


We can all agree that we are relieved by the reduction of Covid cases. Re-opening the world is a jubilant time. But as we unfurl from our cocoons, many of us realize that we are not quite the same people we were before. The masks are gone but the pandemic-related despair, numbness and survivalist mode may linger on in our bodies and minds. Will we shed the urge to buy every roll of toilet paper on the shelf, hunker down, stock up on hand sanitizer and pray that no one comes within six feet of us because we really liked those boundaries anyway? Now is the time to take a rest We don’t have to dive into the deep end of social settings all at once. It’s ok to wade or dip our toes or even stand firmly in the sand and just gaze at the water. As humans, we need rest in order to function. In fact, most medical professionals agree that there are seven types of rest that we require: physical rest, mental rest, sensory rest, creative rest, emotional rest, social rest and spiritual rest. In some ways, we were able to catch up on rest dur-

ing the pandemic while we were quarantined and being extra mindful of ourselves and those around us. However, there are some areas that were extra-stressed instead of rested.

mental rest, which is partially why returning to our old ways sounds so nice. We want to return to the known and predictable where we don’t have to think so much.

Physical, Social & Creative Rest We most likely did get the physical, social and creative rest we needed. Physical rest is the restorative rest we get when we are sleeping, with nowhere to go and nothing to do. The pandemic was perfect for curling up and going to sleep. Social rest is being able to engage less with activities and people who don’t bring us joy. Creative rest happens when we take a step back and find the things that truly inspire us. Many people discovered sourdough bread baking, indoor gardening and knitting during the pandemic.

Sensory Rest Sensory rest is what we get when we unplug from the world. Have you ever heard of sensory deprivation tanks? Big tanks that people go into to relax? They are the opposite of Zoom meeting after meeting, 24-hour news updates, and being whipped into a frenzy by the bells and whistles of social media alerting us to every detail of our next-door neighbor’s life. We need time away from technology, where we can hear our own thoughts and focus on what we really need as individuals.

Mental Rest Many did not get the mental, sensory, emotional and spiritual rest they needed as a result of the pandemic. Mental rest is the rest we get when we are at peace. Most of us spent the pandemic using our brains to re-plan our entire lives since they were turned upside down. We are ready for some

Emotional Rest Emotional rest is the rest we need to be open about ourselves. Do we feel good? That’s great. Are we struggling? It’s okay to ask for help. Sometimes, when we are struggling emotionally, we bottle-up so we are not a burden to others. But it’s better to talk about what we are going through. And it is always okay to not be okay.

July / August / September 2021

Spiritual Rest The last type of rest is spiritual rest, which is very personal to the individual. Some people like to incorporate prayer, some church, some meditation or just being active in your community. This type of rest makes us feel good about ourselves. After all these types of rest, we should feel a sense of calm and peacefulness and ready to begin anew. Time to be I had a yoga teacher who drove home the point that if we are using time watching TV, playing video games, reading, making art, even doing yoga as rest - we are doing it wrong. None of those activities are truly restful because they require you to be thinking and doing. Humans need time to just be. Stare out a window, daydream, fantasize about ways to become better. If nothing else, most of us took this time to figure out that we have a lot to work on. But things can be better if we just try to prioritize our need for rest and keep the truly important things in perspective. PRH



from the


COOKING is healthy for your mind! www.chefmitzijackson.me

courtesy of Chef Mitzi Jackson-Robinson @mj_thechef Welcome to Chef MJ’s Corner, where I will feature stories about food, nutrition, health, the latest trends, hot spots and stories that will inspire you. You know my motto, “Food is a segue into intimate conversation!” So, take a load off and get intimate!

The Pandemic & Depression


As the pandemic rapidly swept across the world, it caused many to feel fear, anxiety and concern for the population at large. While it was good to take the pandemic seriously, it was not good for you to feel alone and scared. Many suffered the loss of loved ones or even their own lives were at stake. I personally experienced these feelings as I dealt with the virus, myself. It made me realize that life is short. Not only do

you have to tell the people you love how you feel, but show them, as well. Nothing should be taken for granted. With my faith-based background, I was strong enough to cope with these feelings, but what about the people who aren’t? The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 13 percent of the world’s population suffers from mental health or substance abuse disorders. Which means that about 20 million US adults had a depressive episode once in their lives. In teens, the number is much higher. About 20 percent of all teens experience depression before they reach adulthood.

Okay, so what can we do about it?

Did you know that many therapists have started using cooking to help treat depression? Cooking has become a fun

pastime, as well. I challenge you to get in the kitchen after a long day, play your favorite tunes, slice and dice those fruits and vegetables to the music, and massage the seasonings into your favorite meat or seafood. It’s a win win! Plus, you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor afterwards.

What else can we do?

Talk to our teens as much as possible. Also, try to eat foods that help with anxiety. While no food source is a cure for depression or anxiety, there are several foods that can make you “happy.” Take a look at some of my recommendations below. Lastly, if you are one of the millions who feels like you can’t cope, talk to a friend or family member and seek help, immediately. They love you. They want to see you smiling and feeling good about yourself.

Foods to help with Depression Mushrooms

Mushrooms are high in an antioxidant called selenium which could improve your mood by reducing inflammation.

Fatty Fish

I love salmon! It is full of Omega -3 fatty acids. This is what I call brain food.


Eggs help create serotonin, which helps regulate mood, sleep, memory and behavior. Eggs are also a great source of protein.

Dark Chocolate

Studies have shown that cocoa improves your mood.

Other foods that may help are yogurt, green tea, turmeric and chamomile.


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021


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The Summer of Sobriety

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

by Theresa Collins BA CADC Facility Director/Primary Therapist Directions Outpatient Centers


Summer is always a tough time for recovering people. Between BBQs, outdoor parties, shore trips and 4th of July, imagining a sober summer can be overwhelming. Mix that with a post lockdown Covid world. People trying to get sober and those trying to maintain their sobriety can feel impossibly challenged, this season. Most people are unaware that those suffering with substance use disorder often identify the change in weather to the summer as a major trigger. If you are a person who loves someone in recovery, remember that the summer can be tough and try to be an ally. Here are some things to remember when conquering a sober summer. Bring your own drink If you are going to the house of a friend or family member, ask them to stock up on some soda or seltzer water (Polar Seltzer is my favorite!). If you don’t know the host, bring your own drink. People tend to not ask you if you need a drink when you already have a drink in your hand.

Have an ally Bring a friend or identify an ally prior to the party or gathering. This is the person who knows that if you are struggling, they can support you through the day. Maybe they can even skip the drinking for the day, too. Whoever it is, make sure they know how to support you. Plan an exit One of the greatest things that is learned in sobriety is the freedom of not needing to give an excuse for anything. If you are ready to leave, thank the host and just go. There is no need to lie or give an excuse. Just go. Be honest with yourself about how much you know you can handle. Set a time limit for yourself. Try to have fun Part of sobriety is learning how to have fun. It is amazing how many different experiences you get to try and have fun doing now. When you find the summer activity that you enjoy, keep at it! Recovery may be tough, but it is also fun, too! 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


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021



from the


Avoid Ankle Injuries while Hiking Outdoors

PeterBUILT Construction LLC

Courtesy of Gerald Dufour Jr., MSPT Superior Physical Therapy


Now that summer is here, more people are anxious to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Unfortunately, for more than a year, many people have been indoors with little activity - a perfect recipe for unnecessary injuries. Here are a few tips to safely enjoy walking while outdoors. As always, the #1 tip… Prevention! Approximately 80 percent of the injuries that occur while hiking involve ankle injuries. Remember, the environment you choose to walk in will determine your needed clothing, footwear, socks, physical endurance and necessary athletic levels. Walking on a paved trail or track is very different from hiking or walking on outdoor natural trails. For this article, we will focus on the latter. Time of day. Walk during cooler times of the day, but not so early or late that it is dark outside, which naturally increases safety concerns. Walking surface. Outdoor trails are usually covered with stones, branches and wet leaves. The surface can be uneven, hilly, rough and dirt-packed. Make sure you have flexible but strong ankles and knees, as well as good proprioception to adapt to the surface you are walking on. Make sure you warm up and stretch your ankle and knee musculature before going on your hike. Feel free to call or stop by the office for specific types of the above necessary exercises / stretches. You can also view some of these activities here: https://fitfortrips. com/hiking-exercises-to-prevent-ankle-injuries/ Length of your hike / walk. Go for a short walk half the distance of your planned hike to test out your own physical abilities or limitations. When you do get out on the

trails, be extra careful with the second half of your hike. It is usually when most injuries happen due to mental or physical fatigue. Type of footwear. Street shoes / sneakers will not cut it. A properly fitted and good hiking shoe or boot should have a stiffer sole with a rock plate for extra protection; a good lacing system to lock the foot in place; waterproof membrane; and protective panels on the sides to guard against stones and general abrasions. The Salomon X Ultra 4GTX trail shoe and the Terrex Skychaser Gore-Tex 2.0 hiking shoes are good examples. Type of socks. No cotton! It retains water and moisture and will most certainly lead to painful blisters. Socks made with wool, bamboo, Coolmax, polyester, etc. will help whisk away moisture and help prevent those painful blisters. Depending on the length of your hike, bring extra socks with you. Keeping your feet dry is essential, so change your socks as frequently as necessary.

Important Checklist A hiking stick is a great asset depending on how rough of a terrain you will encounter on your hike. • Tell someone where you are going. • Make sure your cell phone is fully charged. Consider a mobile charging device. Bring a waterproof or zip lock baggie. • Try to walk with a group or a friend. It is great for motivation and increased safety. • Pack as light as possible (granola or fruit bars) but bring plenty of water and a sports drink. • Know your personal limitations.

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Follow these general tips to enjoy a beautiful and injury free summer of outdoor hiking / walking.

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July / August / September 2021

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Block On the

1919 S. 11th Street Philadelphia, PA 19148 Price: $324,900 Welcome home! Situated in the heart of East Passyunk Crossing, this house has a winning combination of old-world charm and modern interiors! The neighborhood is immersed in culture, dining and history. You’ll love the traditional roots coupled with a hip, fun vibe that can’t be found anywhere else in the city. Recently named one of Food & Wine Magazine’s 10 Best Foodie Streets In America, you’ll be steps away from Passyunk Avenue’s wonderful restaurants, bars, coffee shops, bakeries, boutiques, vintage shops and the famous singing fountain. Enter this home through a cozy vestibule and into a warm, sunny living room/dining room featuring exposed brick, refinished original hardwood floors, and soaring ceilings. The kitchen has recently been updated to include stylishly painted cabinetry, new Corian countertops with a small

breakfast bar, newer appliances, and subway tile backsplash. One of the best features of this property is its enormous backyard and patio! The combo of high cement walls, fencing and brick provide lots of privacy for fun summer BBQs. If you’ve been dreaming of creating your own private urban outdoor oasis, you have come to the right place! Adding additional living space is possible in the basement that currently features a working toilet and laundry area. This space has high enough ceiling and is just waiting for your finishing touches. Upstairs, you’ll find a sunsoaked main bedroom with a deep closet, a second bedroom with double-door closets, and a lovely ceramic cream tile bath/shower combo. Access to SEPTA’s Broad Street subway line provides a quick commute to the sports stadiums and concert venues as well as Center City.

Jeanne Polizzi, Realtor JustCallJeanne.com #JustCallJeanne Coldwell Banker Preferred P: 215.767.7814 | O: 215.923.7600 jpolizzi@cbpref.com Jeanne Polizzi, Coldwell Banker Preferred, is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021



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



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Certified Relocation Specialist International Presidents Elite Club

(C) 215.767.7814 (Efax) 267.937.1919 jpolizzi@cbpref.com

Courtesy of Fetterman Design Group


A man cave might be a thing of the past, but to many, it is still a musthave. When separation is essential to your sanity these days, stake your claim to an area in the house and customize your space based on your own interests. This column is dedicated to the traditional man cave. That go-to escape space that helps you regenerate, rejuvenate and relax. Here are a few tips that will have you well on your way to achieving your perfect cave.


Recently, life has shown us that we must take advantage of every area of our home. A well-functioning man cave should have a lounge, bar area and a space for play.


Typically, man caves are a reflection of someone’s likes and hobbies, so start there. Themed man caves can be geared for the sports enthusiast, music lover and intellectual. Once the theme is decided, choose an item as the focal point.

A pool table, flatscreen or wine bar would be a good kick-off point and you will be well on your way to an ultimate man cave.


Since man caves are typically located in the basement, we must have the correct blend of lighting to avoid feeling drab. Use a combination of task, ambient and accent lighting fixtures with dimmer capability. You will have more control over the lighting and create the right ambience, whether you are watching the big game or just playing a game. As we continue to adjust to a new way of life, our home should always be a special place of refuge. Check out our Instagram @fettermandesigngroup to see how we can help you make the most of the space in your home.


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


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Joe LaFiora

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

July / August / September 2021



Hand Painted Homes: An Architectural Artist’s Pen and Watercolor Journey Across America

LEISA COLLINS by Jane Roser Leisa Collins started honing her artistic skills as a teenager by drawing historic buildings around her hometown of Auckland, New Zealand and her love of architecture just grew from there. Working with nonprofits for decades allowed Collins the freedom to travel all over the world, becoming enchanted by the historic buildings she encountered and the stories they had to tell. She eventually set down roots in the United States and, with her husband Bruce, decided to drive across the country to find the ideal place to live.


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

“We were heading to D.C. and took a wrong turn and ended up in Alexandria, Virginia. It was nighttime and we drove all the way down to the Potomac River and it was just magical. We decided this is the place,” she says. “That’s when I decided I was going to concentrate on architectural drawing. You can stand in the middle of the street and you’re surrounded by these wonderful old homes. That’s where it all began.” Collins was inspired to drive around the U.S. to document these historic homes and buildings,


creating original paintings of which 650 were selected for her book Hand Painted Homes: An Architectural Artist’s Pen and Watercolor Journey Across America. This beautiful coffee table book explores different architectural styles in all 50 states, plus Washington D.C., and reminds us of the importance of preserving these sites which are in danger of being lost forever, either due to decay or demolition. At least three of the homes featured in Collins’s book have since been destroyed. “I wanted to travel across America and document the architecture, but the defining moment for me was when I went home to New Zealand. There was this beautiful Victorian mansion near where I grew up that I had once sketched. I wanted to go back there and retrace my steps to where I began as an artist, but when I got to the spot, there’s this ugly, circular building where the house should have been and I just couldn’t believe it. That’s what pushed me to put the book together. I knew I had to document these beautiful homes before it was too late.” It took Collins 10 years to create all of the paintings for the book, starting in 2011 with Old Town Alexandria. “I found that people wanted to buy the paintings I did of their homes, so it became my business model. I selected the homes I thought were extraordinary, then I would leave a note for the homeowners. They’d reach out to me and buy the paintings of their houses. That’s how I funded the whole project.” Collins and her husband drove across the country, meeting locals and having wonderful adventures. The book features a variety of buildings from grand Victorian mansions to historic row homes, cozy farmhouses, iconic landmarks, churches, restaurants and town halls. “I researched the oldest structure

in every state and included drawings with descriptions of each of these, including the Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico. It’s over 1,200 years old and one of the oldest continuously lived-in communities in the United States.” For Pennsylvania, the oldest structure Collins found was the Lower Swedish Cabin in Drexel Hill which was built around 1640 by Swedish immigrants. You can also go back in time through this book and visit a house in Rittenhouse Square built in 1850, a magnificent home in Downingtown built in 1795 constructed out of fieldstones and a grand Colonial Revival mansion in Gladwyne built in 1895. The most interesting discovery Collins made on her journey was the diversity she encountered in each location. “You look at these adobe structures in New Mexico and compare them with the Empire State Building in New York City. Then compare that with the oldest building in New York State which is a little farmhouse constructed in 1652. South Carolina has its own look and feel, so does Florida. Then you go out to California and see the arts and crafts bungalows. I followed the roots where these architectural styles developed and traveled around based on that. Every state has its own architectural history and its own rich story.” Collins also recognizes individuals who are committed to saving and restoring old buildings across the country with the Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award. You can find more information about this award and awardees at www.leisacollins. com. You can order the book or commission a house portrait on her site as well. Follow @ leisacollinsart on Instagram to see more of her artwork and pages from Hand Painted Homes. PRH


Construction & Improvements LLC slrconstruction4@gmail.com Licensed and Insured

215-669-7248 215-260-0748

The Mike Giordano Jr. and Sr. Duo at

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 mgiangiordano1016@gmail.com July / August / September 2021


De Fino Law Associates, P.C.


Don’t Settle for Less


from the


A Letter from the IRS? What steps should you take? Michael Anthony De Fino

Vincent Anthony De Fino

Nicholas J. Starinieri

Nicholas L. Palazzo

Attorney at Law Attorney at Law

Attorney at Law

Benjamin J. Simmons

Attorney at Law

Attorney at Law

Areas of Practice •Personal Injury •Wrongful Death •Wills and Estates •Real Estate •DUI •Criminal Defense •Corporate •Traffic Violations

2541 South Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19148 TEL: 215-551-9099 | FAX: 215-551-4099

w w w. d e f i n o l aw y e r s . c o m

Courtesy of the CPA Firm of David M. Spitzberg cpaforbusiness.com

If you receive a notice from the IRS, do not automatically assume it is correct and submit payment to make it go away. Because of all the recent tax law changes and so little time to implement the changes, the IRS can be wrong more often than you think. These IRS letters, called correspondent audits, need to be taken seriously, but not without undergoing a solid review. So, what should you do if you receive one?

Stay calm.

Get Help.

Try not to over-react to the correspondence. This is easier said than done but remember that the IRS sends out millions of these types of correspondence each year. The vast majority of them correct simple oversights or common filing errors.

You are not alone. Getting assistance from someone who deals with this all the time makes the process go much smoother.

Open the envelope!

Serving the Community since 1937

You would be surprised how often taxpayers are so stressed by receiving a letter from the IRS that they cannot bear to open the envelope. If you fall into this category, try to remember that the first step in making the problem go away is to open the correspondence.

Conduct a careful review.

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

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| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

Review the letter. Understand exactly what the IRS is telling you needs changed and determine whether or not you agree with their findings. The IRS rarely sends correspondence to correct an oversight in your favor, but sometimes it happens.

Respond timely. The IRS will tell you what it believes you should do and within what timeframe. Ignore this information at your own risk. Delays in responses could generate penalties and additional interest payments.

Correct the IRS error. Once the problem is understood, a clearly written response with copies of documentation will cure most of these IRS correspondence errors. Often the error is due to the inability of the IRS computers to conduct a simple reporting match. Pointing out the information on your tax return might be all it takes to solve the problem.

Certified Mail is your friend. Any responses to the IRS should be sent via certified mail or other means that clearly show you replied to their inquiry before the IRS’s deadline. This will provide proof of your timely correspondence. Lost mail can lead to delays, penalties and additional interest tacked on to your tax bill.

Don’t assume it will go away. Until receiving definitive confirmation that the problem has been resolved, you need to assume the IRS still thinks you owe the money. If no correspondence confirming the correction is received, a written follow-up to the IRS will be required.

