Philadelphia RowHome Magazine Summer 2023

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2 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023 INSIDETHIS ISSUE 16 A SHORE THING Spotlight: Tommy Coniglio Lightning strikes for Rydell Tribute Singer Tommy C by Pat Ciarrocchi 28 LIFE James Mtume City renames street in honor of music legend by John Nacchio 43 REAL ESTATE 1600 Spruce St. Home, Interior Design & Gifts by Jamie Flowers 56 THE MENU John’s Roast Pork earns Flavored by Philly finalist status by Joseph Myers 78 MUSIC & ARTS Eric Okdeh This artist paints murals to unite neighborhoods by Jane Roser 93 WRITERS BLOCK Bob Ciampitti The Angler in the Shadows by John Nacchio VOLUME _60 ISSUE 70_ 2023 GOHOMEPHILLY.COM JULY | AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2023 43 REAL ESTATE 78 ART 56 MENU Philly Philly 16 TOMMY C 93 WRITERS BLOCK
Lynch, Jr.
Manager IBEW Local 98 KEEP SHINING The world needs your light


RowHome Rollback to 2006

In honor of our 20th anniversary, we’re looking back at some of RowHome’s favorite memories of the people, places and faces that helped us launch a magazine in the neighborhood we know & love.


May 25, 1963. Jimmy (Rogel) & Dolores Gabriele celebrate their 60th Wedding Anniversary.


Dolores “Dolly Broadway” Paolino is hangin’ out with siblings Al Pietrefesa, Maryann Schafer & Lucy Mattia at her 90th birthday party.


RowHome Remembers

Garage Bands by Tony Santini


Soothing scents can ease stress courtesy of Danielle Tucci, MS, CAADC, LPC Co-Owner/Licensed Psychotherapist Live Better Therapy Solutions


Replacing lost tax breaks for your growing children courtesy of The CPA Firm of David M. Spitzberg


Chef MJ’s Corner

Is it time to hire a personal chef? by Chef Mitzi Jackson-Robinson


Philly 45s

Chubby Checker: Let’s twist again! by Geno Thackara


The Best of Pressed!

To all of you who love to read the last page first, PRH brings you our readers’ top picks of the past in honor of our 20th anniversary in Spring 2024!


Captain Joe Accetta & Pennsport String Band

One of Philadelphia’s finest traditions, PRH takes time out to talk to the Mummers about the work they do year-round to keep all of us strutting to the music we know and love!

The oldest continuous folk parade in the U.S., Mummers have been marching for Philly since 1901!

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photo by Bob Watts


Dorette Rota Jackson


Dawn Rhoades EDITOR

Dorette Rota Jackson


Dawn Rhoades


Carol Vassallo


Brenda Hillegas


Omar Rubio


Joseph Volpe


Maria Merlino


Andrew Andreozzi

Phil Kramer

Maria Merlino



Michael Rhoades


Mark Casasanto

David Cava

Joei DiSanto

Frank DePasquale Jr., Esq

Victoria DiPietro

Jamie Flowers

Larry Gallone

Brett Jackson

Matt Kelchner

Maria Merlino

John Nacchio

Vincent R. Novello, Jr.

Stephen Pagano

Anthony Panvini

Lou Pinto

Michael Rhoades

Marialena Rago

Jane Roser

Jade Rota

Debbie Russino

Charles Sacchetti

Anthony Santini

Geno Thackara

Dominique Verrecchio

Robert “Woody” Woodard

Joseph Myers

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 5
Published by Philadelphia RowHome Inc. P.O. Box 54786, Philadelphia, PA 19148 Phone – 215.462.9777 | Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine and its contents are copyrighted. Content printed in the magazine may not be reproduced or reprinted, in whole or in part, by any other party without the expressed written consent of Philadelphia RowHome Magazine. 2023 Philadelphia RowHome Inc. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the USA. Published by Philadelphia RowHome Inc. Family owned & operated since 2004 Mission Statement
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. Northeast Cardiology Consultants, Inc. RICHARD W. VASSALLO M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.P. Nazareth Hospital - Physicians Office Building 2701 Holme Avenue, Suite 105 Philadelphia, PA 19152 (215) 335 -4944 GOHOMEPHILLY.COM 1721 E. Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.551.9070 www . aandpcustomkitchens . com Exceptionally Built. Eternity of Beauty.

Before we spring forward, we’re going to look back at some of RowHome’s favorite memories of the people, places and faces that helped us launch a magazine in the neighborhood we know and love.

The following From the Publishers is from our Fall 2006 issue.


RowHome Rollback to 2006!


having a

Everyone knows that we started this magazine to showcase our neighborhood’s style. We felt shortchanged by flat screens and magazines that highlight other parts of town. We wanted to make sure that our homes and businesses got a fairer share of the public’s eye. Well, friends, tune in to Fox 29’s Good Day Philadelphia on October 11th & 26th as we take morning news anchor Nick Smith on a PRH tour of a few of our local spots! Once he got an up-close and personal look at the “zains” in action, Nick was anxious to share our RowHome spotlights and business profiles with his early-morning (7-9) viewers! He said South Philly coverage gets high ratings. We want to keep him coming back for more! We are very excited with the attention that PRH has attracted since the first issue debuted in spring 2004. Wherever we go, compliments abound for the magazine, our neighborhood and our people. Subscriptions from “RowHome Grown” residents are pouring in from as far away as Rome and Australia, proving that ties to this part of town run deep. Thank you, readers and advertisers, for your overwhelming support! We promise to continue our quest to promote everything positive about our neighborhoods and its businesses. On October 26th, PRH presents “An Affair to Remember,” a men’s fashion extravaganza for local retailer Pat Scioli a tailor and importer of fine Italian suits and menswear. Like so many of our family-owned businesses, Pat & Anna Scioli have called South Philadelphia home for many years. Local business owners and surprise celebrity guests will join us in our rally call to “Go Home Philly! Stop & Shop at our local spots!” Wearing one of Pat’s posh Italian suits, custom tailored cashmere coats and other fine fashions, our “Business Models” will take to the runway in true South Philly style! Sponsored by Cescaphe Ballroom, guests will enjoy an evening of fine food, cocktails, and a charity auction to benefit The

Variety Club. And it gets better! Bernard Hopkins is our guest of honor – a RowHome Grown champion who accepted our invitation on the spot! We’re joining forces to promote the best of our businesses so everyone in this community can prosper. At PRH, we believe that competition isn’t a detriment to success, it’s a catalyst. Something that makes everyone work harder. It’s that “something” that visitors can’t quite put their finger on that defines South Philadelphia – its history, its culture, its pride. Fox 29 recognizes it. So do the hundreds of business owners who support our efforts by advertising with PRH. We thank you for recognizing that your ad is key to a positive image that we want to convey on behalf of everyone who ever called South Philadelphia home. We are excited for this opportunity to join some pretty sleek publications circulating our neighborhoods. Publications blessed with big budgets and large staffs. But in South Philly, we learned that sometimes, heart carries more weight than hype. It’s why the corner deli thrives in the shadows of its neighboring supermarket. It’s why two sisters and a dozen dedicated professionals produce a magazine that reflects our community pride. It’s not about profit. It’s about progress. It’s about working your way up, not starting there. It’s about fond memories of the way we were and keeping those memories around for our children and their children. PRH exists because of you. And only through you will it continue to keep our businesses strong. Preserve the history of the neighborhood by sharing your stories. We’ll keep going if you keep pushing. From childhood friends to Little League parents to Sunday breakfast at the diner, our paths cross often in this neighborhood. And as our international list of subscribers confirms, connections to this neighborhood are lifelong. No matter where your path leads you. Let’s keep South Philadelphia – and each other – in the public eye! That’s what our fashion event is all about. No political agenda, no membership fees, nothing to buy. Just enjoy the night and support the cause.

July /August /September 202 ROLLBACK TO 2006
Dorette & Dawn
River to River.
July /August /September 2023 sponsored by Cescaphe Event Group Vie | 600 N. Broad Street | Philadelphia, PA 19123 | November 2nd, 2023 Guests will meet on the Red Carpet at 6 p.m. for an elaborate cocktail reception followed by a five-course dinner. Entertainment provided by guest band The Business Tickets are $150. Tables of 10 are $1,500 and include sponsorship. Individual sponsorships available. Contact Carol at 215.462.9777 or For tickets, go to An Affair to Remember XVI & 2023 Blue Sapphire Awards Gala “An Affair to Remember 2006” • Thursday, October 26th • Cescaphe Ballroom • With guest of honor Bernard Hopkins • Fashions by Pat Scioli • Hair/Makeup by The Cutting Point • Evening Wear by Felice Elan • Shoes by Shoe Barrell • Limousine courtesy of Carey Limousines


Born & raised in South Philadelphia! Someone gave me a copy of RowHome and I enjoyed it so very much. I am asking how to get a subscription. Thank you. Please advise.

Joan L.

(Editor’s Note: Dear Joan: Thank you for asking how to become a RowHome subscriber! See below for details!)


As usual, I have been on the lookout for the new issue of RowHome. I love getting it in the mail. So happy to see a story on two of my favorite entertainers - Charlie Gracie & Jerry Blavat [in the Spring issue]. They will surely be missed. We would always see Jerry at St. Nick’s Italian Festival and follow Charlie in Delaware County.


Thank you, thank you, thank you! I want to thank both of you for this most beautiful hometown magazine called RowHome. I feel so blessed to have the honor and privilege of writing for you these last seven

years. When Brenda sends us our first online link each season, I immediately read it cover to cover. We are so fortunate to have so many talented writers in our group When people ask me, ‘What kind of magazine is RowHome?’ I tell them that we’re a “fluff magazine” and we write only about good things. But we are so much more than that. We are a feel good, feel wonderful magazine. Even when we write about a friend of the magazine that we lost, it feels good that this friend was family to us, and we were all (and that includes our subscribers) so lucky to have known this person even if it was just through the magazine. I look forward to attending this year’s Blue Sapphire Awards gala.


Thank you to Dawn, Dorette and the entire South Philly community for all your support these last few months on my new film, @ fuhgeddaboutchristmas. Blessed to be from the best city in the world. Big shoutout to the legend @ steve_martorano who was on the cover (January 2023). Thank you for continuing to inspire us. Be sure to subscribe to this beautiful magazine. Keep shinin’, South Philly.

8 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023 Q: Where can I get a copy of RowHome Magazine? Order your Subscription Today! Your next issue of PRH will be delivered right to your doorstep! Call 215.462.9777 or subscribe online at Thank you for being part of our RowHome family! Dorette & Dawn THEMAILBOX EMAIL YOUR LETTERS TO: INFO@ GOHOMEPHILLY.COM JULY | AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2023
CHRISTIAN SELLS CARS AT APOLLO AUTO SALES All makes. All models. Over 300 vehicles in stock. Mention this ad to receive a $500 discount! Christian Cerrone | Direct: 267-304-8300 www . apollopreowned . com 573 Delsea Drive / Sewell, NJ 08080. Only 18 minutes over the Walt Whitman Bridge
Circa 1973. Bishop Neumann High School gym teacher Ken Adams Circa 1946. Joe & Emma McBride, 3100 block of Gaul Street. Port Richmond. 1967. (Back row) Sam Bonacurso, Joanne, Johnny Vacca, James Juliano, (front row) JoAnn (Lerro) Altamuro, Art Juliano, JoAnn Vacca & Annette Juliano at the Latin Casino to see The Temptations. 1957. Denise LaRosa, 6 months old. 1972. May Procession. St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church. Dorette Retallick & Renee Rouse. Frank Criniti with sister Rose & brother Anthony - the only one born in America. 1944. Lou Pinto Sr. in front of his plane (B-17) named for him. The “Uncle Louie Pinto.” Circa 1957. From left Tommy Milito, Ronnie (Ferullo) Milito, Phyllis (Ferullo) Mariani, Rita Milito. Back Diana (Ferullo) Martino. 1974. Lit Brothers. Pauline & Tina Marie Condo. 1953. Cousins Karen Salvatore Fisher & Cathy Badolato Stonis. Circa 1956. Kelly & McBride families at Cannstatters, 9100 block of Academy Road. Torresdale.

AwardMayorFrankRizzopresentedtheLibertyBell distinguishedtoV.ThomasMattia,Sr.,forhisyearsof servicetotheCityofPhiladelphia.

1941. Condo kids – Joseph, Victor & Florence Condo. May 25, 1963. Jimmy (Rogel) & Dolores Gabriele celebrate their 60th Wedding Anniversary. 1958. Pete, Bruno, Joseph & Frank Criniti, taken before they left Italy to come to America. 1948. Tina Virgilio, St. Nicholas of Tolentine School. 1948. Louis & Teresa Mas- citti with son Domenic.



1. Marci Rinaldi, Nina & Juliana Martino with Marie Elena Abbruzzi in Positano.

2. Hangin’ out with Sui & Kim - owners of Lucky Corner Nails - who celebrated 5 years in the neighborhood with a party for friends & customers!

3. Good Day Philadelphia’s Mike Jerrick, Chi Chi Devine (The Hippies), Billy Carlucci (Billy & the Essentials), DJ Eric Bartello & RowHome’s Mark Casasanto are hangin’ out at the Italian Market Festival after their tribute to Jerry Blavat.

4. Congratulations to Sister Barbara, Sister Carmela & Sister Mary Esther who are retiring after more than 30 years of teaching! Thank you for all that you have done for the faculty, staff & students of St. Anthony of Padua Regional Catholic School (St. Nicholas of Tolentine). You will always be in our prayers as you continue in your ministry.

5. Hangin’ out in Florida with Joe Sacchetti, Tommy (Two Buck) Coppola, Anthony Retallick & Henry Pisano.

6. Brenda, Camille, Toi & Melanie hang out at Moulin Rouge on Broadway.

7. Penny, MarieElena, JoAnn, Sandy, Danielle, Amelia & Jane are hangin’ out in Boca.

8. Dolores “Dolly Broadway” Paolino is hangin’ out with siblings Al Pietrefesa, Maryann Schafer & Lucy Mattia at her 90th Birthday Party.

9. Nick Seragini is hangin’ out with Tony & Nick Luke Lucidonio at Tony & Nick’s Steaks!

10. RowHome Carol is hangin’ out for lunch with Ida at Caffe Ida.

11. Helen Braccia & Julia Santini at Stephen & Allison Braccia’s wedding reception at the Please Touch Museum.

12. Congratulations to Albert DiDomenico for being inducted into the Ss. Neumann Goretti Hall of Fame for Baseball.

13. Hangin’ out with the Burg family celebrating Christian’s First Holy Communion.

14. Lucy Mattia is hangin’ out with her grandchildren & great-grandchild at Santorini’s in Wildwood, NJ.

15. Congratulations to Mark Hatty for being inducted into the Ss. Neumann Goretti Hall of Fame for Football. Pictured with wife Karen.

16. Chef Mitzi JacksonRobinson & husband Jesse Robinson are hangin’ out in Jamaica for their 3rd wedding anniversary.

17. Michael Giangiordano, Century 21 Forrester, celebrates the retirement of Sister Mary Esther, Sister Barbara & Sister Carmela from St. Anthony of Padua School (St. Nicholas of Tolentine) after 30+ years of teaching.

18. Nikki Landi is hangin’ out on her 40th birthday with Chrissy, Michelle, Jade, Kayla, Kaitlin & Sienna.

19. On the Corner Mark, the Italian Market Festival’s main stage emcee, coordinated a selfie with the crowd just before the festival’s final act, the Juliano Brothers, took to the stage.

12 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023 VOLUME _60 ISSUE 70_ 2023 GOHOMEPHILLY.COM
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There was a time back in the late ’60s and early ’70s when tutti famiglia e’ cugini would convene at the corner of 19th & Wolf Streets in South Philly to begin the annual caravan of all reliable vehicles for the big summer getaway. Destination – Wildwood, New Jersey. No space was left empty in any car or truck. Everything went, whether it was stowed under your feet, tied to the roof, or towed behind in some sort of creative contraption. The Star Lane Apartments on Garfield Avenue and its affable owner, Mr. Iorio, never knew what tsunami was going to hit them the first two weeks of every August.

To this day, even a dreamy thought of the aroma of Mack’s Pizza surfing through the warm summer air is enough for me to put the car in drive and head south to the GSP! I guess, once a child of Wildwood, always a child of Wildwood.

Recently, while trying to ease myself into an elusive slumber, I happened upon a video on YouTube entitled “South Jersey’s Unknown Ship Graveyard.” For me, the perfect click bait. I’ve been clicking ever since.

Earlier this spring, I met with the man behind that captivating video, Wildwood’s own Joey Contino. On a gorgeous, sunny afternoon, we sat out back of his family home in North Wildwood. He is the fourth

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generation of Continos to drop anchor there, a safe harbor for family and even friends like Frankie Avalon and Fabian. Back in the day, they once holed up at the house seeking relief from a throng of adoring teens trying to track them down between local appearances.

His connection to the island is unmatched. In high school, he was a beach boy – one of the local youngsters paid to deliver and set up those classic blue and white beach umbrellas. From there, he became the voice of Morey’s Piers, where he worked as a supervisor. During that time, that voice on the speakers high above the fun and games of the boardwalk, was indeed Joey. The job paid dividends in many ways. Not only did it spur his interest in broadcast media, but after two seasons of working with a Ukrainian beauty who summered in Wildwood on a work visa, Cupid eventually drew back his bow, and well, you know the rest.

After college, while interning with The Elvis Durant Show in New York, his yearning for home led him to create the Wildwood Boardwalk Facebook page. A website and other social media platforms would soon follow, all fueled by him, his wife, and some sweat in the sand.

Because of their dedication, this husband-and-wife team can take us beyond Wildwood. If there’s something happening along the coast, Contino’s got it covered, by foot or by air. Several times a week, the Facebook page provides informational updates in a blog format and has now eclipsed the 3 million viewer mark.

But it’s the YouTube Channel and website that enables Contino to deep dive into the little known or long forgotten people and places of the Jersey Shore. The finished products are the result of months of research, expenses, and personal passion. Each is a fascinating mini lesson worthy of any timeslot on The History Channel.

As a FAA Certified Drone Pilot, many of his productions contain amazing aerial views, courtesy of his appropriately named drone, The Seagull. In fact, those fascinating images captured the attention of this Naval Warfare history buff. It all became a reality after many months of petitioning the Salem Nuclear Plant for access to their highly secured footprint and restricted airspace. With access granted, Contino was given a date and time carefully coordinated around a low tide for the purposes of uncovering Shipwreck Cove. The results… simply stunning! Eighteen World War I era wooden hull ships at rest in the Delaware Bay.

That’s just the tip of the drone, however. Joey C, as he’s sometimes known, constantly queries researchers at the national archives for information and clarity on intended projects. Sometimes it starts a circuitous trail of point and direct to other sources for answers, but with patience and perseverance, Contino meticulously tracks it down.

From enhancing nostalgic 8mm film of the PT 109 boat rides, to unearthing abandoned amusement parks and private golf courses owned by beer moguls, Contino’s commitment to each feature is encyclopedic in nature. Did the German Army really swim in the Atlantic? Did Henry Ford actually own property down the shore? Don’t take my word for it. Visit and soak it all in for yourself. PRH

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 15

“The kid is

Lightning strikes for Rydell Tribute Singer Tommy C


Summer at the Shore

For Tommy Coniglio, at the time a 21-yearold “bar singer” at a Wildwood restaurant, the words were like a lightning strike.

“The kid is good,” had spilled from the lips of Tommy’s musical idol, Philadelphia music royalty, Bobby Rydell.

Five years ago, Bobby and his wife, Linda Hoffman, were having dinner at Joey M’s La Piazza Cucina in Wildwood. Owner Joey Montello, a Sinatra style

singer, show producer and talent manager himself, was at the table with his long-time friends. Coming from the restaurant’s courtyard came a solo voice singing the ‘60s blockbuster, “Lightning Strikes.”

As the story goes, Rydell said, “Who the hell is that? He’s better than Lou Christie.” Christie was the original recording artist.

Joey led Bobby and Linda out to the courtyard, where a tall, lean, dark-haired singer belted out the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons classic, “Sherry.”

“The kid is good,” Bobby told Joey and Linda. The words launched a mentorship that became a friendship that became a collaboration.

And now, Tommy Coniglio –whose stage name is “Tommy C”- is a singing embodiment of Bobby Rydell, headlined as the Voice of Tribute.

“I idolized Bobby, the performer,” Coniglio says. “I also idolized Bobby, the man, who despite his headline entertainer stardom, never forgot his humble South Philly and South Jersey roots.”

“In Tommy, Bobby’s music has come alive again,” Linda says. “Now, a younger generation can experience his music, while Bobby’s loyal and devoted older fans can jump up, sing along and dance.”

Rydell, the beloved 1960s teen-idol, who rose to international stardom, could capture an audience with his first step onto any stage. Bobby died at age

79, on April 5, 2022, due to complications from pneumonia. In recent years, Linda, who is a nurse by profession and became her husband’s loving caregiver, watched him courageously struggle with health issues that had compounded. He survived nearly a decade after a celebrated liver and kidney double-organ transplant in July 2012.

“He sang, with nearly the last breath that was in him,” Linda says. “It’s who he was!”

“My Dad showed us the true meaning of strength, and being a family man,” says Jen Ridarelli Dulin, Bobby’s daughter. “His recording and performing career put him on the road a lot when my brother and I were little. But when he came home to us and our mother Camille, who we lost many years ago, we were the Ridarellis. Rydell was his stage name. Still, Bobby Rydell, the star, was a proud Dad, always encouraging us. He adored his five grandchildren and inspired them too with his love.”

Bobby Rydell’s inspiration became a career game-changer for Coniglio, whose Jersey roots are in Freehold. He sharpened his vocals and stage performance since first meeting Bobby, five years ago. Singing from the audienceloving Rydell songbook, Coniglio was lining up gigs in between his day-job.

His day-job? A South Brunswick, New Jersey, firefighter. He also maintains his EMT certification. Even though Coniglio is dedicated to this selfless work of a first responder, if you could listen to his heart, I

imagine hearing the downbeat to “Wild One,” another Rydell classic. Just like Bobby, music is in his blood.

The “Bobby Rydell magic” gave Joey Montello an idea in December 2021. Montello is now Coniglio’s manager. If Rydell was up to it, Montello thought he might be game to record a duet with Coniglio, produced into a music video. Though Rydell was growing weaker, physically, the strength in his voice was “unmistakably Bobby Rydell not missing a beat.”

