Tuesday, April 15, 2014

St Laurentius Block Party

5k Medalist

St Laurentius held it's annual block-party fundraiser featuring the 5k run. The unhappy though occurred to me that this may be the last block-party.
The silence will be broken regarding the status, efforts and actions to save the church in a written article. Make sure to get both of your community newspapers. The story continues to unravel.
The back story is that the communities stream of information has changed. It appears that the open forum approach soon separated the wheat from the chaff in a less than constructive manner.
Information is being carefully released in a more controlled manner to avoid overstated discussion.

Recent released news:  An independent Historic Masonry Restoration company specializing in Church steeple, Tower & Spire Restoration,as well as several masonry repairs and techniques, inspected Saint Laurentius church on Saturday April 12th. They noted that it would be a serious undertaking and would take much money, determination and grit. They also noted that they believed that St Laurentius did not need to be closed until further notice and they did not see any stones on the current scaffolding.
(source https://www.facebook.com/savestlaurentius)
How this tips the scale remains to be seen. It's not just the reports and planning that carry the most weigh. It's the deadlines and the hope for much needed flexibility.
Saving this icon is worthy in spite of anything.   
Here's some of the pictures from Saturday.
(click picture for slideshow)

photos by roman blazic_all rights reserved

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fishtown's St Laurentius Chuch (Parafia św. Wawrzyńca)

May Soon Be Demolished

St Laurentius is an icon of Fishtown and a historic structure and testament of the Polish immigrants in Philadelphia. Its origins date back to a time when pious, but poor, immigrants sought a house of worship. With fewer than fifty devoted family followers and only US$31.50 in the treasury, the Polish people petitioned Archbishop of Philadelphia James F. Wood for a church. In 1882 a house of worship was established. St. Laurentius Church was named (in Latin) after St. Lawrence, a deacon who was martyred under the reign of Roman Emperor Valerian. *
Church services began in a modest basement facility at Berks and Memphis Streets. Children began attending school there in 1890, under the instruction of the Felician Sisters, a Polish order of nuns. *
The first Polish-speaking priest at St. Laurentius Church, Father Adalbert Malusecki, led efforts to build the church’s upper chapel. Architect Edwin Forrest Durang constructed a Gothic-style décor for the sanctuary, which is 114 feet long, 60 feet wide, with three naves. Master craftsmen from Mannheim, Germany were called upon to build an ornate wooden altar, pulpit, statues and elaborate cut-glass windows. Later, in 1912, under the stewardship of Father Gabriel Kraus, the sanctuary was embellished with oil paintings portraying the life of Christ and his Saints. *  Read more http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Laurentius_Parish,_Philadelphia

Last week, the archdiocese closed the church until further notice, citing its physical condition. Its walls have cracks and loose or missing stones and bricks. Last October, Licenses & Inspections deemed the structure "unsafe, in whole or in part" and in danger of collapse. Scaffolding and netting now surround the church as a precaution, but the cruel winter heaped more abuse on the 132-year-old building.
On March 19, L&I reiterated its October findings, giving the church 30 days to eliminate the dangerous conditions. The archdiocese must decide by April 18 whether to restore the building or take it down. The archdiocese has said that it would be expensive to fix. A contractor has provided repair estimates ranging from $1.2 million to $3.4 million, and a demolition estimate of $1 million.
However, says parishioner Tim Breslin, "We got our own estimates," from an engineer and contractor who preserve historic churches - "and we were told that repairs can be done for $691,000."          Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140406_Sacred_place_or_desecrated_space_.html#fXW9ShRsLOM8rlhw.99
Fishtown's strength has gained much community spirit to lose a significant neighborhood asset of architectural beauty, faith and togetherness. The school is also an integral part of the community that is welcoming new residents who seek quality education. It is the last Catholic school in the neighborhood and openly welcomes non-Catholic's and non-Christians. (St. Laurentius stands tall as the highest-rated school in the area by the independent greatphillyschools.org.)
 A group of parishioners is getting together to try to save beautiful, historic St. Laurentius Church.  They sincerely ask that all Fishtowners (and the world community) - not just the parishioners and Catholics- lend their voices and support to join them. (www.savestlaurentius.com & on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/savestlaurentius)
Contributions to: Friends of St Laurentius_3rd Federal Bank_2330 E. York Street_Philadelphia, PA 19125 and http://www.youcaring.com/other/save-st-laurentius-church/161320.
Don't let this happen

first and last photo by roman blazic_all rights reserved
the other two photos had no credit
ending paragraph was para-phrased from a.j. thomson community advocate