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

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

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| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

cally different. In February of this year, the recreational use of marijuana was approved in the State of New Jersey. Adults over the age of 21 can possess up to 6 ounces of marijuana. Use of the marijuana is limited to on your property or inside the privacy of your own home. Use in public spaces like a park, beach or inside a bar is not allowed – similar to the restrictions on smoking cigarettes. Cannabis consumption areas are being developed. Being under the influence of marijuana or possession of paraphernalia for marijuana are no longer crimes. However, driving impaired under the influence of marijuana is still a serious crime. In PA, recreational use of marijuana is not permitted and is still a crime. The medical use of

marijuana became legal in 2016 and has been available since 2018. However, the use of medicinal marijuana is strictly regulated and only approved for 23 qualified medical conditions. You must register in the Medical Marijuana Program and then have a physician certify that you suffer from a qualified illness. You can then apply for a medical marijuana card which will allow you to obtain a 30-day supply of marijuana from a licensed dispensary. Similar to NJ, use is limited to private space and operating a vehicle impaired under the influence of marijuana, even if medically prescribed, is a crime. I currently represent a young woman who sustained catastrophic and life-altering injuries after being struck by a vehicle. The driver that struck this pedestrian was charged with multiple counts of DUI based upon his consumption of medically prescribed marijuana.

Once again, Frank DePasquale has been recognized by his peers as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for 2021. He heads DePasquale Law Offices, 2332-34 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145. P: 215.755.4410. Email him at frank@depasquale-law.com or visit www.depasquale-law.com gohomephilly.com

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Back to School

TIPS from the


courtesy of RON RABENA Chief Client Officer, Allied Universal

With the beginning of the new school year fast approaching, parents, children and motorists should take time to review some key rules to make the school year a safe and enjoyable experience.


Wait for your bus in a safe place – away from traffic and the street. Walk to and from school or the bus stop with others whom you know and trust. Tell the driver if you dropped something near the bus before you retrieve it. Keep a safe distance from the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver says it is OK to approach and enter. Exit the bus and take 10 big steps away from the bus – always maintaining a safe distance from the bus. Pay attention to and obey all traffic signals and signs.

Be extra careful in foggy, rainy or snowy weather. Make sure kids travel with a reliable, responsible carpool if they are not taking the bus. Carpool drivers should drop youngsters off as close to the school as possible and make sure they have entered the school or schoolyard before leaving the area. Be aware of the street traffic around you. Drivers are required to follow certain rules of the road concerning school buses and pedestrians.


Make sure kids know their home phone number (including area code) and address. Also know the work phone numbers of their parents or another trusted adult. Know how to call 911 in emergencies. Establish rules for locking doors and windows and answer-

ing the door or telephone. Have an agreement regarding inviting friends over or going to a friend’s house. Never talk to strangers or accept rides or gifts from strangers. Contact a parent or neighbor when kids arrive home if they are staying home alone after school.


Obey all traffic safety laws! Be alert for children walking on the sidewalks, in the road, etc. Come to a complete stop – at a minimum distance required by your state – for stopped buses. Allow all children to cross the street if necessary. Obey the specially marked speed limit around schools. Ron Rabena is the Chief Client Officer at Allied Universal Security Services. He can be reached at ron.rabena@aus.com

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


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021


Philadelphia RowHome Magazine


People to see, places to go and things to do from Philly to the Jersey Shore! 

July / August / September 2021


Treat yourself to some of our favorite Hot Spots This is why we love our locals! Indulge, enjoy, relax, splurge. Plan a party and celebrate with your favorite people. It’s been quite a year. Go all out and soak up the rest of summer any way you can! You earned it. The businesses below – all members of the PRH Business Network – can help you unplug this summer. Call ahead to check their hours and most updated safety policies.

River to River. One Neighborhood ❚❙ Anthony’s Italian Coffee & Chocolate House

❚❙ The Beer Peddlers

❚❙ Cannuli Sausages

If you’re over at Ritner Hardware Store picking up whatever it is you need to complete your summer projects, don’t forget to cross the street to Cannuli’s and get some old world recipe sausages or ribs to cook on the grill later. They also sell various pre-packaged Italian specialty products like pastas and sauces. www.facebook.com/CannulisSausage

❚❙ Chick’s Philly

Spend the summer sipping iced coffees and eating gelato. The espresso tonic will keep you wide-eyed and refreshed. Their “burgers” made with Italian Bombolone and your favorite gelato dusted with confectioners sugar is the perfect reason to have dessert for dinner. Keep their coffee subscriptions, hand-dipped chocolate candy, cookies and more in mind for holiday gift baskets! Anthony’s is the first business in Bella Vista and the Italian Market to achieve Partnership Status for Philadelphia’s ZeroWaste Initiative! www.italiancoffeehouse.com

❚❙ Antney’s Grub Wings and sandwiches! Need we say more? Yes, we can. The Sircrabagus sandwich with sirloin, lump crab meat, asparagus and special sauce is where it’s at. Pair with some lump crab “frab fries!” If shellfish isn’t your thing, try the filet mignon cheese steak or award-winning meatballs. Into chicken? You have to get the Chicken Crab A$$ - chicken, crab, asparagus and Antney’s special sauce! 2655 S Juniper St / 267.639.3792


Those boozy slushies you indulged in last summer are still a thing and The Beer Peddlers are still serving them. This is literally a one stop shop with beers for everyone. The parking lot is large and it’s right on Columbus Blvd., so you can pick up your selections before heading down the shore. www.facebook.com/beerpeddlers

Chick’s menu is always evolving so it’s hard to say what dish you must try! With creative seasonal cocktails and dishes with the most “in” ingredients, you can get something new with each visit. Garlic parmesan wings, Italian Market mussels, burgers, steaks, salmon BLT. Everything you want & more! Build your own six packs with a huge selection of take-out beers and wines, too. www.chicksphilly.com

❚❙ Bella Angel Hair & Makeup Planning your wedding? Bella Angel is a hair and makeup service that travels to you! But you also can head to their salon for makeup lessons and parties or to get pampered before your photo shoots (how about a fun Boudoir session this summer). For the latest in makeup and fashion trends, read Victoria DiPietro’s column in our magazine. Follow @bellaangelbrides on Instagram for bridal pics and inspiration! www.bella-angel.com

❚❙ Caffe Chicco Looking for another spot to get that Philly staple? Caffe Chicco’s slow roasted hot beef soaked in gravy and served on a fresh Sarcone’s kaiser roll is all you need to order. www.caffechicco.com

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

❚❙ The Cutting Point Salon

Get ready for weddings, homecomings or a night out. This “total image salon” is ready to welcome you back to events and parties! Ready for something new? Try the NuWave service for some semi-permanent waves. Looking for lowlights or extensions? Updos? The perfect cut, style & blowout. Book an appointment and get ready to be pampered! www.thecuttingpointsalon.com


❚❙ Ducktown Tavern & Liquors

An Atlantic City staple that has been family owned for generations! With the DuckHut outdoor bar and weekly specials, you can come here every night during vacay! Aztec chicken with a zesty lime sauce or some Old Bay dry rub wings sound perfect with a cold drink. Other popular items include the Ducktown Buster burger, Andy wings or Andy tenders, and the homemade chili! They have a kids menu, too, so take the family or pick up some food to enjoy at your shore house. Stop next door at their liquor shop. Learn more about AC’s corner bar and restaurant in this issue! www.ducktowntavern.com

❚❙ Galdo’s Catering & Entertainment

Even if you don’t have an event that needs catering or even a space to celebrate, you can still enjoy all that Galdo’s has to offer! Check out their website and Instagram for upcoming concerts and comedy shows. Most tickets include your meal, too! www.galdoscaters.com

❚❙ G iovanni’s Italian Catering

Book now! Book now! Gatherings are happening, again, and this upcoming holiday season will be bigger than ever as families get together after a long time apart! One look at @giovannisitaliancatering on Instagram and you’ll be locking in your meals months in advance! Full and half trays of pasta, chicken, veal, eggplant, salads, sides and so many other Italian staples are available now too. www.giovannisitaliancatering.com

❚❙ Glow Lab

– infused with nutrients and vitamins – that will give you a sun-kissed glow or a deep bronze glimmer. Or pamper your skin with a Hydration Infusion Treatment. These all-natural ingredients will calm, soothe, tone, tighten and boost your skin’s elasticity from head to toe! Ready to Glow? www.glowlabnj.com

❚❙ G ran Caffe L’Aquila Soon enough, theatres will open, again, and you’ll be wondering where to eat before the show. Gran Caffe in Center City has to be on your list, especially with their rotating menu of authentic Italian cuisines! Make room for an olive oil tasting before your meal. The market area offers a full line of Italian groceries, sandwiches, sodas, wine and beer to pick up and go! Don’t forget a house-roasted coffee or gelato. Gran Caffe is also a part of the city’s “Summer Social.” Sip on select $4 beers and wines or $5 cocktails every Wednesday from 4pm to 6pm through September 1st at participating bars and restaurants. www.grancaffelaquila.com

❚❙ Hello Fitness One Reach your fitness goals with life and wellness coach, Teri Lombardo. The pandemic caused many of us to struggle with finding a good solution for balance between mental and physical well-being. Hello Fitness One can help. Contact talfit08@gmail.com to come up with a plan to achieve those goals.

a prenatal massage. Gift cards, monthly massage packages and memberships are available. You’ll want to go back, trust us. www.hothandsphilly.com

❚❙ Hot Waves Salon Get the perfect cut and color at this full-service salon. If you haven’t done a thing with your quarantine hair yet, now is the time. Or come in for a color touch-up and waxing. Shop their website for all sorts of supplies, too, from styling tools to men’s grooming kits to hand care. The Hot Waves team will recommend the perfect services so you feel your best this summer. www.hotwavessalon.com

❚❙ Kitchen Consigliere Cafe Haddonfield, NJ is just over the bridge and you’ll find Kitchen Consigliere, there, surrounded by a lot of other small businesses. Spend the day exploring and make dinner reservations at Kitchen Consigliere. Sunday gravy with meatballs, sausage, pasta, and a few cannolis and homemade desserts for take-out is a great option to feed your family, too. Specials change daily. Catch DJ Johnny Looch on site every Monday night or visit on Sundays for a complementary sangria with your meal. www.kitconcafe.com

❚❙ Hot Hands Massage & Facial Spa

❚❙ Live! Casino Hotel

Glow with us! Treat yourself to an all-natural, full body (or half body) customized spray tan

Relax and unwind. Reduce stress and escape your daily grind at Hot Hands. There are plenty of treatments and services to choose from here, but we recommend a 90-minute massage and signature facial to rehydrate your skin. Add a foot scrub if you have time! This is also a great spot for

The Philadelphia Stadium District is the only place in the country to experience big league action from four major pro teams, best-in-class dining and entertainment, world-class gaming and a luxury hotel. Visit philadelphialivecasinohotel.com for details!

❚❙ Lombardi’s Prime Meats Do you grill every night? Even when it’s raining (that’s why umbrellas exist, ya know). Stop

July / August / September 2021


by Lombardi’s for the best steaks, ribs, chicken, ground beef and the finest selection of meats. Their homemade Italian sausages and braciole must go home with you! Follow them on social media (@ lombardismeats) to keep track of their specials. They’ll even help you cook it! Look for a mouthwatering recipe from Lombardi’s in The Menu section each issue of RowHome! www.lombardimeats.com

❚❙ New York Bakery

❚❙ Penrose Diner

❚❙ Jerry Longo’s Meatballs & Martinis

It’s closer than you think. You may remember our story on Jerry Longo’s restaurant in Rhode Island, but great news - he just opened one at Bally’s in Atlantic City! Enjoy authentic Italian cuisine from Longo - South Philly born and raised. More importantly, indulge in some classic cocktails with a twist and a long list of martinis, too! Try the 9th Streeter - lemon Italian Ice infused with Botanist gin, Grey Goose Citron vodka, Italicus liqueur, melon liqueur, citrus, agave & lemon bitters! A late-night menu is available, too. Try the meatball salad! www.ballysac.com

Brick-oven baked rolls, breads, sesame-seeded loaves. And, as we mention all the time, authentic tomato pie the locals call “church pizza!” Have you tried it yet? No clue what we’re talking about? Dig up the Winter 2019 issue of RowHome (or visit “Past Issues” on gohomephilly.com) to learn more about our favorite pie, available only at New York Bakery! 2215 S 11th St / 215.389.5912

This local landmark has been serving the neighborhood’s favorite breakfasts, lunches & dinners for decades! From fluffy pancakes to must-have turkey clubs, salads, sandwiches and daily dinner specials like rosemary chicken, cherry-glazed ham, burgers, wraps & paninis, you’ll have a hard time making up your mind when you browse through this top-notch menu. With an on-site bakery (strawberry cheesecake!) and plenty of space to cater your next gathering, you can eatin or call ahead for convenient pick-up! Open 7 days. Parking on-site! www.penrosediner.com

❚❙ D. Olivieri Jewelers

❚❙ Pezone Cello

Whatever you were eyeing up, get it. Life is short! Buy that necklace! Ask that person to marry you! A handcrafted Tahitian pearl ring or 14k cable bracelet would look amazing on you right now. Olivieri Jewelers also does custom work, so contact them to make your vision a reality. www.dolivierijewelers.com

Chill. Shake. Drink. This South Philly homemade limoncello is available in your traditional lemon flavor, but also includes several varieties like strawberry, chocolate mint, chocolate banana, chocolate caramel...to name a few. Orange and orange cream are available now through September, and other seasonal flavors are released throughout the year. Can’t decide what flavor to try? Neither can we. Four and six packs are available at the Reading Terminal Market location which is another great spot to visit. Check out Pezone Cello’s website to find out where else you can pick up a bottle. www.pezonecello.com

❚❙ Maxine’s Uptown Boutique

This boutique carries both vintage and new accessories! Something for everyone you convince to join you on a shopping road trip. It’s hard to pass up a new handbag or summer jewelry, but what really makes this shop stand out is the huge collection of crystals and metaphysical items for sale. Don’t leave without some sage to get rid of negative energy! Maxine’s is surrounded by plenty of nearby places to grab food (and ice cream & baked goods) and a couple of breweries, too. Just over a half-hour from Center City, add Maxine’s in Pittman, NJ, to your day trip list. www.facebook.com/maxinesuptownboutique

❚❙ Music Monkey Jungle

After years of partnering with others, Music Monkey Jungle finally has a place to call home. The state-of-the-art event space can accommodate instrument lessons, small group classes, learner’s workshops, community events, performances and parties for all occasions and ages. Owner Lori Turner offers her brand of user-friendly and inclusive music and movement education to vaccinated adults who are looking for music, friendship and community. Summer sessions of Ukulele Lounge, Guitar Social, Mindful Movement and DJ Dance Jam (all 18+) are open for enrollment. Kids clubs, open mics, karaoke and gamer lounge events are projected to run during the 2021-2022 school year. Read more about this hot spot in our music and arts section. www.musicmonkeyjungle.com


to tailgate before a game. You want sandwiches, too? They have them...along with homemade meatballs, pastas and sauces. If you’re looking to add some extra heat to your summer, order an inferno sandwich. They will top your favorite sandwich with some long hots and spicy pepper cheese. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. They’re delicious! www.pastificiophilly.com

❚❙ O Sole Mio Restaurant Everything is made fresh daily, here, including the brick oven pizzas - napolitana style! Wood fire steaks, seafood dishes, veal, pastas and more make O Sole Mio so much more than just a pizza joint. This is high quality food fit for a special occasion. Make a reservation and celebrate with an incredible meal. www.osolemioitaliancuisine.com

❚❙ Pastificio Homemade Pasta Co. A tempting selection of homemade cheese spreads and fresh mozzarella made daily on-site are perfect for a picnic in nearby FDR Park or

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

❚❙ PHL Athletics Get in shape or release some stress at this versatile training gym. PHL Athletics has an open gym, bootcamps, strength and conditioning classes, personal and group training options and membership options. The perfect way to get your body (and mind!) back in shape after a long quarantine! www.phlathletics.com.


❚❙ Philadelphia Zoo

America’s oldest zoo is open daily! Reserve your tickets in advance and come meet all of the new babies - a critically endangered Mongoose Lemur, two endangered Francois Langurs, an endangered white-handed gibbon, a Hoffman two-toed sloth and a Humboldt penguin chick! Also new this summer is BIG TIME: Life in an Endangerous Age which takes guests back in time 66 million years! Journey to a time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and encounter 24 life-size creatures. Learn about these prehistoric giants, the rise of humans and our impact on wildlife and the planet! The exhibit costs a small additional fee and runs through September 30th. Don’t forget to stop by the Bedrock Brews beer garden while you’re at the Zoo - especially for Friday Nights Dinos and Bites through Labor Day when you can purchase dino-themed beer and burger pairings! www.philadelphiazoo.org

out at Rivers Casino! Dine inside or sip a mango margarita on the Riverwalk behind the casino. Visit www.riverscasino.com for details!

stop by on Monday nights for Quizzo! Catering is also available and the menu is awesome (go for the pasta buffet option)! www.stogiejoestavern.net

❚❙ Rosa D’Oro Jewelers

❚❙ The Original Pat’s King of Steaks

For two decades, this has been a one-stop shop for all your jewelry needs in Atlantic City. Located in the shadows of the casino strip, this family-owned business carries a large selection of new and previously owned Rolex watches, gold, GIA-certified diamonds & offers custom designs, engraving & repairs. There’s no match for quality, price and top-notch customer service. 1003 Pacific Avenue / 609.344.8733

❚❙ South 9th Street Italian Market & Festivals A forever hot spot for us. With so much culture and diverse shops and restaurants, this destination is filled with more than just Italian-based businesses. The area is home to generations-old family businesses and new family businesses that are excited to share their traditions with you. The beloved Italian Market Festival will return in May 2022, but save the date for an Autumn Festival on September 26th of 2021. www.italianmarketphilly.org and www.italianmarketfestival.com

❚❙ Pop’s Homemade Water Ice Always a RowHome favorite! Since 1932, Pop’s has been providing the neighborhood with homemade Italian Ice. Pair your favorite flavor with some ice cream and a soft pretzel for the perfect Philly treat. New water ice flavors pop up all the time, so be sure to visit more than once. Open 7 days a week. There’s a Havertown location too! www.popsice.com

❚❙ Rivers Casino Philadelphia Hot food, cold drinks and a cool breeze along the Delaware River are part of a perfect night

❚❙ The Original Tony Luke’s Too early for a cheesesteak? Try a breakfast sandwich (like the egg and broccoli rabe, mmm). The chicken cutlet sandwiches are also a great alternative to the OG cheesesteaks. Everything is made on fresh baked bread, of course. Vegetarian options are available. too! Try the Uncle Mike for a veggie-only meal. www.theoriginaltonylukes.com

❚❙ Popi’s Italian Restaurant Popi’s is another great spot close to FDR Park. Spend the day playing and grab dinner and happy hour when you’re done. There are lots of pasta and chicken dishes, but if you’re looking for something light, the Popi’s salad with fresh mozzarella or their veggie hoagie are great choices. Don’t leave without trying their signature Crab Cakes! Keep an eye on their seasonal menu and dessert options. A convenient parking lot is also a perk! www.popisrestaurant.com

Maybe it’s been a while. If you can’t remember how to order, remember these tips. 1. Tell them if you want your steak “wit” or “wit-out” onions. Say it just like that and you’ll fit in fine! 2. Specify plain, cheese whiz, provolone, American or pizza for your steak. 3. Cash only, have it ready to hand over. 4. That’s it for window one. If you want drinks or fries, head to window two. Your order will be ready faster than you can say cheesesteak! This is where it all began so don’t leave Philly without one of our favorite food cravings! www.patskingofsteaks.com

❚❙ Moving On?

