Monthly Archives: October 2007

Obaid and his hot dog stand

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Obaid saw me coming and hopped out of his lunch truck to ask for a picture. At first, he was giving me the straight-faced, arms-crossed tough guy look. Eventually, I coerced him back in to his tin can confinement and as he began polishing the pseudo-chrome he became himself again…monkey cackle and all.

Bummin' around the city

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Today has been a slow-news-day so far. I just walked around Center City looking for a good shot to make “Photo of the Day” in tomorrow’s Daily News. It’s a beautiful Fall day and I have to say that even though it was “slow,” I still enjoyed myself. I met some interesting people (as always) and even met John Paul for coffee (sorry I spilled boiling hot coffee on your crotch, John! How’s THAT for a coffee break?)

Today in Love Park, there was a Soul Line Dancing instructor picking passersby off their beaten path and teaching them new steps to hip hop songs. It was refreshing to see.

Teacher fined for housing 16 dogs and 46 cats

This just in…

Her House

I went out to Mayfair (NE Philly) this afternoon to cover what sounded like just another crazy cat lady living in squalor. This time, there were some interesting twists…

Jerri Diane Sueck is a teacher at Franklin Learning Center as well as the author of Letters My Mother Never Read, an autobiographical account of how she was orphaned at age 8.

I arrived at the 6000 block of Horrocks Street and although there was no visible house

petrified

number, I knew which one was in question. The odor was unbearable and the din of a thousand dog barks could be heard from across the street.

I approached some neighbors about three houses down. Five women were sitting on a stoop, swatting away flies and gagging at the stench. Terry, camera-shy but loquacious, had just moved in this Sunday and was the one who took action on her new neighbor. They informed me (which hascovered in their own feces all been officially confirmed by the police) that there was about 5 inches of fecal matter caked on the basement floor.

Gagging

That’s disgusting, I think. But wait, it gets worse. The police removed a woman from the basement, immediately assessed her as a “302,” which is code for insane, and took her to the hospital, just as filthy as the animals they were removing. We are not sure what the relationship is between these two women – but some interesting facts were shared with me by a police officer before I left the scene: Jerri is a part-time Psychiatric Technician at Norristown State Hospital.

Inspecting the damage

We watched as dog after dog was brought out in to the bright sunlight and fresh air, all soaking wet, trembling, and covered in their own feces.

hyper

Our shirts pulled over our noses, we looked on as the PSPCA kept working. I overheard a police officer telling a fellow comrade that Jerri was out front, and he was going to “take her in.” Trying to look inconspicuous, I bolted down the alley. After I slipped between two animal control trucks, I had one second to get the shot.

I popped out from behind the truck and released the shutter. “NO PICTURES!” the woman in the passenger seat shouted at me. Thanks, Lady, for making my picture awesome.

Theeeere she is…

Phillies make it to the playoffs

It’s difficult to blog about current events when they’re happening if you also hold the duty of being there and getting the shots. I’m sure some people out there can be a photojournalist and a blogger at the same time (but I hope not), however, my approach to this blog has been to cover the events for the Daily News, then blog about it a day or two later. As a friend of mine used to say, thems the breaks.

So on Sunday, September 30th, around 4pm, I was staked out in my glamorous ’96 Dodge Neon with no hubcaps on Broad and Synder waiting for the explosion. The Phillies had won the game against the Nationals, qualifying them for the Playoffs. That’s as far as my sports knowledge goes.

All at once, horns began blaring, people started screaming, towels and flags were waved, joints were toked, beer was guzzled, firecrackers were lit, and “Fuck the Mets!” chants were well, chanted. All outside. All for the next few hours.

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This woman (pictured above) kept bouncing around as if the sidewalk was a trampoline and shouting “OOO! I got the goosie-bumps!” followed by the hoarse cackle of a twenty-year smoker.

I’m not sure what it’s like in other cities, but in Philly, sports fans seem to forget their mortality when their team wins. People were hanging out of cars, driving with only their legs in the vehicles, or running into traffic to high-five people whizzing by in cars. They also forget about those pesky little laws like no drinking in the streets, no weed smoking in the streets, no lighting firecrackers in the streets…

carload of fans

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But there were also fans out there that were cute and just purely caught up in the commotion.

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There are more, and very interesting, photos from this day to come. I’m in the newsroom now and away from my external hardrive. Check back later.

Puerto Rican Day Parade

On Sunday I briefly attended the Puerto Rican Day Parade on the Ben Franklin Parkway before heading out to shoot a wine festival in South Philly and then the inevitable Phillies maddness if they won (which they did…more on that to come)

It was the first PRD Parade I had ever been to and I immediately regretted that fact once I arrived. It was so fun and vibrant and I think I’ll be making it a point to go back next year.

This photo was “Photo of the Day” on Monday October 1st for the Daily News.

Puerto Rican Day Parade

Bono Day

bono1.jpgbono3.jpgbono2.jpgBono’s shoesBono is in the buildingWaiting for his returnAnd he’s back

A few hours before accepting his Liberty Medal Award at the National Constitution Center, which I also covered, Bono stopped by the Philadelphia Daily News and Inquirer building for a private interview with none other that Brian Tierney, the chief executive of Philadelphia Media Holdings. No match is too strange or republican for Bono. He’s just here to spread the good word. And thank god it’s not about Jesus.