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WEEK OCTOBER 19, 2016 VOL. 13 NO. 39

NATURE HEROES Fishtown mom starts “A Wildlife Discovery Garden” in her front yard. 10

PHILADELPHIA, GODDAMN Conrad Benner’s latest exhibit humanizes politics with art. 11

OPEN STUDIO TOUR Center for Emerging Visual Artists has put together a self-guided tour of local art. 5

URBAN BIRDING The famous Fishtown hawks. 8


hile Rock Ministries’ boxing gym might seem like it would stand out on the 2700 block of Kensington Avenue, but surprisingly, it blends in. In fact, I wouldn’t have known that the gym existed if the establishment’s founder, Pastor Mark “Buddy” Osborn, hadn’t given me the address. Situated just “35 feet away” from what Buddy later pointed out to be the biggest heroin-dealing corner in Pennsylvania, the gym’s façade is no different from that of the other residences in the vicinity. I was fortunate in finding parking close by and thus didn’t have to walk more than a few feet to The Rock’s doors, but the walk still left me with ample time to build up some nerves. Though I’d been to Kensington before, I’d admittedly only been to the “up-and-coming” part of the neighborhood,

which basically means that I’d only set foot in the areas packed with hipsters and gentrified warehouses-turned-bars. “The Rock” is situated closer to the heart of Kensington, a fact made clearer by the many people that quickly walked past me sporting the hardened, weathered looks that often accompany rougher circumstances. As several nearby onlookers strained to get a glance at the new face on the block, I questioned whether I should have just rescheduled my meeting with Buddy. Thankfully, my irrational fears were quieted as soon as I stepped through the gym’s doors. The first room in The Rock is a large space with bright lighting and colorful walls. Stepping over the threshold, I immediately felt more Continued on Page 6.

ACCU-REGGIE Seven day forecast for the Riverwards. 3

COMMUNITY CALENDAR Local events, meetings and more. 12-13



ots of folks in the neighborhood may know Victor Perez, the man behind Sk8 Lamps who’s often found hanging around the El Bar. But what some people may not know is that Perez has a history of throwing nude-centric art shows for the benefit of breast cancer awareness. Perez first launched Nude Night in Orlando more than a decade ago and last week brought the benefit show to Philly for the first time. Nude Night Philly is an eclectic artistic event that aims to raise money to benefit breast cancer research. Local artists were selected to display their art and put it up for sale, with 35 percent of the proceeds benefiting the Tyanna Foundation, a local organization fighting against breast cancer. “We’re fighting cancer with nude artwork,” said Perez, Nude Night Philly’s Curator, Promoter and Producer, “We’re exposing Philly to nude artwork.

I find it really hard to believe that there’s not a place to show off nude artwork. We’re putting nude artwork out in the light for all to see.” The 21+ event featured tastefully done nude artwork from featured artist Orlando R. Quevedo, body paintings from Mr. Perego, paintings, video projections, sculptures, photography and aerial acrobatics by Shannon Sexton. DJ Humble, DJ Ashley, DJ Charles Francis, and a variety of other musicians and performance artists brought their sounds into the mix. Nude Night’s venue, Sculpture Courtyard (1714 N. Mascher St.), was bustling with action. The area was immense and filled with hidden treasures. Everywhere you'd look, you'd find a new piece of art — some Continued on Page 4.

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The Spirit of the Riverwards – October 19, 2016 THE

local lens


very kid needs an Auntie Mame. My Auntie Mame was born in 1895. Her name was Dorothy and she was my grandfather’s sister. She took a liking to me from the very beginning. In fact, when I was first learning to walk, my mother and Dorothy were on opposite sides of the room and each called out to me to come to them. Since I had two choices, I couldn’t go to both, so I headed towards Dorothy. Perhaps as a toddler I knew that one day Dorothy would treat me to three days in Manhattan. As for Mom, she was gracious about the slight. After all, since I lived with Mom I saw her everyday but that was not the case with Dorothy. Aunt Dorothy was really my introduction to the world. When I was 13, she announced that she wanted to take me to New York City for a long weekend. Mom had no problems about letting me go, since I was already spending several weekends a year at Aunt Dorothy’s apartment in Philadelphia. In a sense, I grew up having two mothers. When at last the coveted Manhattan weekend came, Aunt Dorothy drove me to her place and then the following day we headed to the Trailways bus depot in Center City. Boarding the New York City bus, we were served coffee and Danish pastries in our seats by a bus hostess who was dressed like an airline stewardess. It’s amazing to think that both Greyhound and Trailways buses used to have hostesses on board. Now you’re lucky if those buses have a clean bathroom. When we arrived in New York, Aunt Dorothy hailed a taxi to the Hotel New Yorker. I watched as she stepped out into the street and waved down a yellow cab. The gesture seemed so grown up and confident to me. It was definitely a side of Auntie that I had never seen before. In the hotel, a bellhop escorted us to our room, which had a great view of the city. Auntie had insisted on a room with a view. The room had twin beds and an intercom on the wall that doubled as a radio. The Hotel New Yorker was my first hotel experience and it was love at first sight. Checking into a hotel, inspecting the room and the view has always been, for me, one of life’s extreme pleasures and I owe this feeling to Aunt Dorothy. Watching Auntie tip the bellhop was another life lesson. She did it with a flourish, as if telling me, “This is how it’s done, dear.” I remember wondering whether I would ever have the know-how to do what Auntie was doing. Once we were situated, Auntie said it was time to head to Saint Patrick’s cathedral to “make a little visit.” Making a visit meant visiting Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Auntie and I had made many visits to churches in downtown Philadelphia, especially Saint John’s on 13th Street, so we were excited to visit one in New York. It was like visiting an old friend, only in this case it was visiting God, paying our respects and then getting on with things. On the way to the cathedral it began to rain and Auntie went into panic mode. She had just gotten her hair done and since rain ruins everything, she took my hand and dashed into a department store where she bought a big umbrella. Now we were able to walk to the cathedral in comfort. Saint Patrick’s, to my child’s eye, seemed immense. I was especially taken with a life sized statue of Pope Pius XII in a large glass case that was placed in the cathedral’s vestibule. Before lunch at Stouffer’s on that first day, I was already in love with New York. After lunch we headed to Rockefeller Center where we saw The Rockettes. Then we headed to the Empire State building and took the elevator up to the observation deck, our ears popping all the way up. It had always been a fantasy of mine to throw pennies off the top of the Empire State Building, so I had a good number of them in my pocket. On the observation deck, it was easy to flick individual coins out into the open air through the openings in the protective fence. I suppose I saw this exercise as the New York equivalent of throwing three coins into Rome’s Trevi Fountain, although I never stopped to think about the force the pennies would gather as they fell almost 1,454 feet to the ground. Auntie did not see me throw the coins, but had she I am sure she would have given me a stark reprimand. Long after the trip, I would wonder if any of the coins had hit a Fifth Avenue shopper and caused an injury, or worse. In the amazing world of New York, I was forever looking out of the windows of our hotel room and thinking how different life there was from the life of growing up in the country, or “the sticks”, as many called Chester County then. Auntie was showing me a world that was much bigger than Chester County and the six house village with a red barn that I called home. Although Frank Sinatra had not yet recorded his iconic "New York, New York", I was already humming something