❚❙ South View Pizza Their gourmet pizzas here are the best, but for something really different, try an inside out pizza available in chicken, cheese or steak varieties. Breakfast sandwiches and lunch specials also make South View a hot spot for your work week. If you’re just passing by, they also serve iced coffee, smoothies and milkshakes. www.southviewpizzamenu.com

❚❙ Stogie Joe’s Tavern Pizza (all are available with a gluten free cauliflower crust, too). Burgers. Pasta. BBQ plates. And everything in between. Gather some friends and

We get it. Sometimes you need a change of scenery. A permanent one. Whether you’re moving away from Philly (or moving back after reading this list!), page through our Real Estate section and get started on your next adventure. With selling and decorating tips, contractors, painters, and cleaner recommendations, and realtors to help you buy or sell any type of home from Philly to the ‘burbs, we have you covered. They’ll be sure to tell you all about the hot spots in your neighborhood of choice, so you’ll always be in the know with where to eat and what to do no matter where you land. Don’t forget some fresh flowers from our favorite florists! A beautiful bouquet will add that extra “oomph” to a countertop as you welcome a new homeowner or celebrate your move. Just be sure we know where to mail your upcoming issues of RowHome after you move!

July / August / September 2021


On a budget but still want to explore? by BRENDA HILLEGAS



Historic sites, hiking trails, farms, gardens, parks and more! Philly and the surrounding ‘burbs are bursting with things to do that won’t cost a penny! Check updated information and hours on websites and social media. Show support if you can by making a donation or attending programs and events each


It is free

❚❙ Awbury Arboretum

❚❙ Bartram’s Gardens

Relax by a pond, stroll through a meadow. Nature is for everyone at Awbury. The farm is open to explore and holds family “Sunday Fun-days” weekly now through the end of October. AdventureWoods, a playground made of natural materials found outdoors - is open now through October. Lots of events take place annually and art exhibits inside the historic Francis Cope House on site. The Philly GOAT Project (more on that below) resides at Awbury. Dog friendly! www.awbury.org

In 1728, botanist John Bartram founded what is now known as the oldest surviving botanical garden in North America. Explore the gardens, the home and use the boardwalks that create a dry footpath. Programming includes Little Explorers Garden Adventures for toddlers, music performances, workshops and homeschool days. The trails at Bartram’s Gardens make up segments of the East Coast Greenway, a multi-use trail that connects many major cities along the Atlantic Coast


of these places may offer for additional fees. If we missed your favorite spot, let us know. How could we possibly include all of the beautiful spaces and historic sites that Philadelphia has to offer? Show us where you explore. Tag RowHome in your pics at @rowhomemag on Instagram.

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021


(more on that later in this issue). www.bartramsgarden.org.

❚❙ Cherry Street Pier Right on the Delaware River Waterfront, you’ll find this early 20th-century pier turned mix-use public space. Enjoy art exhibits, peek through the windows of artist studios and events like performances, classes, craft fairs, food markets and flea markets year long. Sit by the river at the beer garden or enjoy some Lokal Artisan Foods signature French Toast Bites. It’s dog friendly, too! www.cherrystreetpier.com

❚❙ Cira Green If you don’t know about this park in the sky yet, now you do. Cira Green is open year-round and located on the rooftop of Cira Centre South in University City. Take the elevator up from the parking garage (which you can access even if you park on the street) and be blown away by breathtaking views of the Philly skyline. Yoga, movie nights (with a big movie screen on the side of the building), Saturday morning cartoons and lawn games make this a must-visit! Pack your own picnic or grab food and drinks at the burger


Ridley Creek State Park

stand, Sunset Social. Cira Green is dog friendly and even includes a mini enclosed dog park (and dog “yappy hours”)! www.ciragreen.com.

❚❙ Carpenters Hall

(and an Old City walking tour)

Carpenters’ Hall, in Old City’s Independence National Historical Park, has a long history as a meeting place. It’s the official birthplace of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and was a key meeting place in the early history of the United States. Much of 18th century Philadelphia (homes, churches, historic sites) is framed by three blocks surrounding Carpenters’ Hall. Use the walking tour info on the Hall’s website for a list of landmarks you’ll find and why they are significant. www.carpentershall.org

❚❙ DaVinci Art Alliance The non-profit arts organization and gallery was founded in 1931 by 16 Italian immigrant artists and collectors during a time when immigrants were barred from major artistic, academic and scientific institutions. Visit their website for a list of current exhibitions. www.davinciartalliance.org.

❚❙ Dilworth Park This Center City Park (right at City Hall) is easily accessible by SEPTA in all forms! The Arts on Center Stage program takes place every Wednesday through August 25th and highlights Philly’s arts and culture organizations

through orchestral performances, ballet, jazz and more. Join in on morning Zumba classes, live music at lunchtime and a sprayground for the kids. Food and drinks are always available for purchase, too. www.centercityphila.org/parks

❚❙ John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum Connect with nature on more than 10 miles of trails and observe hundreds of species of plants, trees, birds, insects and mammals at America’s First Urban Refuge. View the city’s skyline from the Tinicum Tidal Marsh, too. Check the refuge’s event calendar for a schedule of free guided nature and bird walks, and kid friendly events like nature tots programs and family nature discovery days. www.fws.gov/refuge/John_Heinz

❚❙ Laurel Hill Cemetery Yes, a cemetery. So many people walk the grounds daily to explore the historic graves and beautiful grounds. Many notable people are buried here, like Sarah Josepha Hale who was a crusader for women’s medical education, author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and credited with establishing Thanksgiving as a national holiday. Established in 1836, this is actually the second gardendesigned cemetery in the US, but the nation’s first National Historic Landmark cemetery. It’s tough to list all the unique events coming up at Laurel Hill (like dance classes, movie nights and book clubs), so check them out online. Definitely plan a visit around the upcoming Market of the Macabre on September 11th with an array of crafters and artisans or sign up for a walking tour! www.thelaurelhillcemetery.org

❚❙ Johnson House

❚❙ Museum Without Walls

This is one of Philadelphia’s few accessible and intact historic sites and stop on the Underground Railroad that is open for tours. Between 1770 and 1908, the site was home to five generations of the Johnson family. During the 1850s, the family provided a safe passage to freedom. Educational programs take place for all ages throughout the year. Limited tours are available. Visit www.johnsonhouse. org to find out how to schedule one and to access online educational tools for children and youth.

Developed by the Association for Public Art, Museum Without Walls is an audio program designed to learn more about the public art through Fairmount Park and Center City (there’s a lot to see on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway specifically). Download the app and hear stories about the sculptures around you. The program includes more than 75 audio bits featuring the voices of artists, educators, scientists, writers, curators, civic leaders and historians. A map listing all of the artwork in the program is available

July / August / September 2021

at www.associationforpublicart.org or visitor centers in Philadelphia.

❚❙ Pennypack Environmental Center Located in Pennypack Park, this is one of Philadelphia’s only environmental centers. From the outdoor amphitheater, exhibits, a new reference library and picnic areas, it’s easy to plan a day, here. The center is packed with things to do - bird walks (and a bird watching station), toddler story times, hikes, afterschool adventures, storytelling campfires (next one is August 20th), outdoor classes like tai chi (a donation is requested), and much more. Pennypack Environmental Center also coordinates public activities and programs at nearby Fox Chase Farm. www.facebook.com/ PennypackEnvironmentalCenter.

❚❙ Philly Goat Project Another great thing to do at Awbury Arboretum is to visit the goats of the Philly Goat Project! Goat walks and storytime with goats take place at the Awbury Farm, but the goats also pop up at various events around the city. They’re free to visit, but you can also support the Goat Project by scheduling one of them to pop into your Zoom meetings or schedule a private goat walk. Don’t forget to add the goats’ 2022 calendar to your holiday wish list! www.phillygoatproject.org


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❚❙ Ridley Creek State Park

Hiking, biking, horseback riding and fishing! But this park also is great for photo shoots with the Hunting Hill mansion as a backdrop and formal gardens designed by the Olmsted Brothers of Central Park fame. The ruins of an old mill and an abandoned greenhouse also make this spot pretty Instagram-worthy. Recreational and environmental education programs are offered from April to November. The Park is adjacent to the John J. Tyler Arboretum, which you can enjoy for a fee. www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark

❚❙ Ryerss Museum

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This museum, also known as the Burholme Mansion, is home to an incredible collection of ancient Asian, European and Native American art, as well as religious items and weapons. Joseph Waln Ryerss built the home in 1859 overlooking Burholme Park (one of the highest vistas in Philly). Ryerrs was the president of the Tioga Railroad and, like many of his family members, collected art from his travels. It’s all displayed in this house which was turned over to the City in 1905 to become a park, museum and library - “free to the people forever.” www.facebook.com/ryerssmuseumlibrary

❚❙ Schuylkill Nature Center

Learn and discover with so many nature-based environmental education programs for all ages. Various art exhibitions can be seen through and surrounding the center. Visit the Rain Yard, which is interactive and on permanent display in the Sensory Garden. Earlier this summer, volunteers gathered to build a mudhif, a traditional Iraqi guesthouse made of reeds… and the first to be built outside of Iraq! Programming around this installation and educational experience will extend through October, so check their calendar for related events. The center also runs a wildlife clinic, so if you find an injured or orphaned animal in need of assistance, call their 24-hour wildlife hotline. www.schuylkillcenter.org

❚❙ Sister Cities Park

Located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Sister Cities is one of the best Center City parks with a sprayground for kids as well as a Children’s Discovery Garden and a toy-boat pond for wading. It also hosts events for kids like weekly Parkway Pals programs and storytime from the Free Library. People of all ages can enjoy local singers and songwriters on Thursday nights through the end of August. Use the lawn space for a picnic or pick up snacks at the on-site cafe. Visit www. centercityphila.org/parks for events at this park and others nearby. www.centercityphila.org/parks

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

❚❙ Smith Playground & Playhouse

For more than 100 years, Philly kids have enjoyed this huge free playspace in East Fairmount Park. The inside playhouse portion is still under construction (hopefully reopening this year), but there is plenty to do outside on the 6.5 acres with more than 50 pieces of equipment, a swing city, a mud pit, stuff to climb all over and more. No matter how old you are, you’ll love the huge wooden slide complete with sacks to make your trip down super fast! Events are held throughout the year. www.smithplayground.org

❚❙ Stoneleigh: A Natural Garden This 42-acre property in Villanova was donated to the Natural Lands Trust by the Haas family in 2016 so that it could be protected, forever. While you visit the property, try to find the hare sculpture, which depicts the Haas family members (two large rabbits and five baby bunnies). Haas means “hare” in Dutch! The gardens were designed by many notable landscape architects throughout the years, including the Olmsted Brothers. This space is preserved and free to visit after more than a century of care by three different families. www.stoneleighgarden.org.

❚❙ Valley Forge National Historic Park

This Park is significant as the winter base camp for Washington’s army during the American Revolution. Explore the encampment via audio tours (for a fee) or dial into the cellphone guide for free. For people visiting the route for the first time, it’s best experienced by driving in a vehicle (the self-guided tour can take between 20 minutes to three hours, depending on how often you stop and how much time you spend at the nine locations). Valley Forge also offers many hiking trails (the most scenic trails are Mount Misery and Mount Joy). Joseph Plumb Martin trail can be used for running, biking and walking. www.nps.gov/vafo

❚❙ Wissahickon Valley Park

Explore 1,800 acres around Chestnut Hill, Mount Airy and Roxborough. The Park contains more than 50 miles of well-marked trails for hikers, runners, horseback riders and mountain bikers to enjoy, year-round. Discover even more at the Wissahickon Environmental Center. Maps are available for purchase online or at the Valley Green snack bar. www.fow.org






Hot Spots at the Shore 2021

The Summer of ’73 A Gift from the Sea

Philly by Pat Ciarrocchi


atching an expanse of ocean is awe inspiring. It dances, especially on a blue sky summer afternoon. If you have the privilege of breathing that in from a twelfth-floor balcony, you bow in the presence of its Majesty. Miles of an open and calm ocean with crystalline white caps, foamy waves are breaking on shore. Listening carefully, it sounds like a heartbeat. Perhaps, that heartbeat is mine. I turned 21 in the summer of ‘73. I was a rising Senior at Rosemont College and decided to share a two-bedroom Stone Harbor apartment with three college friends – Sharon, Hilary and Marguerite. We waitressed or worked in hotels to make rent and support our fun -- shopping, and entertaining on our deck that was high enough for a glimpse of the bay. We even banked some dollars to help carry all of the “incidental” expenses of our senior year. I felt that I emerged into my womanhood – a


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

Fresh faced. My hair was because of on top of m the “shore y head air” and th e humidity .


The h Street in ouse on 92nd Stone H arbor.


job, a little apartment, sharing the prep for meals, and cleaning the bathroom, for which I was well trained by my mother. The shape of adult life was coming together. That summer was so pivotal in my life that even today when I hear the first calls of a seagull as I drive across any bridge to any South Jersey shore point, I’m carried back to that summer. I can feel the beat of the music from Avalon’s Bongo Room and Stone Harbor’s Shelter Haven. Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” pulled me onto the dance floor… as did the Grease Band’s “Oldies” medley. I admit I have grown beyond the fascination with Mateus - our wine of choice that summer. The bulbous shape of the bottle got my attention every time. That summer I was introduced to the sweet, creamy “magic” that is Springer’s Ice Cream. Even then, a line of freshly showered, post beach-day families waiting for their favorite cone or concoction stretched from the shop’s front porch out to the sidewalk and down the block. My favorite was Springer Chip – a luscious combination of coffee ice cream with mocha chips. In moments of desperation, I have thought that it would be worth it to walk barefoot, just to get there… to savor that sweetness again. What is it about the perfect scoop of ice cream that is simultaneously calming, joyous and so worth it? My friends had craved the beach on their days off. My craving was not as intense. I hadn’t spent long summers at the shore as a child, when that craving took hold. However, seeing a reflection of myself with a perfect, golden tan belied my lukewarm relationship with the sun and sand. Baby oil and reflectors were highly encouraged in 1973. I was passionate about a book I had stumbled on. It was Gift From The Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I clutched it the rest of the summer. The book became my companion on those late afternoons sitting in a low, sand chair at the water’s edge, just off 92nd Street in Stone Harbor. The words of the essays set my cells alight. Is that too dramatic a description? It is how I felt. Morrow Lindbergh had lifted a veil of understanding about the power of The Universe, The Divine, Our Creator God. I loved that insight. I think at that moment of “understanding,” I realized there were layers to the world around us with stories that would emerge. I wanted to stand at the crossroads of that understanding. I wanted to

share that understanding. When I look back, there was an unspooling of even adolescent precursors that brought me to that moment. I had trusted when my parents spoke about the power of God’s Divine love and caretaking. I had learned about events in my life that “were meant to be.” That helped me be at peace. I can still hear my mother saying, “Patti, you’ll see. There is a reason for this.” And then, I would learn the reason in light-blinking certainty. Gift From The Sea was presented in its fullness to me. What I heard in the heartbeat of the ocean was that there is “more.” It prompted me to be a seeker that I think I can identify more clearly now. Some “seekers” are driven by dissatisfaction with the world around them. I was seeking with eagerness to learn, not to escape. I have been eager to see the magic unfold. I offer some examples. As a TV news anchor/ reporter/ producer at CBS 3 in Philadelphia for three decades, I would have assignments given to me. Stories I would have to develop, write, produce and present. In some cases, the stories would have to “turn” -- be produced quickly in order to make air, in a newscast. In other cases, the TV pieces might require days of research, shooting, interviews, then, producing, writing and editing. Finally, you would be assigned a day and time to “tell your story.” I’ve always worked better on deadlines. You allow yourself fewer “options.” I would ask, where is the first thread I need to pull? Where should I start? What’s the point? Who will I find to help me illustrate the details of the story? How do I shape the piece? Will the pictures tell the story? And can it be edited in just the right order, with the correct blend of script, interviews, pictures, sound to present a tale that would be illuminating. I would lift my eyes to the Angels and ask for help. The first sentence would come...and then, the next and the next — just like finding light on the steps lining the path ahead of you. During my TV career and even since, I would be invited to be the keynoter at luncheons and dinners or even more

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formally at a University commencement. I have loved those public speaking assignments, whether there were twenty guests or two thousand graduates and their families. I would love it because I felt confident. Yes, my public speaking skill set is well practiced. But I learned early on, as I asked “The Power that pulled the tides in and out” to lead me to the message that an individual or a group needed to hear on this particular day. I would find the words. Many times, I felt they were being dictated to me. The magic. The intuitive seeker, eager to learn, eager to share, found the “light” to follow. The Summer of ’73 had a light shining on the sign at Hahn’s -- a legendary Stone Harbor restaurant on 96th Street. The hostess who hired me was Trudy Boyle. She was a restaurant PRO. I write that in all caps because she was a professional who spent her winters running dining rooms in Florida and her summers at the Jersey shore. She became my teacher, coach and my friend. I was eager to learn. Trudy would say, “This is the way you take an order around the table, then you will always know who gets what. If you have two “deuces” – that’s a table for two next to each other, Trudy would coach with these words. “Work it like a four-top. It makes it easier for the kitchen and you can turnover your tables faster and make more money. And never go back to the kitchen with empty hands.” I had earned enough money in that first month, leading up to July 4th, that I was able to hand my father four $100 bills to pay him back in full for my share of the summer rent. (Yes, that apartment rented for $1200 for the entire season – Memorial Day to Labor Day.) Even though my mother encouraged my father to allow me to keep that $400, as a “gift.” My father’s

response was, “I don’t want to deny Patti the pleasure of being able to pay me back, in full, so quickly.” He made me feel respected. I’ll never forget that feeling, nor the lunch I had prepared for my parents that day. It was fresh sliced corned beef on perfect rye bread with a Jersey tomato, cucumber and onion salad on the side. Like I said, the Summer of ’73 was profoundly pivotal for me. This discovery all poured back into my consciousness from that twelfth story balcony, looking out onto the expanse of “the sea” that opened her secrets to me during a Jersey shore summer, 48 years ago. With the brilliance of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, her Gift from the Sea became mine. The sun’s reflection on the tips of the waves shimmered like a cascade of diamonds. How many millions of writers have tapped out that sentence? Still, it is an accurate description from this twelfth floor balcony. But is there a message within the reflection? I’ve learned that riches are to be found just beneath the surface of anything and even, anyone, if you look up long enough to see them. If I could pick just one summer day to be “perfect” — it would look and feel like this. Ah, perfection. Remember. Look up. The summer awaits. PRH