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Why I Take Photographs

And Wear Warm Clothing

Yes it's Spring. Yes it is April. Yes, I didn't forget February because of all of the snow. How could I? It gave me a opportunity to walk the streets of Fishtown around 3:00AM in the fresh untouched snow with my camera.
I wasn't the only one out that night. I met nine people and seven of them stopped to talk and have their picture taken. Most of these folks were returning home from their job. One guy had his bicycle. I guess he didn't see it coming.
My walk was in and about a five or six block radius that started at Palmer Cemetery. I back-tracked to Gaul Street. I'm actually a bit confused on my first steps by looking at the pictures. It seems that I went back and forth some how. You'll see the pictures.
My walk nearly lasted ninety minutes and I'm glad I did it. The silence of the snow was not interrupted except for a wisp of wind and those travelers who stop to talk.
This guy was a good sport and in a much needed hurry to get home. He's got a good picture.
There's the bicycle. These three just finished closing down Cedar Point

These two were walking along Memphis street.

Now to Palmer Park an oasis in the snow.

Up Orange Street
Over Miller
Down Emerick and Hello I'm Roman...
Heading back home on Belgrade Street. Thank goodness because it's getting worst.

A perfect ending.
Thank you Robert Frost.
photos by roman blazic_all rights reserved

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sex and Solar Power

April Fool
photo by roman blazic_all rights reserved

Fishtown Welcomes More World Neighbors

It's like a travelogue.

It's been awhile since I looked at what parts of the world have been visiting here. It's cool to be able to reach so many people by their own choice. I figure I must have a NSA account by now.
I should post my address and ask everyone to send me a postcard or letter. I still like seeing postage stamps from around the world. I certainly learned from my father how to talk to just about anyone. I taught this to my children too. World travel is beyond my means which makes me thankful to have the internet, this blog, as a means not to be a stranger to the world. I'm sure many of you understand this. Still you can post a comment or send an e-mail rblazic1@gmail.com to say hello. Pictures are welcome especially in the spirit of "Free Beer","Free Tea" or "Free Coffee" or your culture beverage of choice. Home town pictures and people and culture food dishes are great too.
So Fishtown Philadelphia Pennsylvania USA welcomes Aruba, Luxembourg, South Korea, Kuwait, Brazil, Tanzania, Czech Republic, Japan, Sweden, Nigeria, Coted' Ivoire, Brazil, Morocco, New Zealand and Taiwan.
There are now 54 countries that visit this blog. That's enough countries to start our own culture exchange or forum without censorship. Just good manners are needed.
photo by roman blazic_al rights reserved

Thursday, March 27, 2014

15 Years Married

17 Years Blissfully Divorced.

I can still get into trouble if I apply myself. I took a selfie to prove to myself that I actually exist and still look good.

It only took five or six shots. The pictures that I didn't use proved what I must look like most of the time.

Images. I want to photograph Deb. It's been several years. My new camera malfunctioned.

It was replaced. Deb and I have been entwined for 16 years. I did two photo exhibitions on just her. She stole the show each time. Erotica. She makes fresh brewed ice tea with lemons and oranges every day for me.
Got a new bathroom. We tend to leave the exhaust fan off. We're remarkable people.
Here's an article that just got published:  http://www.theartblog.org/2014/03/inclusionexclusion-a-map-inspired-show-at-yell-gallery/.
I made an appearance on Comcast cable ch66 "Artist Talk". It will be on every Tuesday in April at 5:00PM.
Hey! The Phillies are playing .500 ball.

words and pictures by roman blazic_all  rights reserved

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Getting Around Fishtown

We Can Be Creative

You never know what you'll see but believe it.

(click picture for slideshow)

photos by roman blazic_all rights reserved