Family responsibilities have kept us from blogging regularly this year, but there’s one tradition we can’t abandon: lighting up our South Philadelphia corner with smiling neighbors and their irresistible dogs.
So, if you’re dining or playing near the restaurant-packed “Singing Fountain” between now and January 6, check out our well-decked windows at East Passyunk Avenue and Tasker Street….
We’ll keep the lights on for you ’til 2 a.m.
DECK THE WALLS
It all started in 2013 when we sat in our third-floor kitchen, waving to neighbors who couldn’t see us.
“Maybe we should put life-sized photos of ourselves in the windows to let people know we’re here,” Kate joked. “Then we wouldn’t feel like we’re spying on them.”
Within seconds, it morphed into something bigger.
“Wow – what if we took photos of the neighbors and put them in the windows, too? We could do it for the holidays!”
Another family tradition: Kate captures Dave’s best side as he lifts a photo into our windows.
And so, 15 months after moving to South Philadelphia, we found ourselves explaining to people we barely knew why we wanted to photograph them.
Fortunately, South Philadelphians have a sense of humor – even if they did roll their eyes after we left.
That first year, we signed up 26 neighbors, 4 dogs and a baby. The baby moved on, but – this being Passyunk Avenue – our dog population has grown….
Clockwise from top left: Lucia, Barney (twice), Amelie, Bella, Milli and Maizy show off some favorite humans.
And after worrying that it’d be a total bust (you mean we need to clean our windows — and light them?), we landed on the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer on Christmas Eve and a family tradition was born.
DON’T MISS THESE HOLIDAY STARS!
While you’re here, don’t miss these truly fabulous displays that make South Philadelphia the city’s hottest holiday neighborhood:
- 1600 block of South 13th Street, between Tasker & Morris (2 blocks from us)
Click here to read about the annual “Miracle on 13th Street”. (And, yes, they add new surprises each year!)
- 2700 block of Smedley Street, between 16th & 17 and Moyamensing & Oregon
The 2700 block of Smedley Street is always a traffic-stopper. Click here to read our past post about it and Colorado Street.
- 2700 block of Colorado Street, between 17th & 18 and Moyamensing & Oregon
Leave time to explore the whole area between Oregon, Moyamensing, 16th & 18th Streets, where you’ll literally find hundreds of homes and front windows festooned for the holidays, each grander than the last.
GREETINGS FROM KATE & DAVE
Although we’re not posting as frequently, we still have fun planned for the new year: Kate is wrapping up her research on that great 1960s South Philadelphia photo album before handing it over to Temple University’s Urban Archives….
“Oh, wait – isn’t that….?” Check out the 1960s album photos here on our website and read the stories behind them in this group of blog posts.
And we plan to unveil another improbable Philadelphia Dumpster Diver house tour this spring — this time featuring our own South Philly home….
We are definitely in a pre-home-tour improvement panic, plastering stars on our kitchen ceiling and constructing a valence of toy cars and postcards for the living room.
AND, YES, MOM WAS RIGHT
To quote Kate’s mom, “You two always did have more guts than brains…!”
Catherine Mellina – 1922-2018 (Miss you, mom!)
Happy holidays to all!
Kate & Dave