The first song would be a Rydell chart-topper, “Sway.” It’s a Latin style dance number released originally in 1960 and re-released in 1976 in a disco version. The updated remix – released in 2022 – would lean heavily into a tango vibe and be produced as a duet. They rehearsed in the car driving to the production studio. The plan was to lay the audio track first, then do a video recording.

“Bobby nailed the audio,” Montello says. “Tommy was spot-on, too, recording the audio with the video. Ultimately, Bobby was just too sick to do the video, so we took old recordings of Bobby on stage and synced his new audio track with the older performance clips. Bobby’s delivery was so consistent over the years, even weeks before his death, the match was perfect.”

The duet, “Bobby Rydell presents Tommy C,” streams on all platforms. Be prepared to dance.

On a recent June Saturday night at Joey M’s La Piazza Cucina in Wildwood, Coniglio entertained the restaurant crowd, holding his mic close, closing his eyes, and reaching for the high notes of “Wildwood Days.”

Establishing the Bobby Rydell Foundation, Linda and Bobby’s family has been shaping “legacy projects” to celebrate the spirit of his contributions to music and medicine.

“Bobby loved helping music students. So, our hope is to provide music performance scholarships,” Linda says. “Bobby also was grateful to the Gift of Life program which provided the organs for his liver and kidney transplant in 2012. When anyone with Gift of Life asked him to sing at a fundraiser, he’d put on his jacket and grab the mic. We’d like funds raised through the Foundation to contribute to that lifesaving work, too.”

Coniglio has been named the spokesperson for the Foundation and he offered me a “breaking news” headline for Rydell’s fans.

The Foundation has commissioned Zenos Frudakis, a Glenside, Montgomery County sculptor, to create a seven-foot statue of Rydell. It will be placed at the gateway to Wildwood’s Fox Park. With emotion filling her voice, Linda told me the statue would be Rydell’s final resting place. She will inter his ashes in a heart which will become part of the statue.

“We thought this would be a fitting place for Bobby to “rest” because he loved Wildwood and Wildwood loved him,” she says. “His devoted fans will be able to come and pay their respects.”

Maybe they would even sing “Volare” to him.

I asked Bobby’s daughter to share the wisdom she treasures as her father’s legacy. She didn’t hesitate.

“Dad had compassion. He was endearing. He believed in reaching for the stars. He believed anything was possible if you could do what you love.”

Headlined as The Voice of Tribute, Coniglio is at Joey M’s weekends through the summer. The Rydell legacy to us, his fans, are those Wildwood days, alive again, treasured in our minds and hearts like a perfect summer night. PRH

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 17

Shore Thing

“We dream in colors borrowed from the sea.” song by Planet Sun

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, may the sun shine brightly on your sandy shores!

We Lucky”

These were the words my father said as we drove over the Longport bridge on our trips from Margate to Somers Point for dinner. Great Egg Harbor Inlet, the Atlantic Ocean, and the wetlands are views from that bridge. You can see as far as the tip of Absecon Island and the north end of Ocean City. It’s a breathtaking view. If you drive over that bridge at the right time, the sunsets are spectacular.

Before moving to the shore, I was a true Philadelphian, having spent 58 years living and working in a city that I loved. Scouting out a parking space for a 15-minute condo showing was all in a day’s work. I knew Philadelphia like the back of my hand. I also knew lots of people who really helped me with my Real Estate career. I was born, raised, and educated in Philly. All of that came with lots of great connections. My father relocated to the Jersey shore in 1970. For years, he tried to persuade me to join him. He finally got his wish in 2010 when I moved to Ventnor full-time. When I first got here, a friend who was shocked by my move asked how I keep busy all winter. I told her how. Atlantic City and the down beach areas of Ventnor and Margate are year-round residential communities just like Philly. There’s plenty to do all winter long. Restaurants are busy. The small local businesses and the big Tanger Outlets stay open. So do the movie theaters and the casinos – one of my favorite things. Although I’m not much of a gambler, the casinos offer great nightlife with shows and world class dining. A favorite night out is by far dinner and a show in AC. Summers are obviously super busy because the population swells with seasonal visitors. Summer also brings the annual Atlantic City Air Show, beach concerts, boating, fishing, water sports, and so much more. The time

between Memorial Day and Labor Day just flies by.

A big question has always been, “Is Atlantic City an island?” Yes! It’s part of Absecon Island, which has four towns: Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate, and Longport. Well known as the “City by the Sea,” Atlantic City has a rich history. It had the first ever boardwalk (1870), the first roller coaster, carousel, and Ferris wheel. The game of Monopoly is based on Atlantic City streets and AC has the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey. AC’s famous White House Sub Shop has photos and relics from the past on its walls, including a pink towel that Frank Sinatra used to wipe his brow during his last show here. Sinatra made frequent appearances at the old 500 Club in AC, and later at the Sands Casino. Let’s not forget the Miss America Pageant which took place here for more than 80 years.

Since 1978, Atlantic City has been all about the casinos but there are up-and-coming plans to make it more of a family town. A huge water park is opening. The old Hilton Hotel and Casino is slated to become a new hotel with condos that offer lots of amenities including food and beverage services on the beach. Improvements are also happening in the down beach areas.

The new construction of homes and businesses in Ventnor, Margate, and Longport is off the charts. Old houses are being torn down and new ones are being built so quickly, it’s hard to remember what was there. In fact, I recently became certified as a new home specialist so I’m enjoying the expanded business opportunities. My two new-build listings on Atlantic Avenue are getting lots of interest. Just driving down Atlantic Avenue looking at the new houses is a feast for the eyes. I think what my father was saying was, ‘aren’t we lucky’ to have all that Absecon Island has to offer. PRH

20 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023
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Row Home Remembers

Bands Garage

I got my first real six-string

Bought it at the five and dime

Played it ‘til my fingers bled

Was the summer of ‘69

Me and some guys from school

Had a band and we tried real hard

Jimmy quit and Jody got married

I should’ve known we’d never get far

Oh, when I look back now

That summer seemed to last forever

And if I had the choice

Yeah, I’d always wanna be there

Those were the best days of my life.

Bryan Adams, “Summer of ‘69”

I love this song!

22 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023

I’ll sing it out loud whenever I hear it on Alexa, my tablet, cellphone. or other streaming devices. It brings me back to summer around that same timeframe when I realized I wasn’t one of the cool kids. I mean, I thought I was cool. I just finished 7th grade and now was a big, bad 8th grader. It was the first Friday night after school ended for summer vacation. I put on my fringed short pants and my blue Puma Suedes.

I added a little Acqua Di Selva cologne behind each ear and went down to the corner of 11th & Wolf Streets to hang out with my friends and the girls. However, there were no girls on the corner. Just the same guys I always hung out with.

I found out that all the girls were hanging outside a house on 1100 Ritner Street listening to Ronnie DiCastro and Dennis Scoleri and their perfect hair practicing in Ronnie’s basement with their so-called “band.” (Jealous much, Tony?). This is when I realized that I wasn’t one of the cool kids.

While growing up in South Philly, few of us had garages but mostly all of us had basements, fixed or otherwise. Some of the guys who were forced to take music lessons and had some talent, decided to form bands that would practice in the basements of whichever parents allowed it. The neighborhood girls flocked to these houses to stand outside and listen to these “basement bands” of four or five guys doing cover songs and hoping for a big break or, at the very least, a paying gig.

Don’t get me wrong. Some of these guys did catch a break. I remember the band Purple Reign practicing in the basement of a row home on the 1100 block of Durfor Street. They went on to record a national disco hit titled, “This Old Man,” in 1975. Cook E. Jarr and the Krums were a local band that practiced in basements before hitting the club circuit in Wildwood and the Atlantic City Casino lounges. Cook E. Jarr continued with a successful lounge act that ran in Las Vegas from 1982-2016. But for every two or three basement bands that got started, two or three dozen broke up along the way.

What happened? Why don’t we see local kids forming bands and practicing in their parents’ basements today? Is there a lack of young musicians? Is it that local grade schools

stopped offering music lessons? When I was a kid, seemed like half my friends never played street ball during the week because they were taking music lessons after school. Even when my kids went to school, we used to attend their year-end talent show and sit through the Beginners, Intermediates and Advanced Music Class orchestras playing their version of “Hot Cross Buns.”

A good friend of mine, Dave Dotzert, was part of a garage band back in the late ‘60s. They called themselves “The Feedbaks,” which was a play off the sound and quirky spelling of known bands like The Beatles and The Monkees. The band had five members and they practiced in the bass player’s family garage. They played cover songs like “House of the Rising Sun” and “Louie, Louie,” but their “go-to” tune was “For Your Love” by the Yardbirds. Over the course of one summer, they played three birthday parties, two CYO dances and one Battle of the Bands and won first place. The only other band in the competition came in second. None of the gigs paid any money and the band broke up after six months when the band members went back to different high schools and practice time became a problem. Such is the typical fate of the garage bands.

My brother-in-law, Bob Rotandi, started a band in 1973 called The Sound with his brother Frank, good friend Ron Patterson, and a couple of other guys. They practiced five nights a week in Bob’s parents’ basement, or Ron’s house. They played mostly cover songs like “Wild Thing” and “Suffragette City.” Their killer go-to song was Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream.” Besides the female groupies, Bob says the band had a few other highlights during their existence with a few paying gigs like their 8th Grade Graduation Dance and a music festival at West Catholic High School. They managed to stay together for about five years before some of the guys just dropped out or joined other bands. “Those were some of the best days of my life,” Bob says.

It’s like Tom Hanks says in the movie That Thing You Do when portraying record producer Mr. White. While talking to Guy Patterson, the drummer of The Wonders, after the band fell apart, he says simply, ‘Well, Guy. It’s a common tale.’

I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the folks reading this story knew a basement band or two. PRH

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 23
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Eleven Clubs. One Family

Let’s look at the Fancy Brigades through the lens of a cultural anthropologist, someone who specializes in the study of culture and people’s beliefs, practices, and the cognitive and social aspects of humans within past and present societies. The organization fosters cultural folk traditions by taking part in and planning social and community activities that celebrate them. The Fancy Brigade division of the New Year’s Day Parade welcomes all com-

munity members. They participate in countless activities that preserve the tradition and teach people in different locations within the region all year round. The Fancy Brigade Association supports various causes in the area by putting on spectacular shows with elaborate costumes, music, and dance.

The Fancy Brigades are a part of Philadelphia’s identity. As December 31st draws near, the media buzzes with stories of the upcoming New Year parade. It is the oldest uninterrupted parade in the nation since the city formalized it in 1901. The Fancy Brigades are more than just an exhibition. They are a source of pride and joy for Philadelphia, South Jersey, and the entire Delaware Valley, luring locals as well as tourists to enjoy this memorable march down Broad Street.

This unique tradition is the result of a year-long effort of community activities, fundraising, and commitment. The New Year’s Day Parade is

the grand finale of it all. On January 1st, the Pennsylvania Convention Center will host the Fancy Brigade finale for the 26th time. This event showcases 11 clubs that compete for top prize with their dazzling fourand-a-half-minute shows. Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia is the 2024 title sponsor for the extravaganza. The annual competition will once again stream live on 6abc, which has partnered with the parade for 25 years.

City Councilperson Mark Squilla marches with Shooting Stars fancy brigade and says that we, the public, can help the Mummers by promoting them. “The Mummers Parade isn’t all they do,” he says. “They go to Children’s Hospital, they go down to the seashore, they go to veterans’ homes and they’re available for all kinds of bridal events, bar mitzvahs, birthdays. At a wedding, usually at the end of the reception, a Mummers group will come in and play ‘Golden Slippers’ and all the other songs. People real-

ly love to do the Mummers strut.”

Felicia Punzo, a trustee for the Fancy Brigade Association and a member of Satin Slipper, says her role in the club is multifaceted. “I assist with fundraising activities, set design, costume creation, and any other tasks that the club requires. I also participate as a dancer in the parade, which is the most enjoyable aspect for me.”

Anthony Stagliano, Jr., the business agent for the Fancy Brigade Association, describes their work as “creating magic with our own hands.” He adds, “I don’t think people fully appreciate the effort and skill that go into it. We are not professionals, but we do everything ourselves: the special effects, the choreography, the pageantry, the costumes. It’s all amazing and colorful and done by us.”

Your company can join forces with the brigades and turn this partnership into a badge of honor for your staff or a way to promote your products and boost your business and marketing goals. Since every company has its own unique offerings, target audience, and marketing strategy, the Fancy Brigade Association has designed a comprehensive sponsorship program that uses creativity and flexibility to tailor a solution that suits your needs.

To learn more, visit PRH PRHLIFE
a summer of mummers Ken Adams & Mark Squilla Felicia Punzo


Recruiting young members will help keep the dream alive

Joe Accetta, Captain of the Pennsport String Band, is struggling with a number of problems.

“We’re not like some of the other bands that have been here forever.” He’s referencing the New Year’s triune of Quaker City, Fralinger and South Philadelphia string bands. “And yes, we as a group haven’t been around endlessly. I took over in 2008, however, when you look at the degrees of the members of our band,

you’ll see they have been here forever, too. We’re made up of members of different string bands that bring a nice talent.”

Continuing to enumerate the struggles the band faces, Accetta begins with tradition. “This tradition is something that has been going on for so long, more than a century. And now it’s a struggle because, just like everything else, times have changed.”

In 2015, officials flipped the route, thereby abandoning the Two Street and the Marconi neighborhoods. “When the parade was taken out of South Philly, it hurt us, and it took the heart out of the tradition of family and friends on New Year’s Day. Our city has some traditions and one of them, the first and biggest in Philadelphia, is this Mummers Parade. It’s like Mardi Gras in New Orleans and so it’s a tradition.”

Another struggle is getting new members. “[The Mummers] used

to be a generational family experience - three, four generations. Now it’s harder to get the kids involved because there are so many other things that they’re involved in. We love tradition. That’s why we exist. The top tier bands attract a group of kids that want to be with them. We actually need to have younger people coming in because we’ve been struggling for the last four or five years. We recruited from GAMP and they’re very good. There comes a time though when they want to go to other bands. They want to win prizes and I don’t blame them. You know Fralinger, Quaker City and South Philadelphia have an easier time. They are top-notch and they always win. It’s tough for Pennsport to try to get new members. We get kids that come in and we don’t care how good they are, we just want them to be comfortable and be better players.”

And then there is the financial struggle. “We do fundraisers with other bands, and we also do private events. We can’t do it every

is hanging on to tradition

weekend though because we have a limited number of members. It’s very important to know that we’re not alone. I’m sure with the smaller groups, but even the bigger bands, are struggling too.”

The Pennsport String Band is available for corporate events, birthdays, weddings, serenades, private parties, and all shore happenings. “We would love to do events every week. We bring the Mummers down the shore, we go up and down the East Coast, but everything is so expensive anymore and I know it’s a strain on our members. We all have families, and the work is on Saturdays and Sundays. We are limited in numbers, so we don’t want to burden them. We have a Phillies game in August, and we get part of the ticket sales, so every bit helps.”

Pennsport String Band is also involved with the Mummers Against Cancer Foundation Inc. They provide financial assistance to families who are fighting the battle.

“A lot of people don’t understand Mummery,” Accetta says. “In its basic form, it’s a celebration. In reality, it’s spreading joy and love to the people, which, in turn, means everything to them and to us, the people of South Philadelphia and the great organizations that we have.” PRH

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by Maria Merlino photo by Bob Watts a summer of mummers Captain Joe Accetta


Everything you thought you knew & more

It’s important to preserve our tradition as well as the artifacts that lie within the building itself,” says Executive Board Member and VP of the Mummers Museum, Brian Donnelly. The Mummers Museum, located at 2nd and Washington Avenue, has a whimsical architectural feel to it. The front of the building is tiled in an orange, green and blue design that

looks like a backpiece with a white plume as a flourish. It is truly a testament to all those that have marched - the ancestral Mummers, the current Mummers, and the Mummers to be.

“The history of this museum began in 1976 as part of Philadelphia’s celebration of America’s Bicentennial,” Donnelly explains. “At the time, neighborhood activist, politician and Mum-

mers’ advocate, Constance McHugh, was instrumental in making this happen.” Memories of the groundbreaking ceremony abound. Joseph Porter of the Fralinger String Band played “Oh Dem Golden Slippers” on his banjo while community leaders turned the first spade for the new Museum. Fiftysix years have passed since McHugh, along with Mayor Frank L. Rizzo, William Rafsky, Executive Director of Philadelphia ’76; Fred

Calandra, Fralinger String Band; and Robert Meimbresse, President of the New Year’s Shooters, and Mummers Museum Board of Directors, kicked up the dust on the soon-to-be site of the building dedicated to the City’s beloved New Year parade whose origins date back to the late 17th century. The Mummers Parade became officially recognized on January 1, 1901.

Mummers with memories were quick to add

some stories to the lineup when asked to share a few of their favorites. Like how did Fralinger get its start? The String Band was organized in 1914 by a group of young men playing music on the corner of 2nd and Sigel Streets in South Philadelphia. It just so happened that Dr. John J. Fralinger, a physician and pharmacist, owned and operated Fralinger’s Drug Store on that same corner. A young Joseph

26 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023 PRHLIFE
a summer of mummers

A. Ferko, who worked at the pharmacy, convinced the good doctor to sponsor the band. To this day, the band is flourishing.

Treasurer Michael Ruggiero shared this haunted tale. “When I first started volunteering at the museum, my office was on the third floor. I was the only one working up there, and on several occasions, the elevator door opened, but there was no one there. I mentioned it to the people working on the first floor and they told me. ‘0h, that is only Joe Ferko. He does that all the time.’ Only thing, Joe Ferko passed away many years ago. So, every time the elevator door opened, and no one came into my office, I would shout out of my office, ‘Hi Joe! How are you doing today!’ and continue doing my work.”

“I have many memories at the Museum, since I essentially grew up in that building,” says Connie Adams, daughter of museum founder and Board Secretary, Connie McHugh.

“At my mother’s testimonial in October 1976, I had to share a birthday cake with then-Mayor Rizzo. As a child, I was not happy about that,” she laughs. “I also learned that there was no Santa when my mother recruited me to be an elf at the annual Luncheon with Santa.”

If you want to know more about the Philadelphia Mummers Day Parade, a visit to the Museum will bring you up to date on the oldest continuous folk parade in the United States. Elaborate costumes, oral histories, video and audio archives, and even an exhibit to teach you how to “strut” await you. Thinking of becoming a Mummer? All you have to do is contact any Mummer organization and ask about the individual membership process. And you don’t even have to play an instrument!

The Comic, Wench Brigade, Fancy and Fancy Brigade divisions specialize their performances around their dance routines and costuming. The String Band division also has non-playing members who have key roles during the year and on parade day. Many bands also will teach music to prospective members.

The museum is open again

despite some challenges it faced during the covid pandemic, Donnelly says. “The museum more recently fell on hard times as a result of the covid pandemic and closed for two years. We barely managed to get by.”

But a new executive board is ready to revitalize the museum and use its space for a variety of upcoming events and activities.

“There is so much talent within the membership of our marching clubs that we are encouraging them to get involved. It’s important to preserve our tradition as well as the artifacts that lie within the building itself,” Donnelly added. “In the last few months, we reopened, starting with a tribute to our veterans, and were successful with a members’ drive. The facility itself has now begun to undergo interior renovations with most work starting in our rental hall. “

The rental hall holds 200 people, Donnelly said, and is guaranteed to make any event a special one. To date, they have replaced the floors, walls, trim, painting, and added a cozy charm to the room. “Above the bar area, we created a piano key design with the actual scale notes and wording of the Mummers anthem, “Oh Dem Golden Slippers,” composed by James Bland. It wraps around the soffit at the ceiling. It is a unique building and space,” Donnelly points out.

“Also, we are leaning on the expertise of Chef Angelo Lutz and his Kitchen Consiglieri Staff to facilitate rentals and help put us in the correct direction,” Donnelly said. “We offer liquor packages for parties and are available for business meetings and fundraisers. Our rates are very competitive.”

If you are looking for a great venue, (handicapped accessible) with loads of parking, your guests will never forget the Mummers Museum venue.

If you would like to become a member or honor a mummer’s military service, the honor wall and many other options are available. Museum tours are also available.

The Mummer’s Museum is a 501c3 organization. As a charitable organization, your donations to the museum are tax-deductible.

To book a tour or learn more about the Mummers Museum, call 215-336-3050. PRH


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James Mtume

City renames street in honor of music legend

Faulu Mtume, the son of the music legend, accepted this honor. “It’s beyond words just how great this is, the City of Brotherly Love showing a mighty love for my father, a Philly native,” Faulu Mtume reflected. “Wharton Street is where his journey into music, social activism, and politics had begun. The roots for all three are there.”

In 1966, Mtume went to Pasadena College on a swimming scholarship and was inspired to get involved in the cultural and political changes occurring in the country at that time. He joined the Black Power Movement. Maulana Karenga (author and creator of the pan-African and the African American holiday of Kwanzaa) gave

28 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023
Two-time Grammy winner James Mtume was honored recently in his hometown of South Philadelphia, PA, with the 1500 block of Wharton Street named by City Council as “James Mtume Way.”

him a new Swahili surname, "Mtume" (messenger, prophet).

James Mtume earned musical fame alongside his father, saxophonist Jimmy Heath, and with greats such as Miles Davis during the early 1970s. He teamed up with fellow songwriter/producer Reggie Lucas to create hits for Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway, Phyllis Hyman, and Stephanie Mills. In 1983, Mtume scored a number-one R&B hit, “Juicy Fruit.” He worked on movie and television soundtracks, co-hosted New York City-based radio series Open Line, and recorded a TED Talk - “Our Common

Ground in Music”- which discussed the cross-pollination of culture, politics and art.

James Mtume died on January 9th, 2022, at the age of 75, after battling cancer. His legacy continues via the Mtume Foundation, founded by his children, grandchildren, and family members. The Mtume Foundation “is committed to foster and include students, teachers, and artists, who share a passion for music and the performing arts…and committed to promoting and transforming the power of the arts to build strong, vibrant communities.” Learn more at PRH

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 29
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106 S. Front St., Philadelphia PA a tribute to the inventor of the beehive

(484) 614-1952

This Old City location is the birthplace of Lorenzo L. Langstroth (December 25th, 1810, to October 6th, 1895).

A Yale University graduate, Langstroth was an apiarist (beekeeper), clergyman, and teacher, also considered to be the father of American beekeeping due to his invention of the modern-day beehive. Although his home no longer stands at this location, a historic landmark pays tribute to his work.