Gift from

the Sea


Hot Spots at the Shore 2021 Summertime Down the Shore in

Wildwood New Jersey, 1971


by Josephine B. Pasquarello t is a hot and steamy summer here in our “City of Brotherly Love.” Our home was full of love but short on fans, making it hard to breathe inside and even worse outside. My younger sister Anna and I decided we will take our Mom to the shore for an enjoyable weekend…all we need to do is tell my mom. My sister and I exchange a look. Nervously, I take a deep breath and say, ‘Mom, Anna and I want to take you to the shore this weekend. We will have so much fun.’ We were


expecting an argument. We were wrong! She looked at us with such excitement and said, ‘I haven’t been to the ocean in 59 years. I was just a little girl in Pescara, Italy.’ Her face took on a dreamy look as she continued, ‘My Mother and I would go to the beach every day in the summer.’ She blinked, nodded her head and disappeared. Anna and I laughed as we realize she is packing. The excitement in the air is contagious! We quickly pack while the sweat drips down our faces. We can’t wait to feel the cool ocean breeze and the warm sun on our

bodies. We have Italian olive skin so we suntan easily and end up with golden undertones. The three of us were excited to have this experience together. Our first getaway for just us girls! We were going to show our mom so many new things on the beach. Our bags are packed so we walk to 13th and Filbert Street to catch the bus to Wildwood. Everyone on the bus is talking about how good it will feel to jump into the ocean. We grabbed our blanket and towels; stopped at Mack’s for a slice of pizza and hurried to the beach. The sand is so hot it burns our feet, so we took the first opening we could see. The beach is

crowded and there are lots of people in the water. There are bright colored umbrellas for rent and a man walking around the beach yelling, ‘Fudgie Wudgies here…get your Fudgie Wudgie bars.’ Kids are having fun running in and out of the water. The seagulls are flying low, so we throw our crust up to them and laugh as they catch it in the air. As I glance at my mother, she is smiling and laughing just like a little girl. Seeing her happiness made this day even more special. We walked to the water’s edge; it feels so cool on my feet. We keep walking slowly and now the water is up to our thighs. I feel as if I am a piece of hot metal and the water is cooling me down. Oh, the feeling is heavenly to us. We are finally cooling off from the city heat. You should see my mom’s face; she can’t stop smiling. She is splashing water on her arms and rolling the bottom of her dress up to her midthigh. The waves are smashing into her legs and she keeps rolling her dress July / August / September 2021

up even higher. Anna and I are laughing at her. ‘Mom! Stop rolling your dress up! The lifeguards will have you arrested for ‘indecent exposure.’’ She started to laugh and shrugged her shoulders. My mom’s behavior is that of a schoolgirl. She was always so “prim and proper.” But not today! I am so happy to see her enjoying herself without a care in the world. She tells us about her memories of her and her mother on the beach in Italy. Mom tells us she is going to lay down on the blanket and take a nap. When Anna and I go up to join her, we find her sound asleep. She has such a peaceful look on her beautiful face. Her expression makes me realize how precious time and memories are. Looking back, I can’t remember most of the physical gifts I gave her, but I will never forget her smile that day! One of our happiest days. PRH Josephine B. Pasquarello www.josephinebpasquarello.org josephinebpasquarello@gmail.com


Hot Spots at the Shore 2021

Welcome Back

Jerry Longo & Frank “Perdue” Storione


by Mark Casasanto s the much-anticipated new year shifted slowly into gear, pulling away from the dark days and nights of the Covid closures of the year prior, Atlantic City quietly welcomed home a familiar face. Jerry Longo is as close to home grown as you’re going to get when speaking of the Jersey shore. With no disrespect to the true native sons and daughters of the seaside towns, seemingly everyone is a big city transplant. And considering the


recent real estate feeding frenzy, truer now, more than ever. Longo doesn’t pretend to be different, however. He was born and raised in South Philly, with paternal influences fresh out of Rome. Much like the battleship on his own personal Monopoly board, he has passed Go! countless times on the return to his home port. As one of the young bucks who fled Philadelphia enticed by the flash and dazzle the fledgling casino industry promised, Longo docked in America’s Playground in the mid-eighties. The landscape wasn’t completely foreign to him since his parents operated a small pizzeria-ristorante in nearby Northfield. But back on the boardwalk, the charismatic Longo’s star


Longo! was rising quicker than the Sky Tower’s gondola on Central Pier. After several stops along the planks, Longo made his way north to Connecticut where he cultivated a loyal following, not only on the gaming floors of upstart casinos, but eventually in the dining room of his very own restaurant. After some time away from the gaming industry, Longo traded the custom-made suits in favor of a Chef’s jacket, some familiar family recipes and his childhood best friend to help him see it through. Many of Longo’s culinary inspirations are a direct link back to his nonna. And much like walking into an Italian grandmother’s kitchen, you know you’re in for an experience. First, you’re showered with affection. Kisses, pinches, face taps and back slaps. Then, you eat, even if you’re

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

not hungry. You can’t run, and you cannot hide. So, you settle in, loosen your belt and enjoy the experience. Welcome to Jerry Longo’s Meatballs & Martinis! – situated on the sixth floor and off to the right of the iconic central escalator in Bally’s Atlantic City Casino Resort. This is where the lovable Longo welcomes you into his world. There to greet you with hugs and handshakes, while ensuring you don’t leave hungry, is his trusted friend, Frank “Perdue” Storione. Theirs is a powerful punch – a one, two-combination of knockout proportions. They conquered the streets of Philadelphia together as teenagers, and after a few different career stops, reunited in Rhode Island to launch what is now the Meatballs & Martinis brand. In that mix of success is Phil Juliano, now Executive Vice President of Casino Operations and Chief Marketing Officer at Bally’s Corporation. Juliano, in part responsible for bringing the duo closer to home than either of them had been professionally in some years with the 2019 opening of Dover Downs



Hotel & Casino in Delaware, views the foray into his native Atlantic City as a win-win. “This will be an added food experience visitors and locals alike will cherish!” With Longo creating the game plan, Storione is entrusted to be the face of the operation. Both are skilled conversationalists and dining at one of their restaurants is, in fact, an experience. Each conceptual factor is discussed, developed and reviewed from culinary creations to decor, design and more importantly, service. A collective concern coming into the new casino property was properly training the staff to present Longo’s culinary vision with clarity and a full understanding of what’s on the plate. When pressed on any menu items at Longo’s, front line staff is expected to know everything from ingredients, preparation to presentation. Storione will see to that as he encourages a culinary exploration for the guests. Envisioning their move into Atlantic City, they embraced the opportunity to truly deliver on their Italian Soul Food concept. Being so close

to home, it was a safe bet to include favorites they knew would touch the heart, while still leaning heavily on the heirloom recipes that have become menu staples, like Veal Milanese and Eggplant Parmigiana. With an indigenous interest in mind, selections from the sea such as Shrimp Sinatra, Crab Stuffed Sole and Spaghetti with Crab Gravy were also added to the already tantalizing menu. Commanding center stage upon arrival is the antipasto bar, featuring hand-pulled mozzarella and a fly wheel prosciutto cutter. Can you say abbondanza! Then there’s Pizza al Taglio. A must-have is the Pizza Prenestino, a Roman favorite. Baked after a two-day rise, it is served on a seasoned long board with mascarpone cheese, mozzarella, thinly sliced potatoes, fresh rosemary, sea salt and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. As martinis go, there’s a pick of plenty, some with catchy names like 9 Streeter, My Cousin Vinny and even Yo Rocky. Remember those late nights searching for food after clubbing? No problem. Longo has you covered. There’s a late-night menu

to quell the hunger after hours, including hot dogs and eggs subs, cheesesteaks, wings and even panzerotti. Open since late May, Longo and Storione rolled the dice on a low-key, slow and steady approach – doubling down on getting it right and firing on all fronts before the summer rose to its peak. Without much fanfare, business has been steady, service is on point and the food has been well received. Recent weekends have been sold out, with a beautiful blend of people enjoying long overdue evenings out on the town and even some scheduled appearances by DJ Johnny Looch to provide a musical backdrop. For a town trying to emerge from recent woes and searching for a mini rebirth, having a proven winner like Longo aboard is definitely setting sail in the right direction. Coupled with Storione, odds are good that this pair will turn up aces high. PRH Jerry Longo’s Meatballs & Martinis is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.

July / August / September 2021


Hot Spots at the Shore 2021



Ride the elevator to the 6th floor and head to Jerry Longo’s newest spot! This guy from the neighborhood (St. Nick’s Class of ’78!) knows how to cook what you want to eat! Spaghetti with crab gravy, eggplant parmigiana, veal Milanese, chicken francese, spaghetti carbonara, scarole and beans. How about some housemade mozzarella or Prenestino – a mascarpone, mozzarella crusty delight topped with thinly sliced white potatoes, fresh rosemary & EVOO – a specialty served on the streets of Rome. A RowHome shoutout to restaurant manager Frank Storione for welcoming us with open arms and walking us through the amazing menu! And for recommending some spectacular martinis like the Longotini and Life is Beautiful (I won’t mention who drank too many!) to complement our meal. Thank you to our longtime friend from the neighborhood & gracious host Jerry Longo – his family, friends and team – for making our night out a throwback to the food, family and traditions that matter most to all of us. PRH


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

Sometimes, only

Meatballs & Martinis will do!




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Hot Spots at the Shore 2021

Rosa D’Oro Jewelers

Jimmy Lemon


A gem in the heart of Atlantic City

A 54

s far as fine jewelry goes, I guess you could say Jimmy Lemoniotis is a true diamond in the rough. A former WWF pro wrestler, Jimmy ditched his career in the ring and followed the glitter of a more fashionable ring to open his own jewelry store in the heart of his hometown Atlantic City. Lemoniotis, 57, aka “Jimmy the Greek,” and Rosa D’Oro have been doing business in his

shore town for two decades and his passion for the industry is evident by the steady stream of customers who keep the shop busy. It all started years ago, says Bill Logan, a former ACPD canine cop who has been managing the shop with Jimmy since he left law enforcement. “When he was a pro wrestler back in the day, he also ran a Jitney,” Logan explains. “He hooked up with New York gold brokers and started selling a few pieces here and there. In time, he saved up enough to buy some real estate in the city and soon after, opened his own shop.” Lemoniotis, whose family hails



Bill Lo

by Dorette Rota Jackson

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

from Greece, spent years building relationships with clients who have come to trust the quality of his merchandise and the topnotch customer service that comes with every transaction. “As big as he is, his heart’s even bigger,” says Logan, who has known Jimmy for many years. “When I was a cop, we were training partners at the gym. We had friends in common in the jewelry business and one day, he asked me to come work for him. Being a police officer, he knew my reputation. He knew I was loyal, respectful and trustworthy. He brought me on and showed me the business. Little by little, I learned.” Logan says he’s grateful


for the time and patience Lemoniotis invested in him while teaching him the business. “We’ve become so close, people actually think we’re brothers. They say we look alike. We look nothing alike,” Logan laughs. “But there’s definitely a bond. A brother bond. Jimmy the Greek and Don Loganetti. That’s what people call us. It’s so funny.” This bond of brothers is a gem when it comes to growing the business. “Because of my career [in law enforcement] and the quality of the jewelry we sell, people trust us. They know we are loyal. We stand behind everything we sell 100 percent.” Logan says Jimmy is a good businessman who stresses the importance of customer service. He realizes that building relationships is key to bringing customers back. “Loyalty breeds trust. We’ll make you happy. If you’re not happy, one way or another, we’re going to make you happy.” Rosa D’Oro is a one-stop shop for all your jewelry needs, Logan stresses. Located in the shadows of the casino strip,

the store may look like a small neighborhood business, but it’s “huge” when it comes to merchandise. “We buy and sell quality gold and diamonds. We have the largest selection of new and previously owned Rolex watches. We also custom design, engrave and repair your jewelry. Our diamonds are GIA certified and our prices are so fair, they’re even shocking to me,” he laughs. “Jimmy is not a greedy person. He’s not selfish. If you treat him right, he’ll treat you better.” Most importantly, this family-owned business has deep roots in the community it serves. Lemoniotis, his wife, two children and their German Shepherd named Zeus, are familiar faces in the city and Logan says he is grateful to be part of that family. “It’s proof that an oversized heart and character are the foundation of success.” PRH

1003 Pacific Avenue Atlantic City, NJ 609.344.8733

Rosa D’Oro Jewelers is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network

Outdoor Bar Corner of Georgia and Atlantic Ave. Follow us on

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to wn tav e r n



July / August / September 2021


Hot Spots at the Shore 2021 “



always got the strangest reaction when I told someone I was from Atlantic City. It was as if they didn’t believe that people actually could be born there,” says Julius James DeAngelus, who is from the shore town but lived in Philadelphia most of his life. Growing up, he returned to the inlet section of AC each summer. Many locals or tourists who summered in Atlantic City will reminisce about where the “boardwalk curves deeper into the inlet and the waves roar directly below your feet.” His debut novel, Dancing on Seaside, is a delightful throwback to going down the shore for the summer as a teenager and the lust and heartache that come with a first crush that remains forever ingrained in you. It’s a book from the heart that focuses on the intricate balance of people, feelings, and their relationships. The story is told through two perspectives - a mother and a son - as they both face harsh realities during the summer of 1977, the summer before legalized gambling became part of the city. This isn’t an autobiography, though there are many parallels and certain characters (DeAngelus notes that the bully and the love interest are based on real people) and the ridiculous situations in which they found themselves. The beauty of Dancing on Seaside is that it’s a coming-of-age story with complex characters that make them very relatable. You find yourself rooting for the good guys, wanting to take a piss on the bullies, and turning each page in excitement to see what is going to happen next. If you were in Atlantic City anytime between the 1940s and 1970s, you’ll find many Easter Egg nods to that time and realize that the city itself is a living, breathing character in the story. If all of the shore towns were a family, AC would be the loud sister who showed up at the party too late, wore too much makeup, laughed too hard at her own jokes, and always left with the bestlooking guy. DeAngelus feels as though the city was built on flash and excitement, and while, unfortunately, the casinos were the only answer to the crushing poverty, they haven’t given much back to the city. That is why he chose to set Dancing on Seaside during the last pure summer in Atlantic City, where the ocean is the same blue that it always was, and the salty wind still whistles in your ears. Grab a copy of the book, put on some ‘70s music (The Eagles, David Bowie and some one-hit-wonders like “Mississippi Queen” by Mountain) and head to your favorite beach to read. If you can’t do that, throw a beach towel on your couch, stream some ocean waves crashing, and sip a lime rickey to bring on classic Jersey Shore vibes. DeAngelus became a single dad at a young age and with the love and support of his parents, he went to Chestnut Hill College to become an early childhood educator. For the past 12 years, he has been a preschool teacher, director and now kindergarten teacher. In his limited spare time, he writes...and writes and writes. When he’s not writing, you can find him eating cannolis in the Italian Market, bragging about his kids, or down the shore watching the sunrise. His short stories and essays range from coming of age to thrillers to humor. Purchase his work at www.juliusdeangelus.com or through more than 50 ebook online retailers including Kindle, Nook, Apple Books, Google Books, and Overdrive. Dancing on Seaside is viewable on all popular eReaders. PRH



| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021


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There are about a zillion variations to this recipe, so feel free to substitute or be as creative as you like. The Rickey Cocktail was born in DC at Shoomaker’s Saloon in the 1880s and was originally made with bourbon. I personally like to vary it up every once-in-a-while and prefer it with vodka.


❍ 3 tbsp. lime juice ❍ 2 tsp. sugar ❍ 3 oz clear alcohol ❍ 1 cup soda water ❍ Ice, for serving ❍ Lime wedges, orange slices, mashed raspberries, and/or cherries for garnish



Combine lime juice and sugar, add alcohol and stir well. Add garnishes and ice, top with soda water. Cheers!

July / August / September 2021


Hot Spots at the Shore 2021

Ducktown Tavern & Liquors A local tradition since 2005 Johnny X, Jordan & Nico


by Matt Kelchner o you ever find yourself in need of a break from the bright lights and sounds when in Atlantic City? Is testing your chances with Lady Luck not your scene? Or are you simply looking for that quintessential neighborhood corner bar while cruising down Atlantic Avenue? If you answered yes to any of these,


then I have the perfect spot for you - Ducktown Tavern & Liquors! Ducktown Tavern & Liquors first opened in 2005 with a theme that continues to hold true to this day. “Great food and drinks at fair prices with a hometown feeling,” owner John Exadaktilos, otherwise known as Johnny X, proudly says. While it may sound simple, it’s something that many bars and restaurants commonly fall short on, all too often. The “hometown feeling” extends beyond the walls and windows of the building. Through numerous charities and drives throughout the year, Ducktown Tavern & Liquors is never shy to lend a helping hand to their surrounding community. “Still being open after two financial crises and Covid,” Johnny X recalls when asked to name some of his proudest moments. Even during some of the most difficult and devastating times, they continue to roll with the punches while reaching out to those in need.


When Hurricane Katrina ravaged the New Jersey coast, Ducktown Tavern welcomed anyone looking for a bite to eat, shelter and some electricity, or just warmth and compassion. Earlier this year, they provided free lunches to the first responders working hard during the pandemic. “We are very involved on the Island. It shows we care, and the locals love it.” As the restrictions came in place last year to help keep the virus at bay, Johnny X quickly pivoted to make the best of a dire situation. “We built an outside tavern with 14 TVs, tables, awnings, etc. to create an atmosphere for everyone.” Dubbed “The Duck Hut,” this outdoor oasis provides the best of the tavern, along with the sun shining and a breeze in the air. In the time before the world shut down due to Covid, Ducktown Tavern stayed open around the clock. If you were looking for a lunch to fuel you through the day, a late-night snack and a nightcap or anything in between, the doors were always open. The worry of missing happy hour was not a problem

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

either with the three times a day to catch food and drink specials. Fast forward to the post pandemic times we now live in, Ducktown Tavern & Liquors has been working its way back to its former schedule. “What is normal anymore?” Johnny X jokes. A good rule of thumb would be to always check in to get the latest update. “We are going with the flow because nothing is secure yet,” he goes on to say. “We listen to our locals and deliver what makes sense.” Ducktown Tavern & Liquors has something for everyone in this time of “new normal.” Their extensive menu makes for a great night out with family and friends or a cozy evening of enjoying takeout in the comforts of your own home. Whether you’re ready to have that first post-pandemic drink at a bar or need to pick up beverages for your own shindig, they have you covered! Just head down to 2400 Atlantic Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram, at www. facebook.com/DucktownTavern/ and @ducktowntavern to stay up to date on their daily specials! PRH Ducktown Tavern & Liquors is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome Magazine (PRH) Business Network.







I always felt a magical fondness for many forms of pasta. However, gnocchi often satisfied my waves of hunger with a unique emotional and settling satisfaction (like a boat setting anchor in a stormy sea). My second special favorite pasta is ricotta filled ravioli. A few years ago, though, I discovered a little heaven on earth...a wonderful

combination...a twist on a great comfort food. Originally, gnocchi’s main ingredient was potato. But as with all culinary evolutions, things have begun to deviate from strict definition and branded with a new name. Gnudi (Italian pronunciation: [ɲuːdi]) are gnocchi-like dumplings made with ricotta cheese instead of potato. The result is

a lighter, “pillowy” pasta dish, unlike the often denser, chewier gnocchi. In Italian, gnudi roughly translates to ‘nude,’ which means you should think of gnudi as a naked ravioli – filling only! These are much faster to make than traditional gnocchi.


Serve 4 as a first course, 8 as an entrée ❍ (1) 15 oz whole fat ricotta cheese, drained ❍ 3/4 cup to 1 cup of all-purpose flour

Add all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir until combined. Dust a rimmed baking sheet with 1/2 cup all-purpose flour. Use a size 40 (1 1/2 tablespoons) cookie scoop or two spoons to scoop out 1/2-inch, ball-sized gnudi and gently drop them onto the prepared baking sheet. You should have between 35 and 40. You can roll a fork across the top of each to create texture, but not necessary. Sprinkle the gnudi generously with the remain-

❍ 2 egg yolks ❍ 1 cup of parmesan cheese grated fine


ing 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour. Transfer baking sheet to the refrigerator to chill for about 20 minutes. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and, using a flat or slotted spatula, gently drop half of the gnudi (one or two at a time) into the pot of boiling water. Boil until the gnudi float and are firm to the touch, usually 3 to 5 minutes (taste for preference, they may start to dissolve if emerged too long).