like that in my adolescent head. That first evening, Auntie took me to the most popular restaurant in Manhattan at that time, The Top of the Six’s, or 666. The restaurant has a strange name no matter how you slice it since 666, traditionally, is the mark of the Devil. The restaurant had floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Empire State Building, Central Park and scores of other New York skyscrapers. Dressed in a jacket and tie with Auntie in pearls and a dress that looked very Elizabethan, we marched into the dining room like two fallen aristocrats. When Auntie asked for a window seat next to the gleaming skyscrapers, the maître d' announced, “Madame, that would not be possible because all the window tables are taken, but I will be happy to seat you as close to a window as possible.” Auntie let out a long “Oh dear,” informing him that it was her grand nephew’s birthday and that she would not consider anything but a window table since this was “the boy’s first trip to Manhattan.” Then I saw Auntie hand the maître d' a crisp folded bill of an unknown denomination, whereupon the grateful recipient did an about face and remembered that there was one window table still standing. Struck by this magical transformation and by the power of money, I followed Auntie as she followed the maître d' to the sought after prize. I was more amazed than ever at Auntie’s ability to handle almost any disappointing situation and turn it into a victory. We had a long and leisurely dinner that evening, during which I would periodically wonder what it would feel like to jump from a place so high, whether your body would go into somersault mode or drop straight down like a huge sack of flour. The next morning we went to Saint Patrick’s for Mass. When the consecration came, Auntie told me to keep in mind that Christ was physically in the church, not as a symbol or imagined but as an authentic Real Presence that happened after the priest said, “This is my body and this is my blood.” I tried to ascertain shadows or images among the cathedral columns but the limitations of human consciousness prevented me from seeing anything beyond the pale. After a New York breakfast at Chock Full o’Nuts, we headed over to the United Nations building. The next stop was the NBC building where I had hoped to run into Johnny Carson of The Tonight Show, my first boyhood crush outside of a childhood friend, Maureen. At some point during the day Auntie and I got into an argument. We had had a few arguments before, such as when I became so angry at her that I dumped all my toys on the floor of her apartment and began stomping on them. I don’t know what my problem was but I did have


a slight destructive streak as a child. On my first day of kindergarten, for instance, I took to roaming around the room knocking over all the kids’ building blocks they had spent 30 minutes constructing into pretend houses. I suppose my discontent was the result of my not wanting to be in kindergarten. My stomping on Auntie’s toy blocks hurt her deeply. Sometimes there’s no logical reason for a child’s tantrum, but whatever had caused my outburst vanished as my Auntie and I made up, collapsing into each other’s arms on one of her old Victorian sofas. Our New York argument caused me to pout and distance myself from her while we were sailing on the Circle Line around Manhattan. I was dressed in a cream colored sports jacket and tie and remember walking away from her while looking over into Hell’s Kitchen. As in the apartment argument, we made up quickly before the boat hit West Point and long after it had passed Bellevue, where Marilyn Monroe had just been committed. By the time we went to dinner at Mamma Leone’s in the Theatre District, the famous Italian restaurant with statues of male and female nudes looming over the dinner tables, we were in perfect harmony, laughing and pointing at the marble images of women with voluptuous breasts and curvy buttocks and uttering “uh oh” when we glimpsed the statues of male athletes in Caesar laurel wreaths with their shapely thighs and torsos and voluminous packages hidden beneath fig leafs. •

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The Spirit of the Riverwards – October 19, 2016 S E V E N D AY F O R E C A S T F O R T H E R I V E R WA R D S



ast week was a seesaw temperature ride! We started cool with fall-like weather before summer made a strong return to close out the 7-day period. It’s unbelievable how our weather can change on a dime in this area of the globe. However, I do think this is summer’s last gasp before the colder breezes from Canada and the North Pole push summer style heat out for good! As always, with cooler weather comes unsettled weather. Clouds will increase late Wednesday as a storm system gathers to our west. A lot of the rain will be to our north and west but it will gradually work its way east. So for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday we could see bouts of

showers and rain at different points. It will NOT be raining all the time, I think we even see sunshine on Friday, but each day should have some element of rain. Bottom line: keep the umbrella with you these 3 days. We also have a chance for a shower on Monday. Saturday features our first true “cold” shot of the season. Saturday night will feel like winter to our unadjusted bodies due to a wind chill of about 32 degrees overnight. Wednesday is a bonus round of summer weather. Almost 90, are you kidding me?!?! Thursday features more clouds and maybe some sun to get us over 80. Showers will be spotty. Friday is warm with clouds and some sun, but showers

move through later in the day. Saturday is the BIG transition day as the cold air to our west crashes in. Rain will start the day, but it will be dry by night time — albeit windy and cold! Sunday is a cool day with sunshine, temperature may do a little better than 60. Monday features the chance for showers early in the morning, but overall not a bad day for Fall. Tuesday continues the cool streak as temperature struggle to get out of the 60s. The weather winner of the week is Wednesday; the weather loser is Saturday. •


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Page 4 Continued from Page 1. from Nude Night artists, other’s certainly from the locale’s namesake. The bulk of the art was presented in the main gallery: a large open space, thoughtfully laid out, with a single large ring hung from the ceiling where the aerial acrobatics would be performed. The nude form was present in all shapes, sizes and levels of abstraction. The rest of the ample space in the garden was filled with music, a table spread of food from local eateries, and tarot card readers. Nude Night has always been important to Perez, and he was excited to bring the event to Philadelphia for the first time. “I had a good friend who passed away from breast cancer so I wanted to do something to raise money for breast cancer,” Perez said. “Philly is really about that, you know, October is breast cancer awareness month and everything's pink.” The organization benefitting from Nude Night was the Tyanna Foundation, named after Tyanna Barre O’Brien, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 1990 at the age of 48. According to the organization’s website, her daughters Anne, Bridget, Megan, Sara and Kate O’Brien founded the Tyanna Foundation. Since its inception in 1998, the organization and its volunteers have worked tirelessly to increase awareness and generate money for breast cancer services, education, treatment and patient care. Each year, the Tyanna Foundation holds BreastFest, a yearly event that takes place in Athens, Baltimore, Dewey Beach, New Jersey and Philadelphia. The all-volunteer organization raises funds that stay local to each BreastFest city. Darragh and Beth from the Tyanna Foundation were at Nude Night. “We keep everything local,” Darragh said. “Everything we raise goes to Fox Chase Cancer Center to support the mammography bus, which goes to all the areas around Philadelphia where women cannot afford to get a mammogram.” Beth also explained why the Tyanna Foundation was drawn to getting involved with Nude Night Philly. “It’s something totally different, outside of the box and something we've never done before,” Beth said. “I think it's a great way to draw more people to get involved with cancer and with the Tyanna Organization and get our name out there.” Nude Night was also a great way for local artists to get their names out there. One of the artists involved in the exhibition was Mary Pat Coyle. Coyle lives in Fishtown and contributed two medium-sized figure drawings done in water color. “Early in the summer, a friend of mine found a flyer [for Nude Night] and passed it onto a bunch of us,” Coyle said. “I always draw from a model when I get a chance so I have a lot of nudes. I had a couple that were framed already so it was a no-brainer. I’m an art teacher so I don't have a whole lot of time to do artwork, so when I do have a chance for a drop in session I like to draw from a figure.” As were most in attendance, Coyle was very impressed with the event space. “When I got here [to drop off my artwork], there was a gym class going on — the mats were out and the kids were bouncing all over the place,” she said. Victor Perez stands next to his Nude Night Sk8 Lamp. /Matthew Albasi

The Spirit of the Riverwards – October 19, 2016 “[Victor] said this is going to be our main gallery area, so I started imagining the way it could look. When I got here I was like, ‘oh my god, this is so impressive.’ It’s been really, really cool how it all came together.” Perez plans on making Nude Night Philly an annual occurrence and is already looking for folks who want to get involved in next year’s event. “We’re always looking for artists, sculptors, musicians, video artists, at long as it’s tastefully done, nude artwork,” Perez said. Coyle’s already expressed interest in coming again next year, saying, “I’ll bet you I can find a few more people who’d want to come to this and will be equally impressed.” Want to get involved with Nude Night Philly? Reach out to Victor Perez at for more info. •