His hive, known as the Langstroth hive, consists of vertically hung frames, a bottom board where bees can enter, boxes containing frames for brood and honey, and an inner cover and top cap to provide protection from the elements. With this invention, bees can build honeycomb into frames that are easy to remove. The movable frames allow beekeepers to manage the bees in a way that was not possible prior to the invention of the Langstroth hive. It was designed and patented in Philadelphia, so this city is considered the cradle of American beekeeping.

The Philadelphia Beekeep-

ers Guild, established in 2009, works to encourage and promote urban beekeeping through fellowship and education. They raise awareness of the importance of bees to our environment. The Guild was instrumental in raising a historic marker to honor Langstroth at his birthplace.

The patent for Langstroth’s hive can be read at patent/US9300A/en

You can learn more about Langstroth’s “eureka” moment, the invention, and the Guild at www. Join them this fall at their 14th Annual Honey Festival in September 2023, at Wyck Historic House (the 16th) and Bartram’s Garden (the 17th). Both locations will offer free family-friendly activities, open hive demonstrations, food trucks, honey extractions, observation hive, bee beards, honey tastings and more.

A rarely seen image of Langstroth is featured above, and included in a booklet about the history of Oxford, Ohio (where he also resided).

30 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023
John Ferullo 1636 S FRONT ST PHILADELPHIA, PA 19148 215-468-4116 www ferulloinsurance com
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Newbold Exchange

In 2021, Newbold Exchange opened as South Philadelphia’s newest coworking space with a mix of private desks, floating workspaces, and offices available to the community. The space has two distinct conference rooms plus the Stadium Annex, which can accommodate speaking events for up to 75 people. Monthly members have 24/7 access to the building and Ultimo Coffee is on tap every day. Visit NewboldExchange. com to reserve your space. If you need a place to work, even for just a few hours, stop in for a day pass with access to the workspace from 9 am to 5 pm. First timer? A free trial is available via the Newbold Exchange’s Hot Spot Day Pass with code nbx_trial. The co-working space is

also located in a very historic building at 1727 Snyder Avenue, originally a silent motion picture house known as The Becker Theatre in 1919 and later renamed The Bloomberg Theatre. In 1926, the seating expanded and the space re-opened as the Venice Theatre. Film screenings ultimately shuttered in 1952 and the room became a catering and banquet hall for years to come. Inside what is now the Newbold Exchange, you’ll find a mural of American silent film star Theda Bara (designed by artist Hannah Taylor). Bara was the first screen vamp to lure men to their destruction. Her films set the vogue for sophisticated sexual themes in motion pictures and made her an international symbol of daring new freedom. PRH

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Through the buying, selling, leasing, and renting of properties, many situated along East Passyunk Avenue, Mike Giangiordano II enjoys boosting others’ financial literacy as co-owner and realtor at Century 21 Forrester Real Estate. In a figurative sense, he, too, has been practicing fiscal responsibility over the years by paying his dues as a helping hand with the thoroughfare’s business improvement district. Since mid-March, his

diligence and genuine enthusiasm for the environs have aided him in his role as the corridor’s board chair.

“I just love this community, which I see as the epitome of Main Street America,” the 29-year-old says. “It’s the place where I want to be and the area that I want to make even better.”

In aiming to propel the 21-yearold district’s clout to new heights, Giangiordano teams with esteemed peers, many of whom also operate establishments along the one-mile expanse, to assist more than 160 independent businesses. Celebrating a decade since its distinction by Food and Wine Magazine as one of the 10 Best Foodie Streets in America, the Avenue wins locals’

adoration through a plethora of diverse spots, with the melting pot encompassing not only proprietors from different backgrounds, but also enterprises with various pursuits.

“We definitely have a reputation for having great restaurants, but, among other things, we attract people through a typewriter store, a bookstore, and two gyms,” Giangiordano gushes. “I’m glad to be with colleagues who want small businesses to survive and thrive and to interact with consumers who are seeking the same outcomes.”

Admiration from his contemporaries ultimately led to the Drexel University alum’s appointment as board chair, deepening a direct bond he has had with the business

improvement district since 2017 and an indirect tie he has honed since its origin, given that his father/business partner helped to create it.

Giangiordano has always been proud of the corridor, whose other highlights include hosting dozens of events, festivals, and pop-ups and having more than 40 percent of sites designated as woman-owned, noting that its locations “breathe air into the community.” Since his new duty for the non-profit organization began, he has vowed to continue to enhance the Avenue’s reputation by “bringing things to the next level.” Doing so will involve tending to capital and facade improvement projects, aiding in marketing and promotions for the numerous properties, devising special events, recruiting prospective entrepreneurs, and advancing clean-and-green initiatives.

“There’s always a learning curve that comes with taking on a challenge, but it’s all pretty exciting because I have a great board, businesses who truly care about one another, and patrons who want to foster that sense of community and belonging,”

Giangiordano says of overseeing the upkeep of the stretch of land that commences at South Broad Street, right by McKean Street, and goes to Federal Street. That trio of benefits has helped the Avenue amass a 96 percent occupancy rate. As the rest of the year unfolds and events begin to abound, visitors will have plenty of reasons to frequent the spaces, tending to their needs and feeling good to be doing so at locations that represent local business owners.

“What I’ve learned in this role so far and in my overall time with the improvement district is that people want these businesses to succeed,” Giangiordano says. His other immediate links to South Philly include helping with functions at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parish, serving on the board at Preparatory Charter School of Mathematics, Science, Technology and Careers, and supporting the mission of the Lions Club International Foundation.

“There’s great work that occurs each day, and there are greater things to come.” PRH

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 33
Mike Giangiordano II is furthering his community connections as board chair of the East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District


Philly dance studio

Ballet • Tap • Jazz • Hip Hop

Lyrical • Acro • Cheer

Theatre • Pre-Ballet/Tap


1309 West Moyamensing Avenue Philadelphia, PA. 19148 215-334-8686

Pre- Registration available online July 17th. In person registration will be held from September 6th until the 9th.

Brett & JacksonAlexa


photos by Andrew Andreozzi

Tuxedos - Rudi’s Formal Wear

Flowers - The Petal Pusher

Bridal Gown - Le Bella Donna

Venue - Lucien’s Manor

Entertainment - DJ Johnny Looch.


34 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023
“If everyone had a love like us, they wouldn’t call that place above, Heaven.”
Calum Scott/ Heaven


getting a new look!

City’s Rebuild program & Live! Casino join forces

From L to R: Michael Delbene - President & CEO - Wawa Welcome America Inc.; Bill Salvatore - PPR - Deputy Commissioner, Program Division; Jim Kenney, City of Philadelphia Mayor; community member; Mark Squilla, Philadelphia City Councilmember (1st District); Joe Billhimer, Chief Operating and Development Officer, Cordish Gaming Group; Craig Clark, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia; Ron Jaworski; Brendan Gibson, Site Supervisor, Murphy Recreation Center; Coach Charlie Flow; community leader; Kira Strong, Executive Director, Rebuild Philadelphia; Mark Kapczynski break ground at Murphy Recreational Center June 21, 2023

Mayor Jim Kenney, City officials, Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia, and community

members recently broke ground at the Lawrence E. Murphy Recreation Center, 3rd & Shunk Streets, for a multi-milliondollar improvement project.

The local recreation center will benefit from $7.5 million in improvements made possible by the city’s Rebuild program, Philadelphia’s $500 million historic investment in public spaces, supported in part by Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia, which committed $750,000 to the project.

“What a great day to be in South Philadelphia, where I grew up, to celebrate the groundbreaking of Murphy Rec Center,” Mayor Jim Kenney said. “I remember when I was a kid playing here at Murphy. I always felt safe and joyful. The children of South Philly can now have that same feeling here at Murphy.” PRH

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 35
1805-07 Washington Ave Philly, PA 19146 215.546.2233 • BREAKFAST • LUNCH • DINNER • PIZZA • BRUNCH • LATE NIGHT Delivery • Eat-In • Take-Out Large selection of CRAFT BEERS available for Dine In or Take Out. Signature Cocktails. Wine. Spirits. OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK WWW.CHICKSPHILLY.COM
photo by Maria Merlino


A portion of Broad Street in South Philadelphia was officially renamed “Jerry Blavat Way” in honor of the beloved radio DJ and performer known as the “Geator with the Heater.”

Mayor Jim Kenney and Councilman Mark Squilla attended the recent event, which was part of the Wawa Welcome America festivities. DJ Steve Klasko spun the music as guests celebrated the life of Blavat. He died in January 2023 at the age of 82.

Save the date for A Tribute to Jerry Blavat, a one-night-only event at the Kimmel Cultural Campus Academy of Music. On October 21st, celebrate Philadelphia’s iconic radio DJ with a concert lineup that

includes Darlene Love, The Intruders, The Happenings, Bobby Wilson, and The Chantels. Tickets are on sale now by calling 215-893-1999 or online at In-person ticket sales are available daily from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. at the Academy of Music Box Office, 240 S. Broad Street.



Consultants of Philadelphia offers state of the art healthcare to our patients. Our boardcertified physicians

treat the full spectrum of cardiovascular conditions

� Complete Cardiology evaluations-same day appointments available

� Echocardiograms

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

� Cardiac Catheterizations and interventions

� Electrophysiology

� Vein Ablations

� Peripheral Interventions

We have 3 convenient South Philadelphia locations:

1703 S Broad St. 3rd Floor Philadelphia, Pa 19148 215-463-5333

1809 S Oregon Ave. 1st Floor Philadelphia, Pa 19145 215-389-3890

1809 S Oregon Ave. 2nd Floor Philadelphia, Pa 19145 215-465-3435

36 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023
Dr Barry Bravette, M.D. Dr Veronica Covalesky, M.D. Dr Brett Victor, M.D. Dr Suman Jaswal, M.D. Dr Dean Karalis, M.D. Dr Daniel McCormick, M.D. Dr Pasquale Nestico, M.D. Dr Concetta Milano, M.D. Dr Howard Rosner, M.D. Dr Paul Varano, M.D.

As we glide through the much anticipated, lazy days of summer, it is the perfect time to focus on self-care and family. Self-care has become a trendy idea in today’s fast paced, social media-influenced world. Today, I am talking about real self-care, rather than “faux self-care.”

Make no mistake. I am a gal who loves a pedicure or a massage. Real self-care, however, should be a way of life, not needing to step out of our lives. Authentic self-care has everything to do with our mental health. This is achieved when our lives and decisions continually support our needs and values, and those of our family.

Summer is a time when our kids slow down. Use this opportunity to slow down with them. Take a real close look. Listen. How are they really doing? How are they doing aside from the grades, achievements, social activities, and sports? How are they on the inside? Both conversations are vital.

I met many devastated parents whose children died by suicide. So many had good grades,

excelled in sports, and had lots of friends. Teens are especially good at hiding themselves.

Self-care is helping to make it typical to talk about mental health with your children. It all starts with a conversation. This summer, create a new habit. Make sure your kids know it is okay not to feel okay, and it is safe to tell you about it.

Depression is a mental illness that affects people of all ages. It mostly goes unnoticed and untreated in children and teens. Children with depression are often misunderstood as having behavioral issues, or simply being shy. Half of those with depression also suffer with anxiety, or excessive worry.

The adolescent and teen years are crucial because far too often, these undiagnosed and untreated issues lead to experimenting, self-

medication, and ultimately, abuse of drugs and alcohol.

Signs of depression include being sad or irritable most of the time, loss of interest in friends and activities, issues at school, sleeping or eating too much or too little, negative thinking, excessive guilt or worry, and low self-esteem.

Children and teens with family history or experience with stressful, traumatic events like bullying, divorce, moving, or death in the family, are more at risk. If you have concerns, trust your instincts, let go of the stigma, and begin to advocate for your child. Kids that suffer with these issues need your support. Meet them where they are and come from a place of love.

Also remember, it is understandable to feel overwhelmed at the thought of something being wrong with your child. This is a time when your self-care and support system are crucial.

Your child’s doctor will give guidance with mental health issues. Only severe cases require

medication. There are many kinds of therapy available. These include play, art, music, and family therapies. The guidance counselor or social worker at your child’s school can be a great resource. Many high schools have an SAP or Student Assistance Program designed to help with such mental health concerns. Again, it all starts with conversation.

Kids need to be educated about mental health so they can understand what they are feeling and, most importantly, learn coping mechanisms. This is especially valuable with anxiety issues. Breathing techniques, journaling, mindfulness, and exercise are some excellent examples. Let’s show our kids how to care for their whole selves by being their example!

If you are having trouble, please reach out. I will help point you in the right direction. Email me at and visit my website Thank you for listening! PRH

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 37 PRHHEALTH
It’s okay not to feel okay It all starts with a conversation hope An Unending Conversation with

Cardiology Consultants of Philadelphia

Keeping our tickers in tip-top shape

Dr. Kevin Kasper

Blessed with a pleasant bedside manner that helps put people at ease, Dr. Kevin Kasper has enjoyed a 29-year career with the Cardiology Consultants of Philadelphia (CCP), serving patients in four locations. Though each site and situation receive his utmost dedication, the 62-year-old Delaware County physician finds South Philly an especially endearing location, leading him to jest by telling patients that he will be partaking in their Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. The affable professional, marathon runner, and proud father of Byron, Peyton, and Alexis earns invitations when making those quips. We asked him how he sees his field improving, and what we can all do to keep our tickers in tip-top shape.

Q: What is your perception of South Philadelphians, or just Philadelphians overall, and is there any special joy in helping people who live in this city at large?

a: One of my favorite things about folks from South Philly is their incredible devotion to family. Some patients are part of a four-generation family. I love hearing about Sunday afternoon supper/family gatherings. The food, conversations, and family bonding are all very special for South Philadelphia families. I also love that people in South Philadelphia look out for their neighbors.

Q: What are the thrills that your vocation provides? What are any drawbacks?

a: When patients are admitted to the hospital in a life-threatening or very serious condition, it is always an incredible privilege and honor to get them on their way toward a meaningful recovery. Every patient is someone’s father, mother, son, daughter, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or cousin. Seeing patients reunited with family after an illness is an incredible thrill. There are no

real drawbacks. I do not mind the long hours, especially if it makes the difference in a patient’s care.

Q: What are some misconceptions that people have about cardiovascular health?

a: [One is that] if you take a cholesterol-lowering medication, you can eat anything. Another is that percutaneous revascularization (angioplasty and stenting), or coronary artery bypass graft can fix your heart. No doubt they help and, at times, acutely save lives, but the real work comes post procedure through diet, exercise, and removal of stress.

Q: What led you to choose your specialty? How has the field evolved over your time within it?

a: I realized in medical school that cardiovascular diseases were the number-one killer in the world, so I knew that I would always have a job. On a less serious note, what other subspeciality has a holiday in honor of its work, i.e. Valentine’s Day? There is something very special with regards to the medical description of the heart/

cardiovascular diseases and society’s understanding of love and the heart. No doubt that they play off each other. And to further demonstrate that there is a well-described cardiac syndrome called stress-induced cardiomyopathy or “broken heart syndrome” that can occur with many stressful situations, but we also see it when a person loses a person who was near and dear to them, such as a spouse who was their partner’s soulmate. From a technology standpoint, the current medications are much improved since I started out in 1994, as are the procedures. What an interventional cardiologist or CTS surgeon can perform in 2023 is just breathtaking. We have 90-yearold-and-beyond patients coming in for trans catheter aortic valve replacements who leave the hospital the next day. [It’s] just incredible what can be accomplished.

Q: What advice would you offer to anyone looking to improve this area of their lives?

a: The key is to be a good listener. That is why God gave us two ears. Work as a team, meaning the physician, patient, and family. Have realistic goals for the patient, and always have hope. The glass is always half-full.

Q: What can anyone look to do to strengthen cardiovascular health?

a: Increase one’s mobility. One of the most underutilized modalities in cardiology for patient care is cardiac rehabilitation. Methodist Hospital has a wonderful program. The

genius of cardiac rehab is that it tailors a rehab prescription for each individual person. No prescription is the same. And the exercises that are recommended take into account all medical and orthopedic issues. Ambulating with a cane does not preclude an individual from getting enrolled in cardiac rehab.

Q: What do you see the future of your field involving?

a: Better medications, especially for the hereditary dyslipidemias and coronary artery disease, and improved percutaneous and surgical revascularization modalities for both coronary artery disease and valvular heart disease.

Q: Is there an anecdote that you could provide that validated or confirmed for you that you had chosen the perfect field?

a: The validation is when a patient or family member thanks you for the care that you provided the patient.

Q: What is your top cardiovascular health tip?

a: Weight loss is only achieved long term with a combination of dietary changes and exercise. Your metabolism is much more efficient in burning calories when exercise is involved. Use the stairwells as much as possible; it’s a great way to burn calories. PRH

Cardiology Consultants of Philadelphia is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.

38 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023 PRH HEALTH

The sun is shining, the heat is rising and many of us are headed to the nearest pool, lake or beach. Exposure to the sun can cause an increased risk for skin cancer. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than 2 million people are diagnosed annually. Choosing the proper sunscreen can help reduce or prevent sunburn and premature aging of the skin.

• Skin protection products that stay on

As you dive head-first into the water, you may notice that your protective sunscreen washes off. Not reapplying can affect your exposure for skin cancer even more. While there are endless options of sunscreen, Sheer Zinc sunscreens have the most benefit for use during the summertime. Apply a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater (for UVB protection) and zinc oxide (for UVA protection) 20 minutes before sun exposure and every two hours thereafter – more if you are sweating or swimming. Sunscreens with zinc oxide will be slightly noticeable on the skin, which will help remind you when to reapply.

• How do I choose the proper sunscreen?

When choosing the proper sunscreen, you’ll want to find one with

an SPF of 30 or greater. SPF 30 blocks about 97 percent of UVB rays, whereas SPF 15 blocks about 93 percent of UVB rays. Sunscreens with zinc oxide are not only best for those with sensitive skin, but they also do not burn your eyes after sweating or swimming, have a bad taste or cause pimples. There are many sheer zinc sunscreen options available at your local drugstore. As a preventative measure, I recommend seeing your dermatologist once a year for a full body exam, and even more frequently if you are at a higher risk of skin cancer.

Davida Krupnick, MD, specializes in the detection and treatment of skin cancers and treats a full spectrum of diseases of the skin, hair, and nails. She is accepting new patients, insurance is accepted, and immediate appointments are available. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Davida Krupnick at our Dermatology Partners - South Philly office, please call (215) 463-3939 or visit to schedule online.

To find out more about Dermatology Partners, or to book an appointment at one of their convenient locations, visit or call (888) 895-3376. PRH

Dr. Davida Krupnick, MD, Dermatology Partners – South Philly, is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 39
PHL BUILDERS will turn your vision into reality. We offer one-on-one care to ensure not only the best quality, but the best service from start to finish. We keep our customers happy and coming back! www . phlbuilders . com William Guyon Jr & Ron Malandro Jr owners A WORKOUT YOU’LL NEVER REGRET! Join our PHL Family Today! 2017 Juniper Street, Philly, PA 19148 267.240.1086 phlathletics . com What we have to offer: — CrossFit — Bootcamp — Olympic Lifting — Personal Training — Kids — Sports & Team Specific Training (10 yrs to Collegiate level) — Access to Fitness Works with Pool & Sauna! HEALTH
Zinc Protect
Sunscreen with

CBD Infused Facials

Hot Hands Massage and Facial Spa offers an array of facials, body scrub services and spa packages perfect for the summer. Look for a more personal experience from our skin care and body care experts.

• CBD Infused Facials

Return your skin to calm with our CBD Infused Facial Experience. The soothing power of CBD with our specialized facial is designed to bring tranquility to your skin. Immerse yourself in the unique combination of therapeutic levels of CBD, antioxidants, and skin-strengthening ingredients. Let your skin unwind as these revitalizing treatments improve overall health and restore balance. Our facials are a comprehensive workout for your neck and face. Our unique treatment combines a firming, toning, deep tissue facial massage to retexturize and replenish while increasing collagen and lymphatic drainage to help restore your skin luster, reduce puffiness and tonicity for your face and body.

• Dermalogica

After Sun Repair

Our services soothe lackluster, sun-parched skin. The firm, prime, and illuminating Dermalogica sun care treatment concludes with Dermalogica’s After Sun Repair for your face and body. It’s a cooling treatment balm to help remedy damaged skin.

• Summer Skin Kit

Our Clean Summer Skin Kit includes precleanse balm, special cleansing gel, daily superfoliant, and

oil-free matte with SPF30. A spot treatment helps reduce the appearance of breakouts and post-breakout, as well as sun damage marks.

• Sunless Tanning

Glow with confidence while protecting your facial skin and body. Sunless tanning offers a safe way to achieve a beautiful tan, without compromising your skin’s well-being. Embrace a radiant complexion while shielding your skin from harmful UV rays. Maintain a youthful appearance for face and body by avoiding sun damage and premature aging.

• Summer Specials

$30 OFF your first facial or body scrub. $70 OFF facial & body scrub spa package. Free shipping on all orders over $50 ON the Dermalogica. Shop now to receive exclusive promotions and more. You can find these products in store or online. Our facials and body treatments are the perfect blend of skin care with experts with more than 30 years of experience. Upgrade with an exfoliating micro derm treatment and receive 20% OFF Hydration Skin protection SPF product. Explore our memberships to come and go as you please at an affordable monthly price. Visit our website or download the app: hothandsstudio for a more convenient experience. Follow us on Instagram @HothandsSpa for more information. PRH

Hot Hands Massage and Facial Spa is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.

40 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023
courtesy of Damian Colella
are perfect for summer skin
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
(calls and texts) 267-688-1449 | office: 215-334-3333
The Mike Giordano Jr. and Sr. Duo at

Stress Soothing Scents

We all experience stress and anxiety to some degree, whether it’s with parenting, navigating a stressful job, finances, relationship challenges, concerns about the future.

The presence of anxiety or stress is not inherently a “bad” thing. In fact, some level of stress can be helpful when it motivates us to complete a task or alerts us to possible danger. When anxiety begins to interfere with daily living, however, it may be time for more intentional responding.

• Use your Senses

The positive news is that there are many scientifically backed strategies and therapies that can reduce the intensity of symptoms. One of these is grounding/self-soothing through the five senses.

Smell. Relax with the scent of candles or essential oils.

Sight. Focus on a favorite image or memorable photos.