(my favorite is Pecorino Romano) ❍ Salt and pepper, to taste

Repeat with remaining uncooked gnudi. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the cooked gnudi to individual serving bowls. Top with marinara sauce. Alternative saucing: Transfer to a 12-inch fry pan, low heat, with 1/3 cup of olive oil, chopped garlic, 1/2 stick of butter and spices such as sage, mint or basil. Add a dash of red pepper with 2 tsp. of lemon juice. Lightly toss and serve.

July / August / September 2021






Making Memories at

Johnnie’s Italian Specialties, on the corner of 12th & Wolf Streets in South Philly, has been serving homemade dishes since 1995. I have fond memories of eating at Johnnie’s every Saturday night with my grandparents. I remember owner John Franco (warmly known as Johnnie) emerging from the kitchen with his infectious smile. He checked on every table – not just asking about their food – but addressing patrons by name and asking how they were. It felt as though we all were eating at a relative’s house. I remember meeting other families, building relationships over the years, and exchanging thoughts about our favorite dishes. Johnnie even knew his regulars’ favorite dishes! From their chicken pastina soup to tortellini alfredo with blackened chicken and chicken parmigiana, Johnnie’s has been comforting the hearts of the restaurant’s neighbors for decades. My favorite dishes are the tortellini with blackened shrimp, beef and bowtie soup and chicken Roma with penne. Johnnie’s Ital-

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

ian Specialties also offers daily rotating homemade soups, classic appetizers, salads, pastas, seafood dishes, chicken, veal and delicious sandwiches. And it’s BYOB! When Johnnie passed away in 2014, his children, Christian and Felicia Franco, were proud to take over the family-owned restaurant. Christian, a doctoral student at Immaculata University, and Felicia, a Widener University graduate, are upholding traditional recipes that have been passed down for generations and ensuring that all patrons still remain like family 26 years later. They love to see new faces joining them for dinner and becoming part of the restaurant family. After an in-person dining closure due to COVID, Johnnie’s has recently reopened for dining Friday-Sunday, as well as for private events. My college graduation party was hosted at Johnnie’s and I love their menu options for groups. In fact, I can’t wait to celebrate my wedding rehearsal dinner there! If you’re in the mood for Johnnie’s, you can order takeout anytime through GrubHub or by calling the restaurant at 215-334-8006 for pickup or delivery. PRH


The Birthplace of Freedom

Still Has a King. 9th & Passyunk Avenue




www.lombardimeats.com B E E F / P O R K / P O U LT R Y / V E A L / L A M B / P R E PA R E D F O O D S

VEAL CHOPS WITH ROSEMARY 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

❍ 2 veal chops, 3/4inch thick each ❍ 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic ❍ 1 tbsp. finely


chopped fresh rosemary ❍ 2 tbps. olive oil, to taste ❍ 1/2 cup white wine

❍ 1/4 cup chicken stock



Mix together garlic, rosemary, 1 tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Rub veal chops with the mixture and let sit for 15 minutes. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium/high heat and add the rest of the olive oil. Add chops to pan. Cook until golden brown on

1805-07 Washington Ave Philly, PA 19146 215.546.2233


one side and then flip. Remove chops from pan to a baking dish and roast at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Add white wine and chicken stock to the cast iron pan. Stir up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan and serve chops with juice from the pan.


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| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021



ZUCCHINI BREAD with walnuts & raisins

❍ 3 large eggs (room temp) ❍ 2 cups granulated sugar ❍ 3/4 cup of canola or corn oil ❍ 1 tbsp vanilla


❍ 2 cups of peeled & shredded zucchini ❍ 2 cups of sifted flour ❍ 1 tbsp cinnamon ❍ 2 tsp baking soda

❍ 1 tsp salt ❍ 1/4 tsp of baking powder ❍ 1 cup chopped walnuts ❍ 1 cup raisins




Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two (9 1/2×5 1/2 inch) loaf pans. At this time, if you need to shell and chop the walnuts, do so; then set aside. Wash, peel and shred the zucchini (1 large or 2 medium-sized). Set aside. Beat three eggs until fluffy. Then mix in the sugar, oil and vanilla. Beat until thick. Carefully, stir in the grated squash. Then, beat in the sifted flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. The mixture will now loosen and take on a more liquidlike consistency. Remove from

the mixer and fold in both the chopped walnuts and the raisins. Pour batter equally into each of the loaf pans making sure to stir from bottom to ensure proper distribution of the raisins and nuts. Bake one hour at 350° (check at 55-minute mark with toothpick). Cool completely in pans. If you try to remove loaves prior to a complete cool, you will cause the bottom layer to stick to the pans. These are perfect for casual entertaining, breakfast or after dinner. Pairs well with whipped and spreadable cream cheese. Buona Fortuna! Mangiamo!

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 

July / August / September 2021


215-467-2050 215-467-2051



Grubhub/Slice/uber eatS Fast pick up and delivery 367 Durfor St. (Corner of 4 & Durfor) between Wolf & Ritner th


20th St. & Moyamensing Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19145

Weddings Funeral Lunches and more!


215-852-4822 GaldosCaters.com


Hugo’s Frog Bar & Chop House at Rivers Casino Philadelphia Serve up this delicious salmon dish all summer long. Perfect for a backyard barbeque or a nice dinner at home, this easy-to-follow and savory recipe is great for any occasion and will certainly satisfy your tastebuds this season.



❍ 24 oz. of salmon cut into four 6-ounce fillets ❍ 2 tbsp. of olive oil

❍ Juice from 1 lime ❍ 1 tsp. of chili powder


❍ 1 avocado, diced ❍ 1 mango, peeled & diced ❍ 1 red bell pepper, diced with the stem & seeds removed ❍ 1 cup of red wine ❍ 1/2 cup of pome-

❍ 1 jalapeno pepper, diced with the stem & seeds removed ❍ 1/4 cup of diced red onion

POMEGRANATE REDUCTION granate juice ❍ 1 cup of brown sugar

❍ 1/4 tsp. of cumin 1/2 tsp. of salt

❍ 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro ❍ Juice from 1 lime ❍ 1/2 tsp. salt

❍ 1/2 jalapeno diced with the stem & seeds removed



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In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Brush the mixture over the salmon filets and marinate for 30-60 minutes. While the salmon filets are marinating, prep the salsa and reduction by following the steps below before moving on. Once you prep the salsa and reduction and have let the salmon marinate, grease your grill grates with oil. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Once the grill is hot, place the salmon on the grill, skin side down. Cook the salmon filets for five minutes on one side, and then flip them and cook the other side for an additional three to five minutes or until the salmon

flakes easily. Top the cooked salmon with the avocado mango salsa, drizzle the pomegranate reduction around the plate. Serve and enjoy!


Combine all salsa ingredients in a bowl; refrigerate the salsa until you’re ready to serve with your meal.


Add all the ingredients into a small pot and bring to a simmer. Let the sauce reduce until it reaches a syrup consistency, and then let it cool until you’re ready to serve with your meal.


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021


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

Monday – Thursday: 4pm – 9:30pm

Friday: 4pm – 10:30pm

Saturday: 12pm – 10:00pm

Book your private parties | Home catering available

Certificate of Excellence 2014 Winner- Trip Advisor

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

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




This cold Spanish soup is perfect for using your garden’s bounty. It’s a refreshing first course on a hot summer day. ❍ 2 Jersey tomatoes (about 1 pound) ❍ 1 large cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded ❍ 1 medium yellow onion ❍ 1 clove garlic, minced ❍ 1 large roasted


red bell pepper either homemade or in a jar ❍ 1 slice slightly stale crusty Italian bread, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes ❍ 3 cups tomato juice ❍ 1/2 cup chopped

fresh herbs such as cilantro, basil or parsley ❍ 1/3 cup red wine vinegar ❍ 1/4 cup olive oil ❍ Hot pepper sauce, to taste ❍ 2 tsp salt ❍ 1 tsp pepper



Chop one tomato, 1/2 the cucumber and 1/2 the onion into one-inch pieces. Transfer to a food processor or blender. Add bell pepper, garlic and bread. Puree. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Add tomato juice, vinegar, oil and a few drops of hot pepper sauce. Seed remaining tomato and chop into small dices, add to soup. Chop cucumber and onion halves into 1/4-inch dice and add to soup. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until well chilled. Can be prepared up to two days ahead. Ladle into bowls and top with garnish. Serves 6. Garnish ideas: croutons, chopped hard cooked egg, sour cream


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021






Nick Di Nobile has three days to turn over a stolen masterpiece, or he’s dead. The first problem is, he can’t seem to find it. The second problem? It might not even exist. And nothing is more valuable than something that doesn’t exist. Nick is stalked by a psychopathic killer, a crooked F.B.I. agent, and a Russian oligarch who are all convinced that Nick’s father kept the painting hidden for decades after it was stolen in the Gardner Museum heist. The clues Nick finds along the way reveal the one true masterpiece more valuable than any painting; a father’s undying love for his prodigal son.

Nothing is more valuable than something that doesn’t exist. Available on Amazon in paperback and e-book

www.caudobooks.com michael@caudobooks.com


There is nothing more refreshing and flavorful to me than fresh lemon. I love it in my water and I use it in many recipes. Lemon bars are a fairly new dessert for me but have become one of my favorites. I tried a few different versions of lemon bars but this one is light, delicious and super easy. What’s not to love about a two-ingredient recipe? It’s a perfect treat for summer and my fellow lemon-lovers!






❍ 1 box angel food cake mix ❍ 1 20 oz. can of lemon filling


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour the cake mix into a large bowl and fold in the lemon filling. Coat a 9-inch pan with cooking spray and pour in the mixture. Bake for 25 minutes. Let it cool for at least 2 hours and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar if you’d like. Cut into squares and enjoy!

1921 South Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19148 215-336-3557 800-248-3557 www.tenpenniesflorist.com July / August / September 2021



Pat & Anna Scioli

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




❍ 1 12 oz. bag frozen mixed fruit or mixed berries

❍ 1 orange, washed and thinly sliced ❍ 1 lemon, washed and thinly sliced ❍ 1/4 cup liquor such as brandy, Grand Marnier or Cointreau ❍ 1/4 cup sugar

❍ 1 750 ml bottle of white wine (pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, moscato, chardonnay, riesling, etc.), chilled ❍ Small bottle of club soda, ginger ale or Sprite ❍ 1 small banana, peeled and sliced




| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

Take 2 cups of mixed fruit or berries from the bag and place in a large pitcher. Add sugar and liquor. Mix well. Refrigerate for an hour. When ready to serve, pour in chilled wine and stir. Pour in soda. Top with sliced bananas.


PRH Brides Guide

Elyse & Jason Dumont Dancing on Water by Joe Volpe



ello Philadelphia and all our Brides Guide readers! Summer is here and we are more excited than ever to be back hosting events! We worked with more than 800 couples to reschedule their weddings at our eight venues and we are looking forward to finally celebrating with them. Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Elyse Herda and Jason Dumont about their wedding celebration at Water Works. I am delighted to share with you their experience rescheduling and finally hosting the wedding of their dreams.

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021


How did you meet? Jason and I were set up by our family and a close friend who were both bridesmaids in our wedding party. Jason’s sister, Jacqueline Sambucci, and my friend, Krysten Carmack, plotted exchanging our phone numbers to one another. This October will be six years since we had our first date at Champps Bar (now Chickie’s & Pete’s) in Marlton, NJ. How did the proposal happen? We were at the beach in Brigantine and I was being difficult because I had no idea he was about to propose that night. Jason had brought down the ring and had planned to take me out to a nice dinner. I had no idea, so I told him, “Let’s just hang at the house!” He finally got me to dinner and afterwards, he suggested we take a long drive on the beach. We pulled over as the sun was setting and as soon as we got out of the car and onto the beach, I knew instantly,

this was it! I screeched and cried at everything Jason was saying. Immediately after, I told him I needed to call my parents and he told me I had to wait just a few minutes. This was because we came back to my in-laws’ house to find both of our families there waiting with champagne to celebrate!

surprises or extras. Their pricing is all-inclusive and they lay everything out for you. We still have guests calling us and our parents saying how much fun they had and how beautiful the day was all around. Katie Steiert, Vince W and all of the staff there on our day treated our family and friends like their own.

Why did you choose a Cescaphe Wedding?

What was your favorite part about wedding planning?

Having attended several weddings myself, I was starting to see what brides and couples go through leading up to the big day. Cescaphe has completely mastered the wedding game and eliminates all these worries for you. Every single Cescaphe wedding we have attended has been perfect. Everyone wants great food and a great venue amongst a million other things. Cescaphe gave us that and so much more. They truly over-delivered. I also didn’t want to deal with all of the little things, such as linens or silverware. There are no

Betsy Shoustal at Cescaphe for sticking by our rescheduled wishes and hopes. When we, and so many others, had to cancel last year, we were really bummed but knew it was best for our guests. Betsy made sure we still had our dream day and would call me regularly as our new wedding date was approaching. All our vendors were so helpful during rescheduling, especially Alicia Martino and her team at Beautiful Blooms for designing our gorgeous florals and décor, not once but twice.

What was your favorite part of your wedding? Our wedding was the first big party coming out of Covid-19. The city had just lifted restrictions. So, just being together with ALL of our families and close friends to dance the night away at picturesque Water Works meant so much to Jason and me. Also, being announced into the reception as husband and wife was such an exciting moment. Lastly, if we are being honest, everyone knows a Cescaphe cocktail hour is like none other!

What advice would you give to future brides and grooms? The night goes by so quickly from the moment you arrive at the venue. Don’t sweat the little stuff. I couldn’t control a global pandemic, 160+ people or the weather. Just know that you are so lucky to be surrounded by the people you love most. Oh, and ladies, treat yourselves to “the” heels but pack comfortable white sneakers so you can really cut a rug and have fun. No one will see them under a long dress! Best advice I received.

CESCAPHE Credits Client Development Associate: Betsy Shoustal

Concierge: Victoria Ayers

Event Manager: Katie Steiert

Maitre D: Vince Wisniewski

Head Server: Elsa Puci

by JOSEPH VOLPE, Cescaphe.com 

Cescaphe is a member of the PRH Business Network.

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


Venue: Water Works by Cescaphe

Band/DJ: Remixologists, DJ L’GITT

Photographer: Dave Hilliard Smith Photography

Florist: Beautiful Blooms

Invitations & Stationery: Minted

Videographer: Samuel Kern Videography

Transportation: Cescaphe Trolley

Dress Designer/Dress Shop: 1st dress, Bridal Garden; 2nd, Nadine Merabi

Menswear Designer/Shop: Men’s Wearhouse Hair: Collab Hair Studio by Jackie Decicco

July / August April / May September / June 2021

Makeup: Girl Town by Lauren Brady & Kelly Crossley


t ing a r b e l Ce ARS!


from the

50 YE


Coming Out Party! “The Unusual Is Our Specialty”

Instagram: @bellaangelbrides Facebook: BellaAngelLLC





FLORIST & DECORATORS John & Joann Vacca Flowers For All Occasions


Winner- 2018 Readers' Choice Award!


2515 S. Broad Street / Philadelphia, PA 19148

Bella Angel Bridal Hair & Makeup

for more than a year, it is time to shine! This means refocusing on those luscious lips and radiant skin. Lip gloss will help bring back the spotlight. Go for a shiny pink - or purple -tinted gloss and combine it with fluttery false lashes and lots of highlighter for a dazzling overall look. I have always loved wearing lip-gloss. Below are a few favorites that I have discovered through the years.

MAC Lipglass™.

I have been wearing this gloss for many years and it remains a favorite. The quality is top shelf. This lip gloss definitely supports that concept that you get what you pay for. But after covering your lips for more than a year, it is worth the investment in a bit of glamour. It’s moisturizing and the color maintains its pigmentation for many hours. You can layer it on top of lipstick for added shine. There are 23 color varieties so you’ll be sure to find the perfect look.

Charlotte Tilbury.

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Charlotte’s lip-glosses are high shine and give you a plumper looking lip. Her Lip Luster™ glosses create an ultra-glossy mirror shine and stay in place for up to six hours. They contain “Antioxidant Lotus Flower” extract to hydrate, protect and soothe lips for a perfect lacquered finish. Hydration is key for lips and skin! Charlotte’s Collagen Lip Bath™ has some of the best ingredients including “Marine collagen” to improve hydration and create the appearance of a fuller lip, as well as Vitamin A, C and E, Coconut oil, Marula oil and peppermint oil. All these ingredients are beneficial

to hydrate and nourish your lips. A favorite drugstore lip gloss for under $10 is Maybelline New York Lifter Gloss. It’s hydrating and contains hyaluronic acid which tightens skin. It visibly smooths lips and enhances lip contour, giving lips a high shine. Choose from 15 beautiful colors. Let’s not forget to use sunscreen, too! This should be the most important step of your daily makeup routine. Apply sunscreen before you apply makeup. Sunscreen protects your skin from UV damage and keeps it looking younger. Proactively and consistently using sunscreen prevents sun damage such as brown spots, discoloration, uneven skin tone and helps in preventing skin cancer.

Dermalogica’s Pure Light™ SPF 50

is an absolute favorite. It includes peptides to help regulate melanin and red and brown algae to help balance uneven skin tone. Another benefit is that it helps exfoliate surface cells to enhance skin tone and eliminate dark spots. It contains hyaluronic acid, an ingredient many look for in skin care products. This sunscreen also has ingredients to increase SPF performance, working to block harmful UV rays. It’s gluten free, vegan friendly, paraben free and cruelty free. If you live in Philadelphia, you can get it at Hot Hands Massage & Facial Spa (2545 S. Broad Street). They carry a full line of Dermalogica brand products. If you have a question about skincare, makeup or hair, please feel free to reach out. I’d love to hear from you. I hope you enjoy your summer. Stay safe and healthy xo Victoria DiPietro

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


from the

DIY Body Scrubs for a Summer Glow


Courtesy of Debbie Russino I love to exfoliate my skin all year round, but especially in the summer. If you are a “do it yourself person” like me, this may be the perfect DYI beauty tip for you! I am trying to be kinder to my skin, these days. In my teen years, I was covered in baby oil; baking in the sun. This is my recipe for an invigorating salt scrub that everyone can enjoy. It only costs a few dollars to make and just a few minutes to apply in the shower. I had a professional salt scrub done years ago. In my opinion, this is just as good and easy to whip up! I wouldn’t recommend doing it more than three days a week, though. You don’t want your skin to become too dry.

Ingredients for Body Scrub

�� C  oarse sea salt (fine salt for sensitive skin) �� Baby oil �� Coconut oil �� Scented essential oils optional (Lavender is very soothing)

Ingredients for Facial Scrub �� G  ranulated sugar �� Coconut oil �� Olive oil (I use extra virgin)

There are no exact measurements for these recipes. It’s just like making a pot of gravy. Everyone will create their own unique formula. Pour the salt/sugar into two separate plastic containers that have a lid. Add the oils and stir until fully incorporated. Close the lids and allow your scrubs to rest for a while so the oils blend in nicely. Place the scrubs in your shower until you’re ready to use them. Make sure you have a slip-free mat in place to avoid any mishaps! For optimal results, use the scrubs right before you get out of the shower. Moisturize right after exfoliation and it will penetrate your skin faster. I use exfoliating gloves or a buffing pad so either one will work. Your skin will feel like silk. I promise, you will be hooked! The dollar store is a great spot to find all these products, including the small containers. This also is a low-cost homemade gift idea for baby and bridal showers. Out with the old and in with the new. These scrubs will reveal fresher, younger skin! With time, you will see a difference and your skin will reveal its own natural glow.