All photos by Matthew Albasi

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The Spirit of the Riverwards – October 19, 2016 WRITTEN BY PTAH GABRIE

open studio tour



ave you ever wished you could look into an artist’s studio and see where that person turns visions into reality? The Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA) is putting together a self-guided gallery tour where guests will have an intimate look at the inner workings of over 200 galleries and artist studios across neighborhoods east of Broad Street. On October 22-23, galleries across the Riverwards and beyond will be participating in the Philadelphia Open Studios Tour (POST), East of Broad Street. Galleries participating in the event hail from Center City East, Kensington, Fishtown, North Philadelphia, Northern Liberties, Old City, Port Richmond, The Northeast, Queen Village, Bella Vista and South Philadelphia. You can in the full gallery listing online at neighborhood/east POST began in 1999 with 13 artists. For four years, it was a small event serving mostly to give a chance for the blossoming artist community to see what was going on in their neighborhood. “It started out as an organized thing among artists,” Julia Fox, Community Programming Coordinator for CFEVA, said. “It was sort of just a way for artists to allow some people to come inside their studios and engage them in a totally different way from the traditional gallery way.” In 2005, CFEVA took over the tour and has since grown the number of participants, expanding into two tours for east and west of Broad Street. The goal is still to give artists and the public a chance to interact in an intimate manner with the artist. According to Fox, this event isn’t around just so people can have a chance to look at artwork in a gallery setting. She hopes this will be a deeper experience that allows people to see the inner workings of a real artist living in today’s Philadelphia. “It’s a personal experience. The boundaries of a gallery and the presence of an artist in a formal setting is very different than when you see them behind the scenes… Have a conversation in person with the creator of the work,” Fox said. Fox says that some of the artists are even opening up their personal residences. “Anyone can wander into a space that’s pretty personal,” Fox said. “It’s very much like opening up your bedroom. Some people actually do. You get to see the variety of how people treat their studios. They get a direct outlet in that setting.” Fox believes both tours highlight the rich artistic community throughout Philadelphia. She points to a slight advantage for the East Tour and the post industrial neighborhoods like Kensington. “The East Tour is a little more compact. A lot of artists are drawn to the east side of Philadelphia,” Fox said. “The warehouses are more abundant in East Philly. All three loom buildings… The Crane. It’s amazing to see 20 artists that all work in the same building. And they can all feed off each other, and work side by side, and become a community. It’s something you see both east and west, but the east side definitely has a few more more buildings.” Fox believes the artist community, and non-artist residents from these neighborhoods will benefit from this experience. “It’s a totally different experience in the community than artists normally have, so it’s a huge advantage to them and the community,” Fox said. “It’s really important that the community engages in the arts. The community understanding the work, time and effort an passion the arts community has is something that is understood but actually seeing it is a totally different experience.” •

Tim McFarlane Studio/Photo Courtesy of Bernadette Dye

Studio of Marguerita Hagan /Photo Courtesy of Genevieve Coutroubis

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The Spirit of the Riverwards – October 19, 2016

Continued from Page 1. comfortable and undeniably safer. As my eyes swept over the area, I noticed a boxing ring on my left and weights, gloves, and punching bags towards the back of the room. Though I wanted nothing more than to walk around the room and take in the environment, I was soon intercepted by a man named Joe: a worship leader with the ministry. When I asked Joe if he could tell me a little more about the gym, he proceeded to give me a brief history — a story that was later elaborated upon by Buddy himself when I met him about fifteen minutes later. As it was explained to me, Buddy established the gym twelve years ago as a free after-school activity for local children. He was inspired to offer the service after spending time visiting with incarcerated youth and wondering if there was anything that could have been done to stop them from ending up in jail. I later understood that Buddy himself was once incarcerated and, after serving five years of an eight-year sentence, he turned his life around by increasing his dedication to his faith. In wondering how he could help others to choose the same path that he eventually found, he used his own past as an amateur boxer as motivation to create Rock Ministries: in his words, “a gym like no other gym.” The gym’s model is simple. Starting around 4:30PM, kids between the ages of 7 and 22 begin to filter in. Once there, they are split up into A, B, and C teams based on their skill levels. At this point, they are offered free boxing, kickboxing, or grappling training from one of 12 volunteer coaches. After an hour or two, the lessons are followed up with optional homework help as well as a brief (but mandatory) bible study. Buddy is quick to mention that over 9,000 children have gone through the program since its origination and, out of that batch, many have followed their graduation from The Rock with college, a good job, and sometimes even a gig as a Rock trainer. In speaking about the effectiveness of the program, Buddy explains that children are able to receive different benefits from both the physical and spiritual lessons offered. From the boxing training, boys and girls have the chance to get their anger and aggression out in a healthy way while also learning commitment and routine. Then, from

All photos by Rachel Wisniewski

the Bible study, children are taught about morality, character, and altruism. Buddy clarified that helping children to make better decisions in life is “not a sprint, but a marathon.” However, he was also happy to claim that he could take the “toughest kid in Philly,” break them down in 3 weeks with boxing, and then “build [them] back up with the gospel.” The relationship Buddy hopes to create between God and boxing is evident in simply looking around the room. In one corner, a mural depicting an imprisoned man sadly gazing at a free man (sitting beside a cross and bible) is placed next to punching bags; a large sign reading “Jesus is my rock and my salvation” exists next to a grappling class; and, “fight the good fight of faith” is painted graffiti-style on the wall directly behind the red, white and blue boxing ring. Beyond meeting Joe and Buddy, I was lucky enough to meet some of The Rock’s trainers and trainees. The first person I was introduced to was Emmanuel “Manny” Folly, a 24-year-old trainer who first attended the gym as a 13 year old. Manny mentioned that he did not have a lot of guidance growing up in Kensington, and it was Buddy that taught him discipline and how to be a man. Now, not only does Manny work at the gym in the afternoons, but he also maintains a day job as a Philadelphia police officer. I also met another trainer, “Jimmy Gator,” a 71-year-old who happily tells me that he was employed by The Rock even when it was nothing more than an idea. I watched Jimmy train 12-year-old Jahmair, a boy currently in his second week at the gym, who has already graduated to the B team due to his dedication. While Manny wrestled a fellow coach in the ring, Jimmy showed Jahmair a favorite trick of his, undoubtedly stolen from The Karate Kid. I witnessed Jimmy attempt the trick with several students over the course of the afternoon, each time placing a quarter on a child’s flat palm and instructing them to try and close their hand as he then grabs for the coin. The rules are that if Jimmy is able to obtain the quarter, the kid will then have to complete 10 pushups (“and 1

more for Jesus”); if they maintain their grip, Jimmy will complete 12. As I walked around the room and eventually meandered to the adjacent area — where the A team practiced beside grappling lessons — it was evident to me from the smiles that abounded that the students really enjoyed their training and their teachers were happy to provide it. As I left the gym, several hours later, I finally noticed a mission statement printed just to the right of the gym’s front door. It read: “our mission is to provide youth at risk in the inner city of Philadelphia with the gospel of Jesus Christ through mentoring, Bible studies, activities, and organized sports programs.” More so than anything I could craft, this sign succeeded in summing up the culmination of Buddy’s efforts over the years. Though I’m not sure how he can measure this, Buddy claims that 9/10 of the gym’s attendees are fatherless. Not only does Buddy provide local children with a free after-school activity, teaching them dedication and responsibility, but he also introduces them to the Father. With this in mind, it is clear that Rock Ministries is aptly named. While faith is a “rock” for many — a constant support system and source of hope — this gym is clearly a “rock” as well: a safe haven and opportunity for children in Kensington who might otherwise be heading on a fast track from the street block to the prison block. Beyond The Rock, Buddy has also turned a former crack house into a safe house for women and is currently in the process of turning a second property into “Nehemiah House:” a residence where 14 boys will be provided with shelter and counseling and subsequently learn life skills such as working to pay rent. He also has a plan in progress to move a Christian missionary family onto every block in the Kensington ‘hood. •

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The Spirit of the Riverwards – October 19, 2016 WRITTEN BY THOMAS BECK