Taste. Enjoy your favorite food or beverage.

Hearing. Listen to soothing music or white noise.

Touch. Try a warm shower or cuddle up with your beloved pet.

• Paced Breathing

Another coping skill is paced breathing, such as the squared breathing technique. This aims to stabilize the breath (which often becomes shallow and rapid during periods of anxiety or stress) by breathing in for four counts, holding for four counts, exhaling for four counts, resting for four counts.

• Tipping the temperature

In need of quicker relief? Try tipping the temperature. This skill involves submerging your face in cold water, or placing an icepack on your face, or holding cold ice cubes. The cold temperature will distract you from your anxious thoughts while simultaneously slowing down your heart rate and relaxing the body.

If you find it challenging to initiate these skills on your own, check out the app store for options that can guide you through imagery exercises, or breathing and meditation. Reminder, technology apps or self-help books are a great option but are not meant to be a replacement for therapy. If you feel your anxiety or stress has become unmanageable, reach out to a trusted mental health provider for support. PRH

Live Better Therapy Solutions is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 41
live better therapy solutions
courtesy of Danielle Tucci, MS, CAADC, LPC co-owner/licensed psychotherapist
can ease
42 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023 ELEGANT STORAGE SOLUTIONS 1745B Tilghman Street Philadelphia, PA 19122 Shop: 267-553-4233 www legacywardrobes com PRHREAL ESTATE ADF Painting & General Contracting Anthony DeFrancesco 267.886.3593 ADF Painting & General Contracting is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome Magazine (PRH) Business Network. ADF Painting & General Contracting CONTRACTORS SPOTLIGHT DECKED OUT!


1600 Spruce St. Home, Interior Design & Gifts is an incredible interior design and gift shop that is brand new to Rittenhouse Row. Owners James and Richard Eib launched their website in December 2022 and opened the brick-and-mortar location in January 2023. James leads the design side, while Richard makes things run smoothly on the operational side. James’ background is in construction and design, while Richard has been meandering through various industries and careers over the decades. They took their collective experiences and ended up with 1600 Spruce St. They love working with clients who are open to ideas and seeing their reactions when everything comes together, and because of this, they offer the first design consultation for free.

Richard and James pride themselves on 1600 Spruce St. being the best interior design firm possible, by offering additional services like window treatments, re-upholstery, and a range of quick ship and custom furniture options. 1600 Spruce

also offers a blend of high/low products so they have something for all budgets and styles.

In addition to interior design, unique gift ideas are woven into their store - candles, home decor, women’s bags. So far, the most popular summer item has been a new collection of beach totes. Since Philly in the summer is such an active community, they hope people will stop in for ideas on refreshing their homes and offices, gift purchases (and to treat yourself), or even just to say “hi” and welcome them to the neighborhood.

What makes 1600 Spruce St. special is that Richard and James make it a point to offer products not widely available elsewhere. They strategically source merchandise that cannot be purchased on Amazon, and 95 percent of their offerings cannot be bought anywhere within a 50-mile radius of the store.

Another key difference in their business is they provide extended warranties for free on all furniture purchases. Richard believes that “when you’ve just spent a small fortune on furniture, the last thing you want to do is be

spending more money on a warranty, so we offer it for free.”

An important mission for the pair is supporting small. It’s critical to a vibrant local community and 48 percent of every dollar spent with a small business stays in that community. “Aside from our products and our design services, and our giving back, shopping with our business helps in keeping our local community alive,” Richard says. “I feel anyone who runs a small business is never not working, there’s always something that comes up!”

When 1600 Spruce St. began, James and Richard wanted to ensure that supporting the local community was one of the main purposes of their business. They provide school PTA events with gift cards, cater lunches at the local LQBTQ center, and sponsor events that support public parks and theater groups. As 1600 Spruce St. grows, they will continue to introduce new products that excite their customers, support more organizations through their giving-back efforts, and make new friends and loyal customers by transforming their homes and lives.

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 43
Talia RoTa PhoTogRaPhy @taltography 267.240.5302 Giancarlo Cambria Owner/Head Chef 267-971-7127 @carloscatering Featuring over 35 Flavors 215-645-9401 2020 Penrose Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19145 Follow us on Instagram @perfect.scoop DESIGN 1600 Spruce St. is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network. HOME, INTERIOR DESIGN & GIFTS
from custom furniture to gifts & home décor, this local shop is a must-stop

The roof is one of the most important parts of your house. It protects you from the elements and keeps your home structurally sound. Over time, however, roofs can become worn or damaged, making them less effective at doing their job. If you think your roof may need to be replaced, you can follow the steps below to achieve the desired results.

5 SCHEDULE THE REPLACEMENT TIME. Schedule the replacement for a time when the weather is mild and there’s no chance of rain or snow. This will help ensure that the job gets done quickly and without complications.


ASSESS THE DAMAGE AND DETERMINE IF YOU NEED A NEW ROOF. Inspect the roof for damage, such as missing shingles or leaks. If you find any damage, get it repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage. If the damage is severe, you may need to replace the entire roof.

6 REMOVE THE OLD ROOFING MATERIALS. This can be a tricky job, depending on the type of material you have. If you have shingles, you will need to break them into smaller pieces before removing them. Be careful not to damage the underlying support structure as you remove the shingles.


FIND A REPUTABLE ROOFING COMPANY. Many roofing companies advertise online, and it’s not easy to know which one to choose. Look for companies with positive reviews from past customers as well as accreditation by the Better Business Bureau. Get multiple bids before making a final decision.

3 CHOOSE THE RIGHT TYPE OF ROOF FOR YOUR HOME. Many different types of roofs are available, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. A good roofing contractor will be able to help you select the right roof for your home and install it correctly.

4 SELECT THE ROOFING MATERIALS. Ensure you have all the materials you need before the roofers arrive. This includes things like shingles, nails, and tar paper. Roofing materials come in various types, each with its benefits and drawbacks.

7 INSTALL THE NEW ROOF ACCORDING TO THE MANUFACTURER’S INSTRUCTIONS. Now that the old roofing materials have been removed, it is time to install the new ones. A reputable roofing company can achieve the best results for you.

8 FINISH UP BY INSTALLING RIDGE VENT, FLASHING, AND DRIP EDGE AS NEEDED. Installing a new roof is only half the battle. To protect your home from the elements, you must finish by installing a ridge vent, flashing, and a drip edge. By taking these extra steps, you can ensure that your roof will provide lasting protection for your home.

It can be tempting to put off repairs or replacements when a roof wears out. However, doing so can lead to serious problems down the road. That’s why it’s important to have a contractor install a new roof when the old one shows significant signs of wear. Top Tier Roofing has more than10 years of experience in roof repair, gutter installation, shingle installation, and siding installation. Contact us for more information.

44 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023
PRHREAL ESTATE Posh byPainting Rita llc. Rita Coccia Trombetta 856-986-0252 Specializing in interior and exterior painting 267.439.0779 REAL ESTATE
Top Tier Roofing is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome Magazine (PRH) Business Network.
www . toptierphilly . com
Replace Your Roof 8
courtesy of Top Tier Roofing
follow to


This pro rises to the occasion

Born and raised in South Philadelphia, Rita Coccia Trombetta knows how to transform every inch of your home into a plan with a purpose.

One of five children growing up in a small family row home, she said she wouldn’t change a thing about the close quarters. Her most cherished memories are attached to her childhood home.

“My whole family played instruments and sang. We were involved in the Mummers Parade our entire lives,” she boasts of the family’s penchant for the arts. “I also had two brothers signed to minor league baseball on the same day. And I have two nieces who were signed to American Idol on the same day,” she says proudly of her talented crew.

The daughter of a police officer and a stayat-home mom, Rita is the mother of three adult children. Now that they are off in their own directions, she decided to reinvent herself. “I always loved to paint and redesign furniture,” she said. “I started working with a contractor who taught me everything from electrical work to laying floors. But painting is my passion.”

As the owner of Posh Painting by Rita, she is ready to tackle any job – inside and out. When she started getting calls about updating the look of staircases, she was hooked. “I love my job and I love doing staircases.”

If you’re looking for a way to completely transform your staircase, there are so many colors to help you reach your goal. Classic or contemporary, let your stairs lead you to an endless realm of possibilities.

Posh Painting by Rita is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome Magazine (PRH) Business Network. Posh Painting by Rita
46 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023 The team at PHL Builders worked on this two-bedroom, two bathroom Airbnb in the heart of Fishtown. The property features custom fixtures and finishes including exposed brick, exposed ductwork, concrete sink and much more. PHL Builders is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network. PHL Builders CONTRACTORS SPOTLIGHT WILLIAM GUYON JR. & RON MALANDRO JR. | Owners Licensed & Insured WWW.PHLBUILDERS.COM Mothership Toy Gallery Airbnb 314 East Girard Avenue PRHREAL ESTATE Furnishings, Lighting, Rugs, Décor & Gifts for the Well Appointed Home 1600 Spruce St Philadelphia, PA 19103 267.209.3350 | PROFESSIONAL PAINTING OF DISTINCTION INTERIOR • EXTERIOR Faux Finish Specialist Joe LaFiora Office: 267-930-3420 www . facebook . com / fauxpaint

Top Tips for Summer Décor

Simple Tweaks to Turn Your Home into a Sun-drenched Haven


Summer is here and your living space should mirror the vibrant energy of summer. This season calls for fresh ideas and simple tweaks that can transform your home into a sundrenched haven. Here are the top summer interior design tips to rejuvenate your space.

EMBRACE THE POWER OF COLOR. Summer is all about bright, energetic colors. Incorporate hues like aqua blue, citrus orange, or sunny yellow to create a lively and cheerful vibe. These colors can be used in throw pillows, wall art, rugs, or even painted furniture pieces.

INFUSE NATURAL ELEMENTS. Celebrate the season by bringing in nature-inspired elements. This can mean adding house plants for a lush, refreshing look or introducing furniture and accessories made from natural materials like rattan, bamboo, or jute. Such elements lend a relaxed and organic feel to your interiors.

LIGHTEN UP. Swap your heavy, dark drapes for light, airy curtains that let in natural light. This simple change can create an illusion of a larger, brighter space, making your home feel more open and welcoming. Sheer, pastel-colored curtains are a perfect choice for summer.

MAXIMIZE OUTDOOR VIEWS. If you’re fortunate enough to have a garden or a picturesque view, ensure your interior design complements it. Arrange furniture to face the windows, use mirrored decor to reflect natural scenery, or use glass doors to create a seamless indoor-outdoor transition.

PLAY WITH PATTERNS. Summer is the perfect time to experiment with bold, playful patterns. Think tropical prints, nautical stripes, or floral designs. Use these on bedding, cushion covers, or wallpaper to infuse a summery charm.

COOL FLOORING. Consider light-colored, cool-to-touch flooring options like ceramic tiles or light wood. Alternatively, layering your existing floor with cotton or sisal rugs can provide a cool vibe underfoot.

MINIMIZE CLUTTER. A clean, uncluttered space exudes freshness, which is synonymous with summer. Opt for minimalistic decor and remember, less is often more when creating a breezy, summer-inspired interior.

Incorporating these summer interior design tips can help you create a home that is not just visually appealing, but also encapsulates the spirit of the season. Here’s to a stylish, refreshing summer at home!

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 47
TIPS from the PROS
Your comfort. Our passion. 215-468-8116 Since 1979 lwelch;Philadelphia;Condino Heating and Air Conditioning;A86523-146127-609005;3.5x9.75-4C (23NO) ©2023 Lennox Dealers are independently owned and operated businesses. 1600
Spruce St. is a member of the Philadelphia
Business Network.
courtesy of 1600 Spruce St. www .1600 sprucest . com

Favors & Flavors Etc.

Legacy Wardrobes


Storage solutions in homes that need more room

One of the best things you can do for your home is take advantage of custom storage options and maximize the space you have. Not all homes are made the same, and unfortunately, standard organizational designs don’t always work for your particular space. Legacy Wardrobes’ owner and custom cabinet builder Kevin McCarthy knows the importance of having proper storage inside your home. He lives in a Philadelphia row home and specializes in creating custom storage solutions in houses that just need more room!

“I understand our clients’ needs better than most,” he says, referring to the often lacking closet space and minimal storage in the popular Philly-style of housing. “We have multiple solutions - from demolishing existing closets and installing wardrobes to outfitting existing closets.”

The housing market is challenging, and many homeowners are looking for ways to repurpose their space rather than deal with the stress of moving. “We’ve had clients tell us they didn’t want

to leave the neighborhood, but they were running out of space and considering it,” McCarthy says. “We’re able to design solutions that enable them to have the storage space they need.” Custom storage options can change the way you use and enjoy your home, and here’s how.


Custom storage options enable you to make otherwise unusable space more functional. Consider adding shelving to walls, beneath tables, and anywhere else in the room that can be transformed. This is a great idea for small homes and studio apartments. Space that was otherwise wasted can now be used so that you can get the most out of that area.


Sometimes conventional options can work against you. Standard drawers in armoires, wardrobes, or closets quickly become cluttered, reducing how much usable space you have. With custom storage options and closet organizers, you can get smaller items tucked away neatly.


Custom storage gives every item its own place; you know where everything is that you may need. This can work for your closet, but also for offices, mudrooms, and other spaces where items tend to be strewn haphazardly.


Because custom storage creates more organization and open space in your home, you can fill unused space with decorative items or lighting. When all your items have a home, you can add plant life, vases, lamps, and other knickknacks to add a personalized touch to your space.

If your home’s office is lacking cohesion, a custom office in Philadelphia can help you create a calmer and more organized workspace. Or, if your walk-in closet is messy and chaotic, our closet organizers in Bryn Mawr will offer you peace of mind every time you enter your closet. Contact for a quote - Legacy Wardrobes is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.

48 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023
Stop in & cool off
Hand-dipped ice cream Homemade chocolates Chocolate covered fruit It’s
PRHREAL ESTATE FuneralWeddingsLunches and more! 20th St. & Moyamensing Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19145 215-852-4822 Join Our Business Network Today. Rates as low as $250. 215.462.9777 Of course you do. And so do thousands of readers throughout the region and across the country. Advertising brings new business to your doorstep and reminds old customers to keep coming back. PRH Advertisers get results. SEE THIS AD? BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT legacywardrobes com
THE PHILLYDREAM DIFFERENCE Let us help you find your Dream Home! Serving the Philadelphia Real Estate Market for 40 years We understand the market. That is why most of our business comes from referrals and repeat customers whose trust we have earned. Our agents live in the same communities where we do business. This is our home. We want it to be yours, too. It is our privilege to share our knowledge with you. honesty. integrity. respect. Keller Williams Realty 1601 W. Oregon Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19145 Office: 215.389.2222 | Mobile: 215.783.3698 | Buying Selling Rental Properties Property Management Full-Service Realty Services Serving Philadelphia & New Jersey Mario Tropea Jr. & the Dream Team

One of the most important rooms in your home is the master bathroom. This is a haven that rejuvenates the body and soul. A gorgeous master bathroom helps you conquer the day!

Here are a few tips to create a beautiful master bathroom.

Function is key. Assess your must-haves. Will you need a bathtub, shower, or a combination of both? Determine this in the beginning stage to help you plan your floor layout.

Storage is of utmost importance. Having an organized bathroom will minimize clutter and optimize your time. Opt for pull-

outs for your hair tools and toiletries. Keep your countertops free of clutter to maintain that serene, spa-like environment.

Awaken the senses with aromas from the perfect candles, lavender plants, and oil diffusers. Sooth your sense of touch with soft bathmats and towels. A calm color palette and an array of soft, warm lighting are visually appealing. Apply these tips to help design the master bath of your dreams. FDG

50 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023 Rubber Roofs, Shingle Roofs, Roof Decks, Siding and Windows www . toptierphilly . com Robert Irwin, owner 267-506-0231
FDG Interiors, LLC 434
Avenue Collingswood, NJ 08107 856-264-6816
courtesy of Cindy Rosario-Fetterman photos by Kristina Kroot fdginteriors com
AWAKEN THE SENSES WITH CANDLES & LAVENDAR of your dreams Master Design the
Cindy Rosario-Fetterman, FDG Interiors, is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.
ONLY A FEW SPACIOUS, BRAND NEW LUXURY TOWNHOMES REMAIN - FROM THE MID $600,000s There’s still time to personalize your new home at Siena Place, and make it your own! Discover the unique lifestyle at Siena Place in Packer Park, one of Philadelphia’s most desirable neighborhoods. Brand new 3-4 bedroom brick townhomes featuring abundant green space, private garages & ample parking, easily accessible, convenient to FDR Park, airport, Walt Whitman Bridge & more! EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNIT Y GOING. GOING. GONE. TWO QUICK MOVE-IN HOMES AVAILABLE • CALL TODAY! BROKER COOPERATION IS WARMLY INVITED & APPRECIATED. All prices and features subject to change without notice. Please see sales consultant for details. 215.339.5390 • 2300 Hartranft Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145 between Penrose Ave. and 26th St. Open By Appointment Only: Mon, Thurs thru Sat: 11am-5pm • Sun: 12pm-5pm Full 10 Year Tax Abatement

Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters in the United States. The effects can be local, hampering neighborhoods and communities, or widespread causing damage to entire river basins that may affect multiple states.


Standard homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover flooding. Take flood insurance into consideration to protect your home and possessions. Take an inventory of all household goods making sure to document model numbers, brand names, ages, purchase prices, and places of purchase. Place the information in a waterproof container or safe deposit box. Clear debris from gutters and downspouts for smooth water flow away from your house and place furniture and appliances on risers above your home’s projected flood elevation. Create an emergency kit that has enough supplies for three to seven days, including one gallon of water daily per person, non-perishable food, handheld can opener, paper plates and plastic utensils, blankets and pillows, rain gear, a First-Aid kit, medications and prescriptions, toiletries and batteryoperated radios and flashlights with spare batteries. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged.


Comply with all evacuation instructions. According to the National Weather Service, just one foot of flowing water is powerful enough to sweep vehicles off the road. Do not attempt to walk or

drive through flooded roadways. Monitor flood advisories on the radio, television, or the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration website. If you are in a vehicle and water is rising, exit the vehicle quickly and move to higher ground. If in your home or office, prepare to evacuate or move to the highest level of the building or the roof.


Make sure your community’s water is safe to drink after a flood. Avoid local water sources such as rivers and streams and puddled floodwater as it may be contaminated with oil, gas, or sewage. Use caution when returning to your home or office. Foundations and walls may have been weakened due to water damage. Clean and disinfect anything the flood waters touched. Discard unsalvageable items as soon as possible to prevent the spread of bacteria. If power lines are down, do not touch or stand in water near them. For more information on flood and flash flood safety, visit National Disaster Education Coalition at www.

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

52 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023
Renaissance Estates STARTING AT $1,200,000 Lu x ury Fe a tu r es Included (215) 551-5100 Call today to reserve a private tour and on-site showroom visit. Barbara A. Capozzi, Esq. eXp Realty Selling in Philly Team (215)551-5100 Office (267)973-0848 Mobile FULL Ten Year Tax Abatement 3,200+ sf of Luxury Living, PLUS Roof Deck! AT PACKER PARK 3320 South 20th Street RenaissanceEstates_FullPage_Ad-eXp.indd 1 6/14/23 2:39 PM Office: 3310 South 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145 These exclusive custom townhomes are just minutes from Citizens Bank Park, these exclusive custom are townhomes located at 3320 South 20th Street in upscale Packer Park, Philadelphia. They are nestled within the Reserve, Villas and Regency communities and are adjacent to historic FDR Park, designed by the Olmsted Brothers. PRHTIPS FROM THE PROS 2101 Penrose Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19145 BUILDING THE GREATER PHILADELPHIA REGION FOR OVER 100 YEARS TIPS from the PROS courtesy of RON RABENA Chief Client Officer, Allied Universal FLOOD & FLASH FLOOD Preparedness

Replacing LOST TAX BREAKS for your growing children

Your kids are getting older. Before you know it, they’ll be dating, driving and entering college (if they aren’t already!). Tax breaks drop dramatically as your children grow up, but you may be able to offset the losses with some timely tax planning. Consider the following tax events based on the age of your child.

Age 13. No more dependent day care credit.

The minimum annual credit for the cost of caring for your children while you and your spouse work is generally $600 for one child and $1,200 for two or more children when your adjusted gross income exceeds $43,000. But the credit is only available for children under age 13. Tax move. Now that your child is a teenager, hire him or her to work at your business. Typically, the child will owe little or no income tax on the wages and might even be able to claim an exemption from withholding.

Age 17. Child Tax Credit (CTC) no longer available.

With the CTC, you receive a $2,000 credit ($1,600 of which is refundable) for each child. Unfortunately, the credit disappears when the child turns 17. Remember, a tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of your taxes due, so as each child reaches 17, your taxes will go up by the full amount of the previously claimed credit. Tax move. Claim a nonrefundable $500 credit for a dependent who isn’t a qualifying child for the CTC. This is typically available to parents of high school seniors and college students.

Age 19 or 24. Goodbye

kiddie tax.

And now some good news. At 19, your child is no longer subject to kiddie tax rules unless they are a full-time student. In that case, they stay eligible for another four years (until age 24). This means any unearned income like interest and dividends in excess of the annual threshold ($2,300 in 2023) is no longer taxed at the parent’s (usually higher) tax rate. Tax move. As your child exits exposure to the kiddie tax, it may be time for a planning session. Longheld stocks with capital gains in a child’s name can now be sold with little to no federal tax obligation.

As you watch your children grow up and begin gaining their independence, remember to plan ahead for changes to your tax situation. Please call if you have questions about these child tax breaks or to schedule a planning session to discuss what other tax breaks may be available to you.

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

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 53
courtesy of the CPA Firm of David M. Spitzberg cpaforbusiness com

LAWORDER & IS THAT REQUEST for cash really from your Bank?

Q: Is there any way to protect yourself from fraudulent emails or texts requesting money?

A: Yes. Carefully read and reread every email or text suggesting that one of your accounts has been compromised and that you should send money quickly by Venmo or Zelle or any other electronic or money wire system. These fraudulent emails usually appear to be sent from well-known companies that you are using like Bank of America or Citibank. You should never send funds to:

• anyone claiming your account has been comprised

• anyone claiming to be from a governmental agency

• anyone asking you to send money to yourself

• and of course, any stranger, telemarketer, or unverified crypto currency sites

If you get a suspicious request, never disclose any personal information or allow remote access to your computer. Immediately change and protect your PIN numbers. There are ways to set up a multilayered identification system with your banks and credit card vendors. There are also third-party fraud protection services like Identity Guard, Lifelock and IDShield. Unfortunately, if you are the victim of a fraudulent request, there is rarely, if ever, a way to recover your funds.

