Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I Like Lola

I met Lola through a close encounter of the internet kind. In other words, it was a somewhat random meeting. Her web site came up on a search about Fishtown architecture, the trinity. Lola was obviously new to the neighborhood and successfully found a trinity to call home. There was some locale culture that was shared in my response to her post regarding the term "trinity." I also included a link to the Courts of Fishtown.
Our next encounter centered around my blog post  Fishtown: The Forgotten. This caught Lola's interest. She shared the mystery wedding photographs and a well written story on her blog. She well used the vantage point of viewing all the information that was shared  by others who also found the story interesting.
I would say that her article leaves the door wide open to question some time-line, clothing style and possible identity issues. Yes, the mystery continues.
So why do I like Lola? She's a very good and interesting writer. It's also nice to think that we helped inspire each other to write on a common interest. Hey, we're neighbors too.
I somehow missed her post Thrifting a Glimpse of 1960's New York City. This is a fun and detailed story about finding an old New York City souvenir ash tray and all the sights depicted on it. This is were the common interest comes in.
This inspired me to look at some of the old New York City souvenirs I found in flea markets. The pick of the litter is a small (3.5 inch) souvenir ash tray from the 1939 World's Fair.
The Trylon and Perisphere is one of the best know symbols of all the world fairs.
 A closer look below the picture of the Trylon reveals the copyright notice NYWF  or New York World's Fair.
(right click: open new window and then enlarge picture)
These souvenirs were made in Japan.
Here's something extra. A commemorative stamp from Ecuador.

The stamp also came from a flea market find. I once looked for items that were mark as "Occupied Japan."
That's another story for another time.
So here's to you Lola and close encounters of the internet kind.

photos by roman blazic

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Dusk Drive

Saturday night all alone in the words of a new song
Ever find that some nights are longer
Cruising on the River Drive the sun has left the evening sky
Silence crowds me as I wind through the busy streets.

It escapes me why I think of you
It escapes me why my words turn to you
It escapes me why I fell in love with you
How it comes out of the blue

All my thoughts turn back to me stirring clear from a fantasy
How surprising when there's really no place to go.
I seem to dwell in yesterday but changing plots to fill this day.
Chances are I'll turn and go home again.

It escapes me why I think of you
It escapes me why my words turn to you
It escapes me why I fell in love with you
How it comes out of the blue

Maybe I'm too blind to see. Look what love does to me.
Never losing when everything's lost 
There's something wrong I tell myself that leaves my mind confused with doubt
It's my heart. Hear it fall out of love.

It's my heart. Hear it falling out of love.

words and photo by roman blazic_all rights reserved

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Tribute

In Honor

Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Strange died in action in Afghanistan. He was 25 years old. His life was celebrated in a Mass at Holy Name Church. The Warrior Brotherhood Motorcycle Club lead the procession through the streets of Fishtown onward to the dedication of his mural in Port Richmond.


photos by roman blazic_all rights reserved

Fishtown,Take Another Look

Saint Laurentius Church

There are points of beauty that are unique to Fishtown. There are places that everyone knows.

all photos by roman blazic_all rights reserved

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Trolley Jolly


The city of Philadelphia once had many trolley routes that started to disappear by the late 1950's. The Route 8 trolley use to pass by the front of my home at 1517 E Susquehanna Ave and return on Norris St by the back of the house. I can remember how the workers seemed to work non-stop into the night tearing down the wires and cutting down the metal poles with their torches. It was a shocking and sad day for me as a kid. It wasn't too long after that the Route 5 trolley that ran on Frankford Ave was gone. I remember watching the trolley make its turn onto Master St as it headed to 2nd St while waiting to meet and walk home my aunt Kate.
Gone was the Route 3 that ran on Front St and turned onto Berks St as it headed into North Philly. Gone was Route 39 on Cumberland St, gone was Route 17 on Market St, Route 6 from Olney Terminal, Route 2 on 15th and 16th Sts. (center city to Girard ave), Route 56 on Erie/Torresdale, Route 60 on Allegheny Ave, Route 50 for 4th and 5th St and its one underground station by the Ben Franklin bridge , Route 53 on Wayne Ave, Route 43 to the Art Museum, Route 54 to Connie Mack Stadium and Route 23 from North to South for miles and miles. These are the routes that I rode when I was a kid.
Like Maurice Chevalier, ahh, "I Remember It Well" or most of it. Today only five trolley lines remain. Four are a part of the subway-surface trolley routes and Route 15 which runs, in part, through Fishtown on Girard Ave.

So where did these trolleys end up? Some were sold and refurbished by other cities, some were scraped and some just sat around awaiting their fate. I had an old 35mm camera some years ago which helped prompt me to find them. This was before the digital age.
I was able to find five locations or graveyards and photograph them. The last photos were from the year 2000 at the Luzerne Depot. This is were we start.

Wissahickon Ave near Hunting Park

Germantown Depot

South Philly near the old ECW Arena and Forman Mills

It is possible that some of these pictured trolley ghost have been refurbished and are in use in Philly or other cities. The key to proving this would be to match the assigned number found on the front, back and sides of the trolley. The only example that I can give starts from the fifth location which was on Front St near I-95.
#8534 to the right of the picture
#8534 at Island Rd Depot
On Woodland Ave during Trolley Fest
It could be more effective if it were a Presidential or streamliner. You got the point.
Getting ready to go
Be seeing you.
words and photographs by roman blazic_all rights reserved.