resting in pieces

Mount Moriah Cemetery in the southwest corner of Philadelphia’s outskirts.

I had heard about the place being in a state of decay (though it is slowly being unearthed and restored), but it was still fascinating to see tombstones arising out of massive patches of Japanese Knotweed, Ailanthus, Mugwort, Princess Trees, you name it – it feels like every weed in Philly has carved out a place here, though the Trees-of-Heaven might be winning.

Weather having its way with larger structures.


There seem to be many acres that haven’t been touched in a while – and while they’re filled with graves, only the tallest are visible without clearing the jungle.





Approaching this particular clearing in the dense Ailanthus, I found myself asking, “are we still in Philly?”

a hidden cambodia

Back in the fall, Jenn and I heard some music in the distance when we were exploring an old barge near the edge of Bartram’s Gardens in Southwest Philadelphia. What at first I was guessing to be a traditional Indian wedding celebration (from hearing music echoing through the meadow) ended up being the Wat Khmer Palelai & Buddhist Monastery.


I’m game for anything fried, and these plantains were fantastic, and super inexpensive.


The national flag of Cambodia, showing Angkor Wat.


never a wet blanket

Happy New Year, Philadelphia. Here are a few moments from this past fall.

The legendary FDR skate park under I-95 in South Philly.

Porter in Fishtown.

Linvilla Orchards in Media, PA.

Boiling some fresh hops (from none other than Matt Hops) in a modified keg, in Tommy & Lauren’s backyard, as part of a huge batch of hard cider.

Sarah and Chris during a street fair on South Street.


if all goes well, i’d do it again

Red Bull wisely understands that people never get tired of watching other people fly off of platforms and into a large bodies of water. The Red Bull Flugtug was on the Camden side of the Delaware River yesterday, and there was a huge turnout (the fantastic weather certainly helped). We didn’t witness much in the way of flying, but everyone loves a good belly-flop.

This malfunction unfortunately sent her to the hospital.

Spring Garden, Philadelphia– the looming industrial area that inspired David Lynch’s Eraserhead (1977).

Made it out to the beach one last time this summer: Atlantic City, Labor Day weekend.

Careful not to “buy the farm” out there.

never enough bicycles

About a month ago, the annual Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby took over Kensington, in North Philly. Shane and Echo (not pictured) also happened to be visiting over the same weekend, and got to check it out as well.

Tall bikes are welcome, but some people go all-out when it comes to absurd bikes.

Naturally, it wouldn’t be Kensington without some sort of mobile meth lab.

I mistakenly thought this girl had a tattoo of wheat or some type of grass, but in fact they’re southern pines, she told me, referencing growing up in the south. One of my favorite tattoos I’ve seen in Philly.

I’m only realizing now that the rabbit on the right is carrying a chainsaw.

Last but not least, don’t forget about the solid food trucks & stands at all outdoor Philly events. Photo includes: hotdog with macaroni & cheese on top (The Dapper Dog), iced tea with fresh mint (x2), asparagus salad, and a falafel sandwich (A Full Plate). We were sitting in an overgrown lot that had just been mowed for the event.

not everyone prefers what you prefer

Fishtown, Philadelphia, PA.

• When I visit Philadelphia, one thing that catches my eye is the signage. Whether they are hand-painted, left to decay, or sometimes even creepy (3 things that are certainly not mutually exclusive), there are a lot of signs.

Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia. It’s difficult to begin to analyze this “King of Jeans” sign. For scale, those are normal, individual bricks on the wall — this is massive.

A place for ribs.

Northern Liberties, Philadelphia.

In keeping with the theme, there’s signage on vehicles as well.

• Coincidentally, exactly two years ago, I happened to also show a handful of Philadelphia shots (here).

• Happy birthday to Jenn, just the other day. Thanks to everyone who made it out to her surprise party in the Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Jacob, 2002.

Glen, 2003.

illadelph and barnyard raiding

Wild animals in the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

North of Market Street, on the east side of Philadelphia.

Inside the Philadelphia art museum.  One of the security guards kept pointing out all of the hidden nudity among several pieces in the museum (not the vases here, but elsewhere), and somehow it didn’t come off as extra creepy.  One was almost an homage to River’s Edge (1986).

Window display in a boutique.

Jenn and I stayed at a bed and breakfast down in Philadelphia for her birthday this past weekend.  Despite it being “dumb cold,” we still had a good time.  Some interesting architecture, some good food (a few great markets that put the Essex Street Market to shame), some history, some blue collar dive bars, a large fixed gear community, and certainly schizophrenic & homeless representation.

This was at the end of an amazing strip called Boathouse Row in Fairmount Park.  The road felt like quintessential Ivy League life, moreso than actual Ivy League campuses.  Lots of crew boats stored for the winter.

The previous weekend, I participated in a 48-hr design intervention project with a landscape architect (Hans, on the left) and two architects (Mr. Moses in the middle, Tommy on the right), which began with taking a train down to Allentown, New Jersey to raid some abandoned barns (about three of them) in the middle of the night for wood and metal to salvage as building materials.  I’ve posted more information on the project here (plus there’s a full process photo gallery): canal nest colony. In the end, the project seemed to be a great success, and certainly a learning experience.  It generated a little press, which is always cool as well.

It was a little difficult to capture the scale of these super large structures in complete darkness, though my flash seems to have been working fine.  This was just the loft area in a massive barn.  There were bird droppings everywhere, but we were able to salvage a lot of oak planks (and a little pine) from this area.

Hans and Moses test the buoyancy of oversized tractor tires in a pond in the middle of a thicket at about 3AM.  The tires failed the test.

More abandoned structures in the countryside.  It rained on and off during the night, and remained super foggy in the fields.