Andreozzi Photography


Andrew Paul - Photographer “QUALITY PHOTOGRAPHY FOR LESS” (484) 614-1952 apandreozziphotography@aol.com apandreozziphotography.com July / August / September 2021





the Land

OZZ Philly


by Matt Kelchner mazing, fantastic,” says Stephen J. Desko, local Prince of Darkness and lead singer, when describing his excitement to get back on stage and play for fans, again. “I love seeing their faces. It’s good to entertain and feel the love.” Desko, who was born in West Germany, fronts The Land Of Ozz - the premiere Ozzy Osbourne tribute band. Performance after performance, he takes Ozzy’s


seemingly-impossible-to-fill shoes and makes them fit like a glove. Teaming up with father/son duo Mike and Matt Stanley on guitar, Kevin Mercer on bass, Mike “Viv” Vivial on keyboards and Tom Stewart on drums, the group reincarnates the sounds of Ozzy from the ‘80s and ‘90s on a nightly basis. The Land Of Ozz came together six years ago with a story that reads like it’s out of a movie. Desko recalls back in 2015, “Mike Stanley found out that his 15-year-old son Matt had learned the entirety of Diary of a Madman in one day, including solos.” After passing this discovery around a few rounds of telephone, the news found its way to Desko. The rest, as they say, is history!

Diary of a Madman, the second solo album for Ozzy Osbourne, was the last to feature lead guitarist Randy Rhoads. While the record is regarded as a seminal classic, it is also widely considered that it launched the late guitarist into the stratosphere of six stringed legends. To learn Diary of a Madman in a day would be a challenge for even the most experienced guitarists. Factor in Matt Stanley’s age and you have the rumbling beginnings of a new virtuoso. “Matt and I were the centerpieces of this band,” Desko says. “It was built to showcase Matt’s unique ability to channel Randy Rhoads.” Between recreating the famously technical chops of a guitar god and replicating one of the most recognizable lead

singers in their prime, The Land Of Ozz has taken on quite the daunting task. But it’s one they have continued to happily accept for more than half a decade. When it comes to songs that he has grown particularly attached to playing live, Desko’s favorites share a common theme and show off the talent of keyboardist Mike Vivial. His first favorite is “Diary of a Madman” and second is “Changes” (from Black Sabbath Vol.4). Regarding the latter, Desko adds, “It solely showcases myself and Mike Vivial (“The Wizard” as he is known). It gives me a real opportunity to perform and use my vocal skills.” The Land Of Ozz kicked off their triumphant return to the stage back in June at the Laurel Eye Monsters Mega Rock Festival in Brookville, PA. They are planning to hit the road once more with performances in Ocean City, MD, Altoona, PA, Millsboro, DE and North Tonawanda, NY. Desko is also an ordained minister, so hit him up if you want to be married by “Ozzy!” PRH

www.thelandofozz.com www.facebook.com/TheLandOfOzzBand 74

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Brings People together in Bella Vista


by Brenda Hillegas musicmonkeyjungle.com hen Lori Turner taught elementary music in the North Penn School District, she’d often hear students use that silly word - can’t. For encouragement, she showed them what she believes is one of the most epic examples of movement and dance. You know it - it’s the scene from Napoleon Dynamite where Napoleon gets on stage in his Vote for Pedro shirt


and lets the music move him. Just being confident in yourself and doing your own thing is what Turner wants everyone, of all ages and all abilities, to achieve. She wants you to know that yes, you can. Just before the pandemic hit, Turner, who holds a master’s degree in music education, was about to begin a new career within the music industry. Her goal was to build a welcoming space for inclusive music and movement education. “I wanted to bring people together to find their tribe,” she says. Turner’s Music Monkey Jungle brand, which focuses on music and community for all, secured a permanent home in Philadelphia’s Bella Vista neighborhood. “It’s a state-ofthe-art studio and event space built to accommodate instrument lessons, small group classes, workshops, events, performances and parties for all occasions and ages,” she says. The space went into construction in 2019 and was set for a grand opening just four days after stay-at-

home orders were put into place. Turner never put a pause on her concept, though, and immediately got to work to keep Music Monkey Jungle in business and buzzing while her doors remained closed. “I jumped to join Facebook parenting groups,” she says, with the idea of creating a virtual outlet during uncertain times. “I thought - I’ll go live on Facebook every day [with music] and help kids get through whatever this was.” Her marketing was simple. Lori Goes Live. Within a few hours, the news spread and people tuned in. But, after two months of daily shows and no news on when the world would re-open, performances started to feel monotonous. “So, I shifted again and started offering private virtual instrument lessons.” By Winter 2021, Turner was virtually providing lessons for 55 students a week - all ages and levels of experience. She spent a lot of time researching songs that would encourage them to pick up their instruments and play. Most requested by students include

The Beatles, Imagine Dragons, and The Greatest Showman soundtrack. Her personal music influences include rap, ‘80s hair bands, and what her parents listened to in the ‘60s and ‘70s. “But what really draws me in is a full-on rock band,” she says. The first song ever assigned to her was “Good Riddance” by Green Day. “It’s still a song I ask my guitar students to learn. I taught it to a fifth-grader recently and then he asked to learn ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams!’” By March, some students requested the option for in-person instruction. She worked out ways to bring people in safely and also developed small group programs with a more personalized atmosphere that have become a silver lining of the pandemic. On select evenings, happy hours with a common theme or instrument take place “just to have fun.” “We have a state-of-the-art building that doesn’t exist otherwise in the city,” Turner says. “We have the recording studio, classrooms with instruments, you can book a dance jam party, use the stage for karaoke, open mic or something like a drum session. We can get the drop screen down to just have a movie night. There’s every board game you can imagine and Playstation! Or just bring your playlists and relax with friends in the lounge area.” When Turner gets her chance to relax and lounge, she loves Spruce Street Harbor Park or indulging in

Golden Empress Garden Chinese and Dottie’s Donuts. “I enjoy low key stuff like being outside, playgrounds and supporting small businesses. Anything that benefits the greater good of the city.” Turner would love to see Music Monkey Jungle used for the greater good, too, and hopes the venue can become a hub for area businesses and nonprofits to get to know each other. “We could all use some time to talk to one another,” she says, going back to the root of her business - community. “I see my neighboring businesses as colleagues, not competitors. There’s room for all of us.” For anyone who wants to march to their own beat and create something new, whether it’s picking up a new instrument or a major career change, Turner encourages you to make it happen. “I’m going to be 49. It’s not too late. What I did and what I do now is a complete 180. It’s going to be okay.” She’s excited to open Music Monkey Jungle in full form soon. Summer sessions for her signature 18+ sessions - Ukulele Lounge, Guitar Social, Mindful Movement and DJ Dance Jam - are currently enrolling. Kids clubs, open mics, karaoke and the gamers lounge will launch in the fall for the 2021-2022 school year. Turner welcomes anyone looking to make music, create friendships and build community. PRH

Music Monkey Jungle is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.

July / August / September 2021



MARE OF EASTTOWN PRH chats with local actress Connie Giordano about her role in HBO mega hit


by Jane Roser photo by Ken Volpe hair & makeup by Brittany DeCheine, D Cheine Beauty ike many Mare of Easttown fans, on May 30th, I poured myself a glass of wine and settled in to watch the show’s finale in real-time. I was determined to avoid spoilers at all costs! Also like many obsessed viewers, I apparently contributed to HBO Max’s servers crashing. The issue was quickly resolved, although note to self: never read Stephen King’s prediction tweets before a nailbiting episode because the master of horror is always


one step ahead of everyone. Set in a small fictional town outside of Philadelphia in “Delco,” as they call it, Mare of Easttown began filming in late 2019 until production was temporarily halted due to the pandemic. The limited series crime drama starring Kate Winslet premiered April 18 on HBO and HBO Max to critical acclaim and has steadily built up an enormous fan base. According to Variety, the finale was the most-watched episode of an HBO Max original series on the network’s streaming platform during its first 24 hours of availability. Local actress Connie Giordano plays Patty DelRasso, restaurateur and mom to Brianna (Mackenzie Lansing), one of the show’s endless list of suspects. Born in Springfield, PA and currently residing near Philadelphia, Giordano is an accomplished theater and indie film


actress, as well as a product representative on QVC and HSN. She had no idea the show she was joining would become such a phenomenon. “I was thrilled when I started hearing all of the buzz. When I signed on, I didn’t know that Kate Winslet was involved. I thought, ‘Wow - this is going to be a lot bigger than I expected!’” Giordano laughs as she recalls how, “Every week, people were messaging me begging to tell them how it ends. Of course, I wouldn’t.” The show hired actors out of L.A. and New York, but also locally. Giordano auditioned with a Philadelphia casting director but didn’t hear back for several weeks. She was driving to her day job when she finally got the exciting news from her agent that she’d been cast. Giordano agrees that the show gives an accurate representation of the Delco community, where she lived until she was seven years old. “It’s a very close-knit community.

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

People say it’s tough to get in, but once you’re in, you’re in for life and these people will have your back. I do think that Brad Ingelsby [creator and writer] absolutely portrayed what it’s like and Kate Winslet did a bang-up job with the accent.” Filming took place all around the Philadelphia area, including Phoenixville, Coatesville, Bethlehem, Upper Darby and Springfield, where the DelRasso restaurant scenes were shot. “It’s wonderful to put Philadelphia on the map,” Giordano says. She loved filming in a large, Downingtown high school football stadium, which happened to be right across the street from where one of her best friends lived. Giordano read each episode script to script, so she didn’t know how the show would end until receiving the final script. One of her friends correctly guessed who the killer was a week before the final episode aired (Giordano, of course, would not confirm her suspicions). “I don’t know how she figured it out! I never got it. I was wrong every time. I was in the last episode and needed to be privy to it, but there were people on the set who didn’t know. It was a strange feeling, like a kid at a concert with backstage passes.” “I loved the ending,” Giordano

says. “I loved the story of redemption. I knew what was coming and I still cried watching the last episode. I love how all of the relationships came full circle. I bought all of it, which doesn’t always happen, and I applaud Brad and our director Craig Zobel who brought it all to life.” PRH

Q&A Q: Favorite Philly spots? A: The Continental. They have fabulous martinis. Penn’s Landing in the summertime and paddle boarding on the Schuylkill.

Q: Favorite production in which you performed? A: Lost in Yonkers at The Ritz

Theater in Collingswood, NJ

Q: What’s your go-to Wawa order? A: I’m a big fan of their coffee and turkey and cheese hoagies. We’d love to hear from you! What were your thoughts about Mare of Easttown? Do you feel it accurately portrayed the Delco community? Did you binge it in one sitting? Did you guess “whodunit?” Did you try Wawa’s Mare of Easttown spicy cheesesteak? Let us know at info@gohomephilly.com gohomephilly.com


LIVE PERFORMANCES! Philadelphia & Broadway Shows return to the stage

by Marialena Rago


fter more than a year-and-a-half of no audiences, many Broadway and Philadelphia theaters are welcoming patrons back to live shows. This fall marks the return to live, in-person performances! Of course, the support of online performances, specials and benefits this past year all contributed to keeping the doors open, lights on and seats ready to be filled. The Tony Awards will air on September 26th to help kick off the return of Broadway, while Philadelphia starts performances this fall. Here are a few of the shows playing in both cities and why you should catch them as the curtains begin to rise! The Kimmel Cultural Campus Hamilton (October 20-November 28) Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now! The record-breaking hit musical will be taking over the Academy of Music this fall. Witness the founding of America through the eyes of Alexander Hamilton. Winner of 11 Tony Awards including Best Score and Best Musical, you have never experienced anything like it before! What are you waiting for?

Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit (November 16-January 2) English playwright Noel Coward is known for his witty plays. In Blithe Spirit, novelist Charles Condomine is looking for inspiration for his new book. He hires a medium to hold a séance at his house and of course hilarity ensues when she accidentally summons his first wife who has been dead for seven years.

Anastasia (November 23-28) The 1997 animated movie about the famous legend of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia is adapted for the stage. An orphan named Anya is on a journey to find her family when she is approached by two con men who convince her to pretend to be the Grand Duchess. Anya takes a “Journey to the Past” and finds that she may not actually be pretending.


Walnut Street Theatre Little Mermaid (September 28-October 31) To kick off Walnut Street Theatre’s 213th season, take a trip under the sea! Disney’s The Little Mermaid is the classic tale of a mermaid named Ariel who dreams of a world above the water. All your favorite songs like “Part of Your World” and “Kiss the Girl” are in this delightful musical.

Pretty Woman (January 4-16) The classic movie is brought to the stage with music and lyrics by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, and a book by Garry Marshall and J. F. Lawton. Escort Vivian Ward is hired by a wealthy businessman Edward Lewis to be his companion for a week. Over that time, their relationship develops into something more. You know the story. Now see it set to music! Sinatra: A Man and his Music (September 24-26) The Philly POPS Lights up! Showtime! is the theme of this year’s POPS season. One of America’s favorite crooners is being featured by the Philly POPS - the largest standalone orchestra in the country! The first concert of the season will feature the iconic 1966 Sinatra at the Sands album being performed by vocalist Michael Andrew with Emmy awardwinning guest conductor Rickey Minor.

Pass Over tells the story of Moses and Kitch, two young Black men who spend their day on a city street corner dreaming about a better life. Moulin Rouge: The Musical (Re-opens September 25) Nominated for 14 Tony Awards, this jukebox musical is spectacular, spectacular. Based off of the 2001 Baz Luhrmann movie, a young American bohemian meets and falls in love with a nightclub performer. Moulin Rouge takes you to the streets of Paris with mashups of pop music hits like “Shut Up and Dance,” “I Will Always Love You,” and more. Doubtfire: The New Musical Comedy (Previews start October 21) Hometown actor Rob McClure plays Daniel Hillard, a newly separated father who pretends to be a nanny so he can spend time with his children.

New York! Pass Over (Previews start August 4th) Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s all too real drama will be the first play to hit Broadway since Covid shut it down in March of 2020. This limited run lasts for just nine weeks, so if you catch it in Philadelphia this summer (coproduced by Theatre Exile and Theatre in the X), don’t miss out again.

Jagged Little Pill (Reopens October 21) Inspired by and featuring songs from Alanis Morissette’s 1995 album of the same name, this deeply moving story is about family, pain and the human experience. The show is nominated for 15 Tony Awards and is the recent winner of the 2020 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. The show touches upon issues of race, sexual assault and sexuality in a poignant way that is cathartic for audiences. PRH

July / August / September 2021



45s Philly

Billie Holiday

“Lady Sings the Blues”



by Geno Thackara t begins with the slinkiest of minor vamps, drums lightly shuffling and piano strolling, joined by the wailing of one lonely horn. The arrangement is practically a shorthand for almost everything jazz represented in the mid-20th century - the groovy rhythm of classic stride (although slowed down to a simmer), the late-night cool that Miles Davis and friends had made trendy in recent years, and of course, the ever-present roots of the blues that ran through practically all of African-American


musical culture to one degree or another. The sound alone immediately paints pictures of smoky clubs, dim lights and snappy suits. However, all that dressing is just the start. What makes the impact is that voice. Its rawedged humility is a world away from the strong clarity that more showy performers would aim for. Each syllable is shaped with artful care. You can hear confidence, humility, hopefulness, world-weary sadness and quiet determination all at the same time. Everyone knows and feels the blues, but no one ever sang them quite like Eleanora Fagan. To be sure, her late-career signature song was built on a life with its share of troubles. She and her unmarried mother bounced from Philadelphia to Baltimore to New York before her teen years, struggling along with help from relatives


after her father Clarence Halliday walked out on them to pursue a career in jazz. When she began singing in New York City clubs, young teenage Eleanora adopted a form of his surname and borrowed a stage nickname from actress Billie Dove to become the figure the world now knows as Billie Holiday. It didn’t take her long to borrow some bits and pieces from the contemporary music scene and weave them into a sound of her own in much the same way. Of course, the world of jazz and popular music had no shortage of crooners and divas doing their thing. Ella Fitzgerald was becoming famous at the time for sultry singing and playful scatting. Slightly later contemporaries would be known for their own trademark tones, like Sarah Vaughan’s dazzling technical prowess or the earthy grit of Nina Simone. Holiday stood apart from (and eventually influenced) all of

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

them. She was an actress as much as a singer in conveying emotions, while improvising with her voice as inventively as any virtuoso on their instrument. The lack of formal training left her free to develop her craft in timeless Philly style - figuring out things your own way, regardless of what the ‘proper’ method might be. The signs of that talent were already there during her time singing in New York City clubs, which led to her first recording sessions at age 18. The ensuing 1930s were a time of hard work and gradual success. Holiday landed jobs with a string of now-legendary names: Count Basie, Teddy Wilson, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, and especially close friend Lester Young, who gave her the respectful nickname Lady Day. If a segregated nation didn’t always treat her like a lady (and she was certainly known to sometimes lose her temper in return), the performances she delivered on the bandstand remained a distinct kind of classy. A whole heap of timeless standards remains linked with Holiday’s name to this day. She adopted comfort-food chestnuts like “Carelessly” or “They Can’t Take That Away

from Me,” had a hand in writing the sublime “God Bless the Child” (among a good few others), and infamously recognized the blunt horror of racism with “Strange Fruit,” which was a strikingly audacious statement for its time. Still, it’s “Lady Sings the Blues” that arguably sums up the essence of Lady Day more than anything. After creating a forlorn-sounding mood, the song’s minor tone lets in some unexpected warmth with a touch of churchy gospel partway through. Holiday’s performance does the same thing, presenting a woman with a lot of history to share who doesn’t need to sugarcoat it (“She tells her side / nothing to hide”). She tiredly sings about a breakup, yet immediately makes it clear that the lady is going to get past it someday. And alongside the world-weariness in her voice, once she finally adds a couple more lines onto that title - “Lady sings the blues / I’m tellin’ you, she’s got them bad / But now the world will know / She’s never gonna sing them no more” - there’s enough quiet assurance to make just about anyone feel it might really be true someday. PRH gohomephilly.com


Gal what a


by Charlie Sacchetti

couple of years ago, my dear friend, Carol Murphy Salinsky, lost her mother Ruth. By all accounts, Ruth was a wonderful woman who raised a great family. Sympathizing with my friend led me to reflect on the passing of my own mother, Catherine, back in 2002. It seems that no matter how old we get, we’re only kids in grown-up bodies, and the memories flow freely. “Kate” was a “housewife.” Back in the 1950s, few


mothers worked outside their homes. Mom was a five-foot-one Sicilian bundle of energy that ran the house, paid the bills, cooked the meals and protected her two kids like a mama bear guards her cubs. Both tender and ferocious, she was always ready when needed to give a hug or bandage a cut, but woe to the unsuspecting neighborhood huckster who tried to overcharge her for three pounds of Jersey tomatoes! I remember the time when I was about seven years old and just starting to be a little “pesky.” There was a peddler in the neighborhood known as “Joe Bananas,” who used to come by periodically in the hope of selling whatever he had gotten his hands on. Watching him try to sell Mom something was more fun than watching The Little Rascals. One day, he came by with a new vacuum cleaner. As luck would have it, ours had just broken, so Mom allowed him to do a

My mom in 1992 when she was 84 years old

demo. He sprinkled some confetti on the floor and the machine only picked up about one-third of it. Reading Mom’s mind, I said, “That’s a piece of junk.” Joe looked at me and replied, “Look, kid, nobody likes a wise guy.” Without a word, Mom grabbed me by the arm and led me into the kitchen. “Charlie,” she said, “Don’t you give him a hard time; that’s my job.” We had the old vacuum repaired. Dad worked his job at Westinghouse and brought home his weekly paycheck. After Dad took out expense money, Mom would use the rest to do her magic act, paying all of the bills and buying whatever we needed. In fact, she somehow even put a few bucks away in case we needed cash down the line. We always had food, clothes and a warm house because Mom was the master of stretching a dollar. Mom had a healthy streak of vanity and was always conscious of how she looked. The one luxury she allowed herself was a weekly Friday morning trip to the hair-

dresser. These visits were usually fully funded by her bingo winnings, as she attended local church games a couple of nights a week. When she left the house to walk to the bingo game, Dad would say, “There goes Mom, off to work!” Mom was born in April, Dad in August. Dad, my sister Kathy and I always assumed - and Mom never corrected our belief - that she was four months older than Dad. When it was time for Dad to sign up for social security benefits, he naturally had Mom do likewise. At that point, the big secret was revealed: Mom was, in fact, five years older than Dad. She just didn’t want anyone to know how old she was. Dad’s reaction? “Who cares? We’re married 40 years. Big deal.” Mom’s safeguarding of her age from others lasted until she turned 80. Then she still looked so good that she would ask strangers, such as waitresses, how old they thought she was. When they guessed 65, Mom would gleefully reveal her actual age, as if it were a badge of honor. She would always say, “I don’t feel old; I’m young at heart,” an obvious reference to her favorite Sinatra song.