Once again, Frank DePasquale has been recognized by his peers as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for 2023. He heads DePasquale Law Offices, 2332-34 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145. P: 215.755.4410. Email him at or visit

54 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023


Over a century ago, Philadelphia was known as the nation’s ice cream capital so it’s no surprise that Scola’s Perfect Scoop is one of our city’s top spots when it comes to satisfying our cravings for cones, cups, waffles, and splits with a cherry on the top. And, yes, they deliver everything – from sundaes, shakes, banana cups, splits and triple dips right to your door – as cold as it was in the case at the shop.

Michael Scola Sr. and son Michael Jr. opened Perfect Scoop during the pandemic in the summer of 2020. It was Michael Jr. who edged his father on. He knew his taste of the past would create the perfect business of their own and continue the family legacy.

Perfect Scoop features more than 35 ice cream flavors. Some of the shop’s most popular picks for sundaes and shakes include Chocolate Banana, Brownie Batter, Banana Pudding, Moose Tracks, Coffee, Cookies & Cream, Strawberry Cheesecake, Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, and Salted Caramel Pretzel. The ice cream is hand-dipped for single/double/or triple scoops. Vegan options and eight flavors of water ice are available, too. Sundaes come in all sizes with a variety of toppings (spiced apples, bubble gum bites, and dozens more). Or order a Philly favorite – a three-scoop banana split. “We can beat the competition with our rich creamy milkshakes,” says Michael Sr. with a satisfying gleam in his eyes. “The customers go crazy over our fried Oreos (like the one’s on the Boardwalk)

and an order of our funnel cake fries,” Michael Jr. adds.

Front and center of the shop is a freezer section stocked with the Philadelphia Water Ice brand in a wide selection of flavors. Displayed in the to-go section are Hershey’s ice cream gallons, novelty snacks, juices, sodas, and bottled water. Shelves are stocked with ice cream cakes, ready to go for any occasion.

“The customers of Perfect Scoop are generally from the South Philadelphia neighborhoods. However, our name and reputation have spread far and wide through social media and word of mouth. Regular customers have been patronizing our menu from Center City and Southwest Philly.” Michael Jr. says. “Be sure to look for our frequent posts to Instagram with examples of the amazing ice cream items on our menu.”

When Perfect Scoop opened in 2020, a full deli menu was available under the name Scola’s Luncheonette. In 2023, customer attention shifted to the ice cream parlor and the Scolas limit the deli to a select menu of tasty favorites including wings, poppers, hoagies, burgers, cheesesteaks and inside outs. Perfect Scoop is available to enjoy via pick-up, delivery (UberEats, GrubHub, DoorDash) or takeout. Check the choices online at

While looking back to his roots, Michael Scola Sr. ventures forward to the future. “My family and I have always been in busi ness that carried the Scola name through the years. From beer distributors at 8th and Tasker to deli varieties at 20th and Porter. I’ve worked for others, like at the Philly shipping docks, but there is something special about having your own business.”

Cool, creamy ice cream delivered right to your door

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 55 PRHTHE MENU
Scola’s Perfect Scoop is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network. PHOTO BY ANDREW

John’s Roast Pork

earns Flavored by Philly finalist status

The distinction gives owner John Bucci another huge boost this year

Given that John Bucci has accumulated many commendable honors, including a 2006 James Beard Foundation America’s Classic Award, one might think he would be tempted to live a high-on-the-hog existence for his hard work in helming John’s Roast Pork, 14 E. Snyder Avenue. The South Philly native and New Jersey resident, though, retains an everyman modesty that makes him a valued community member and respected proprietor. In that latter role, the entrepreneur has been especially excelling since June, as his 93-year-old site is one of three

finalists in the Herr’s Flavored by Philly Local Eats competition.

“Being in the running is great news for everyone,” Bucci said recently on a bustling Saturday afternoon, giving a nod to fellow contenders Mike’s BBQ and Corropolese Bakery. “The whole process has been a huge bonus for us in connecting with our patrons, who have always kept us eager to serve them.”

Based in Nottingham, Pennsylvania, Herr’s commenced the Flavored by Philly contest, last year, and for this iteration, the

company received approximately 1,500 public submissions for potato chip creations. Working with Bucci and the others after having selected the homages to their wares, the Herr’s braintrust crafted Roast Pork Sandwich chips for John’s; Korean BBQ ones for Mike’s; and Tomato Pieinspired goodies for Corropolese. The competition runs through August 8 and will grant the winner added clout and $10,000.

“The reactions have been great,” the third-generation owner said of the ridged chip

available at his shop and through major retailers. “I enjoyed the process of interacting with the research and development team because the idea to recognize local places is great. The finished product is pretty special, too.”

The limited-time-only snacks/ sandwich enhancers mark another 2023 boon for John’s Roast Pork and Bucci, as he said the pandemic led to a soul-searching process on the nature of his establishment that resulted in window service, a sound system that announces completed orders, and new flooring set to debut later this summer. Dovetailing the improvements with the competition, which consumers can participate in through visiting Herr’s website, scanning a QR code on bags, or texting “PORK” to 80160, would seem enough for Bucci to dub this a great year, but he has another cause for celebration. This marks his 15th anniversary as a

bone marrow transplant recipient, with each day providing an opportunity to be thankful no matter the degree of pain that his battle with neuropathy makes him endure.

“I’m alive,” he said with a smile, mentioning that he will likely hold a donor registration event soon, a former staple at his store, to make guests aware of the need to match patients with eligible helpers. “I’m still putting everything I have into making John’s Roast Pork an outstanding place to come to eat and socialize. I’ve always been a hard worker. That’s all I know how to be.”

To vote for John’s Roast Pork in the Herr’s Flavored by Philly contest, visit /the-latest/flavored-by-phillylocal-eats-voting/. PRH

John’s Roast Pork is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome Magazine (PRH) Business Network.

56 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023 PRHTHE MENU
Philly Philly


8 cups all-purpose flour

6 eggs

2.5 cups of sugar


1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp vanilla extract

7.5 cups water


Mix ingredients #1 through #6 together until it is smooth. Once smooth, add in and mix both white and black sesames. Set mixture aside for two hours at room temperature. In a large frying pan, fill in the oil 1/2 way up. Turn the heat on high. Put a flower mold in the oil for about 5 minutes or until the mold is very hot. Reduce the heat to medium, give the batter mixture one more stir, then dip the mold 3/4 into the batter. Do not submerge the mold all the way down into the batter. Immediately after dipping the mold into the batter, dip it into the hot oil, hold it there for a few seconds, then give it a little shake to release the batter from the mold. Flip the cookie repeatedly until it is golden brown. Remove the cookie from the oil and place it over a small bowl. This allows for it to cool and offer a slight curve shape making it look like a flower.

Before making the next cookie, make sure to dip the mold into the oil for a few minutes for it to be hot, then continue the same process until all the batter is used up.

This cookie can be eaten as is or dusted with powdered sugar or eaten with ice cream. It is also fantastic to have with some breakfast coffee or tea. All Southeast Asian countries have

3 tbsp white sesame

3 tbsp black sesame

a version of this cookie. If you don’t want to make your own, you can order cookies via @ PiseysHouseofDips on Facebook or pick them up from Sahbyy’s Food at the Market.

The Southeast Asian Market is a community of refugees and immigrant members who have called the park home since the 1980s. They have cultivated an open community space all their own for social gatherings, shared cuisines, and business opportunities through vending. This unique market blossomed from the original Lao and Khmer sellers, expanding to Thai, Vietnamese, and Indonesian vendors to provide a variety of native cuisine, culturally specific produce, plants, clothing, jewelry and services.

The Southeast Asian Market is a partnership of the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia, the Vendors’ Association of FDR Park, and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s FDR Park. A permanent home for the market in FDR Park was announced this winter and will be located in the southwest corner of FDR Park, between the skatepark and future wetland.

For hours and info, visit www.fdrseamarket. com. The Market can currently be found near the Taney Baseball field (Picnic Area 11).

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 57 Phone: 609-506-5500 Email: @glamglowphilly 2504 S Broad St Philadelphia, PA 19145 Available wherever books are sold. W W W . A R C A D I A P U B L I S H I N G . C O M Life & Wellness Coach Teri Lombardo tel: (215) 869-0319
Pidor Yang owns Sahbyy Food and you can find her at the Southeast Asian Market at FDR Park every weekend. The recipe below belongs to her sister, Pisey Tes, who owns Pisey’s House of Dips. Pidor buys these “deliciously crunchy cookies” from her sister to sell at the market. COURTESY OF PISEY TES

Memoirs of a family business

LIL NICK’ S Hoagies & Homemade Foods

Iwas four years old when my dad opened his grocery store in 1974. I started working there when I was 8. I was too young to slice the lunchmeat, so I’d help the other workers with whatever they needed. Bring groceries up from the basement, stock shelves, get lunchmeat from the walk-in box. I was too little to hold the broom, so I used the dustpan and brush to sweep up. For whatever reason, I absolutely loved being there with the older kids that worked in the store. We would get a grocery order on certain nights and stay late to price and stock everything. Sometimes, we’d order a pizza.

About 5 or 6 in the morning, I would go to the fruit center with my dad to pick up fruit and veggies. Then I’d help

put the milk order away.

It was very different back then before major supermarkets and chain stores opened. Everyone grocery shopped at the corner store. When I was about 14 or so, I started doing the ordering and whatever else had to be done. Even though I wasn’t allowed to use a slicer at that age, I watched and learned, little by little. By the time I was 16, I was slicing lunchmeat fulltime. I would head to the store right from school every day, get changed in the bathroom, and work the rest of the afternoon. I worked all day on Saturdays and sometimes on Sundays, too.

By then, my whole family worked at the family store. My sister Dana, my brother Brian, and of course, Mom Arlene. At times, my friends even worked there. We really weren’t a hoagie shop, but I would sometimes make sandwiches for our

58 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023 PRHTHE MENU
Philly MENU

customers over the years. I started getting ideas for the same hoagies I make today. My dad would make most of them up then jokingly “name them.” Again, I still use a lot of those sandwich names today!

When I graduated high school, I worked at the store fulltime. By the time I was 25 years old, I knew we needed to emphasize the hoagies we were making at the store. My dad found me the perfect spot at Rosewood & Jackson Street and with the help of my parents, I was able to purchase the shop on March 17, 1997. By then, a lot of mom & pop grocery stores were either closing or starting new businesses.

Even though I was a grocery store/Italian Deli/Hoagie shop, I always emphasized my sandwiches. I knew I wanted to make sandwiches. I loved starting the business from the ground up, along with so many family members and friends, who in some way contributed to its success. They helped me with construction, cleaning, designing, or working in the store. I met new great customers, neighbors, and friends. My second son was born during that time and business was going well.

After about four years, a fire destroyed much of the property and forced me to close for about six months to rebuild. I literally had to start over. When I finally was able to open my doors, again, it took another year for customers to realize I was back in business. There was no Instagram or social media back then to help me spread the word. I had to rely on word of mouth.

During that time, my father Nick Maiale Sr., decided to retire (unsuccessfully lol) and sold his grocery store. My whole family moved over to my shop to help me grow my business. Eventually, my dad decided to open another store – Big Nick’s Deli – at our current location.

I built a kitchen in the rear end

of my Jackson Street deli where I made cheesesteaks, burgers, chicken, deep fryer favorites. You name it. Well, I failed miserably. Other than a few homemade items, everything I made was frozen, heated up or deep fried. I finally decided to shut down the kitchen and focus again on the hoagies.

In 2007, the beauty shop owner next to my father’s deli retired and my dad convinced me to move into that space and make my sandwiches there. So, I closed the doors on Jackson Street and set up shop behind my dad’s deli on Moyamensing Avenue. This time, I stuck with the hoagies. I gradually added items that I could make homemade – roast beef, roast pork, meatballs, scallopines, soups, and of course, chicken cutlets, which, in addition to our hoagies, have become our customers’ favorites.

Social media has enabled me to spread the word and post my specialty sandwiches online. I have been extremely fortunate to catch the attention of foodies like Craig Laban, Hoagie Dom, Broke but Hungry Girls, comedian Steve Rinaldi and so many others. When JL Jupiter posted a video about us, customers lined up for weeks before we opened to order a sandwich. We recently celebrated our 26th anniversary. Our menu has expanded to include new chicken cutlet additions, which have become our biggest sellers.

The DAG – cutlets with prosciutto DiParma, fresh mozzarella, balsamic glaze and long hot peppers – and the DAG 2.0 with cutlets, prosciutto DiParma, burrata cheese topped with Hot Honey – are our most popular sandwiches. Customers also love our Vodka Cutlet topped with homemade blush vodka sauce, pancetta and burrata cheese. Or order a Hoagies like our Italian Hoagie and “Touch of Italy” with prosciutto DiParma, soppresatta, dry cured capicola and sharp provolone.


July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 59
in the heart of South Philly, we’ve been providing the neighborhood & surrounding area with quality service for more than 90 years
2215 S. 11th Street Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.389.5912 Fresh brick oven bread, rolls & tomato pie baked daily.
Stephen Candeloro Owner Lil Nick’s Hoagies & Homemade Foods and Big Nick’s Deli are members of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.

Farina Di Vita / 250 Catharine St. / 267.639.5185 /@farinadivita

“The Marie”- fresh Mozzarella, 24-month aged Parma Prosciutto, arugula, grape tomatoes, lemon Zest, salt & pepper, olive oil & lemon spritz

Chick’s Philly / 1807 Washington Ave / 215.546.2233 /

BBQ sliders

Farina Di Vita / 250 Catharine St. / 267.639.5185 /@farinadivita Homemade herb ricotta with crab tortellini (pair with the crab gravy!)

Carlo’s Catering / 267.971.7127 / Eggplant Rollatini

Favors & Flavors / 1800 E Passyunk Ave / 215.271.7621 /

Mason Jar Sundaes are all the rave this summer!

Giovanni’s Italian Catering / 267.439.0779 / Crab Cakes

Pastificio / 1528 Packer Ave. / 215.467.1111 /

Classic Italian Hoagie with Prosciutto, Genoa Salami, Mortadella, Ham, Capicola & Provolone

Gran Caffe L’Aquila / 1716 Chestnut St. 215.568.5600 / Cannolo gelato – sheep’s milk cannoli cream & shell

John’s Roast Pork / 14 E Snyder Ave / 215.463.1951 /

Roast Pork

Pop’s Water Ice / 1337 W Oregon Ave / 215.551.7677 /

Homemade Lime

Lombardi’s Prime Meats / 1801 Packer Ave. / 215.334.1212 /

Prime Ribeye

Popi’s / 3120 S. 20th St. / 215.755.7180 /

Angus Beef Filet trio with melted mozzarella topped with burnt onions & bell peppers

The Kitchen Consigliere / 700 Haddon Ave / Collingswood NJ / Pizzelle Napoleon

Lombardi’s Prime Meats / 1801 Packer Ave. / 215.334.1212 /

Homemade Sausage / Hot, Sweet, Broccoli Rabe & Provolone

Tony & Nick’s / 39 E Oregon Ave / 215.551.5725 Hoagies

Anthony's / 903 S 9th St / 215.627.2586 / Homemade Gelato

Rosewood Bar / 1417 W Shunk St. / 215.336.1335 / Margarita

Penrose Diner / 2016 Penrose Ave. / 215.465.1097 / Strawberry Cheesecake

The Perfect Scoop / 2020 Penrose Ave / 215.645.9401

S’mores Eggrolls

Lil Nick’s Hoagies / 1311 W Moyamensing Ave. / 215.468.4647 / lil_nicks_deli

The DAG & DAG 2.0

Chicken cutlets with Prosciutto DiParma, fresh mozzarella, balsamic glaze, long hots (DAG 2.0 – Add burrata cheese & Mike’s Hot Honey)

Tony & Nick’s / 39 E Oregon Ave / 215.551.5725

Roast Beef Caprese

The Kitchen Consigliere / 700 Haddon Ave / Collingswood NJ /



O Sole Mio / 824 S 8th St / 215.468.1689 / Lobster Diablo over Linguini


John’s Roast Pork / 14 E Snyder Ave / 215.463.1951 / Ultimate Cheesesteak

Pastificio / 1528 Packer Ave. / 215.467.1111 /

Vodka Parm – chicken cutlets smothered in homemade vodka sauce with fresh mozzarella & grated Pecorino

Pat’s King of Steaks 1237 E Passyunk Ave / 215.468.1546 Cheesesteak whiz “wit”


Chick’s Philly / 1807 Washington Ave / 215.546.2233 / Bacon wrapped pickles

Favors & Flavors / 1800 E Passyunk Ave / 215.271.7621 / "Schwarber" Mason Jar Sundae

Rosewood Bar / 1417 W Shunk St. / 215.336.1335 / Upside Down Pineapple Cake

ROWHOME MAGAZINE THIS SUMMER! eating WHAT’ S EVERYBODY THIS SUMMER! eating WHAT’ S EVERYBODY Here’s a list of Philly’s favorites from RowHome’s top spots! MENU Carlo’s Catering / 267.971.7127 / Spicy Salmon Bites Gran Caffe L’Aquila / 1716 Chestnut St. 215.568.5600 / Carbonara with Italian Bacon Gelato Chick’s Philly / 1807 Washington Ave / 215.546.2233 / Shrimp Po Boy Pat’s King of Steaks / 1237 E Passyunk Ave / 215.468.1546 Cheesesteak American “wit” Penrose Diner / 2016 Penrose Ave. / 215.465.1097 / French Toast Farina Di Vita / 250 Catharine St. / 267.639.5185 /@farinadivita Homemade crab gravy topped with fresh jumbo lump crab meat Giovanni’s Italian Catering / 267.439.0779 / Antipasto The Perfect Scoop / 2020 Penrose Ave / 215.645.9401 Banana Split Lombardi’s Prime Meats / 1801 Packer Ave. / 215.334.1212 / Homemade
/ 3120 S. 20th St. / 215.755.7180 / Stuffed Rigatoni Carbonara with Pancetta & Peas (A favorite special when offered!) Pastificio / 1528 Packer Ave. / 215.467.1111 / Classic Chicken Cutlet Pat’s King of Steaks / 1237 E Passyunk Ave / 215.468.1546 Plain “wit” New York Bakery / 2215 S 11th St / 215.389.5912 Tomato Pie Boaggio’s Bread / 823 E Gate Dr. / Mount Laurel, NJ / 856.642.9955 / Meatballs Anthony's / 903 S 9th St / 215.627.2586 / Gelato Burger O Sole Mio / 824 S 8th St / 215.468.1689 Pesto Pizza Anthony's / 903 S 9th St / 215.627.2586 / Iced Coffee Favors & Flavors / 1800 E Passyunk Ave / 215.271.7621 / Mason Jar Sundae We took a poll and asked our RowHome Readers… What’s everybody eating this summer from PRH’s top spots? Here’s what you said!






lombardimeats com

Philly Philly

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



17 years of experience as a full time realtor working throughout the Philly area with a network of incredible clients.

Most of my business is “Word of Mouth” from past very satisfied clients.

My “Hands On” approach sets me apart - taking fewer clients at a time ensures that you have my undivided attention throughout the entire Buying and Selling process. EIGHT Time Winner “Five Star Professional” as seen in Philadelphia Magazine.


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3 lbs of spareribs

2 tbs dark brown sugar, packed

1 tsp salt

1 tsp granulated garlic

1 tsp granulated onion

1 tsp thyme

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black


1/2 teaspoon chili pepper

1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 tbs butter cut into cubes

1 cup barbeque sauce


Preheat oven to 300° and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Remove any silver skin with a paring knife by sliding under the membrane and then peeling it away. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and seasonings. Rub mixture all over ribs until well coated. Evenly distribute butter cubes over ribs, wrap tightly in foil, and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake until very tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Switch oven to broil, unwrap ribs, and brush all over with barbecue sauce. Place back on baking sheet and broil until sauce starts to caramelize, 5 minutes.

Lombardi’s Prime Meats is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.

62 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023


Pastry & Baking Program opens its doors to a new bakery at String Theory School

Philadelphia Performing Arts is a String Theory School with three campuses in Philadelphia.

The school is K-12 grade and aims to attract students that are interested in the performing arts, design, and sciences. The Vine Street Campus, grades 6-12, expands on these areas of study. The campus has a School of Performing Arts, a School of Design, and School of Science and Technology, each with a variety of arts and science courses. Chief Innovation Officer of String Theory Schools, Jason Corosanite, is the (not so) evil genius behind the new Pastry and Baking Program lab on campus. With his creativity and vision, he has been able to build a food lab, a top-of-theline pastry and baking kitchen, a store

front and provide fresh and delicious baked goods, coffee, and gelato to not only food services and the teachers, but even to the neighborhood.

In January, the Pastry and Baking Program was launched under the direction of Chef Sofiane Bellal. Chef Bellal’s curriculum for the high school students at Performing Arts is based on the French style of pastry arts. He wants his students to touch every aspect of pastry making, and students will learn to bake cakes, pastries, candies, and chocolates. Chef Bellal adds, “This is a big opportunity for the kids to work with this level of equipment. I worked for many hours for free just to learn [how to cook] and the cost is very high in France to learn pastry skills.” He excels at teaching his students not

just baking skills but self-confidence and providing passion that will positively impact them throughout their careers and lives. The best part, the program is free for all students. This past school year, they have partnered with Philadelphia Youth Network to provide paid internships to their students to run an oncampus coffee shop and bakery, Café Vine. In the coming years, they hope to be able to provide students with an associate’s degree in Pastry and Baking and even to send students to Europe for hands-on training at the best bakeries in the world.

Recently, Café Vine celebrated its grand opening. Students can earn money working in the front and back of the house. This café is almost entirely run by students.

They bake the pastries, roast the coffee beans, make and serve the gelato, learn barista skills, and run the sales in the shop. From the grand opening forward, the public will be able to order from a take-out window. They will have outdoor seating to ensure safety for the students, which is of utmost priority. In the future, they are even looking to have preorders available through an app. The school plans to open a pizza kitchen this fall. Customers will be able to order through delivery apps, such as Uber Eats and Doordash. They welcome anybody near 16th Street and Vine to stop by and grab a treat.

