Several years ago, we started an improbable (even to us) holiday tradition by filling our 27 windows with lighted photos of South Philadelphia neighbors and merchants.
And this being South Philly, everyone brought their dogs – lots and lots of dogs….
THE NEW NOT-SO-NORMAL
This spring, COVID-19 tore a hole in the familiar workings of our East Passyunk neighborhood. But while we safely cocooned at home, we couldn’t stop thinking about the Essential Workers who courageously kept us going.
Some – like grocery and pharmacy staff, sanitation and utility workers, bus and delivery drivers, mail carriers and firefighters – put their health on the line simply by showing up for work.
Others – at restaurants, salons and gyms – took major financial hits by closing their doors for months or opening them at limited capacity. Heather Garden was only days away from the grand opening of her second Halo Hair salon when pandemic restrictions shuttered salons throughout the state.
A NEW BRAND OF HEROES
This summer, we decided to photograph a cross-section of South Philly’s non-medical heroes. Some – including bike officer Jim, CVS manager Eric, and Acme manager Dean – we’d already met.
Others – like our local trash collection crew and SEPTA drivers – had kept our lives humming for years, even if we didn’t know their names.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, MASKS!
And, yes, we went out of our way to keep them safe, photographing them from afar and having them remove their masks only for the seconds it took to snap their smiling faces.
On Thanksgiving eve, we proudly lit their photos in our annual holiday windows….
CHECK OUT OUR HOLIDAY HEROES
Need some inspiration? You can visit our holiday heroes at East Passyunk Avenue and Tasker Street, across from South Philadelphia’s “Singing Fountain”. They’ll be smiling there through January 10, lit daily from 4:30 pm ’til 2:30 a.m.
As always, we’ve posted a sign on our corner door telling you who everyone is – and how they spend their spare time (everything from deejaying to shoe collecting!) when they’re not working for all of us.
….OR MEET THEM VIRTUALLY HERE
Can’t visit in person? Check out our next two blog posts to read about all 27 of our glowing window subjects.
In the meantime, tie on those masks, stand 6 feet apart, and wash those hands for 20 seconds when you get back home. We want to see you (and them!) around the fountain for many holidays to come.
Kate & Dave (Click here to see our next Essential Worker blog post!)