Documentary Q & A

C I R C L E O F H O P E G A L L E R Y H O S T S S C R E E N I N G O F U P C O M I N G D O C U M E N T A R Y, “ Q U E S T : T H E F U R Y A N D T H E S O U N D ”


n Friday, October 7, the Circle of Hope Gallery (2007 Frankford Ave.) hosted All photos by Thomas Beck a 15-minute screening of an upcoming documentary entitled “Quest: The Fury and the Sound.” David Barnes of “New World View” on WURD AM moderated the subsequent Q&A. The film chronicles the lives of the Raineys, an African-American family from North Philadelphia, over the course of the past decade. Quest, the hardworking and levelheaded Rainey patriarch, runs a music studio out of their home for young men and women trying to avoid trouble in the streets. Quest and his family endure numerous trials and tribulations while adapting to life during the Obama administration. Director Jonathan Olshefski is a graduate of Temple University. “Quest: The Fury and the Sound” is his first feature-length documentary. He currently teaches at Rowan University and lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Olshefski said that this project has been a very enriching experience for him. “This film is just a reflection of what I’ve learned from [Quest],” Olshefski said. “He creates a balance between a passion and keeping a family going. I still feel like I’ve got a lot to learn, just seeing how he kind of juggles and balances both of those. That can take all of your time and energy. It’s something I’m still working on, trying to do what I need to do to take care of my own family, but also keeping that passion and thinking about the Representatives from Philadelphia CeaseFire, an organization that aims to reduce violence particularly in more dangerous areas of the city, were also in attendance on Friday. larger community.” Colwin Williams of Philadelphia CeaseFire discussed the ramifications of violence in our society and how it has affected the Raineys in particular. “What does it say about tomorrow when we can’t protect our children?” he said. “They’re dealing with a form of trauma that’s not really talked about.” In 2014, “Quest” was one of 10 films accepted into the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) Documentary Lab. The following year, Cinereach, a nonprofit film-funding organization, pledged to support the project. Earlier this year, the MacArthur Foundation awarded Director Jonathan Olshefski a documentary grant. The film’s production team also partnered with ITVS, formerly known as the Independent Television Service. “Quest” is currently in post-production and will be released next year. Visit their official website at •





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The Spirit of the Riverwards – October 19, 2016 WRITTEN BY GIANNA FARRELL

Urban Birding T H E FA M O U S F I S H T O W N H AW K S


ast December, if you remember, was unseasonably warm. Irises and roses were blooming, but the sun was setting at 4:30PM. Everything had taken on a surreal edge, so, I thought perhaps I was dreaming when an unexpectedly regal visitor kept showing-up in my backyard. Surely, animals like this don’t exist in cities, but in magical forest-lands of yore? With her creamy underbelly streaked with dark and her aquiline profile, she belonged in a land of mossy landings and castles, not my backyard full of potted plants and concrete. Who was this bird that would watch me so keenly? What was this majestic beast doing perched on my shed? Hawk? Falcon? I didn’t know, but I was obsessed. I was lonely. My husband was off working in New York and the winter blues had taken hold. “Something keeps visiting me,” I told everyone I knew. “I think she’s a hawk. I’m being visited by a hawk. I see her. In the trees in front of my house, on my shed, on my neighbor’s railing.” Then she would be gone. My very own white whale — never letting me take her picture. I would worry about her and doubt my own reality when I didn’t see her for a few days, but suddenly, there she was — perched on my shed watching the squirrels, watching my dog. I’m no expert on birds of prey, but her voice gave her away, she was a red-tailed hawk. You have all heard the scream of a red-tailed hawk. You may not know it, but you have heard it. It’s used in movies and television — any time you hear the scream of an eagle on television — it’s really a red-tailed hawk. It’s the sound used at the beginning of The Colbert Report, it’s the scream heard in a thousand spaghetti westerns. Bald Eagles actually have cute little giggle calls, they sound like a much-less majestic bird. So, when I heard the scream, I knew my visitor was a red-tailed hawk. That December and January she kept visiting my backyard and keeping an eye on the squirrels. She seemed so calm and stately that I began to think of her as the queen of the neighborhood. I wondered if the tail-less squirrel that I affectionately call Stumpy had been the victim of an encounter with her. “Please, anyone but Stumpy,” I silently pleaded with her. Then, I didn’t see her for awhile. Where did my queen go? Don’t worry, she didn’t go anywhere. Though, sometimes hawks do migrate south in the winter. Particularly if it is snowy and they can’t see their preferred food-source (rodents) because they are burrowing in the snow. My queen must have found better eats somewhere else in the neighborhood. It turns out that my queen has a family and that family has a lot of fans. I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that they are the most popular birds in Fishtown. Everyone in Fishtown has a story about the hawks. Men and women gleefully describe their massive wingspan (I’ve noticed, usually, with some healthy exaggeration) and most people have blurry pictures on their phones of the hawks perched on a telephone pole, a tree, or a cross upon St. Laurentius. Then there are the stories that people have of watching them clutch their prey in their massive, strong talons. They kill their prey with these incredibly sharp talons, piercing the rodent or smaller bird to death. You may have even seen evidence of them — an eviscerated pigeon

All photos by Gianna Farrell in Palmer Park, a squirrel torn to bits on the sidewalk that surrounds Palmer Cemetery. It’s funny, because this bird that is so resplendent and other-worldly actually often nests in cities. They are not bothered much by people whom they choose to ignore. Cities, such as our own, offer them plenty to eat in the form of pigeons and rodents. Palmer Park in Fishtown is a popular hunting ground for the hawks. In fact, if you see one of the hawks soaring above Palmer Park look closely, you may see another one nearby. They often hunt in pairs and mate for life. The birds are not only co-parents, but co-hunters and co-builders of their nests. As is often the case in birds of prey, it’s the female of the species that is larger than the male. So when you see the two of them soaring, remember the little one is the male and the larger one is the female. The hawks have become mascots for the Faithful Laurentians, the organization that opposes the redevelopment of St. Laurentius Church. They even have a Twitter account where the hawks have been given names and ascribed personalities. The hawks nest in the highest, oldest trees in Palmer Cemetery and they will return to nest there each spring as long as it stays welcoming to them. Unfortunately, our young hawks have had some accidents recently. A couple of them have had run-ins with windows or moving cars and have been brought to various wildlife rehabilitation centers in the area. One, named Noah, is a juvenile — not even a year old. He flew into a window and had extensive injuries this summer. Luckily, a good Samaritan brought him to AARK, a wildlife rehabilitation center in Chalfont, PA. He was cared for and released back into the wild on August 18th.

According to Matthew Danihel, a supervisor at AARK, Noah hung around the wildlife center for about an hour then flew off. Noah will reach sexual maturity at two-years old. He will then find a mate and they will establish a home territory of their own. Courting red-tails put on an amazing display of aerial acrobatics, sometimes locking talons and plummeting towards the earth. They survey their territories by soaring. When you see them perched they are scanning the area for prey. They can spot a tiny mouse from 100 feet away. In the spring, like all red-tails, Noah’s future mate will lay a clutch of 1-5 eggs in a nest that they build together out of sticks in a tall tree or if he chooses to become an urban hawk, perhaps on a building’s ledge. The female will incubate the eggs while he brings her food. When the babies hatch they will be completely helpless and dad will continue to bring his mate food which she will feed to the hatchlings. Our Fishtown hawks will continue to lay clutch after clutch each spring in Palmer Cemetery. I hope this continues for many years to come — their average lifespan in the wild is 21-years! This is where I beg you not to use rat poison. If you love our hawks, please, use snap traps; a mouse in it’s death throes makes an easy snack for our beloved hawks. Unfortunately, the blood-thinner used in rat poison kills hawks, too, causing them to bleed-out and die a painful death. A dead mouse may be icky to pick up, but you are doing our feathered-raptor-friends a kindness. For information on donating to AARK check out their website: A release video of Noah will also be appearing on their Facebook page: •

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The Spirit of the Riverwards – October 19, 2016 WRITTEN BY SPIRIT STAFF