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

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 63




pizza shop delivers prelude to Martorano’s Prime, coming soon

Philly foodies are getting a taste of great things to come with the opening of Martorano’s Sicilian Slice at Rivers Casino Philadelphia. The new pizza shop by celebrity cook and South Philly native Steve Martorano and his wife, Marsha Daley-Martorano, is open in the casino’s Marketplace, just steps away from where Italian-American steakhouse Martorano’s Prime will soon open.

The fresh ingredients and elevated pies at Sicilian Slice are a culinary overture to the fine dining anticipated at Martorano’s Prime. An opening date for the first full-service restaurant by the Martorano duo in Philadelphia is expected soon.

Martorano’s Sicilian Slice

Sicilian-style fresh pizza by the slice features mouthwatering San Marzano tomato sauce and premium homemade mozzarella cheese. The pizza is topped with Calabrian oregano and

fresh basil, all drizzled with Frantoia extra-virgin olive oil. The slices include a sprinkle of Pecorino Romano cheese, while generous toppings of Molinari pepperoni are also available.

“I can’t wait for Philadelphia to enjoy authentic Martorano recipes from our family-style kitchens,” Martorano said. “It starts with our thick-crust Sicilian slices, followed soon by the best meatballs you’ve ever tasted, at Martorano’s Prime.”

Gourmet magazine famously called Martorano’s meatballs the best meatballs in the world.

More Sweet News from Martorano’s

In addition to Sicilian Slice, dessert boutique Lilly Cakes by DaleyMartorano is coming soon to the Rivers Casino Marketplace. This premium line of “All-American Desserts for All Occasions” will

feature classic desserts made with the finest ingredients. Guests will be able to indulge in fluffy, sweet vanilla cake, red velvet cake, brown-butter Heath Bar cake and banana cream pie, just to name a few of the decadent desserts that will be available.

“The new pizza and dessert grab-andgo options at Rivers Casino are phenomenal additions,” said Eric Althaus, general manager of Rivers Casino Philadelphia. “Sicilian Slice and Lilly Cakes use only fresh ingredients, and guests will enjoy this early taste of Steve and Marsha’s famous menu.”

Martorano’s Prime An Italian American Steakhouse

As previously announced, Martorano’s Prime will be the acclaimed cook’s first signature restaurant in Philadelphia, fusing the founder’s renowned Italian-American menu


Martorano’s Prime at Rivers Casino Philadelphia is looking for individuals with the best fine dining experience, including cooks, servers, assistant servers, greeters, and food runners. Here’s what applicants can expect:

Cooks with fine dining experience can make up to $30 an hour.

Servers can make $8 an hour.

Assistant servers can make $6 an hour.

with high-end steakhouse staples elevated in Martorano’s signature style. Rivers Casino Philadelphia will be the second Martorano’s Prime location, following the successful debut of the concept at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh in 2021.

Martorano takes pride in providing a restaurant experience that hits all the senses — while guests enjoy richly flavored dishes, the smell of authentic Italian-American cooking fills the air, old-school movies are on screens throughout the restaurant and hip music plays in the background. It’s a vibe you will find only at Martorano’s.

Macaroni lovers will enjoy Martorano’s favorite and always popular linguine and clams, bucatini carbonara, his famous meatball with Sunday gravy and Martorano salad, and spicy penne vodka. Traditional steakhouse fans will savor mouthwatering chops, which are first cut, while the steaks are always prime. Veal chop parmesan, filet Sinatra and lobster francaise are among the highlights.

For periodic restaurant updates and additional information, please visit and follow Rivers Casino Philadelphia on Facebook and Instagram. PRH


Please note that all servers receive a base salary in addition to tips. Additionally, the provided QR code contains more information about available positions and benefits, such as medical and dental plans, a 401(k), paid time off, tuition reimbursement, and more.

64 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023

Welcome to Chef MJ’s Corner where we feature stories about food, nutrition, health, the latest trends and hotspots, and, last but not least, stories that inspire each reader. You know my motto - food is a segue into intimate conversation.

So, take a load off and let’s get intimate. A lot of people have been asking me for reasons to hire a personal chef and what they should know before they do. I thought this would be a great forum to answer some of those questions.

Is it time to hire a personal chef?

What is the difference between a private and personal chef?

A private chef is hired to be in your home from morning until night and normally is employed by one family. A personal chef will typically come into your home and cook, or deliver, a week’s worth of meals in as little as four hours.

What are the benefits of hiring a chef?

They can save you time, money, stress. They can also help you eat healthier, while having more variety in your meals. Many of my clients have certain health and nutritional needs that need to be addressed. Some have even been advised by their healthcare providers to hire a chef. Once you assess your needs, this will help you hire the right chef for your family.

What should you look for when hiring a chef?

The first question I would ask is, “Do you love what you do?” Don’t hire someone who does not have a passion for cooking. A person who loves what

they do will take pride in what they prepare for you and your family and makes sure that any dietary restrictions are met. This will help you meet any goals that you have in mind.

What if I want my meals customized for my family?

This service costs a little more, but it is well worth it. Especially if you have several family members with dietary restrictions. Customized meals can be a chore for working parents, but for a chef, it’s what we do every day.

Can I hire a chef for a dinner party and what should I expect?

Absolutely! When hiring a personal chef for a dinner party, they can help come up with creative party ideas and plan and execute the menu. Many clients have hired me to help with the execution of the party décor, as well. Some personal chefs, like myself,

offer a one stop shop for party planning. All you have to do is sit back, relax and let them do all the work.

What if I can’t afford a chef full time?

Inquire about cooking classes or meal prep classes. There are chefs that offer classes to help diversify your menus and assist you in ways to get meal prep done faster.

Make sure the person you hire has a good reputation and can provide references. Check their social media and see if they have a legitimate business. This will ensure that the food they are preparing is stored properly so you and your family do not get sick.

I hope this helps you in your journey to hiring a chef. You will have more time to spend with your family sitting around the dinner table eating delicious food that you did not have to shop for, prep, or cook! // Instagram: mj_thechef

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 65 Scan the QR code to vote for John's Roast Pork flavored Herr's chips! Voting ends August 8th. AsseenontheTravelChannel BizarreFoods withAnthonyZimmern BarstoolCheapEatsSports Dine-in · Takeout · Delivery Nationwide via Goldbelly johnsroastpork com 10am to 5pm, closed Sundays and Mondays Voted#1forcheesesteaks bythePhiladelphiaInquirer 2006JamesBeardAwardwinner “BestPorkSandwich” PhiladelphiaReviewReaders’Poll
Chef Mitzi Jackson-Robinson is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.

FAVORS & FLAVORS with a cherry on the top!

Candy, cake & ice cream, too!

Favors and Flavors has established itself as one of the premiere custom chocolate shops in the Philadelphia area. What started in 1994 as a gift for a family member has now turned into one of the most unique and decorative creation shops in our city.

“I did a few things for my family, and I was working out of my kitchen on a folding table, and destroyed my whole kitchen,” says owner Angela Zuccaro. “I decided that I wanted a store, so I took a day and walked the streets of Philly for hours looking for a storefront. I found one on Moyamensing Avenue.”

Over the years, Favors and Flavors has perfected the craft of making their signature chocolate towers and has gone on to offer many additional services including cakes, candy tables, centerpieces, house candles, greeting cards, ice cream, and much more. Zuccaro had a few short stints with ice cream in the store’s previous locations, but due to varying circumstances which made it hard to serve over the years, it never reached the full potential she knew it could have.

As soon as she moved into her current location - the corner of East Passyunk Avenue and Moore Street - she knew that ice cream could succeed as an added treat. She approached her landlord with a blueprint for the idea. Her landlord saw the potential and built Zuccaro a full ice cream parlor inside the store.

“We now have about 22 different flavors of ice cream,” Zuccaro says. “We serve it in the parlor, and we have Passyunk Avenue seating as well as Moore Street seating. Some people come in in the morning, sit and do their bills. People like the atmosphere and they like being in there.”

In addition to ice cream, they also offer water ice, smoothies, and even a custom signature sundae called the “Schwarbinator,” paying tribute to the Philadelphia Phillies player Kyle Schwarber. All in all, Zuccaro gives credit to the ever-expanding menu, attention to detail, and hard work of staff as three factors that contribute to making Favors and Flavors stand out among the rest of the custom chocolate shops in the Philly area.

“I know other people make trays and put trays together, but they don’t make them how we do. It’s like an art. It’s like putting together a puzzle,” Zuccaro says. “We make all kinds of different personalized baskets for weddings, birthday parties, whatever the occasion is. Basically, anything you can think of, we can make it.”

To stay up-to-date with the latest information from Favors and Flavors, be sure to follow them on Instagram at favors.and. flavors and subscribe to their Facebook page (Favors and Flavors).

Favors and Flavors is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome Magazine (PRH) Business Network.

66 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023 PRHTHE MENU
Philly Philly

Gina & David Neto Cescaphe Ballroom The Day that Time Stood Still

Hello beautiful Brides Guide readers. We are so pleased to introduce you to our wonderful couple, Gina and David Neto. They shared their special day with us as and their loved ones at the elegant and charming Cescaphe Ballroom. This couple’s love for design and planning is clearly noticeable in the impeccable details on display throughout the night. Every facet helped them share their love story with their guests and made the night personal and special. Please enjoy the sneak peek they gave us into their stunning wedding day.

How did you meet?

David and I met each other at work! Although we worked in different offices in different states, we always gravitated towards each other for every happy hour, teambuilding event, and holiday party. The connection grew stronger and stronger over the course of two years and before we knew it, we started dating.

PRH Brides Guide PRH

How did the proposal happen?

Completely unexpected. We were getting ready to go out to dinner for New Year’s Eve while Dave was planning to propose with our rescue dog Luna in our home. They both came up the stairs towards me in our bedroom where Dave popped the question. Luna was wearing a bandana that said, “Will you marry my dad?” I was in utter shock. It was a total surprise! I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Venue: Cescaphe Ballroom

Florist: A Floral Affair

Band/DJ: Silver Sound

Invitations & Stationery: The Papery

Photographer: Rachel Rosenstein (239-691-0046)

Transportation: Cescaphe Trolley

Dress Designer/ Dress Shop: Martin Thornburg


Designer/Shop: Gallelli Formal Wear

Why did you choose a Cescaphe Wedding?

From the moment we both toured the Cescaphe Ballroom, we knew it was the perfect place for us. From the charm and the history, the pearl chandeliers, it was love at first sight. Each and every staff member consistently went above and beyond from start to finish. The process was seamless and effortless. It was the easiest decision we’ve made.

What was your favorite part about wedding planning?

Our favorite part of wedding planning was seeing our love story come to life in every element that we chose. In the pictures, in the florals, in the song choices. We wanted to represent us in the best way we possibly could while incorporating the things that were most important to us, especially our dog Luna. Even though she couldn’t be with us on the day itself, we made bar signs of her and of course, the ice sculpture.

What was your favorite part of your wedding?

Our first dance. That was the moment where it all came together that this is real; feeling the love all around us from everyone in that room, and just having a moment to ourselves to take it all in. In that moment, with all the rush and excitement, time stopped, and we were truly able to enjoy each other.

What did you do to make your wedding day extra special?

We wrote our own vows to each other. Our shared faith is extremely valuable to us and our marriage, but we also wanted to add that personal touch during the ceremony. It was absolutely beautiful listening to each other’s words and made it all the more special.

What advice would you give to future brides and grooms?

Time flies by during the planning process and even the day itself, so be present and truly allow yourselves to enjoy the reason why everyone is there in the first place.

keeping his eyes focused on the latest wedding trends, Cescaphe CEO/Chef Joseph Volpe is recognized as the area’s leading authority on ballroom bliss. Creating Oncein-a-Lifetime, Distinctive Events with Genuine Care and Passion, Treating Our Guests Like Family as We Exceed Their Expectations. Visit or call 215.238.5750.


Summer Trends

Sunny Honey is Sure to Please

Fake Bake

Good makeup starts with a good base. Take care of your skin and your makeup will look even better. Healthy, nourished skin with minimal makeup is the trend this summer. That also means tan skin. If you’re still laying in tanning beds, no judgment here. But if you’re serious about healthy skin, then try my favorite self-tanner. Coco & Eve Sunny Honey is sure to please. I saw an ad on Instagram for this and I thought, why not? Coco & Eve is a mousse, so it’s easy to apply. It gives you a natural looking tan without sun damage. The world’s first 100% Natural DHA self-tan body treatment with full skincare benefits - anti-cellulite and an instant bronze glow that is fast-drying and develops in just two hours. It’s cruelty-free, vegan, and toxin free. Infused with raw virgin coconuts, botanicals and amino acids to hydrate, it blurs pigmentation and stretch marks to perfect your skin. Enriched with powerful natural antioxidants like fig, banana, papaya, and cocoa to improve signs of aging. This product is a must try.


Lighter foundations and highlighters are perfect for the summer months. A great skin highlighter is basically all you need. Of course, make sure you are using an SPF

to keep your skin protected from the sun. Liquid highlighters are a favorite of mine, especially for summer. For a super glossy glow, try e.l.f. Cosmetics Halo Glow Liquid Filter. This product is so versatile. You can wear it alone, mix it with your foundation or simply use it as a highlighter. It’s good for all skin types and there are eight shades from which to choose. It’s cruelty-free and for $14, you can’t go wrong.


The best way to keep lips looking full and plump is by keeping them hydrated. Extreme Shine Volume Lipgloss by Essence is a great choice, plus it’s crueltyfree. The formula is smooth and comfortable, creates a high-shine finish, and stays on for several hours. Not to mention, it never feels sticky. If you’re looking for a coral color, try Dusty Rose. If mauve is your color of choice, then definitely try Purple Rain. There are 24 shades from which to choose, and for less than the cost of a cup of coffee, why not try all of them? They sell for $4 a tube.

Tan, highlighted skin has been around for years, and I don’t see it going anywhere. Try my picks and let me know what you think. Send me a message on Instagram. I would love to hear from you. @Bellaangelbrides

70 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023
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Victoria DiPietro, Bella Angel Bridal Hair & Makeup, is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.
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GLAM + GLOW Beauty Bar

a beautiful way to spend the day

Launched by Valerie Criniti and her daughter

Alana Criniti in 2022, Glam + Glow Beauty Bar highlights their passion for all things beautiful. Together, they offer makeovers and makeup artistry, lash extensions, lash lifts and tints, brow tints and lamination, spray tans, full body waxing, Hydrafacials, teeth whitening and tooth gems. In their current space, they took time to create a unique experience for their clients. Each room has a different vibe and touch, making it super fun for photo opportunities and Instagrammable moments.

Valerie inspired and encouraged her daughter’s love of all things beautiful. Growing up, Alana remembers watching her mother take impeccable care of her skin. Those early memories inspired her career in the beauty industry. Alana graduated from Jean Madeline as a licensed cosmetologist in 2017. Valerie graduated from Rizzieri in 2010 as a licensed esthetician. Opening Glam + Glow Beauty Bar is something they have dreamed

of since Alana was 13. One of their secrets to success is prioritizing family. They not only work together, but love spending time together.

The impressive menu of services at Glam + Glow Beauty Bar will continue to grow as this mother/daughter duo expands their portfolios with the latest trends in wellness and beauty. This amazing team is motivated by every client that walks through the door of their salon. Their goal is to make them feel confident and beautiful by the time they leave. It is the ultimate self-care experience for mothers and daughters or anyone who wants their inner beauty to shine just as brightly on the outside.

“We always tell our clients to take time out of their day to make themselves a priority,” Alana says. “Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s so good to treat yourself and always feel your best inside and out.”

Check out their social media pages with handle @glamglowphilly to see more. You can even book services right through social media, via a QR code. PRH

72 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023
Glam + Glow Beauty Bar, 2504 S. Broad Street, is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome Magazine (PRH) Business Network.


Get the electrolytes & nutrients your body needs when you need them

Staying hydrated is essential for overall health and well-being, but sometimes drinking water alone may not be enough! This is where IV hydration therapy comes in. IV hydration therapy is a medical treatment that delivers fluids, electrolytes, and nutrients directly into the bloodstream through an IV.

While drinking water is essential for hydration, it can take time for the body to absorb and distribute the fluids and nutrients throughout the body. IV hydration therapy directly delivers fluids and nutrients into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system and resulting in faster and more efficient absorption. Consisting of a saline solution containing sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium electrolytes, this method is becoming increasingly popular for people who need quick and efficient rehydration, whether after an intense workout, a night of drinking, or a medical condition.

The benefits of IV hydration therapy for dehydration include faster rehydration, improved nutrient absorption, hangover relief, boosts in the immune system, skin appearance improvements, increased energy levels, and can reduce headaches.

Generally, IV hydration therapy is considered safe but there are potential risks and side effects as with any medical procedure. These risks

are relatively rare and can be minimized by ensuring that a licensed healthcare professional administers IV hydration therapy. Some potential risks include infection at the site of the IV insertion, bruising or bleeding at the site of the IV insertion, fluid overload (which can occur if too much fluid is administered too quickly), and electrolyte imbalances which can occur if the electrolyte solution is not balanced correctly or administered in excess.

Lips and Drips by Erica Marie LLC is a trusted provider that offers a variety of IV hydration therapy options. A licensed healthcare professional will assess your needs when you schedule an appointment and will recommend the appropriate IV hydration therapy. The procedure usually takes 30 minutes to an hour. A small catheter will be inserted into a vein, usually in the arm. The catheter is then attached to an IV bag containing the appropriate fluid and nutrients. The solution will then be delivered into the bloodstream throughout the procedure.

If you’re interested in trying IV hydration therapy for Dehydration or want to learn more about these services, visit lipsanddripsllc. com to schedule an appointment or contact our team. Don’t suffer from dehydration any longer. Try IV hydration therapy and feel the benefits for yourself. PRH

Lips & Drips is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome Magazine (PRH) Business Network.

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 73 2342 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19145 215-914-3200 Botox On Broad Specials This Summer ! $11/unit Call to book Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3pm-6pm

45 s Philly

Philly Philly

You know the phenomenon. It’s one of those things everyone just learns by osmosis one way or another. By the time you’re old enough to really be aware of songs and titles, “The Twist” is already there in your head somehow. That bopping jangle is synonymous with the first early strains of rock and roll, in the same way the song itself is synonymous with the iconic Philly singer/ dancer/entertainer best known as Chubby Checker. He’s had his share of other hits of course, but there’s clearly one to rule them all.

without needing to go for laughs. Pop music also happened to be full of dance crazes across the nation by the end of the 1950s, the biggest of which turned out to be the twist – a dance equally fun and simple, as are so many timeless things. Inspired by seeing a crowd of teens in action, Hank Ballard and the Midnighters dashed off a doo-wop tune about it that ended up as a B-side in 1959.

get an audience on your side (and laughing) than to get the whole room doing the same dance together.

Such dance trends would become another of Checker’s trademarks. He had entire crowds riding imaginary horses with “Pony Time” (eat your heart out, whoever choreographed “Gangnam Style”), then bending and conga-ing to “Limbo Rock,” then flailing and waving their arms to “The Fly.” Even when these other things arose, the twisting craze was relentless for at least the next few years.


“Chubby” was apparently a good-natured nickname given by his boss at an Italian Market poultry shop, and a teenaged Ernest Evans cheerfully decided to own it. He’d been doing comic impressions for friends at South Philadelphia High and singing on street corners since his family first landed in the city, developing a candy-rich crooning voice and a colorful personality to go with it. All the antics soon got him a private performance for Dick Clark, whose wife jokingly suggested “Checker” for a stage name (in comparison to R&B legend Fats Domino), and the rest soon became history.

While Checker’s knack for quirky impressions first landed him a comedy single, he was just as happy to step out as a singer and dancer

The song could have just been a perfectly cute summer novelty on its own but with the dance still catching on amongst the nation’s teenagers, it seemed like a natural tune for Clark to promote on American Bandstand. And since they couldn’t get hold of Hank Ballard to perform it himself, they recruited the local kid with a somewhat similar voice, and an 18-year-old Checker’s appearance on a nationwide TV show sent the whole trend into orbit.

His 1960 rendition wasn’t all that different from Ballard’s. It uses the same boogie-woogie piano and coasts on some smooth bop harmonies to back up the quaintly simple words. The only addition was a snazzy saxophone revving up the intro with a dash of extra swagger. But that little change packed quite a punch. And the cultural exposure from Bandstand shot it straight to #1 on the charts. If the three-note intro hooked the ears of the public, Checker’s own charisma completely reeled them in. There’s hardly no better way to

The 1961 version of “Let’s Twist Again” may be almost as well-known as the first hit (even if it only reached #8). That year also saw more than a dozen other twist-themed singles through the pop world. That number almost tripled in ‘62 – at which point the 1960 original came back and hit the #1 slot again. Bill Haley and the Comets, Elvis, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lee Lewis, Danny and the Juniors, and eventually, the Beatles, all got in on the twisting trend. You can easily create a whole pub-trivia theme round asking how many of those songs people can name from memory. Some clever quizmaster must have done that by now, surely.

And yet inevitably, the craze itself could only last so long. The teenagers eventually abandoned their pet dance as soon as it caught on among the adults. In the timeless tradition of younger generations everywhere, Checker took the chance to branch

out into other things. He made a folk album in 1964, briefly dabbled in disco, and even tried a psych-rock record in the early ‘70s. You got to give the guy credit for ambition, even if that one flopped. Even then, the original “Twist” remains a legendary staple alongside them all. It’s less well-known (understandably), but he also re-recorded his signature tune as a rap collaboration with the Fat Boys, and then again, in country style a few years after that.

He’s made only a couple standalone singles in the current century, although they made a respectable splash. The hard-hitting-yet-uplifting “Knock Down the Walls” brought Checker back to the #1 spot to the surprise of everyone in 2008. He followed that with the just-shy-oftop-40 smooth soul ballad “Changes” a few years later. He’s even continued performing into his 80s, while using his fame to support a good cause or two and giving a collaborative boost to plenty of others along the way. If the shows are less frequent these days, well, anyone’s entitled to kick back and take it easy after changing the whole world of music. Those staples will still be there every year to remind everyone all over again that summertime is party time. PRH

Editor’s Note: Philadelphia RowHome Magazine presented Chubby Checker with the 2017 Blue Sapphire Award for Lifetime Music Achievement. His music changed the world.

74 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023
Let’s twist again, like we did last summer!

