Ready to Reboot Your Creative Life? Check out ACN!

When we moved to South Philly in 2011,  we were lucky to stumble across two groups that provided us with both art inspiration and a wonderful circle of friends.

The first,  as you’ve probably guessed,  was the Philadelphia Dumpster Divers,  that inspired group of found-object artists whose homes and studios we profile on our Unexpected Philadelphia website.   (And,  yes,  there are more Diver home tours coming,  including — when we finally get around to it — our own.)

17_02_15-1-tracy-takes-another-chance“Tracy Takes Another Chance on Love” –  Kate’s found-object commentary on the pre-Dave dating scene.  Hmm — Should I take the “not quite divorced” guy for 50 points,  my cousin’s ex-fiance for a family-wrecking 30 points,  or “Mr. 93%-Right” for 100 points?

Philadelphia mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar introduced us to the free-spirited Dumpster Divers,  but his sister — dancer and choreographer Sheila Zagar — introduced Kate to its complementary and indispensable opposite:  the Artist Conference Network.

Continue reading

Flip the Script (Part 8): Our VOTE Windows on ABC’s Nightline & philly.com!

They say that a bad day is when you wake up and find a  60 Minutes  crew on your lawn.

Fortunately,  the same didn’t hold true for  ABC’s Nightline  last week.

16_11_4-3-nightline-kate-dc_5307_No warrants in sight:   Kate (second from left) with Nightline’s Ignacio Torres,  Jasmine Brown and Dan Harris.

STRESS?  WHAT  STRESS??

Nightline co-anchor Dan Harris and segment producers Jasmine Brown  (the lead producer that day)  and Ignacio Torres were in town to gauge the pre-election stress level in our hotly contested swing state.   (Hint:  Think high – very high.)

They also offered relief in the form of a daringly co-ed  (i.e., mixed Democrat and Republican)  meditation session.

In between,  they talked to us about our upbeat South Philadelphia window display….

Continue reading

Election Year Blues: Help Us Flip the Script!

This year,  we struggled with finding a new topic for our annual holiday window display.

We’d already displayed photos of our South Philadelphia neighbors and of local celebrities from the 1960s….

16_09_27-12-neighbor-windows-dc_6507

What was left?   South Philadelphia restaurant owners?    Current local celebrities?    Favorite Philly athletes?   (Way too controversial!)

But one topic kept intruding in our heads.

ELECTION  STRESS  DISORDER

Like many people,  we’ve been beaten down by the soul-draining divisiveness in the country this year.

Violence.    Name-calling.   Corruption.   Terrorism.   Racial and religious divides.   Following the news – particularly the election news – you’d think that the country and the entire human race were sliding down that greased pole to hell.

16_10_02-2-kate-newspapers-dc_8245“Uhm,  Dave,  do you have the comics?”

 And,  yes,  it even has a name:   Election Stress Disorder,  and everyone we knew had symptoms.

Continue reading

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time….

“You will do foolish things,  but do them with enthusiasm.”   Colette

After four years of postponing outside repairs on our South Philadelphia home,  we finally decided to bite the proverbial paintbrush.

Not because the building desperately needed painting,  but because our metal bump-out windows had so many leaks that birds were nesting inside….

16_09_27-1-linn-street-before-dc_6305“Besides,  I am so over this green and tan color scheme….”

 SHOW  ME  THE  MONEY

So this summer,  we dug into our piggy bank and hired Mexcon,  the  cheerful, talented, and very popular local cooperative that has helped us with everything from kitchen cabinets to sidewalk repair…

16_09_27-2-linn-scaffolding-cm_3860Heaven bless those Mexcon guys,  who spent endless days in the 90-degree heat sanding and repairing our vintage bay windows

Continue reading

Neighborhood Holiday Windows Are Up!

They’re back!  On Sunday,  we lit our 27 holiday windows with portraits of the many great neighbors,  shop owners, and dogs  (lots of dogs…)  we’ve met since moving to South Philadelphia in 2012.

So,  if you’re dining or playing near the  “Singing Fountain”  between now and New Year’s Day,  we hope you’ll check out our windows at East Passyunk Avenue and Tasker Street.

15_11_23 1 Tasker Street Windows(Our first holiday window display in December, 2013.)
Continue reading

Join Us for the Oct. 17 Home Tour!

If the Fringe Festival was an excuse to whip our first-floor studio into shape,  then the Passyunk Square Civic Association Home Tour is prodding us to finish all those annoying home projects we’ve postponed for months.

15_10_05 1 Home Tour Poster

Passyunk Square is among the city’s hottest neighborhoods,  and this tour is your opportunity to peek behind some fun front doors in the area bounded by Broad and 6th,  Washington and Tasker…

15_10_05 2 Living Room CM_7389(A corner of our 1950s living & dining room with an oversized Isaiah Zagar mosaic – okay, so we weren’t thinking very clearly – and reupholstered thrift-shop sofas) Continue reading

Thanks for the (Fringe Fest) Memories…

Thanks to everyone who came out for  “Are We There Yet?”,   Kate’s mid-century, bad-postcard travel tour,  and part of the 2015 Philly Fringe Festival…

15_09_14 1 Bargain Box Cards(Want to understand the Baby Boom generation and their parents?
Look no further…)

Guests were offered bad ’60s appetizers, like pigs-in-a-blanket and a scary-looking port wine cheese roll with Ritz crackers.  And, yes, everything predictably disappeared – except for the healthy vegetable bowl…

15_09_14 2 Kate & Ann(Fellow Philadelphia Dumpster Diver Ann Keech, right, helps unload the goods. See her work at the Fringe Festival “Pope Up” show, weekends through Sept. 26.) Continue reading