Senior Expo



ep. John Taylor held his annual Senior Expo on Friday, October 14th, at the Cohocksink Recreation Center, Cedar and Cambria streets. The Expo is a free, one-stop information fair for senior citizens and their families and provides access to information on a wide range of topics. “This is one of the highlights of the year,” Taylor said. “It gives people a chance to meet with state and local government officials, as well as local businesses and other nonprofits that have information that will benefit seniors. I also will be on hand to answer any questions residents may have pertaining to state government.” Among those appearing at the expo were the Philadelphia Police Department, PGW, PECO, Philadelphia Water Department, insurance companies, local podiatrists, chiropractors, senior help agencies, medical equipment companies, hospitals, and city and state agencies. Spirit News as also on hand distributing newspapers and getting important community feedback. Hope to see you at next year's’ Senior Expo! •

All photos by Max Pulcini

No one understands small business like small business. We may be getting a bigger staff and more readers, but we’re still just like you. Work together with Spirit News to help grow your business and inform your neighbors. 215.423.6246

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The Spirit of the Riverwards – October 19, 2016 WRITTEN BY PTAH GABRIE

Nature Heroes


F I S H T O W N M O M S T A R T S “ A W I L D L I F E D I S C O V E R Y G A R D E N ” I N H E R F R O N T YA R D

hiladelphians are privy to many sights and sounds of big city America. If you leave the windows open on a cool fall night in the Riverwards, you may catch the toot of a passing tug boat, thehum of a speeding train or the distant pop of gunfire. As urban Americans, we are limited in space and struggle at times even to find parking for one car. Philadelphia has an enormous amount of abandoned buildings. Despite this, we are all still left living on top of each other. According to, Philadelphia has 40,000 vacant properties, but other websites say the number could actually be closer to 50,000. When Sandi Vincenti and her husband Daniel were deciding where to live in 2010, they jumped at the chance to own a house in Philadelphia with an empty lot next door. “This is kind of a lifelong dream come true for us,” Vincenti said. We met Sandi and her three children at their house in Fishtown. “We compromised moving into the city. We fit better in the city. We listen to a lot of punk rock. We’re always down here for shows. That’s where we belong,” she added. “We got a smaller house because it has this lovely space. It’s always been a dream to have something where we can do what we love, environmental education.” Vincenti took a job at the Philadelphia Zoo out of high school and served as Conservation Coordinator of Children and Family Programs. Vincenti is a certified PA Master Naturalist and is the Playschool Operations Director at By My Side Neighborhood Parenting. According to Vincenti, she was asked to develop an environmental education program at By My Side and that’s when she co-founded “By My Side Nature Heroes.” She saw this as a perfect chance to expand her already growing native plant reserve, now titled “A Child’s Inspiration Wildlife Discovery Garden.” This past summer, Vincenti received a seed grant allowing her to put on two pop-up environmental educational programs at Penn Treaty Park and Arcadia Commons. When you step off the sidewalk and into the Vincenti’s garden at 1855 Sepviva Street, it’s easy to forget about the hustle and bustle of inner-city Philadelphia. A helicopter swirls above and the occasional loud radio from a passing car finds your ears, but when you’re surrounded by plants, insects and animals, it’s easy to pretend you’ve been taken away to a spot out in the woods of Upper Bucks or Montgomery County. It’s hard to miss the recycled wooden structure built on top of a mid-sized car. According to Vincenti, the car was abandoned on the lot when they bought the house. She was able to track down the owner, who she says wanted nothing to do with the vehicle. She decided the car was a stable base to build a treehouse-like fort that she refers to as the “book house.” Vincenti says she wants to have shelves of books about nature for children to read during their experience. The structure is made from reclaimed wood from her husband’s garage door and electric business. According to Vincenti, the city is aware of what she’s doing and has been supportive. “It seems like we’ve got nothing but great support,” Vincenti said. “We did have to jump through a few hoops insurance wise.” Now the family is deciding on the next phase of their structure. “Now the goal is do we go up another story on it, or we were approached by a company to maybe do a green roof,” Vincenti said. Last May, Spirit News was on site when Connor Barwin of the Philadelphia Eagles donated and planted a Sweetbay Magnolia tree in the Vincenti’s yard. The Vincenti’s also planted ironwood and red bud trees, which she says are native to Pennsylvania. Native plants are the focus for Vincenti. “Pennsylvania is really kind of unique because we have a lot of different eco-regions. We’re in this neat area because we’ve got the rivers right there so we’ve got these low lands,” Vincenti said. “In Philadelphia, we’ve got these two really great watersheds, that helps a lot.”

Sandi Vincenti and her children in their Wildlife Discovery Garden./All photos by Ptah Gabrie

She believes these plants create a well balanced native ecosystem. “The more you have things that are native to the area, the more you’ll have the native predators coming in. They bring that balance back,” Vincenti said “Because we do leave it natural, that is one of our main goals, we have a lot of really cool inhabitants. We’ve had groundhogs. We have a snake den where we get brown snakes. We’ve got tons of insects.” The Vincenti’s are also part of a native bee sharing program. “The native bees don’t produce honey, but are much better at pollination,” Vincenti said. “They actually pollinate one hundred-times more efficiently than honey bees.” It’s really good for gardens, really good for crops.” She also has an assortment of reptiles, amphibians and insects on-hand for kids to hold. Vincenti’s son Nathaniel was eager to show us the whip-tailed scorpion, also known as a vinegaroon. It’s a type of scorpion that appears ferocious, but isn’t poisonous and secretes a fluid that smells like vinegar. Sandi also showed us other interesting insects including an orchid mantis, death feigning beetle, baby tarantula and one of several species of cockroach.

Vincenti also showed us her ball python while her son played in a tank with frogs and a gecko. There’s a turtle pond with red-eared slider turtles and she also has an old beer cooler from The Nut Hut Saloon, which she hopes to use as part of an aquaponics system. According to Vincenti, she is talking with Cornell University on a plan to introduce a species of endangered lady bug back into their space and hopes to maintain balance between native and non-native plants. “I really think it’s important to restore that balance... get everything back up and bring back all those native things that really do belong, it’s healthier overall,” Vincenti said. She also believes children will have experiences that they will remember forever. “I think children need to learn more. Some of the animals I brought in the beginning weren’t native, it was more like, get kids excited,” Vincenti said. “There was a little boy, deathly afraid of everything, held one of our vinegaroons, loved it, and couldn’t stop asking his mom when he could come back and learn more about it.” •

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The Spirit of the Riverwards – October 19, 2016 WRITTEN BY GRACE SHALLOW

Philadelphia, Goddamn



ndividual expression is Conrad Benner’s solution to “take back the public space.” “By it’s definition, we all own [the public space], but we don’t all own the messages that we get,” Benner added. “It is filled with messages that are given to us generally by advertisers or by the government, so it’s all different kinds of propaganda.” Benner is a Fishtown native and founder of Streets Dept, a photo-blog chronicling street art, graffiti and urban exploration in Philadelphia. He co-curated “Philadelphia, Goddamn”, an exhibit being shown at Little Berlin (2430 Coral St.) until Oct. 30. The exhibit features 12 street artists who comment on political issues through their work, creating what Benner coined, “art in dissent.” Participating artists used mediums like paint, silk graffiti and yarnbombing to comment on a breadth of social concerns like LGBTQ rights, the treatment of immigrants and mass incarceration. Eric Preisendanz, co-curator of the exhibit and a member at Little Berlin, said “Philadelphia, Goddamn” emphasizes the humanitarian aspect of politics. “Art has the ability to be functional in the way that it can help humanize really sort of big, crazy ideas,” Preisendanz said. “Ultimately, it’s about the people that are behind the issue. I want to use the gallery as a means to send that message as far as I can.” Little Berlin is located in the Viking Mill, a five-building complex in Kensington that has provided affordable working space for artists since 2007. According to its website, the gallery operates by “a collaborative, do-it-yourself ethic.” 12 members work together to run the exhibit and rotate the responsibility of curating exhibits on a monthly basis. The gallery also has no entry fee, making it as “accessible as it can be,” Preisendanz said. Sarah Chavez, an artist living in West Philadelphia, visited the exhibit on its opening night. Chavez said art conveys messages in a more synergetic way than regular dialogue. “Visuals is, to me, a more open medium to get conversation started,” Chavez added. “It’s just being collaborative and engaging with others who also appreciate art and care about the topics at hand.” Amber Lynn, also known as Amberella, is a Fishtown-based artist who participated in the exhibit. Lynn revealed the first piece in her new body of work entitled “Make It Reign: In P*ssy We Trust” at the opening reception of the exhibit on Friday night. Lynn is using the series to comment on women’s self-worth by replacing figures on the dollar bill with women that inspire her. Frida Kahlo was the first woman featured in “Make It Reign: In P*ssy We Trust.” Lynn said she feels connected to Kahlo because of the fixation on death and sorrow Kahlo experienced during her lifetime. “I am always dabbling in women’s empowerment,” Lynn said. “My work’s really selfish. It’s always based on personal experiences or stuff that I’ve dealt with or gone through.” Lynn is one of seven Philadelphia-based artists to participate in the show. Other contributing artists are based out