For business owners Lauren DiSpaldo and Jared Giordano, dancing runs deep – more than four decades deep! Before opening their own studio, LJ Philly Dance Studio, DiSpaldo and Giordano grew up on the same street in South Philly and bonded over their love of dance. As kids, they put on shows for their families and friends complete with costumes. CAPA would serve as their next home for dance. The duo performed in student choreography shows and attended JoAnna’s School of Dance together.

After graduating CAPA, DiSpaldo attended Koresh Dance Company and Giordano went on to University of the Arts. Both knew they wanted to work together but were waiting for the right time. That time came in 2021, when they teamed up as choreographers and teachers at their own studio, LJ Philly, at 1309 W. Moyamensing Avenue, the site of the dance studio they attended together growing up.



Dancing into the Future

Since their 2021 opening, LJ Philly has continued to grow their number of students and offers more than 30 classes per week, teaching students of all abilities beginning at age two. DiSpaldo and Giordano devote countless hours to the studio, teaching their love of dance, but also their love of teaching.

“The most rewarding part of owning LJ Philly Dance Studio is being able to watch our students grow not only as dancers, but as people,” DiSpaldo says. “Our studio is like a family. Many of the students we have taught from an early age, so seeing how their confidence continues to build year after year is such an inspiring thing to witness.”

LJ Philly Dance Studio offers classes in jazz, gymnastics, acro, theatre, hip hop, lyrical, ballet, and cheer. A performance team will start in the fall as well as continued preparations for their next year serving as choreographers for Tankie’s Angels, a Mummers comic brigade for the 2024 parade.

“We were approached by the brigade coordinators and loved being able to work with a group that has such a special meaning,” Giordano says. “We are passionate about upholding the meaning of Tankie’s Angels and look forward to continuing our relationship”.

Anyone interested in taking classes at LJ Philly Dance Studio can register in-person at the studio from September 6-9, 2023. Students of all levels are welcomed and offered the opportunity to try out different classes to find their best fit. LJ Philly students ages 7 and up can also audition for their performance team this fall.

To learn more visit or on Instagram & Facebook @ljphillydance. PRH

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 75
LJ Philly Dance Studio is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine Business Network.


a weekend of eclectic tunes & unforgettable performances

Festival returns to Camden Waterfront for its 30th Year

Since 1994, WXPN has been inviting listeners and music fans to take in a weekend of artists that reflects their signature diverse tastes at their namesake XPoNential Music Festival. Time after time, they continue to host lineups that have a little something for everyone. With the likes of Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Tegan and Sara making appearances, the tradition will continue to live on.

This year, the celebrations will be extra sweet as it marks the 30th year WXPN has hosted its threeday-long gathering, taking place this year on September 22, 23, and 24. It also will be the first time in 11 years that concertgoers will not have to trek over to the Freedom Mortgage Pavilion. Each day will be held in its entirety at Wiggins

Park, giving fans a more intimate festival feel from open to close.

Other acts joining in on the fun include Margo Price, the Hold Steady, Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band, Low Cut Connie, Say She She, Wednesday, Don McCloskey, Allison Russel and more! Look for the full daily lineup, along with ticket and transportation information, at

To mark the momentous occasion, we caught up with people at WXPN who work both on air and behind the scenes and asked them three questions. While we couldn’t squeeze in every response, we wanted to share some that left us counting down to the exact number of minutes until the festivities kick off. Got a memory from a past XPoNential Festival that will stay with you forever? Feel free to reach out and share it with us!

76 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023 PRHMUSIC&ART
Mike Vasilikos & Bruce Warren by Paige Walter Kristen Kurtis with Catbite by Sean Wells

Favorite memories from past Festivals

“Seeing my friend Ben Arnold open the River Stage in 2016; watching Wreckless Eric play “Whole Wide World” with John Wesley Harding in 2009; watching my then 10-year-old son Max fishing in the Delaware River with Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros; and – believe it or not – Father John Misty’s unexpected political rant from the River Stage in 2016!” - DAN REED, MUSIC DIRECTOR & HOST, WXPN AFTERNOONS, FUNKY FRIDAY, AMERICANA MUSIC HOUR

“My favorite, most astonishing performance at the festival was David Byrne’s 2018. That show, with its extensive choreography, went on to play on Broadway for many months. XPoNential Music Festival was lucky to see it first!” - DAVID DYE, HOST, DAVE’S WORLD

“A favorite moment was in 2016 when we blew a transformer feeding the main stage during the Felice Brothers set. They didn’t blink, and before we could make a plan, they ran down the ramp into the crowd and continued their set acoustically amidst a very appreciative audience.”


Most memorable Festival Artists

“The amazing, heart-wrenching performance of legendary bluesman Charles Bradley, who was battling cancer, but refusing to give up the fight when taking the stage that summer night in July 2017. He would pass on just two months later.”- ROBERT DRAKE, PRODUCER, KIDS CORNER & HOST, LAND OF THE LOST, OUTSOUNDS, YOUR FIRST CUP

“We’ve been lucky to have some rare performances. For instance, Bermuda Triangle (Brittany Howard

of Alabama Shakes, her wife Becca Mancari, and their friend Jesse Lafser) played the festival in 2018 after releasing just a few singles, and I’m not sure they’ll ever release more music or perform together again.” - KRISTEN KURTIS, HOST, WXPN MORNING SHOW

“Moxy Fruvous (1998), Tank & the Bangas (2019), Cimafunk (2021).” - KATHY O’CONNELL, HOST, KIDS CORNER

“Margo Price in 2018. Mondo Cozmo in his Joel Embiid jersey, that same year. And the last time I got to see Charles Bradley in person at our festival in 2017.” - MIKE VASILIKOS, OPERATIONS MANAGER & HOST, WXPN MIDDAYS

Local favorites to watch

“The Districts (2013), Catbite (2022), Cosmic Guilt (2022).”BRUCE WARREN, PROGRAM DIRECTOR & HOST, THE POSTSLEEPY HOLLOW EXPERIENCE

“As a person on the local music team at XPN, it’s an important part of every year’s festival for me, but I’m only going to highlight three artists at the risk of overly playing favorites. Seeing The War On Drugs graduate from a Marina Stage set in 2008 to a River Stage set in 2012 to two shed-headlining sets in 2018 and 2022 was a journey I loved being on.

It was equally awesome to see Amos Lee grow from playing Wiggins Park in 2008 to headlining the Pavilion in 2018, especially remembering that he was a festival volunteer in 2003, during Singer-Songwriter Weekend days.

But there’s also something special about seeing one of your favorite local bands play for a new audience for the first time and win them over, so I’ve got a place in my heart for Hop Along’s sets in 2015 (at Wiggins Park) and 2017 (at Waterfront Pavilion).” - JOHN VETTESE, HOST, XPN LOCAL, WHAT’S THE FREQUENCY

Flowers For Every Occasion

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John Vettese with The Districts by Joe Del Tufo

Eric Okdeh This

artist paints murals to unite neighborhoods

For a quarter of a century, Philadelphia artist Eric Okdeh has created socially engaging public art in the form of murals and stained glass, focusing on facilitating a positive impact within local communities. With hundreds of installations all around the world, Okdeh is especially proud of the work he has accomplished with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.

Q: Could you explain the process in creating murals from concept to completion?

The majority of my projects, especially in Philadelphia under the umbrella of Mural Arts, begin with community stakeholder meetings where we plan out the scope of the project and drill down into the details regarding theme and imagery. The process of designing a public mural or mosaic can take months. The design is presented in different phases. The first phase gives a strong impression of my direction for people to react.

Once the project is approved, we begin fabrication. When I first started, I would be right on the wall and painting. Nowadays, we paint

murals in the studio through use of polytab cloth, a non-woven fiber canvas. Working on the 5’x5’ pieces of cloth allows us to involve many people in the painting process. We set up “paint days” directly involving large groups of people in the process. The design is simplified into a paint by number fashion, and anyone can participate regardless of skill level. It was a game changer in terms of how we engage with communities.

Once everything is painted, we arrive at the wall, get our scissor or boom lift, and begin priming and gridding the surface for the cloth installation. After that, we touch-up and seal. Each project has its own dedication event, where all the shareholders come back to celebrate all our hard work.

78 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023 PRHMUSIC&ART
History of the PFD By Michael Reali Eric Okdeh, photo by Jan Thore Øvrum

Q: What’s the story behind the PFD mural on 323 Arch Street?

That project took about two years from the idea to completion. I worked closely with the Philadelphia Fire Department, Kate Jacobi (Mural Arts project manager), the Fireman’s Hall Museum, and Jack Wright, who was a fire department enthusiast and photographer. His photographs were instrumental in that mural’s design.

The project was to be a sign leading you towards the Fireman’s Hall Museum just a few blocks away next to Elfreth’s Alley. The mural itself features significant tools of the trade, as well as a history of apparatus in the city, starting with horse drawn engines and ladders to the most modern vehicles in the fleet. The wall also features the three biggest fires in the city. These fires were all more than 10 alarms and, in the aftermath, transformed city codes. The design features the first integrated fire station, as well as the first African American firefighters. I knew that I wanted to incorporate the Ben Franklin sculpture, which sits at the front of the public park next to the mural. At certain angles, it lines up with a silhouette of Ben Franklin’s face in the main design. Ben Franklin, of course, was the founder of the Philadelphia Fire Department.

came with stakeholders, workshops and people who were invested in the theme due to being personally affected, having their stories heard. For this project, it was the first time I was ever personally affected by the theme. I led workshops, starting with my own experiences, growing up with an immigrant relative with a gambling addiction. My sharing emboldened people to speak up and share their own experiences. Sadly, the project was a short-lived one, but I was grateful to have that unique perspective.

Q: How do murals, in your opinion, benefit communities?

The engagement that leads into each mural gives a sense of ownership in the final work for all of the participants. The public volunteer days during the fabrication of a mural or mosaic provide a sense of accomplishment. Both of these factors weigh into a project’s success, and the longevity of the work. I find that a piece is far less likely to be defaced when people feel that they have a proprietary relationship to it. It’s not uncommon to see communities rally to fight against development that would remove murals that are now seen as a point of identity.

Q: Are there any works that are specifically personal for you?

In 2015, I worked on a mural that explored the theme of problem gambling in immigrant communities. Heavy themes like this are not uncommon for some projects. I have created murals about the impact of incarceration on families, about overcoming the stigma of mental illness, and the struggles of addiction. Each project

Due to the public nature of mural art, each project has the ability to provide insight into some very personal stories of loss, grief, and struggle, to an audience that may be unaffected or have a different point of view. These works promote empathy and lessen the social distance between people in a world that seems more divided than ever. A finished mural often inspires the start of something larger. PRH

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A Playlist

What is a theater geek summer without a good playlist? Take a trip to Margaritaville or to the streets of New York with these quintessential summer theater songs.

A Very Broadway Summer

“In Summer” – Frozen

“A Summer in Ohio” – The Last 5 Years

“Some Like it Hot” – Some Like it Hot “Summer Nights” – Grease

“Our Last Summer” – Mamma Mia “Blackout” – In the Heights

“Summertime” – Porgy and Bess

“This Was a Real Nice Clambake” – Carousel

“Margaritaville” – Escape to Margaritaville

“If Ever I Would Leave You” – Camelot

“Too Darn Hot” – Kiss Me Kate

“The Song of Purple Summer” – Spring Awakening

“Carnival De Barrio” – In the Heights

“Under the Sea” – The Little Mermaid

“Ribbons Down My Back” – Hello Dolly

“The Schuyler Sisters” – Hamilton

“America” – West Side Story

“By the Sea” – Sweeney Todd

“The Sun in the Morning” – Annie Get Your Gun

Books to Read

Theater Geek: The Real-Life Drama of a Summer at Stagedoor Manor, the Famous Performing Arts Camp by Mickey Rapkin

This book takes you to the heart of a little theater camp in Loch Sheldrake, New York. The camp has produced a number of theater, movie and TV stars like Robert Downey Jr., Jon Cryer, Natalie Portman, and many more. I have a soft spot for this camp and book because I spent three magical summers at Stagedoor singing, acting, and dancing 24 hours a day. The book takes a look at a few of the campers and their journey as the ultra-competitive safe haven for theater nerds.

Seth’s Broadway Diary Vol 1-3 by Seth Rudetsky

Radio host and pianist to Broadway’s elite has three volumes of personal behind-the-scenes

stories like seeing the final performance of RENT, going to Disney with Audra McDonald, and video-chatting with famous stars. Plus, thousands of stories from stars like Laura Benanti, Megan Mullally, Gavin Creel, Sarah Silverman, Carol Burnett, Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The Untold Stories of Broadway

Vol 1-4 by Jennifer Ashley Tepper

Jennifer Ashley Tepper is my personal hero. She is a producer, theater historian, and all-around theater geek. She wrote four volumes centered around the theaters of Broadway and the stories that have been told inside of them: both on and off the stage. These books are a front row seat to hundreds of stories about the most important stages in the world, seen through the eyes of the producers, actors, stagehands, writers, musicians, company managers, dressers, designers, directors, ushers, and doormen who bring The Great White Way to life each night.

Hooked: How Crafting Saved My Life by Sutton Foster

Two-time Tony Award winning actress Sutton Foster reflects on how crafting kept her sane throughout her personal life and her on stage life. The book weaves personal stories with crochet patterns, recipes, and much more.

All About Me! My Remarkable Life

in Show Business by Mel Brooks

Entertainment legend Mel Brooks chronicles his life from a little kid growing up during the Depression to EGOT winner. Brooks gives intimate details of his life and how he came up with some of his most famous works like The Producers and Young Frankenstein.

A is for Audra by John Robert Allman

For little theater geeks, this book details all the famous ladies of the stage. Starting with sixtime Tony Winner Audra McDonald and ending with Liza with a “Z,” the book documents all the leading ladies of Broadway. A follow up called B is for Broadway is available, too! PRH

80 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023
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led to the Hall of Fame LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!

Trish Pizzo has been a beloved pillar of the St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parish and PPACS communities for 34 years as both a teacher and CYO coach. She recently was inducted into the CYO Hall of Fame to honor her years of service and the lives she’s touched along the way. We sat down to discuss her journey as an educator, how she’s assisted in shaping her students over the years, and what her life’s work means to her.

Q. How does your Hall of Fame induction make you feel?

a: AMAZING! I was very honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. But my coaching experience was truly part of a team effort. I was able to be involved for so long because of all the support I had. Marie DiStefano, Roe Kelly, Vivian Robinson, Kayla Glendening, and most especially, Cathy DelCiotto, coached along with me. It was so enjoyable coaching with my friends. St. Nick’s CYO and I had been lucky to have such an amazing coaching staff. We also had great support from the school and teach-

ers. Mrs. Bernadette Grimditch “Granny Bern,” and Mrs. Flos Coley were our number one fans.

Q: How long have you been teaching? What inspired you to become a teacher?

a: I have been with St. Nicholas of Tolentine for 21 years and 13 at Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School. I have taught 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th grades, and I’m now back teaching 5th grade after teaching the last 14 years in 8th grade. There were quite a few things that led me to being a teacher. My grandmother was a teacher in Ireland, and I had an aunt and two uncles

who were teachers. I guess you could say it runs in the family. As a student, I enjoyed school, especially high school. It was a direction that I thought I might like to study in college. Then, I got a job working summer camp at the Community Center and I loved it. That secured my decision to become a teacher.

Q: When did you begin your journey as a CYO coach?

a: I love sports, always did. I played CYO basketball as a kid. When I started teaching at St. Nick’s, I went to cheer on the boys’ basketball team at one of their games. I asked Dan Parrillo, coach, teacher and athletic director, if St. Nick’s had a girls’ team. He said, ‘No, but you can start one!’ That spring, I assisted in coaching softball and the following year, St. Nick’s added a girls’ basketball team. St. Nick’s continued to add to the list of teams over the years. Pastor, Fr. Nick Martorano, and Sr. Mary Ester, the principal, never said no to any idea that would benefit the school children. With the support and encouragement of Dan Parrillo,

St. Nick’s added girls’ volleyball, girls’ and boys’ soccer teams, and intramural flag football for girls.

Q: What would you say has been your greatest accomplishments during your career as both a teacher and a CYO coach?

a: Championships are wonderful, but I think the greatest would be the connections made among the students. It’s so great to see them still together years after they are out of school, their friendships even stronger.

Q: Can you share a story about a specific accomplishment or situation that stands out in your career?

a: There are so many stories over the years. One that always stands out is, “Look what I can do!” Twins Al and Ana played 2nd and shortstop on our softball team. Both were very good athletes. Al just needed to boost her confidence. So, before every at-bat, she had to look at the St. Nick’s bench and say to the team, ‘Look what I can do!’ It had amazing results. Al led the team in extra base hits and batting average. The coaches, Cathy DelCiotto, Marie

82 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023 Salute to Service

DiStefano, Roe Kelly, and I, knew Al could do it. That slogan stuck with St. Nick’s teams for many years.

Q: Who inspires you?

a: Family. I learned so much from my parents and my sisters growing up. My husband, my sons, mother-in-law, have always been so supportive of my involvement in school and extracurricular activities.

Q: What is your message to the world?

a: I kind of adopted a motto that my father had - “Make every day a good day!”

Q: Where are some of your past students, today?

a: They’re changing the world! Medical doctors, doctors of educa-

tion, teachers, nurses, bankers, coaches, lawyers, film producers! They are living their best lives and I am SO PROUD OF THEM. I am even teaching with students that I taught. It’s great!

Q: What has been your greatest trial or tribulation during your career?

a: Losing Dan Parrillo was the hardest time for St. Nick’s CYO. The students and athletes chose to honor his memory by doing community service projects that year. So many other CYO teams helped us with a Christmas toy drive. The kids asked to continue to do service projects over the years.

Q: How has teaching and coaching changed today

vs. when you began?

a: Practice has changed the most. When I first started coaching, the kids were always playing. They wanted to practice, every day. If we didn’t have an organized practice, they would go to the playground and play together. It became a little harder getting everyone to be at the organized practices.

Q: Do you have any messages to all the children that you’ve helped shape throughout your years as a teacher/coach?

a: “LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!” Believe in yourself and try your best.

Q: How important do you think it is for kids to be involved in extracurricular activities?

How do you think this helps shape them as a person?

a: I believe being involved in extracurricular activities gives kids the opportunities to make new friends. They can find new talent, skills, and interests. Organized sports teach teamwork and responsibility, which are beneficial skills to learn.

Q: Is there anything else that you would like to mention? This is YOUR story!

a: To my students and players, I would like to say thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives, for enriching my life, for watching out for my sons when they were growing up, and for making my coaching experience the greatest ever.

When I think about softball, I think Mrs. Pizzo! She was my coach in both grade school and high school, and I’m so grateful for her patience and knowledge of the game I love! She is the true definition of a coach and mentor. After all these years later, she keeps tabs on my life and now, my kids! I hope she knows how important she was to me and everyone that had the pleasure to learn from her.

Jade Rota

St. Nick’s Class of 1996

St. Maria Goretti Class of 2000

Mrs. Pizzo was my 4th grade teacher, basketball coach and softball coach. She always saw the best in us and showed up for us over and over again. She even attend-

ed my wedding! Mrs. Pizzo inspired us to work hard on and off the court. She believed we could accomplish anything, and we just wanted to make her proud.

Monique Impagliazzo

St. Nick’s Class of 1995

St. Maria Goretti Class of 1999

Mrs. Pizzo surely is one of a kind and deserves this Hall of Fame induction 100 percent. She has made such a huge impact in my life from being my teacher, coach, and friend. Playing sports in grade school was a great time in my life and none of it would have been possible if Mrs. Pizzo didn’t step up and take over everything. I became a coach because of her and

I always hear her voice in my head while coaching. I still to this day always tell the girls I’m coaching, or even my own girls, not to swing at the first pitch, which is something she was very adamant about.


St. Nick’s Class of 1996

Mrs. Pizzo was a coach who not only taught the game but taught us how to have fun, too! She was the coach and teacher who loved keeping in contact with her students and players long after graduating. She even attended my wedding! She was truly deserving of her Hall of Fame induction!


St. Nick’s Class of 2001

St. Maria Goretti Class of 2005

Trish loved coaching in the CYO. It was her passion. She believed in the values and friendships of participating in the CYO and passed that on to those she coached.

How can I possibly say all that Pizzo means to me in one statement? It simply CAN’T be done. She has influenced me over the past 33 years in so many ways as a teacher... coach...colleague...and friend. She has always been a Hall of Famer in my eyes.

Desiree’ “Inez” Caldwell

St. Nicks Class of 1995

Mrs. Pizzo made it fun and exciting to play the games we loved! She was always encouraging and inspired

our team to do our best on and off the court. So grateful to have had Mrs. Pizzo as a teacher and coach.

I was fortunate and blessed to have someone like you in my life! I will be forever grateful for the impact that you had on me. You taught me to play hard on the court and even harder off the court. You were the one who taught me so many useful things and you mean a lot to me. I will forever be so grateful for you, Pizzo! You are one of a kind and everyone should be so lucky to have that one person you will always remember. You are my person!

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 83
Basketball - 2005 Volleyball - 2002 Softball

Doug Tallamy One Homegrown Park at a time

If there’s one thing Professor Doug Tallamy wants you to know, it’s that everyone can do something. The most profound changes in the world don’t come from certain people doing special things but happen when lots of people change their thinking and habits, and those little shifts all add up to something enormous. Since surviving the dual climate and biodiversity crises is going to require some serious fundamental shifts for all of humanity, he’s made it his job to help spread that awareness – specifically his knowledge of plants and ecosystems – and help the change happen by reaching one mind at a time.

Besides a primary gig as professor of Entomology at the University of Delaware, he’s written several books and works on public knowledge-resource projects while giving a continual stream of speeches in public and online. It’s an endless job, but he’s been gratified to see a continued growth in public awareness. “I do several webinars a week,” he explains. “In-person talks are kicking up since Covid restrictions ended. Podcasts, print interviews and radio interviews – the number of people who want to talk about this has just skyrocketed. People are a lot more interested than

they were 10 or 15 years ago.”

Tallamy’s natural knack for teaching is obvious as soon as you hear him talk. With an easy and engaging speaking style, he’s clearly heartfelt in repeating these ideas even for what must be the ten-thousandth time. He doesn’t downplay the scale of the problem while still focusing on encouragement and practical solutions. Perhaps the most important part of what he does is to show that no one is helpless.