April 26, 2002, was a Friday and four days after Mom’s 94th birthday. After visiting a customer, I decided to give Mom and Dad a call to see how they were. When Dad answered the phone, I heard the worry in his voice as he said, “I think Mom is having a stroke!” He had just brought her home from her hair appointment and was outside tending to his flowers when Mom went inside to make lunch. When he went into the house and didn’t see Mom in the kitchen, he went in to find her on the floor, just as I called. I told him to call 911, which he did. Mom was taken to the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. The fact that she arrived just 20 minutes after the onset of the stroke gave her a 50/50 chance of successful surgery and recovery. However, it was not to be. Two weeks later, on May 11, the night before Mother’s Day, Mom passed away. It was then that Dad told me, as the EMTs were lifting Mom onto the gurney, she told them she first needed to finish making Dad’s lunch. No one in the family was surprised. PRH

Charles Sacchetti is the author of two books, It’s All Good: Times and Events I’d Never Want to Change and Knowing He’s There: True Stories of God’s Subtle Yet Unmistakable Touch. Both are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online outlets. Contact him at Worthwhilewords21@gmail.com. July / August / September 2021



Michael Caudo Return of the Prodigal


by John Nacchio photo by Frangipani Photography

his book is the culmination of decades of accidental research,” says the author, Michael Caudo, who is also a Philadelphia based lawyer. “The years I spent growing up in South Philadelphia and especially on Passyunk Avenue are the inspiration for this book.” The recent launch of Return of the Prodigal makes this a must-read book for summer 2021. Caudo plans

to expand the plot and notes that his recent release will be a series of fictional novels filled with mystery, suspense and endless adventure. Caudo blends masterful paintings, spiritual themes, intelligent insights and old fashion storytelling. His multi-generational story narrative is driven by the momentum of evocative characters. They are artfully woven into a tale of very realistic interactions and portray a familiar anatomy of Philadelphia people, places and family relationships. It undeniably succeeds in capturing a unique authenticity, echoing a slice of 20th Century urban South Philadelphia. Return of the Prodigal is inspired by one of the greatest real life, unsolved art thefts in history, concerning art stolen from a museum in Boston and suspected to have a Philadelphia connection. Thirty years later and the museum still


offers a reward of $10 million for its return. This battle of “truth or fiction” perfectly enables readers to join a compelling hidden treasure plot, poignantly shadowed by the feel of “whodunit” and “whereis-it.” It is filled with unexpected twists and flavored often with regular humor and visualizations that are brilliantly funny. So, what is more deadly? Art or love? Return of the Prodigal unfolds as lead character Nick DiNobile has three days to locate a stolen masterpiece, or he’s dead. He has no idea where his recently deceased father hid the art and it might not actually even exist. None of that matters to the psychotic killer, crooked F.B.I. agent and Russian oligarch who also are pursuing the mythical missing Rembrandt. Nick gets help from some old friends, at least one who secretly wants the

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treasure for himself and will kill to get it. The clues Nick uncovers along the way reveal the one true masterpiece more valuable than any painting – a father’s undying love for his prodigal son. About 10 years ago, Caudo conceived the book’s plot for a movie script and even started to pitch it to production companies. The process was filled with many challenges and revealed an intense competition on successfully producing and financing a film version. He turned his attention to a longer form to satisfy his creative energy - a novel - where he had more control over the characters and story. Publishing became part of his development effort, creating a company notable named “Tasker Morris Ventures, LLC” and building a marketing and public relations team. Writing the novel became more of an inclusive process than he first anticipated or expected. “The process of writing is like any job,” Caudo says. He approaches his writing with a work discipline and would sometimes even wake up at 3 am with the goal of adding 1,000

words. He embraced a mantra inspired by a quote of the famous author William Falkner, “Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.” Then was jointly empowered by balancing what he has written quoting author Stephen King, “To write is human, to edit is divine.” Legacy prevails as a force that has been driving Caudo’s creativity and his sensitive embrace of family relationships. He wanted to give his son (who was in his thoughts with every keystroke) something of himself. He wrote this book with that son in mind; to be something tangible to hold in his hands as a legacy and testament of his fatherly love and constant reminder to always in life to keep reading. “The friends and associates I met along the way deserve to be acknowledged for their contribution,” Caudo concludes. “I hope my fondness for the people and places in both South Philadelphia and South Florida shines through. In many ways, this book is my love letter to South Philadelphia, the amazing people who live there and the magical places it contains.” PRH



Michael Caudo Michael was born and raised in South Philadelphia. He attended Catholic school at St. Nick’s followed by St. John Neumann High School, received a degree in English from Temple University and followed with a Juris Doctor from Rutgers University. His profession and career have been as an attorney at law with an office currently on South Broad Street. Michael enjoys writing and reading mysteries/thrillers. When he’s not writing, Michael relaxes at the Jersey shore with his family and visits South Florida where he’s never short of inspiration.

Favorite authors to read

Elmore Leonard, Tom Wolfe, Nick Tosches, Don Winslow, George Pelecanos, Harlan Coben, Carl Hiaasen.

Best Memories

Growing up experiences on the streets of South Philadelphia, hanging out at 9th & Morris, corner luncheonettes and playing classic pinball.

Favorite Philly places to hang out

Stogie Joe’s, The Saloon, Grumpy’s Tavern, Fond and the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden (especially when the cherry blossoms are in bloom). Return of the Prodigal is available now on Amazon in paperback and digital formats (Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read it for free). Visit barnesandnoble.com or booksamillion.com to purchase as well.

2531-35 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia PA 19148

July / August / September 2021




a Life Well Lived Mr. William Cody Anderson

by Robert L. Woodard The Wynnefield Barber


here is a sadness hovering in the atmosphere of Philadelphia. A legendary communications genius has passed away. He was my buddy, my friend. A good neighbor to this city – Mr. William Cody Anderson. A walking angel. Every summer, I reminisce about one part of Cody’s legacy, in particular. Unity Day. It was an event that was created to bring political leaders and the Black community together, for the purpose of educating the Black citizens of their rights. It was a day filled with fun, food, entertainment, information and various activities. It was held for more than 30 years, and it evolved each year. One year, Cody asked me to bring my antique 1947 Cadillac to put on display along with pictures of the celebrities who sat or rode in the car: Michael Jackson, Charles Barkley and Nina Simone, to name a few. Cody was a man amongst all human beings. This man did not have a prejudiced bone in his body. If you gave him respect, then a


turn of respect would come right back at you. I was very privileged to have been his barber and friend for so many years, I can’t count them. How can I describe Cody? I’d have to say that he was truly a good neighbor to the airwaves and if you had the opportunity to listen to him, you would feel welcomed, even if you never met him. Each time Cody came into my barbershop for a haircut, I always prepared myself to receive knowledge from every degree. He made things so simple that a child could understand what he was saying. I shared with my brothers, the late Reverend Bernard Woodard, Timothy, and my youngest brother Nathaniel, how to become professional tonsorialists. They all worked along with me in my shop, Woodard’s Barbershop, located at the corner of Bryn Mawr and Lebanon Avenues in Wynnefield. Cody used to love hearing us talk. Sometimes, the conversation would become very heated, and Cody was the kind of guy who knew how to make you laugh even if the subject matter became very serious. I used to tell Cody how strict my father - Mr. James Woodard, Jr. – was

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

and how he would never spare the rod when it came to reprimanding his 10 children. He let you know that he was the boss. Cody would love hearing about my father and how he kept us all in line. My Dad would always give us a warning. However, after he warned you, there was no second chance. He would pull off his belt and tear your rear end up. Cody would also talk about how his father kept him in order, as well. So, we would always go back and forth remembering how many times we got our butts beat by our dads. Cody was like a big brother to me and I loved him, very much. His love for others will never be forgotten. For those of you who did not get an opportunity to meet Mr. William Cody Anderson, all I can say is you really missed getting a chance to understand what love really has to do with it. Cody’s love for his family, friends and fellow man, can teach us all a thing or two. He lived his life trying to be his best self. If we learn nothing else from this communications genius, it should be that we should love our neighbors as we love ourselves. PRH gohomephilly.com

Veterans Stadium


n April, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the opening of Veterans Stadium. Prior to its demolition in 2004, fans of the Phillies and Eagles lovingly embraced the fact that our home at Broad & Pattison was one of the worst playing surfaces in all of sports. As the toughest and most rabid fans in the history of professional athletics, we loved to hate the Vet because, through it all, Veterans Stadium was inherently Philadelphia. Going to a game at the Vet was always special, but no


single event elicited the rollercoaster of emotions quite like Game 4 of the World Series in 1993. Yep. On that chilly, rainy Wednesday evening in October, I received a call asking if I wanted to go on an adventure. My friend’s brother played outfield for the Phillies in the ’80s. Quite literally growing up inside the Vet, he was used to walking right into any event he wanted. But this was a World Series game. On this night, his normal carte blanche swagger at the gate didn’t fly. Cold and wet, we walked the entire circumference of the building getting the “you’re crazy” look from everyone we encountered. The

frequent explosions of crowd noise told us we were missing an exciting game. Close enough to feel the electricity that crackled with every hit, we scrambled to get updates. Two innings in the books and our Phils were leading 6-3. We joked that there was a very special game being played inside that destiny wanted us to be part of. On our second trek around the perimeter of the building, we witnessed a swarm of MLB security guards pounce on what appeared to be a counterfeit ticket holder. While they were busy subduing the criminal, we got the wave to hurry up and get inside from a friendly ticket-taker. I told you he knew everyone. Toronto’s bats started heating up in the 3rd as we searched for a place to watch

the game. There was no place to stand or sit to see the field and when we tried, we received the same “you’re crazy” look from the ticket checkers. For those of you who remember the Vet, it was somehow colder and damper inside the building than it was outside. At least we had complimentary beer and hotdogs. Yep, my friend knew all the vendors, too. By the top of the 4th, the Blue Jays were leading 7-6. After an unsuccessful lap around the inside of the building, we settled on watching the game on the small televisions hanging throughout the concourse. The Fightin’s scored in the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th innings. It was wonderful celebrating with everyone as they made their way in and out of the bathrooms. By the top of the eighth, it was already one of the longest games in the history of the World Series and our pinstriped warriors were winning 14-9. Exhausted and feeling extremely confident about the outcome of the game, we decided to beat the traffic and listen to the final out in the warmth of the car. Yep. We left.

July / August / September 2021


A bucket list memory of


For those of you that may not know, Game 4 started on October 20th but didn’t finish until October 21st. I left early from the longest, craziest and by far the highest-scoring game in World Series history. Sounds resembling what Dante tried to describe as the fifth circle of Hell boiled over and out from the giant opening atop of Veterans Stadium as we made our way back to the car. I arrived back home on Thursday morning and the Phillies were in the record books as the team that had scored the most runs in a losing effort in a World Series game. And I left early… Attending a World Series game has been checked off my bucket list. After that night, I had to redo my list to include attending, watching and staying until the end of a World Series game. Seventeen years ago, it took just 62 seconds to turn Veterans Stadium into a pile of rubble. I have more than a few memories of the Vet, but that World Series game was a wild one. Buildings come and go, but the stories will last forever. PRH



Remember Me Always by Jim Gildea

There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. (Oscar Wilde)


s I am piecing together this essay during a very damp and windy Memorial Day weekend in Longport, New Jersey, I know that my sister is dodging the raindrops on the Chesapeake Bay, in St. Michaels, Maryland, spending time with seven of her friends and their husbands. Seven women whom my sister Kathleen first met in Grade 2. They have found ways to remain in contact for 64 years, taking whatever steps required to keep their bonds from falling by the wayside.


If I were to open my high school yearbook, after brushing away the cobwebs and shaking off the dust, I would find an array of messages and signatures from friends and classmates, with just about every autograph appearing under a wish: R.M.A. Remember Me Always. We can be fickle fans, as we cheer, clap and position our stars upon demandingly lofty pedestals, then summarily push them aside to make room for fresher batches of fledglings and


understudies waiting in the wings. We enthusiastically follow episodes of American Idol, America’s Got Talent and The Voice – even The Masked Singer – anticipating their finales, nail biting our path to the winners’ announcements, then, just like that, begin to focus upon whatever next season’s competitions might hold in store. Speaking of pedestals, consider what happened to Pluto, once sharing the limelight with the other planets, then bathed in ignominy, deemed that such a classification could not be fitting any longer. Adding insult to injury, in 2006,

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

the American Dialect Society voted pluto as the word of the year, with pluto meaning “to demote or devalue someone or something.” It may be a peccadillo – perhaps even a trait of human nature – to go from Hollywood legends to ingenue leads, established restaurants to ones that are trending, and routine diversions to the newest fads. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. However, good intentions might not absolve us when we are dealing not with eateries and planets, but the significant people in our lives. It takes effort to remember others’ birthdays, anniversaries and red-letter milestones. Making sure that we make time for our friends and family might involve reworking our schedule. Surely, it is what we expect from others, is it not? Can others expect differently? PRH



Bob’s Fruit and Produce Market

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by Debbie Russino


y father’s store, Bob’s Fruit and Produce Market, was located on the corner of 10th & McKean. My house was connected to the store, so it was also the street where I grew up. These were the days when mom and pop stores were considered hot spots in every neighborhood and my Dad’s was a very popular one. There was also a grocery store and variety store on the two corners across the street from us. I remember my mother giving me notes to hand to the store owners for the items that she needed because she didn’t trust me to remember (she was right in doing so). My father, Bob Lanzillotti, or as many affectionately called him, Bobby Fruit, came from very humble beginnings. He started out as a huckster and eventually opened his own business. He sold fruit and fresh vegetables, but every weekend he offered fish and seafood. At that time, if you were Catholic, you didn’t eat meat on Friday all through the year, not just during Lent. If you needed something on a Sunday, you were out of luck because businesses were closed due to the Blue Laws. People were forced to rest, at least for a day. One of the few memories I have of my mom is when she and my uncle Louie made homemade pizza on Friday. She would fry the extra dough and sprinkle powdered sugar on top for dessert. Low-carb were words never spoken in any Italian household. Certainly not mine! I took it for granted at the time, but it was so nice having both my parents’ home at the same time. Most kids didn’t see their dad until dinnertime. Mine was always right next door. This feeling

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of contentment was very short-lived, as my mom passed away when I was a young child. When you walked into my dad’s store, there was a wooden bushel by the door filled with live crabs. I remember being scared when I walked by because the lid would pop up as they tried to claw their way out. I felt sorry for them and wanted to help plan their escape, but I knew I couldn’t save them from their ultimate demise. Little did they know they would be simmering in a pot of delicious gravy that night. The holidays were always very special because of the hustle and bustle in the store with everyone preparing for their traditional dinners. The owner of the variety store across the street sold Christmas trees and when there was an overflow, my dad would put them in front of his store. I always loved the sight and smell of the fresh trees and the overall festive feeling that seemed to be in the air. Many people had Christmas music playing from a speaker outside of their house. These special moments would begin my lifelong love affair with the Christmas season – my favorite time of year. On hot summer days, my father would put fresh cherries in a paper bag and bring them out for me to eat while I was sitting on my step. Life’s simple C pleasures were indeed the best. Our neighborhood became our playground. No need to go any M further than our own backyard to have fun. Y Today, many original establishments have been taken over by supermarkets and online shopping, CM but the friendly and personalized service that MY only a neighborhood store owner could provide is priceless! This is why I feel it is so important CY to stay local. Continue to support our great community so we may all flourish, once again.CMYPRH

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July / August / September 2021




meet the

PRH TEAM Debbie Russino Writer

Tell our readers who you are! My name is Debbie Russino, but some of you may remember me as Debbie Lanzillotti. I am a hairstylist and have been for many years. What are some of your childhood memories growing up in South Philly? I lived on the corner of 10th & McKean with my mom, dad, sister and two brothers. I am third in line and very typical of a middle child - quiet, shy and just wanting to be invisible. Our house was connected to my father’s store, Bob’s Fruit Market. I remember my father making us scooters with empty wooden fruit crates and old skates. Some of my favorite memories growing up were the summers in the city. I went to Mifflin Pool every girls’ day and the neighborhood became my playground. I was a child before modern technology took over. All we needed were a few friends and a little imagination! These simple but significant moments are the ones I cherish most. When did you start writing? The first time I had a story published was 2009 in The South Philly Review. It was one horrid, blazing hot summer! I wrote a short parody ranting about how much I hate summer heat and mailed it to the Review as a joke. I was shocked when the editor called me the next day! He asked if I was the person who wrote the “creative story” about summer, and would I mind if


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it was printed. It was in the paper that week titled, “Melting the Summer Spirit.” I became a regular and contributed almost every week. I developed a small following and this is when I knew I had a passion for writing. It all started because an editor from a local city paper told me I was a talented, creative writer and I believed him. When did you start writing for RowHome? In 2016. I was introduced to Dorette and Dawn by my friend Lou Pinto. (Lou and I are co-writing a book - 50 Shades Of Gravy: Our Saucy Adventures Of Being South Philly Born And Raised) The RowHome story you are most proud of writing is...? It’s difficult to pick just one, but I chose “Road to Redemption.” It’s a sad yet touching story about my dear friend Eddie Foschini who lost his battle with addiction in March of 2018. He was a beautiful person with a heart of gold and I will miss him forever. Eddie’s story was a tribute to his life and the chance I never had to say goodbye. What is your favorite quote? “When you write the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.” -Unknown. This has special meaning for me because I am a woman with a strong will and an independent mind. I have never based my worth on the opinion of others, and I never will.