of cities like Los Angeles, Baltimore and Miami, creating a “large geographic footprint,” Preisendanz said. “There’s no reason to be regionally protective,” he added. “I think that’s a little nearsighted. That sort of means people from other cities can’t say what we’re saying.” While some of the artists featured in the exhibit have traditional, studio-centered backgrounds, others have unorthodox beginnings. Jesse Krimes is a prime example, having created artwork while he was incarcerated. Despite artists’ varying backgrounds, Benner said he wants each piece in the exhibit to “engender empathy.” “It’s hard not to see a human being and, for at least a second, walk in their shoes and see the issue from the other side,” Benner said. “That’s what we are trying to do with this show.” •

All photos by Grace Shallow

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The Spirit of the Riverwards – October 19, 2016


CALENDAR N E W S @ S P I R I T N E W S . O R G • 1 4 2 8 E . S U S Q U E H A N N A AV E • 2 1 5 . 4 2 3 . 6 2 4 6

meet ing s NKCDC OPEN OFFICE HOURS NKCDC is hosting open office hours in the 19134 zip code at two locations. They will be at the Firm Hope Baptist Church on Tulip and Auburn Streets every second Wednesday of the month from 4-7PM. They will assist you with signing up for benefits like SNAP, connecting to housing counselors for any housing needs, rent and property tax rebates, food referrals, health insurance and safety or quality of life issues in your community. For further information contact Tess at or 215-427-0350 x 139. AL-ANON AT HOLY NAME CHURCH HALL Meetings are held every Monday night from 7-8PM at Holy Name Church Hall at 701 Gaul Street. Anything shared at a meeting stays there and everyone is welcome to attend. Al-Anon meetings are free, anonymous and confidential. October 20, 6PM FABA NETWORKING EVENT The Fishtown Area Business Association invites you to our Welcome to the Neighborhood! Annual Networking Event. Welcome new area business owners, network & enjoy delicious food and drink. Event is free for FABA members, $5 for non-members. Ticket includes one free drink. Location: Martha, 2113 E. York St. Please RSVP at: NETWORKING MEETINGS Philadelphia Mastermind Group – Every Friday, 8-9:30AM, B2B Networking at Front Street Café (1253 N Front St.) HAPCO/DIG/GPAR – 2nd Thursday of the Month, 12:001:30PM. Lunch & Learn, real estate meetup at the Greater Philadelphia Association of realtors (341 North Delaware Avenue, Suite 200) DIG/HAPCO – 3rd Wednesday of the Month, 6:30-8:30PM. Philly Riverwards Sub-Group, Diversified Investors Groups meet up at Front Street Café (1253 N Front St.) For more information contact Joe Scorese 215-290-5108 or

events Friday, October 21,7PM CANDLELIGHT NAME READING AT THE PHILADELPHIA VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 266 will hold it's annual name reading at the memorial. Please come out to show your respect for the 648 men and women from Philadelphia who made the ultimate sacrifice. The chapter is also looking for new members. For info call Chuck Bauer at 215-722-3518 Friday, October 21, 10AM-1PM FREE FLU SHOTS Stop by 3503 North B. Street (Corner of B and Tioga) for a free flu shot from St. Rep Angel Cruz’s district office. For more info, call 215-291-5643

Saturday, October 22, 8-10AM FLAPJACK FUNDRAISER BREAKFAST The Polish American Cultural Center Museum, 308 Walnut Street in Historic Philadelphia, is sponsoring a Flapjack Fundraiser Breakfast at Applebee’s, 2535 Castor Avenue in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia, on Saturday, October 22, 2016, between 8 and 10 A.M. Cost is $7.00 per person. For more information/tickets call Theresa Romanowski at 215-922-1700 or 215-813-2780. Saturday, October 22, 4-6PM FISHTOWN COMMUNITY DINNER First Presbyterian Church (418 E Girard Ave) community dinners return where we open our doors and welcome every and anyone who wants to come out for a meal and be in fellowship with their fellow neighbors. As always, there is no cost for the meal. We want everyone to feel welcome. For more information or 215-739-5695. Saturday, October 22, 8AM-3PM FRIENDS OF KONRAD SQUARE FLEA MARKETS The Friends of Konrad Square will host a few flea markets in the coming weeks at Konrad Square (Tulip and Dauphin Streets). Anyone interested in renting a space should call Vicky at 215426-9654. Saturday, October 22, 5-8PM PEARL DANCE STUDIO HAUNTED HOUSE 3065 Richmond Street (19134). $5.00 Entry Fee includes candy bar and face painting. Saturday, October 22, 3-5PM SPAGHETTI DINNER FUNDRAISER Fundraiser at St. Phillips Church (700 E Tioga St.) Cost $2 for kids 10 and under, $3.50 for adults. No takeout. Menu includes spaghetti, meatballs, salad, dessert and more. For more info, call 215-954-2735 Saturday, October 22, 11-4PM HECHO EN NORRIS SQUARE CRAFT MARKET Join in the 1st Annual Hecho en Norris Square Craft Market at Norris Square Park (2141 N. Howard Street). Featuring: Local artists & craft vendors, Art activities for all ages, Food Trucks, Music and more! The Hecho en Norris Square Craft Market, in collaboration with Norris Square Neighborhood Project and Village of Arts and Humanities, focuses on the creative community in eastern north Philadelphia and utilizes public space in Norris Square Park as a venue to showcase emerging and established vendors from 19122, and 19133. In partnering with the Food Trust, local food trucks will be selling a variety of good eats to satisfy all appetites. The craft market vendors will also be featured as part of the Center for the Emerging Visual Artist, Philadelphia Open Studio Tours east of Broad Street. Hecho en Philly is supported by LISC, Norris Square Neighborhood Project, Village of Arts and Humanities, Leeway Foundation, Philadelphia Food Trust, and Puffin Foundation. Rain or Shine. To sign up as a vendor email: Anne at hechoenphilly@gmail. com . To volunteer email: Linda at hechoenphilly@gmail.

