Saturday, February 16, 2008

Philadelphia Scenes

Although I now live in the Houston Texas area, I was born and raised in Philadelphia and lived in the city or its suburbs for 44 years. I was in Philadelphia in 2006 and 2007 visiting friends and relatives and I was able to get out and take pictures of what I still consider my home town. Luckily, I had excellent weather for each of my photo taking expeditions so the photos turned out great. I'll post more photos from time to time. I thought I'd start with some of the places I used to hang out at with my friends Dave and Brian when I was a teenager. If you click on a picture you'll get a larger view of it.

This first photo is the side wall of a store. We used to play wall ball (bouncing a pimple ball or pink rubber ball off the wall). We called the place "The Wall" as in "I'll meet you after school at The Wall".

This is the Holmesburg Branch of the Philadelphia Library. It is just down the street from the Wall. The steps were a great place for lounging. And we were all great readers as well so we were also acquainted with the insides. To the left of the building was an open place where we used to play touch football. Its fenced off now.

The inside of the building is completely different. I remember there being row after row of shelves in the center of the two rooms. Now most of the books are on shelves arranged along the outside walls. The center of the rooms is given over to audiovisual materials and computers (neither of which was even dreamed of in the 1960s.)

The library was built in 1911. This is some of the architectural detail. Its located above and on either side of the front door. I don't think they build public buildings with this sort of thing anymore.

This place used to be a bar called Michelos. Of course since it was a bar and we weren't 21, we didn't exactly hang out there. But my friend Dave worked there for awhile as a bus boy. His first job I think.

It looks entirely different. I'm not even sure its the same building. It appears to be a hang out for firemen.

There used to be a fast food place here called Jack in the Box. Jack in the Box is pretty popular in some parts of the country (like Texas) but I don't think they operate in Philadelphia any more. The original building was shaped like a cube and patterned to look like a toy jack in the box. It was the first fast food joint that we had easy access to (its about 2 blocks south of the library) and it was cheap, which we teenagers appreciated.


Dave said...

Do you remember the not-so politically correct other name for wall ball? We called it "chink" which had nothing to do with the Chinese but a lot to do with the errant directions the ball could take if it hit the spot where the wall met the pavement. Glory days, gentlemen.

Stan Denski said...

Our wall was on Revere Street, one block below the Boulevard, between Cottman and Guilford, the side wall of some kind of auto shop. We had a batter's box painted on it and we'd practice our pitches there. The game I recall playing was called "half ball" and we used one half of a "pimple ball" and a broomstick. The wall was right off of the parking lot for Linton's Restaurant at Cottman & the Boulevard which I think is long gone. One thing I very much recall was playing in the middle of Roosevelt Boulevard before they put the middle lanes in; it was a wide field where we played football. And I remember the moment when they completed the middle section, but right before they opened it ti traffic when we took our bikes and rode as fast as we could on them.

rmaffatato said...

My grandpop used to owe Michelo's... I was searching online to see if anything for his bar popped up and this did.