Photo 101: Street

Our Day 2 assignment of the Photo 101 course was “Street & Establishing Shot”, which focuses on a wide-angle street scene.

I captured several interesting street scenes during a visit to Philadelphia in 2010 – Urban Landscape, Cheesesteaks, South Philly Musicians, and Chinatown. The photos were taken with my father’s point-and-shoot Canon PowerShot A400 camera. I might not have had an iPhone at that point.

Our Urban Landscape

This first photo suddenly jumps out at you when we encountered it during our drive through South Philadelphia. This wall mural called Our Urban Landscape was originally painted in 2006, and then restored in 2014 (after my photo). 

It is a colorful collage of neighborhood residents, landmarks, and foods, which is painted on the side of the Colligas Family Shop Rite at Front and Snyder. The large faces of the people stand out in the foreground with everything else in the background. See an updated photo on the web site for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.

Colorful Wall Mural

Cheesesteaks

Pat’s King of Steaks, self-proclaimed “inventor of cheesesteak”, has offered classic versions of Philly’s favorite sandwich since 1930 at 9th & Wharton Streets in Philadelphia (where Passyunk and Wharton meet). Because of their popularity and high volume, the line moves very quickly so you need to be prepared.

It’s located right opposite Geno’s Steaks, it’s long-time rival since 1966 with a constant battle 24 hours a day for the title of best cheesesteak. There’s an interesting article about Authentic Philly Cheesesteaks on the Philadelphia official visitor site, including tips on how to order, like “one whiz wit(h)”. And yes, Cheez Whiz is the most popular topping. Here the Pat’s Steaks sign is in the foreground, with the buildings in the background. In fact, that wall mural with a clock behind Pat’s is my next photo.

Pat's Steaks

South Philly Musicians

Across from the world-famous Pat’s King of Steaks is a towering tribute to seven of South Philly’s music and film stars. This wall mural has huge portraits of Bobby Rydell, Frankie Avalon, Chubby Checker, Fabian, Eddie Fisher, Al Martino, and DJ Jerry Blavat. It was created at this Ninth Street and Passyunk Avenue location in 2005, but now is chipped, faded, and crumbling, apparently damaged by roof leaks.

The Mural Arts Program had planned to paint it over for a “dignified retirement”, especially with a proposed four-story development for the lot next door that would block the mural. but the whitewashing plan was scrubbed so see if it could possibly be moved to another wall somewhere. Apparently donations by Frankie Avalon and Jerry Blavat for the restoration project may result in a revamped mural in the fall of 2016, possibly with the additional of James Darren and Charlie Gracie. Again the musicians (and clock) occupy the foreground with a street scene in the background.

South Philly Singers

Chinatown

As we were driving around, we ventured into Chinatown, which had lots of interesting street scenes. Here’s one view of the street with several restaurants (and signs) in the foreground and buildings as the background.

Chinatown in Philadelphia

That’s all for today. More photos to come.

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