Community-Wide Cleanup - October 22nd New Kensington Community Development Corporation is once again organizing an annual neighborhood-wide Fall Cleanup. This year, it’s on Saturday, October 22nd. Volunteers are to meet up with their favorite neighborhood group at 10AM: East Kensington Neighbors Association - Emerald St & Dauphin St, Frankford Garden (2610 Frankford Ave) Somerset Neighbors for Better Living - Firm Hope Baptist Church (E Auburn St & Tulip St) Olde Richmond Civic Association - Cione Rec Center (Lehigh Ave & Aramingo Ave) Fishtown Neighbors Association - Fishtown Rec Center 9am(1202 E. Montgomery Ave) NKCDC Kensington Ave Corridor - (Front St & Susquehanna St) Big Green Block Coalition & Sustainable 19125 + 19134 - Big Green Block (Palmer St and Blair St) Friends of Hackett Elementary - Hackett Elementary School (2161 E York St) The Block Church - Cohox Rec Center (Cedar St & Ann St), Richmond St & Allegheny Ave Avenues of Change - Hazzard St & Emerald St Norris Square Park (2100 N Howard St) Crossfit Novem - Howard Street and Palmer St 3000 Block of Richmond St - (3000 Richmond St) 2200 Block of Blair St - (2200 Blair St) Afterwards, from 12-2pm there will be a free barbeque for volunteers at Philadelphia Brewing Company (2439 Amber St) and at Sergeant St Gardens (Sergeant St & Emerald St)!

com . Visit for more details Saturday, October 22, 5PM DESIGNER BAG BINGO Bingo starts at 6PM at St. John Cantius Auditorium (4415 Almond St). Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door. Also: 50/50, Chinese auction, door prizes. Donation includes 3 cards a game for 10 games of Bingo, a hot roast beef sandwich, and light refreshments. VIPs can reserve table close to auction and an additional card per game. Event is BYOB and sponsored by the parents of Troop 11 Auxiliary. To purchase tickets please contact Sarah Melin at 804-605-3882 or Tickets can also be purcashed at Grace Church and the Incarnation (2645 E Venango St.) on Mondays, 6-8:30PM. Saturday, October 22, 12-4PM FALL CRAFT FAIR Holy Innocents St. Paul’s Episcopal Church presents our Fall Craft Fair. Saturday, October 22nd from 12PM to 4PM at 7701 Torresdale Avenue (Torresdale and Tyson Aves) in our lower hall. 20 tables featuring unique crafters and vendors. Fun kids area including face painting, photo booth, fall crafts and other surprises. Tables are still available for $20. For information please contact us at or call 215-651-5159. Saturday, October 22, 10AM-3PM FRIENDS OF PENN TREATY FLEA MARKET Join us for a Flea Market at Penn Treaty Park! Spaces available for $15. Fee due no later than May 14, please make check out to “The Tamanend Fund” and mail to Barbara Moorehead at 2171 E. Letterly St, Phila PA 19125. For more info call 215-425-0393 Saturday, October 22, 11AM AUCTION AT BETHEL BAPTIST We will be having a penny auction, flea market, and food sales at Bethel Baptist Church (2210 E. Susquehanna Ave.) We have gift cards, gift baskets, flyers tickets and much more. Call 215-426-1909 for more info. Saturday, October 22, 11:30AM KENSINGTON ALUMNI ASSOCIATION LUNCHEON Annual luncheon for Kensington High School alumni, all years. Williamson’s Restaurant (500 Blair Mill Rd., Horsham, PA) For more information call Barbara Carrier (609-654-6120) or Altha Burgee ( Saturday, October 22, 10AM-2PM REPAIR FAIR #10 The public is welcome to carry in their inoperative/damaged/broken possessions and learn how to fix them. Our talented troupe of Fixers will be on hand to help and inform so that we can all create less waste and be more self-sufficient. The fair will take place at Greensgrow, 2501 E Cumberland St. October 22, 12-2PM FISHTOWN COMETS CLOTHING DRIVE The Fishtown Comets soccer team will be hosting a clothing drive from 12-2PM at Shissler Rec Center. We will be accepting clothing, shoes, toys, bikes, curtains, pillows, blankets, and baby items. Saturday October 22nd, 4-6PM ARTIST RECEPTION: DALE RIO Joins The Resource Exchange (1701 N. 2nd St.) and reCreate Featured Artist Dale Rio to celebrate our October gallery, "A Glimpse Inside: Experiments with X-Rays." Dale Rio is a local photographer who shoots primarily in film and experiments with alternative photographic methods. Her reCreate gallery will feature work made using reclaimed x-rays from The Resource Exchange. This is a FREE event! More information: Sunday October 23rd, 12:30-3:30PM SPIRIT PHOTOGRAPHY: AN EXPERIMENTAL PINHOLE WORKSHOP With Halloween upon us, it’s time to push your pinhole photography to the outer limits! Learn how to create pinhole cameras and experiment with them at The Resource

The Spirit of the Riverwards – October 19, 2016 Exchange (1701 N. 2nd St.). reCreate Featured Artist of October, Dale Rio, will lead participants in this fun, fall themed photography workshop. $20 all materials included Details on our website! http://www.theresourceexchange. org/workshops/spirit-photography-workshop-with-dale-rio/ Sunday, October 23, 10AM-12PM ADAIRE WALK-A-THON Adaire's active Home & School Association wants you get active with them in support of this great K-8 in the heart of Fishtown! We're raising money to support Adaire, we're building community, and we're burning off some calories! We're starting from the Adaire schoolyard, walking up to Hackett, and then back to Penn Treaty Park — 1.5 miles in all! There'll be free water and snacks for sale at Penn Treaty Park. A $15 donation gets an adult ticket and an Adaire pint glass! Or participate for $12 (adults, no glass) and $5 (kids)! adaire-2016-walk-a-thon or stop by the main office at Thompson & Palmer! Sunday, October 23, 9-10AM PSPCA HOSTS YOGA WITH CATS The Pennsylvania SPCA will host Yoga with Cats, a yoga class where adoptable cats will roam the room freely, at the PSPCA’s Fishtown Center (1546 Frankford Ave.) While a common yoga pose might be downward dog, it is no secret that the agile movements of cats often mirror the movements of yoga masters. The PSPCA, when approached by volunteer and animal advocate Rachel Shaw, decided to make that connection a beneficial one for its adoptable cats by hosting a yoga class in the calming and open Fishtown Center. Meredith Magoon, a well-known local yoga instructor, will lend her services to the class, which is just $15. All proceeds from the event will benefit the PSPCA’s life-saving mission. For more information, or to sign up, visit: yogawithcats Wednesday, October 26, 12-1PM TA-NEHISI COATES AT AMALGAM Renowned writer and journalist (and current "Black Panther" scribe), Ta-Nehisi Coates will be coming to Amalgam on October 26th in conjunction with his talk at Temple University. He will visit with us for an hour (12-1PM) for a

Taylor to Host Free Prescription Drug Take Back Event Oct. 22 In a move to better protect children and the environment from unused medications, Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia) will sponsor a Drug Take Back Day. “Rates of prescription drug abuse are alarmingly high with teens abusing medication they take from a family member, friend or even the home medicine cabinet, often without anyone’s knowledge,” Taylor said. “That’s why it is critically important that you clean out your medicine cabinet and protect your family by properly disposing of your unwanted and expired medicines.” Taylor will co-host the Take Back Initiative event with First Class Pharmacy in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency. The event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 22, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the intersection of Frankford and Cottman avenues, and at Campbell Square, East Allegheny Avenue and Belgrade Street. All pharmaceutical drugs to be disposed must be in a sealed container, like the original bottle or a zip-top bag. Liquid pharmaceuticals should remain in the original container. Personal information should be removed or blotted out with a permanent marker. Items accepted include prescription and over-thecounter solid medications; tablets and capsules; liquid medications, like cough syrups and cold medicines; prescription patches; medical creams and ointments; vitamins; nasal sprays; and pet medicines. Visit my website at For more information, call Taylor’s office at 215-7083139.

moderated Q&A where he will answer all of your burning Black Panther questions! Moderated by: Eric Battle. $5 Admission | Light Refreshments Provided. Thursday, October 27th, 5-7:30PM HALLOWEEN PARADE AND HAPPY HOUR FUNDRAISER Join Friends of Adaire at Frankford Hall for our cutest event of the year! Costumed kids and their families are invited to join us for one of our popular Happy Hour Fundraisers benefitting Alexander Adaire K-8 in Fishtown and this time the kids activities includes a Trick or Treat Parade around Frankford Hall, face-painting and more! $5.00 donation requested. Friday, October 28th, 5-7PM TRUNK OR TREAT! Adaire's schoolyard will be transformed into a showcase of scary and fun decorated car trunks, bike baskets, and tables at Adaire's first-ever Trunk or Treat! Enjoy a family fun night out filled with crafts, trick or treating, snacks and 50/50 tickets for sale, and a movie in the Adaire auditorium! Inside, we're screening "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" in the Adaire auditorium we fundraised for last year! $3 per person includes trick or treat, movie, and crafts! (Children under 2 are free) $10 to host a spot (car, bike or table) to decorate, hand out candy and enter to win PRIZES… Scariest Spot! Best Fall Themed Spot! Funniest Spot! (No charge for your kids if you host a spot.) Cars can start set up at 3:45PM; no cars will be permitted after 4:45PM. Proceeds benefit the 8th grade field trip! Friday, October 28, 8PM-Midnight PO1 MICHAEL J. STRANGE BEEF AND BEER FUNDRAISER Come out to St. Dominic’s Marian Hall (8532 Frankford Ave.) a night of food, cold beer, dancing and Philly’s greatest funny man, Joe Conklin. Tickets $30. Benefits healing retreat for Gold Star Families and will kick off fundraising for a Memorial Wall in tribute to the 289 Heroes killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Call for tickets 215-983-4470. Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29, 6-8PM HAUNTED HOUSE GLAVIN PLAYGROUND and the Girl Scout troops, 2600 E Westmoreland St. Invite everyone to our HAUNTED