St. Monica School LOU’S HOT SPOT PICKS 2021 by Lou Pinto

With close to 20k followers, Lou Pinto’s South Philly Born & Raised page on Facebook is also a “hot spot” for people who love their neighborhood. Thanks “Loowie!” HOT SPOTS

Every summer, we share our favorite spots around town. These are the places to go for a taste of Philly cuisine. In the past year, it has been a challenge for a lot of these establishments to stay afloat. With a little creativity and a lot of hard work, I’m happy and proud to say they are still doing what they do best in our neighborhoods! Stop by these local hot spots this summer and enjoy some of the best our city has to offer. There’s a taste of personality in every bite! The Original Tony Luke’s. Tony “Papa Luke” Lucidonio and his son Nick have served the best cheesesteaks, chicken cutlets and roast pork sandwiches since 1992. Try their pepper and egg breakfast sandwich. It’s the best outside of what mom made you. Pastificio’s. Anthony Messina and Frank Sangiuliano put their hearts and souls into every creation that comes out of this little corner Italian Deli. Anthony once said, “The best compliment we ever got was when a South Philly Nonna said if she didn’t have time to make her meatballs, she could come to Pastificio to get ones that were just like hers!” Popi’s. Gina Rucci makes sure every homemade dish on her menu reflects the pride of generations of family recipes. A great bar and al fresco dining within walking distance to the Stadiums makes this a great place to grab lunch or dinner before the game. Try the crab cakes. The Original Pat’s King of Steaks. Since 1930, the Olivieri family’s cheesesteak sandwich has become synonymous with Philly. If


you haven’t been there in a while, there’s no time like the present! From the family that invented the steak sandwich, this is one taste of Philly you won’t want to miss! Frankie Olivieri Jr. carries his great-uncle’s legacy by putting out a sandwich that is second to none. The Kitchen Consigliere. Angelo Lutz loves to cook. And talk. He’s a “chiacchierone” from South Philly who learned how to cook from his mom and grandmother. His maternal grandfather, Charles P. Giunta, was the cofounder of Giunta Brothers. Every meal at Angelo’s restaurant comes with a memory built into it. You have to try the sausage meatball. It’s awesome! Chick’s Philly. Owners Gina Cedrone-Narducci and Philip Narducci create an incredible upscale gastropub. You can get every kind of South Philly staple here – gourmet style. My favorites are Ava’s Meatball Pizza and the Grilled Salmon Salad. Pop’s Water Ice. This is where it all began. Since 1932, Pop’s has been serving South Philly with its favorite flavors of homemade water ice to keep us cool every summer. I’m old school so serve me up a lemon. New York Bakery. Every summer Sunday morning for the last 45 years or so, people who had just attended Mass at Epiphany Church would venture a little less than a block away to the most incredible slice of tomato pie the neighborhood has ever tasted. Affectionately known as “church pizza,” Stephen Candeloro (with style and grace) bakes every pie to brick oven perfection using the same family recipe his father taught him. PRH

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July / August / September 2021




rank Sinatra, one of the most charismatic personalities of the 20th century, continues to captivate legions of followers. Author Tony Oppedisano was 21 in 1972 when he first met and befriended Frank Sinatra. He later became the singer’s best friend and road manager and has provided an extraordinarily reflective look at the music idol in this June 2021 book release. Co-author Mary Jane Ross has applied an extraordinary storytelling treatment to Tony O’s life, giving the reader amazing depth, order and skillful delivery by revealing layers of new information. She lends her experience as a collaborator on numerous bestselling memoirs, including books by Albert DeMeo, Ray Charles Robinson Jr., Nancy Mace and Piper Laurie. In the Wee Small Hours is also the name of Sinatra’s ninth studio album, released in April 1955 by Capital Records. It has been called one of the first concept albums with themes such as loneliness, introspection, lost love, failed relationships, depression and the nightlife. Sinatra appears on the album cover under an

Author: Tony Oppedisano with Mary Jane Ross review by JOHN NACCHIO

eerie and deserted street at night awash in blue-tinged lights. The book resonates with the album and leaves no stone unturned. Although it’s about the past, it is alive with a glimpse of our current world. During the pandemic lockdown, thousands of New Yorkers went to their balconies and opened windows belting out simultaneously in unison Frank Sinatra’s version of “New York/New York,” sharing hopeful strength and courage. Every detail of Sinatra’s life will grab a reader’s attention – his career, his romantic relationships, his personality, his businesses, his style. But a hard-topin-down quality always clung to his aura and charismatic mystic. A certain elusiveness emerges again and again in many timeless retrospective depictions. The book connects famous, historic and well-known personalities in a tapestry of storytelling that feels like episodic TV, wanting to binge and binge, chapter by chapter. We learn that Sinatra was a rollercoaster of human complexity and revealed an underlying sense of playful humor that fans must have seen in those mesmerizing “Blue Eyes.” Captivating from start to finish, this is a joy to read and does not disappoint! PRH

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| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021



Green Philly Small Steps, Big Results Earth Day Cleanup, 2019. Photo: In Between Rivers by GENO THACKARA


Julie Hancher would be the first to tell you that small moments can unexpectedly lead to big things. She was having a perfectly ordinary day at work in 2008, when she happened to find out that her employer wasn’t recycling waste materials as claimed. Something suddenly clicked. “They were throwing the recycling bins into the trash,” she recalls. “They should know how to recycle. Sustainability is easy. People should know that.” The urge to do something about one problem led to creating a media organization to address many others. Green Philly has since grown into the city’s premier one-stop source for information about sustainable living. Its home site, www.thegreencities.com, is a hub of resources including basic guides on reducing waste, spots for recycling items besides the usual staples, and up-to-date listings for farmers’ markets and green jobs. As Hancher puts it, “There are a lot of tips for anyone. It doesn’t matter where you are in your sustainability journey. Regardless of your income or walk of life, anyone can learn ways to save money, live healthier and basically, be happier.” The outfit’s branches have spread from media publicity into events, podcasts and social media (even the world of TikTok), always with the goal of getting more people informed and involved. “We started it with a mission to make sustainability easy, accessible and low-cost,” Hancher explains. “Since then, it’s grown from a passion project into my full-time career. “People want to do the right thing, but you have to have a system in place. Sustainability should be the default, right?” she asks, reasonably enough. “It shouldn’t just be the kind of thing where there’s maybe a bonus if you

do it more.” While such positive incentives have done some good, it’s like that proverb about giving someone a fish. Teach someone to learn and adopt healthful habits for themselves, and the effects only continue to spread and multiply from there. “In order to tackle the climate crisis, everyone needs to work together, whether that’s individuals, businesses, nonprofits, or even civic, government or neighborhood associations,” she continues. “The more people can understand climate change and sustainability, the more likely they’ll want to have a part in solving it. So, it’s about informing more people and helping everyone be a part of that solution.” One illustration of this adaptability is the way Green Philly’s outreach has gone virtual under COVID-19. “Luckily our panels and other events have still been gaining momentum, even virtually, and we have a large presence on social media to connect with people where they are. We hosted a virtual symposium which was a day-long conference that focused around sustainability in the Philly region. We had 15 sessions in one day and an awards portion. It was a really cool way to come together at a weird time.” Although the weird time is far from over, the work isn’t slowing down. One way or another, the annual SustainPHL awards will continue honoring local figures for important service to the city’s health. The site’s calendar of local events is also open for anyone to add new listings that the wider community should know about. And there may even be plans to revive another series of the inviting and informative City Rising podcast that’s been on hold since 2018. Hancher says, “We’re thinking about what we’re going to do and how to move forward.

I still don’t know when we’ll have any inperson events. A lot is TBD right now, but we’re always looking for ways to try to bring people together. Learning and hearing new perspectives during interviews is the coolest part of my job, and it’s really nice to be able to share that with readers in the greater Philadelphia community.” When it comes to the bigger changes the world needs, she reminds us it can be much like her own journey - just a lot of small steps that add up. “It started just because I thought I should recycle and that was important. And I think it is still important, but I’ve also done a lot of other things. I commute via bicycle. There’s a weekly pickup service, Circle Compost, that composts my veggie scraps, and that’s less to put in the trash. I save money by shopping locally and not buying things I don’t need. “That’s what we try to think about - not just the one immediate benefit of, say, supporting local farmers, but there are all these other benefits. There’s more money going into your community and into your local food system. I go to local farmers’ markets and subscribe to a CSA. I meet the people who are making the food, and they’ll give tips on how to cook it and offer recipes I haven’t even heard of. I’ve grown as a chef, as well. Hopefully,” she laughs. The beauty of it is that everyone can find their own ways to do similar things in their own lives. Good things only spread when people remember that everything’s connected. Hancher sums up, “It’s not just about the environment of the earth, it’s about our wellbeing as humans, our health, our lifestyles. It’s about where we’re living, our happiness - there are connections that people may not initially think about. When it’s all sustainable, everything’s better overall for everyone.” PRH

July / August / September 2021



East Coast

Greenway Alliance Walk, run, ski the East Coast trail from Maine to Key West

Schuylkill Banks in Philadelphia



It’s clear that Philadelphia and the suburbs are filled with trails suitable for biking, walking, running and horseback riding as you take in the nature and scenic views around you. But what if you could do that just about anywhere on the East Coast...without detours and with the ability to keep going for thousands of miles if you want? In 1991, the nonprofit East Coast Greenway Alliance formed to develop a trail network that would link cities and towns in 15 states plus Washington, D.C. and 450 communities to nature and safe, accessible pathways. Once completed, bicyclists, walkers, runners, skaters, horseback riders, even cross-country skiers, can gather up their outdoor gear and spread out along 3,000 miles of connected walking and biking routes along the east coast. The Greenway aims to be a safe place for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and abilities to commute (local or long distance), stay active, and visit new destinations. Many sections are complete, but there is work to be done in other areas.


The East Coast Greenway Alliance hopes that the trail route from Calais, Maine, to Key West, Florida, is an investment in a healthy and sustainable future. Hundreds of volunteers, partnering organizations and local officials work with the Alliance daily to ensure that more and more of the route is moved onto protected paths. Currently, the route is 35 percent complete with more than 1,000 miles of off-road trail. The hope is for the entire trail to have off-road access. In Pennsylvania, the Greenway travels through Bucks County and Philadelphia (where you can see many historical landmarks on your way). Until more Greenways are built, the 67-mile route is primarily on roads. In the Northeast region of Philly, many disconnected trails along the Delaware River will become part of the Greenway’s route. Portions of the trail include Delaware Canal State Park, Bartram’s Garden, Schuylkill River Trail, Cobbs Creek, Pennypack Creek, Grays Ferry Crescent, and many more. Philadelphia is also a major part of fundraising for the development of the

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

route in Pennsylvania, New York City and New Jersey. This August, proceeds from the Alliance’s inaugural New York City-toPhiladelphia Ride will help the organization move that entire 125-mile portion of the Greenway off-road as close to 2030 as possible. Riders will travel from Liberty State Park to Princeton, spend the night, and then head on to Philadelphia. As of press time, the NYC-Philly Ride (August 28th to 29th) registration was still open. You can also participate virtually. Be on the lookout for information on the 2022 ride, soon. The entire Greenway route has been mapped out and will ultimately connect all of the miles together. Visit www.greenway. org/about/the-east-coast-greenway to learn about active segments, the progress in each state and the organization’s work and partners in each area. You can use their planning tools to organize your journey or follow along with one of their suggested riding and walking itineraries (like a one-week Boston to Cape Cod bike loop or a half-day Spanish Moss walking trail in Beaufort, SC). PRH gohomephilly.com


PHS Harvest Initiative

Helping Gardeners Grow Fresh Produce to Share with Neighbors by BRENDA HILLEGAS


The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) recently announced the return of its PHS Harvest Initiative which focuses on increasing food production and food security. To do this, PHS asks gardeners, community garden members, schools and institutions to plant food crops and grow fresh produce to share with people in need. Food insecurity is an issue across America. In 2020, PHS started the Harvest Initiative as a response to COVID-19 and were able to produce more than 44,000 pounds of produce with the help of the community. Research from Feeding America shows that about 16.4 percent of children in Pennsylvania were food insecure prior to the pandemic. The number is projected to increase to about 17 percent.

The Harvest Initiative asks thousands of gardeners to: 1. grow (food for themselves and their family/community) 2. share (grow & commit to sharing food with a selected list of food relief organizations) 3. or donate (support Harvest efforts with a monetary donation) Community gardens, gardening groups, institutions and schools are welcome to participate. You can also sign up as a Growing Team with family, friends or neighbors. Teams can pool crops, track their impact and compete for prizes.



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As part of this initiative, PHS will: ❙❘ P  rovide participants with virtual resources on food growing and harvesting, guides, checklists, and webinars. ❙❘ M  aintain a list of area retailers and nurseries where participants can purchase supplies and tools. ❙❘ C  onnect gardeners through social media and remote networking opportunities. ❙❘ P  artner with communitybased nonprofits to provide gardening supplies to low-income gardeners. ❙❘ C  reate and engage community growing spaces by encouraging increased food production. ❙❘ M  aintain a network of distribution agencies/partners to collect and share produce with local food banks.

For details and a list of participating organizations visit http://phsonline.org/harvest.

July / August / September 2021


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Pickleball Courts come to

FDR Park by Brenda Hillegas


he rules of Pickleball are easy enough to grasp, especially if you ever played a paddleball game like badminton or table tennis. But without a court to play on, what’s the point of learning the rules? Thanks to some very dedicated local fans of this rapidly growing sport, anyone who wants to learn or play will soon be able to sign up in South Philly. Linda Maugeri is an avid Pickleball player who lives steps away from FDR Park. On one of her daily walks around the park, she noticed some of the underused tennis courts and realized how easily they could be transformed into Pickleball spots. “My friends and I became involved with the Park Director Justin DiBerardinis when we realized that the Master Plan for FDR Park did not involve building any Pickleball courts,” she says. According to research from Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s (SFIA) 2019 Pickleball Participant Report, there are currently 3.3 million players in the U.S. In the Delaware Valley/South Jersey area, Pickleball venues grew from three locations in 2014 to 62 locations with 279 courts, last year. By 2030, projected participants are expected to surpass tennis players in the United States. The

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| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

spread of the sport is attributed to its popularity within community centers, public parks and retirement communities. The activity has grown to national and international championships. With so many renovations happening at FDR Park, and given the popularity of the game in the Philly area, it seems obvious that unused courts should be transformed into exclusive Pickleball spots. Over winter 2021, it became Maugeri’s task to prove the popularity of the sport to the Park Commission. Maugeri enlisted the help of Andrew Freedman, a certified Pickleball instructor and member of PickleBall USA. His group from Seger Park heard about FDR and jumped at the chance to help make the plan a reality. “The Pickleball community responded in spades,” she says of the request to turn two unused tennis courts into four Pickleball courts. “Our grass roots surveys and Facebook posts brought in tons of comments!” More than 80 people expressed their love of the game in documents presented to the Commission. Many supporters mentioned having to travel great lengths to play the game. Another looks forward to including the FDR Park location on his map of Pickleball courts around the U.S. (for anyone to view via Google Maps). Other comments included:


Pickleball is a great game, especially for seniors. I am 76 years old and thoroughly enjoy [it]. In the summer of 2019, before Covid, it was normal to see 50-60 players rotate through the courts during our club times [in Philadelphia’s western suburbs]. It was not uncommon to have more people in line waiting to play than were actually on the courts playing! ...this sport is not a “phase.” Pickleball created a way for people to become active at all ages and safely socialize. This sport is continuing to grow because of its affordability and availability of courts. Pickleball is almost always played by doubles on a court half the size of a tennis court, so four times as many people play at the same time! Our community that has tended to rely on indoor courts up until now has been heavily impacted by the pandemic, and outdoor courts would provide needed facilities likely to be quickly oversubscribed as more players discover the game. This would be a potential halfway point to meet up with my son who lives and plays in South Jersey.

The Commission is currently evaluating the community’s request. In the meantime, temporary Pickleball courts are set up for this summer and there will be a pickleball tournament in August using temporary taped court lines. A volunteer group, led by Andrew Freedman, will be lining the rarely used back tennis courts. “These will be the only public Pickleball courts in South Philly,” Maugeri says of the achievement. “My neighbors and I are ecstatic!” To learn more about Pickleball, visit wwwusapickleball.org. The 2021 USA National Championship games will be held December 6th to 14th in California. This year marks the 56th anniversary of the game. It was created in 1965 on Bainbridge Island (near Seattle, WA) by three dads - Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum. Their children were bored with usual summertime activities, so they came up with this new backyard game for kids by using handmade equipment and simple rules. Sources claim the name of the game comes from the Pritchard family’s cocker spaniel, Pickles. In actuality, Pritchard’s wife Joan said the game reminded her of the concept of the Pickle Boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats. PRH


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July / August / September 2021


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D E S S E R P It’s all about the



ta Jackson By Dorette Ro


e all could write this book. Behind the scenes of a family… …business …vacation …holiday dinner …reunion… If it features the family, there’s an endless supply of writing material. And confusion. Let’s flash back to the days before they cancelled life. Dawn was in charge of ordering the dresses for our 2020 Blue Sapphire night. She knows my tastes. Lesley Ann Warren’s ballgown before she went back to the cinders. Full, flouncy, swishy when you twirl. Who doesn’t love Cinderella’s ball gown. We were way too busy for formalwear shopping. We decided to Pick & Click. Dawn accepted the mission.


Whatever she ordered for me, I wanted it in RED. I heard her mumbling words like “fabulous” and “perfect” as she studied the screen on her laptop. I was tempted to look a few times, but I just wasn’t feeling it. My fashion fate was in my sister’s trusted hands. Three weeks later, Fedex drops two bubble-wrapped bags the size of a snack pack of Cheetos on the top step. The one with my name on it is marked “Very Berry Belle.” Surely not the ballroom wear Dawn selected on my behalf. A pair of panties wouldn’t fit into this sandwich bag. Then I read the label on her packet. “Starry Starry Night.” I vaguely recall a comment she made that day she was surfing the formalwear net. ‘I love starry starry night. It’s a spiritual sign.’ I rolled my eyes so far back in my head, I thought they were going to get stuck. I snapped a shot of the mini

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July / August / September 2021

manilas & texted it to her. wt* is that??? she shot back. ‘Our outfits for our event,’ I answer. ‘I’ll wait till you get home to open them.’ I popped 23 mini bubble balls on the wrap inside the pretty flat package by the time she came flying through the front door. ‘What do you think I ordered?’ she starts flapping her lips on her way by. ‘What kind of dress can possibly fit inside that ridiculous size packet?’ I peel away the plastic tape and reach inside. My hand comes to rest on an itchy fabric. Feels like tulle. I tug a little and my eyes are blinded by the very berry red satin bow that falls to the floor. Followed by the little house on the prairie prom gown that was vacuum sealed so tightly, I couldn’t get it out of the plastic sleeve. Covid forced us to cancel our big bash, last year. Fortunately for us since the berry ballgown is now


packed away with the Halloween decorations. I kept it as a reminder of the stressful year we’ve been through and the importance of seeking a beacon of light during challenging times. And more importantly, it’s a reminder that ballroom gowns don’t always look like the photos on Facebook websites. But don’t take my word for it. Starry, Starry Night wasn’t so bad. The cat loves curling up on the velveteen sleeves that Dawn accidentally cut off when she scissored through her bubble wrap. The good news? We’re back! Order your dress, get your suit ready. We’re heading to Cescaphe’s Vie on November 3 to celebrate life. And we want you all to come! To honor people who make our city better and to see our family, friends and business owners who are an example for all to follow. Dedicated, resilient, loyal. Preserving the traditions that define us. So, our children can march confidently into the future. PRH


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Philadelphia RowHome Magazine Summer 2021  

Our annual Summer Hot Spots issue and a look at our 2020 Blue Sapphire award recipients. Join us for a celebration in November. Details insi...

Philadelphia RowHome Magazine Summer 2021  

Our annual Summer Hot Spots issue and a look at our 2020 Blue Sapphire award recipients. Join us for a celebration in November. Details insi...


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