“It’s motivational, getting people to realize there are solutions and that they’re part of it. That’s the title of one of my books, Nature’s Best Hope. You are nature’s best hope, and if you do something,

84 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023 PRHGREENSP CE
Saving the natural world is not optional, it’s essential
“Saving the natural world is not optional. It’s essential and everybody has to play a role.”

nature has a future. And by the way, if you don’t, none of us have a future,” he adds with an ironic chuckle. “Saving the natural world is not optional. It’s essential and everybody has to play a role.”

There are more people on the planet than it can support, he explains. “We have to increase the planet’s ability to support us. That’s going to happen by convincing peo ple that we need to share our spaces with nature. We have to coexist.”

Of course, not everyone has acres of land to work with, but Tallamy is quick to point out that there are always options in any circumstance, even in places as crowded as Phila delphia. “Eighty-two percent of us live in cities,” he acknowledges. “And many of those people want to participate. If you’re in an apartment complex and have no land at all, but you have a balcony, you can do container gardening. That can also apply to anybody with a small yard in a city complex. I talk a lot about oak trees, and people often ask, are there small oaks they can plant? Yes, there are many small oaks.

“You can always volunteer and help land conservancies, or you can help a little old lady who has some land and maybe isn’t able to do very much. Any kind of volunteering helps a lot, even if you don’t own land yourself. And of course, you can vote. So much of our conservation future depends on the leaders we put in power, and conservation is typically not on anybody’s radar when it comes to politics – but it really needs to be. I definitely encourage people to think about that when they go to the voting booth.”

One ongoing endeavor is a nonprofit called Homegrown National Parks, which teaches property owners how to make any piece of land into a kind of small nature preserve. They teach that it’s not a great idea to keep most of your property in the lawn. For instance, if you convert part of your lawn into a pollinator garden, it can support pollinating insects and allow all parts of the ecosystem to flourish.

We can all share the goal of living more in harmony with nature somehow, even if everyone’s situation is different. He helpfully outlines that “having a big expansive lawn does not accomplish any of the ecological goals we need to accomplish. There are four main ones. We’ve got to support the food web, manage the watershed, sequester

carbon, and support local pollinators. That’s every landscape’s job.”

One of Tallamy’s talents is putting that global situation in perspective at a personal scale. “A lot of people look at these enormous planetary problems and they feel

also other things happening when you add plants to your yard that you can’t see, like pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Every plant you put in the ground is going to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.”

Tallamy points to signs such as East Coast nurseries seeing more demand for native plants recently, or the U.N.’s 30 by 30 initiative aimed at legally protecting at least 30 percent of the planet’s surface by 2030. “These are all signals that the culture is changing in a positive way,” he observes.

There are a great many small manageable steps to take, which can be as simple as finding a book or looking up one of his plentiful (and free) webinars to start learning more. Whatever the case, he’ll keep trying to spread that knowledge and that attitude to the rest of the world any way he can. Sooner or later, it always comes back to the same theme. “The headlines are scary. This is upsetting to a lot of people, and my message is very simple. There is something you can do about it. You can do something, and you can see the difference.” PRH

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Life’s Journey

I can already see and feel that Raffaele is a gentle soul and a good man. He has much love and respect for his parents, brothers, and family. I am starting to feel safe and secure with him. Though we were many miles apart, we are meant for each other. This is what God has given me and I will accept it in my heart.

The driver turns down a narrow street and in the middle of the block is a stone house. Mr. Pasquariello tells Raffael to pass me my suitcase and help me out of the wagon. As we step down, I hear a lady speaking to Mr. Pasquariello and turn to see who it could be. The lady walks straight over and puts her arms around my shoulders.

“Welcome to your new home,” she says. She tells me she is Raffael’s mother Rosa. I see Raffaele’s warmth in her face.

Rosa calls two young men over and introduces them as Giovanni and Orazio, my future brothers-in-law.

“I only have three sons, but now we have you!” she says. “Please, come see your new home.”

to take my suitcase to my room.

Rosa shows me the bathroom that has a sink, tub, and toilet! All the modern conveniences we never had back home. I guess I should stop comparing my new home to my old one. I’m beginning to think the Pasquariellos are very wealthy. Rosa tells me she will draw a bath and leave new clothes in the bedroom for me.

“Please leave your underwear in here, then pick out what you would like to wear when you finish bathing. We will all be downstairs waiting for you. I will have supper ready and then you can relax and enjoy yourself. If there is anything we can do for you, please do not be reluctant to ask. You are one of us, Geltrude.” My heart warms at her words.

Finally, stepping into the warm bath water is a wonderful feeling. There is shampoo and soap on the lip of the tub, and toothpaste and a toothbrush on the sink. I cannot wait to use everything. I lean back against the tub and close my eyes, grateful for a chance to slow my racing thoughts.

September 13th, 1899 Chapter 11


Raffaele asks the driver to stay on Broad Street “so Geltrude can see the magnificent features of our city.” We pass what Raffaele tells me is City Hall – the tallest building in the world! At the top is a statue of the city’s founder, William Penn. Raffaele says, “There are many beautiful buildings here, and now, we Italians coming to America have many stonemasons to build churches and buildings with greatly detailed stonework.”

We continue left on Washington Avenue as we get closer to the house. Raffaele looks at me and says, “We have so many things to do tomorrow! You will meet the rest of the Pasquariellos. They are filled with excitement to meet you. I hope you will come to love them like your own.”

As I walk from the street to the house, I notice the many houses on this street, so different from Ateleta. I have seen many new sights since the beginning of my trip, but all these people here on one street start to overwhelm me. Today has been full of new things to learn and see, an overload of information. Stepping into my new home, the first thing I see is a gorgeous vestibule. Next is the parlor, possibly even more beautiful, with wallpaper. Then, into the dining room. Oh, the furniture is a beautiful dark brown wood, and the tabletop has such a shine to it. We did not have any of this in Ateleta. It must be true. Everyone in America is rich.

Rosa comes over to me and asks, “Are you tired, Geltrude? Maybe you should have something to eat first.” I tell her I would like a bath and then some food. “Follow me,” she says. “I will show you where everything is.” She yells to Raffaele

Rosa knocks on the bathroom door, asking if I fell asleep. She says I have been in the bath for over an hour. I realize I dozed off and did not even wash myself. I apologize, hoping I have not ruined everyone’s supper. Rosa tells me she understands.

“We will wait for you so we can all eat together.” I quickly scrub myself clean and wash my hair with the castile soap. The smell is very sweet, so I rub the bubbles over my skin, hoping it absorbs the sweet smell. I get out of the tub and into my new bedroom. Combing my hair, I think of my sister. She always combed may hair and made it look so pretty. I miss her so much! I don’t want to go downstairs with tears streaming down my face, so I quickly turn my focus on the new clothes that Rosa bought me. For the first time in two weeks, I feel pretty. PRH

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 87 PRHWRITERSBLOCK
“There are many beautiful buildings here, and now, we Italians coming to America have many stonemasons to build churches and buildings with greatly detailed stonework.”

Unlikely Hero

While growing up in my Southwest Philly neighborhood back in the 1950s, I witnessed many events that would serve as wonderful memories as the years rolled by. Row home living provided some unique opportunities for what today’s child psychologists would refer to as “social interaction.” For instance, all we had to do was walk out of the

house and there would be enough guys around to start a game at St. Barney’s schoolyard. Whether it be touch football, basketball or one of the many varieties of baseball games, obtaining a “quorum” was never an issue. Whether tall and skinny or short and stocky, everybody played and wanted to win.

One kid that stood out was a very Irish looking fellow named Patty Reilly. Patty was a few years older than most of us. He lived directly across the street on Buist Avenue and right next door to my good buddy and future Viet Nam veteran, Franny Kehoe. Patty was a kid who loved the Philadelphia sports teams, like the rest of us, but something else about him made him stand out. He was wheelchair bound. I never found out why or the nature of his physical disability, but it didn’t matter much to us.

Patty didn’t let the wheelchair define him. He was the typical kid who was no shrinking violet. He had some kind of terrier, probably a mutt, who was the color of a

typical red Labrador. However, this pooch was not even part lab. He had a face that resembled a pug and probably weighed 15 pounds. He was a friendly dog, but the thing that set him apart from any of the other pets around was his name. In the summer of 1954, the singing group, The Chords, released a song that would soar to the heights of the music charts and become the number one best seller for nine consecutive weeks. The song was sometimes referred to as “Life Could Be a Dream” but the real title, which Patty thought would also be a cool name for his pet, was “Sh-Boom.” With a name like that, there was no way anyone, old or young, would not have a soft spot in their hearts when referring to Patty’s buddy.

It was surely a sight to see Patty and Sh-Boom when they went for their daily strolls. Patty had a twowheeled bicycle with rear training wheels attached. His legs worked well enough to peddle, but not walk. With the training wheels giving him the balance he needed, Patty would hold on to the leash and the

handlebars and whirl around the block with Sh-Boom running to the side. Patty couldn’t go too fast on that bike, but that was okay because Sh-Boom would never be mistaken for a greyhound! Patty also had a little trouble when stopping suddenly, so it was general knowledge that when you heard the clanking of Patty’s old bike, you’d better be ready to take evasive action, if necessary. This demonstration of Patty’s moxie, in taking responsibility for his dog, was but one example of his desire to do the things others could do.

But one thing he did stands out in my mind as something rarely, if ever, accomplished by any kid in the neighborhood…

On a warm summer day, we decided to play a game of “boxball.” We set up the playing field in the long common driveway in the rear of Patty and Franny’s homes. To explain briefly, boxball is a derivative of baseball whereby you set up the three bases and home plate in a square configuration with the pitcher’s mound in the middle. A pimple ball is used and the pitcher throws the ball, underhanded, on one bounce to the hitter. The hitter then smacks

the ball and the action begins! Of the eight of us playing, Patty was one of my teammates. Since he was in the chair, the only position he could play was pitcher. When it was his turn to bat, one of the other kids would run for him after he slapped the ball.

In the last inning, we were winning by one run. We had to get the final three outs to win the game. It was looking a little bleak as our opponents had runners on first and second base with no outs.

It was time for “Patty’s Miracle.”

As Patty released the ball, the batter smacked a line drive right back at Patty. Reflexively, he trapped the ball against his chest, grabbed it, threw it to our first baseman, who stepped on the base, who then threw the ball to me at second and we had pulled off a TRIPLE PLAY! Game over, we win. Patty was the hero by making that play. Everyone whooped and hollered. Patty raised his fist in victory and we all mobbed him. Jubilation abounded! As one who has played baseball at many levels, with games numbering in the many hundreds, I had never again participated in a triple play. Thanks for a great memory, Patty. PRH

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

88 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023 PRHWRITERSBLOCK


Iam writing this story at the end of April, yet it still feels like winter. I am anxiously awaiting the warmer weather and some sunshine. My story is not about the pleasant spring-like warmth, it’s about the oppressive heat and stifling humidity that follows. As a city dweller who loves to walk, these are my feelings about our unbearable summer scorchers. Humidity sabotages all our attempts for good hair days. My advice is, don’t even try. As a seasoned hairstylist, I can assure you, there is no cure. Thank God for beaches, pools and the beauty of air conditioning to get us through.

My days on the beach, covered in baby oil, are behind me. Now, I never leave the house without sunscreen on my face and body. I do enjoy the occasional trip to the shore, but I’m hoping to try some new (cool) places. The city is very lively this time of year, so there is always something to do. I love wearing summer dresses and putting fresh flowers on my porch. Decorating for every occasion makes me happy and brightens my day!

Please, summer lovers, don’t come for me! Just pass this story by and resume your position on the beach. I do not wish to take any “heat” for my unpopular opinion. Take it for what it is, an exaggerated rant and the way I view summers in the city. I think we all need a break from the horrors going on in the world today and I believe humor is a nice diversion. I look for ways to escape reality as much as possible.

So, while you are basking in the warmth of the summer sun, with your chair in the water and a cool sea breeze blowing, think of me. I’ll be the one sizzling in the concrete heat! Have a great summer, everyone! PRH


The Ethics of Living

The word ethic, a noun meaning a set of moral principles, especially ones relating to or affirming to a specified group, field, or form of conduct. I was so lucky to be raised with what we call proper ethics. I try instilling this in my kids, as well. I always post my Louieisms, hopefully bringing humor to you. If I make one person smile on the day I post it, then I figure I did something good. I know my writings of late have been a bit sappy and I hope, inspirational. But since the death of my brother John, I have tried to add some meaning to the lives of others. As time goes on, it seems like many of us forget to live our lives ethically. No one thinks before they act. We just do what we think we must do just to bring us to the end of each day. It seems everyone is in it for themselves, not caring about anyone but number one. I’m here to ask you, to plead with you, that if that’s the way you live, then it’s time to

change. It’s time to take the moral high road and do what’s right for you and the people around you.

I know of people who blow their own horn. They think what they are doing is the proper thing to do but they’re always looking for what they are getting out of it. They think what they are doing is ethically right, but if you are doing what’s right, you should never have to shout, ‘Hey look at me. Am I not great for what I did!” Actions do mean something and how we present ourselves to the world is so important. But what is more important is what we do when no one is watching. That makes all the difference. It’s never too late to live your life ethically, by being kind to one another, by doing that little extra at work knowing that it’s the right thing to do - whether it’s in your job description or not. And most important, do all this without looking for anything in return. As I’ve said in my other writings, “Always follow your heart. If it’s a good one, it will lead you in the right direction.” PRH

90 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023
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A good heart will lead you in the right direction

Memories of Family Vacations

We should never forget to take a vacation. The word vacation identifies itself as taking off time from your normal day-to-day routine or job. Getting away from the present to enjoy yourself and appreciate the past with your family and friends. Some people get on airplanes and fly all around the world. As Philadelphians, we live in a tri-state area that gives us the opportunity to visit three different states within a short drive. A vacation can be anything you would like it to be. It’s what you make of it.

We all must work for a living. Your choice of occupation depends on you. I recall as a child drawing pictures about what I would choose for work. With a child’s heart, you have the privilege to exercise your imagination. My father used

to buy us rocking horses and cowboy hats with holsters and toy guns. Going back to those memories allowed me to use my imagination to create episodes of time in my life. TV had lots of programs with Cowboys and Indians in battle for territory, land and space. I remember as an adult, telling my younger brothers that we should go on a vacation and visit the open range on live horses.

I will never forget that vacation when we all took off from work together. Nothing is better than allowing your imagination to take you back to childhood.

We really enjoyed riding the horses. We all dressed up as real cowboys and pretended we were kids, again. We had so much fun that we got lost in our imaginations, believing that we were real cowboys on a wide-open range. On that day, we went back in time to childhood and rode horseback, as if we were old cowhands on the Rio Grande.

Since then, one of my brothers – Reverend Bernard Woodard - passed away. We used to call him “Bernie.” We will never forget the gift of fun we shared on that day. That memory will live with us, forever. As an adult, I realize that time spent with family was an extreme education about our present and our past. Vacation with my brothers reminded us how important these memories would be as we grew older. Memories of the past carry power you can never forget. I really miss Bernie and all the memories we shared together. Going back in time brought back memories of growing up with my parents, Mr. James Woodard and Mrs. Gloria Lee Woodard, in our house and home of the “Miami Cleaners and Dyers” at 912 South 19TH Street. And a vacation with my brothers I will never forget. Take the “RACE Test” today for a better way at PRH

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS since 1897 Join Today 267.597.7154
Russell Shoemaker,


I started asking people if they ever tried their hand at writing. I was interested to hear if they were ever compelled to express themselves in a story, a song lyric or a poem. Most of those I asked said no, but there were a few that said yes. Expression is the process of making known one’s thoughts or feelings. As human beings, it’s pretty hard not to express ourselves, but the process of choosing the proper vehicle to deliver those messages is truly interesting. Nonverbal responses are often as prevalent as verbal ones. Just go to a local sporting event and you will quickly understand exactly how the crowd feels at any given point in the game. Growing up in Philly, we are all keenly aware of people’s body language and hand gestures. Those nonverbal cues are some of my favorites. But when a quick flip of the bird won’t suffice, some are compelled to manifest their feelings using pictures, paintings, stories or songs. Those are a few of the more creative vehicles used to delve deeper into more intimate and complex emotions. Some people reveal themselves through fashion, home décor or even in the types of automobiles they drive. As much as we might not want to admit it, we have an inherent need to express ourselves.

Robert Frost is credited for the statement, Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found

words. I started off this article with a few lines from an untitled work penned by my niece some years ago and shared with me recently. While reading her choice of words, I convinced myself there was a message hidden deep inside of her creation. The more I read, the more intrigued I became. As I swam past the obvious, I was sure I discovered an alternate meaning behind her words, the heartbeat of the poem. I couldn’t wait to thank her for sharing her innermost feelings with me. Notes in hand, I called my niece, excited to impress her with my analysis. After a brief salutation, I jumped right into asking her about the poem. She confided with me that she was just having some fun one night and threw a few words down on paper. On a whim, she just wanted to express how she was feeling that day. What a wonderful gift she shared with me. After catching up, I told her I loved her and decided not to discuss my convoluted dissection of her words. Later that evening, while laughing at myself for interjecting my own thoughts and ideas into my niece’s poem, I realized that expression doesn’t have to be complicated or skilled, intricate or intense. Sometimes, just the willingness to share how we feel, captured within a wish, or wrapped in a passing comment, means the world to those among us that are willing to engage. PRH

92 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023
The scars on my knees were not acquired as a child I got them just a few months ago Not a long time, not a while Because adults can play too Make mistakes, forget to tie their shoe

Bob Ciampitti


Author Bob Ciampitti started life with a business mindset, always working hard to better himself. He attended Temple University where he earned a degree in Architectural Design and Building Technology. Now, through his own life experiences, Ciampitti shares the conscious and objective view a person creates with every choice and decision they make. Below, Ciampitti talks to us about his new book and what inspired him to write this story.

Q: Tell us a bit about The Angler in the Shadows

a: Using the choices throughout my personal life as an example, I unfold the consequences that came with those choices. My hope is to teach others to gain insight and the opportunity to look beyond the choices they are contemplating and to lead them to a more fulfilling life’s journey.

Q: Explain the subtitle on the book cover - Beware, not all doorways through which we pass in life are two-way portals. Choose wisely!

a: Picture coming upon a fork in the road where there are two doors through which you could pass…not knowing that the hinges only swing one way. In! Once you choose a doorway, you can’t go back.

Q: When did you start writing?

a: I started writing in high school - short stories, poetry and comedy skits for school plays and Boy Scout events. Later, as a member of the oldest fraternal social and philanthropic organization in the world, Freemasonry. I became an elected Master of my lodge and then a District Deputy which required an enormous amount of writing of speeches for events and banquets, including multi-page reports. So, I guess one could say I have always been a writer.

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

a: This book was inspired by my desire to compile a cohesive account of my life in chronological order so my family and close friends would have an account of events in my memory, and hopefully, give meaning to an otherwise standard life. You’re born, you live, you die, you’re buried and within a few months, it’s like you were never here. It also was hoped to be a guidebook for others; help avoiding the pitfalls and irrevocable consequences of ill-chosen decisions in life. I decided to write a sequel about the events of relatable younger days, more lighthearted and inspiring about growing up on the streets of South Philly in the ‘50s and ‘60s. The Angler in the Shadows can be ordered at https://bookstore.dorrancepublishing. com/Amazon and all major retail bookstores. The sequel, Is Bobby Home, has an expected release of October 2023. PRH

July /August /September 2023 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 93
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The Best of

Tritzels Pass the

{Spring 2008}

Ibusiness,” it never looked like this. Every day starts out the same for my sister and me.

We wake up.

After that, it’s pretty much a coin toss.

I’d like to say that “we get dressed.” But I wouldn’t call the costumes we’ve been wearing lately anything close to ‘dressed.’

I’ve been wearing my flip-flops straight through the winter months – “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night” keeps these sisters from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

Dawn’s ensembles are equally disturbing – boots with the fur and vest.

We plan our day over coffee at Caffe Chicco. Table for four between the Italia Soccer display and the grilled bacon and egg panini. The rest of the day goes like this:

Nine to noon – Ad sales and marketing campaigns. Noon to Three – Photo shoots and story lists. Three to Five – Kids and grocery lists. No different from any other working family. So much to accomplish. So little time.

Dawn asks, ‘What are we making for dinner?’

I don’t care.

She tells me, ‘Make the list …Pork chops, Yukon Golds, Frozen shoepeg.’

“Raisinettes,” I add.

‘Who puts Raisinettes on their grocery list?’ she snaps at me. ‘Raisinettes are something you see in the candy case at the movies – ‘I’ll have a small popcorn and a box of Raisinettes’…Something you hand out on Halloween … Who says I’m going to buy milk, bread and Raisinettes today?’ she nags on and on.

I ignore her lest I lose my focus on the grocery list.

“The kids want snacks,” I mumble. “We’ll get Oreos and Tritzels.”

‘Tritzels? She stares. ‘What are Tritzels?’

“You know,” I answer. Now I’m annoyed. “Cheese Curls. They used to call them Tritzels back then.”

‘Who did?’ She looks confused.

“Everyone did! We did! Don’t you remember Mommy calling them Tritzels?”

‘I never heard of any such thing in my entire life,’ she snaps as she reaches for her cell phone.

‘Mom,’ she laughs into the phone. ‘What are Tritzels?’

‘Cheetohs,’ I hear my mother answer. ‘Cheese Curls. Why?’

‘Dorette said you used to call them Tritzels. Something about a Swedish snack food that dates back to Colonial Days…delicately baked?’

‘I made the word up,’ my mother says disinterestedly.

I am shattered. Never have I felt so disheartened. So disappointed. So humiliated!

“You mean to tell me that for the past 49 years of my life, I’ve been using a fake word to describe cheese curls?” I yell into the phone. “Tritzels? Tritzels!”

I feel my blood pressure rise as my sister doubles over in hysterics. I can hear my mother snorting on the other end of the phone.

“I have been asking people to “pass the Tritzels” at birthday parties since I was three years old. Parents looked at me like I had a speech impediment.”

“No,” I insisted. “My mother said the Tritzel dates back to Colonial times when the Pilgrims baked corn and cheese to create the historical TRITZEL!” I would brag.

“Half a century later, you’re telling me that there IS NO SUCH THING AS A TRITZEL!”

Dawn hangs up on my mother.

‘Add a box of Milk Duds to that list,’ she says.. PRH

96 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | July /August /September 2023
To all of you who love to read the last page first, PRH takes a walk down memory lane with our readers’ top picks of their favorite PRESSED columns in honor of our upcoming 20th anniversary in Spring 2024!
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