Page 13 HOUSE scheduled for weekend of Fri. Oct. 28 and Sat. Oct. 29. Open from 6:00 to 8:00 PM both nights. Cost is $3.00 per person. Refreshments will be available for sale. Come out and enjoy a great evening reconnecting with school friends and neighbors. October 29, 12-4PM BY MY SIDE’S SECOND ANNUAL FAMILY FALL FEST Fall Fest raises money to support the critical programming By My Side’s non-profit parenting program provides to over 100 hundred Fishtown and Kensington families on a weekly basis. Last year over 200 families joined us, and we know this year is going to be even BIGGER! Parents and children will partake in food truck fare, participate in activities to include story telling by local elected officials, music performances, and safety activities by law enforcement. We are proud to partner with the New Kensington CDC as the host at the Garden Center located at Frankford Avenue and Berks Streets in the heart of Fishtown. The recently renovated Garden Center will be transformed into a celebration of fall with a hay bale maze, harvest crafts, and spooky fun. All funds raised will directly fund the critical programming By My Side Parenting has been providing to build community and nurture families for nearly a decade through playgroups, parenting resources, and two playschool programs for children 18mo-5yrs old. Thursdays POWERS PARKS FARMER’S MARKET Come attend the Farmers’ Market on Thursdays from 3-7PM at Powers Park (Ann & Almond Streets). Fresh food available from local farms and kitchens. More information (vendors, etc.) is available on the Powers Park Conservancy Facebook page. Sundays, 12-4PM AMALGAM ADVENTURER’S LEAGUE Adventurers! Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse is now hosting Adventurers' League play on Sundays from noon to 4PM. Bring your level 1 character, or just yourself and our DM will have pre-gens, and join us as we begin the new season of Storm King's Thunder with the Great Upheaval adventure. New and experienced players welcome!

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The Spirit of the Riverwards – October 19, 2016 COMMUNITY

CLASSIFIEDS A D S @ S P I R I T N E W S . O R G • 1 4 2 8 E . S U S Q U E H A N N A AV E • 2 1 5 . 4 2 3 . 6 2 4 6

Advertise With Us! By placing an advertisement with the Spirit News, you connect with the residents of Fishtown, Northern Liberties, Port Richmond, and Kensington.











House wiring, 100 amp circuit breakers, ceiling fans & a/c lines. LICENSED & INSURED - LIC #PA040852/16493

215-327-3817 PAY LESS












WASHERS DRYERS STOVES REFRIGERATORS 24-Hour Emergency Service $10 Charge For Estimate No Charge With Repair



2 1 5 -92 7-1 100 JUNK CARS Up to $1,100 cash for cars or trucks with bad engines or transmissions. $550 CASH for any complete junk car or truck with or without title. Call 215-669-1000

JOBS Drivers: CDL-A 1yr. Exp. Excellent Home Time. Great Benefits + Incentive Pkg. 100% No Touch Freight. 70% Drop & Hook. 855-842-8498

REAL ESTATE SALES: new or experienced; free training program. Call Mike Dunphy at 215-840-8399



1 4 2 8 E . S US QUE H AN N A AV E

We reserve the right to edit, refuse or classify any advertisement. Advertising is a privilege which must be protected against misuse. All classified advertisements subject to pre-payment. It is the responsibility of the advertiser to check the advertisements each time it is published. No responsibility is assumed by the newspaper for errors. Errors will be rectified by reinsertion in the following issue only.

215.423.6246 The deadline is Friday at 5pm for display ads, and Monday at 12pm for classifieds. All advertisements must be paid for in advance.


FOSTER PARENTS Good, Loving homes needed for children of all ages.

PLEASE CALL 215-203-8733 or 1-877-NFI4KID or visit



Landlords must allow you to make reasonable accommodations to ensure full use of your apartment. Telling you that you can’t install grab bars and ramps is against the law. You can fight back. If you suspect unfair housing practices, contact HUD or your local Fair Housing Center. Everyone deserves a fair chance.


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Christmas for Our Veterans It is that time of year already!! The American Legion Auxiliary Elm Tree Post #88, will be taking gifts to our veterans at Veterans Hospital and Veterans Nursing Home in December. Items can be dropped off at The Spirit Newspaper, located at Gaul Street & Susquehanna Avenue. We are in need of the following: Hand Lotion • Body Lotion • Body Wash • Knitted Hats • Knitted Scarves • Undershirts (L-3X)) • Batteries (AA,AAA,C) • Flannel Shirts (L-3X) • Gloves • Slippers • Board Games • White Socks • Lounging Pants (L-3X) • Puzzle Books • Card Games • Boxes of Cookies • Candy Canes • Boxed Candy • Sugar Free Treats • 2 In 1 Shampoo • Shaving Cream • Hoodies (L-XXL) • Boxer Shorts (L-XXL) So that the veterans can also select Christmas gifts for family members, we are collecting items for toddlers, children, teens and women. Thank you for your support! Further Information: Please contact Marge at 215-203-0270.

The Spirit of the Riverwards – October 19, 2016


RESIDENTIAL • COMMERCIAL FAST EMERGENCY SERVICE 100 AMP • Breakers Lighting • Outlets • Fuse Repair • Ceiling Fans Switches • Dryer Lines Doorbell Repairs


215-722-5993 State License #PA068325 City of Philadelphia Electrical License #17027 We will BEAT ALL ESTIMATES!

Page 15

The Spirit of the Riverwards – March 2, 2016

John Taylor … well-liked and respected by Democrats & Republicans for all of his hard work and results.

The Taylor record... • A recognized problem solver -- always helping people. Well deserved reputation for providing some of the best constituent service in the city. • Fought for passage of a comprehensive transportation bill to fund major road, highway and bridge repairs -- creating thousands of jobs in the process. • Leading the fight to eliminate blight through “Land Banks” – a vital tool in the fight against unsightly vacant lots and abandoned, blighted properties. • Provided local authorities with the power to seize personal assets of negligent landlords and homeowners for unpaid property violation fines. • Led the fight for increased funding for public schools and help for parochial school students through the state’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit program, which provides incentives for businesses to give scholarships for local students. • Long-time advocate for medical coverage for drug and alcohol addiction rehab and recovery programs. Produced a powerful video entitled “some good-byes are forever” as a tool to educate parents and youth to the dangers of illegal and prescription drug abuse. • Authored legislation to create a four-year pilot recovery high school program for students in recovery from substance abuse. • Authored legislation that created Office of the Safe Schools Advocate - the first of its kind in the nation aimed at helping to reduce violence and bullying in our schools. • Supported by thousands of Democrats and Republicans because of his bi-partisanship and fight to make sure Philadelphia gets its fair share of state funds.

Push But ton






Working hard for our local schools and neighborhoods.

Vote - General Election - Nov. 8th Paid for by Committee to Re-Elect John Taylor

The Spirit of the Riverwards - October 19, 2016  

In this week's issue we visit Rock Ministries for some lessons on boxing and faith, attend Nude Night to meet local artists who are fighting...

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