Angela Vanni is a Philadelphia native and an owner of Giggles Gifts, a retail gift shop which specializes in candies, cards, seasonal decorations and other possible presents. Located at 7400 Frankford Ave., it was founded by the Veneziale family in 1983 and opened during an era when these types of businesses were a common sight in Mayfair. Now, the times have changed, […]
Andrea DiMola, a former math teacher, is now the director of the Southeast Philadelphia Collaborative (SEPC). DiMola was born and raised in South Jersey. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics at The College of William and Mary, but then moved to Philadelphia for grad school at the University of Pennsylvania. DiMola has her master’s in education. SEPC […]
Efrain Diaz had a bad addiction, a heroin addiction. “I lost my family. I lost my wife,” said the 58-year-old. Yet for the past 30 years, Diaz has been helping people overcome their addictions. This one-time addict is now the pastor of Alcance Victoria church. Pastor Diaz was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He […]
Once a neighborhood widely known for drugs, prostitution and poverty, the culture of Kensington is changing, thanks in large part to outreach programs such as The Last Stop, which houses and rehabilitates drug addicts. For Chris Marshall, he reached his last stop. “I ran to the only place that I knew was safe,” said Marshall. “The […]
For many, the battered streets beneath the El along Kensington Avenue serve as an eyesore, but for some, it is an outlet of expression.
Photographer Jeffrey Stockbridge, 31, has turned the littered sidewalks of Kensington into a narrative of the neighborhood’s struggle
with drugs and addiction through his blog Kensington Blues. By using photographs, audio recordings and journal entries, Stockbridge utilizes several media platforms to show the lives of those living along Kensington Avenue, better known to them as “the Ave.”
Stockbridge started Kensington Blues in 2008 after spending years photographing the interior of abandoned houses around Philadelphia. Through his work within blighted neighborhoods he became more familiar with those who occupied their streets and narrowed his focus to document their stories.
At 6 feet 5 inches, Tyrell Biggs presents an intimidating physical presence. However, due to his quiet demeanor, it is easy to overlook him. Biggs, 51, is soft-spoken. On most weekdays, he can be found quietly wandering around the premises of the Shepard Recreation Center, often with cups of McDonald’s coffee for his friends […]
[vimeo 52950894] When Hector Colon moved into Fairhill in 1986, it was a much different place from what it is today. According to Colon, the 1990s became a very bloody and crime-ridden time in Fairhill’s history. “There used to be a drug dealer on every corner, dealing dope, dealing needles,” he said. “People would get shot […]