September 25, 2015 |
THE VERY FIRST words uttered by Pope Francis yesterday on his six-day U.S. journey that ends up here in Philadelphia were about immigration. That's not a surprise. The spiritual artist formerly known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio is himself the child of immigrants who fled from Italy, and the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini, for Argentina in the late 1920s, less than a decade before he was born. As pope, he's spoken eloquently of the plight of migrants - most recently from the fighting in Syria - and how human decency must be stronger than walls and fences.
December 17, 2014 |
IF ANYBODY in the Gallo or Barone families needed information about current events, sports, medicine or any number of other subjects of interest, they didn't go to the library or the computer. They asked Grace. "Ask Aunt Grace," nephews and nieces would say. "She'll know about this. " And very often she did know, because Aunt Grace was a news junkie who not only kept up with what was going on in the world and the city, but also checked out the latest advances in medicine, and knew who was doing what to whom on the basketball courts, ice rinks and football gridirons.
May 19, 2014 |
Michael DiPilla has a dream that's as big as the Colosseum and as alluring as the Mona Lisa: to build a national museum of Italian culture in Philadelphia. Not because the city has the largest number of Italians - that would be New York. But because Philadelphia and Italians go together like, well, pasta and gravy, and have since this country's beginnings. When George Washington's troops grew disheartened in the snows of Valley Forge, the general staged a production of Cato , a play about an Italian politician, to cheer them up. Ben Franklin taught himself to read Italian.
April 23, 2013
By Joseph V. Del Raso The recent public debate over whether to rename South Philadelphia's Italian Market has largely missed the point. There seems to be some confusion over what the name of the historic Ninth Street corridor of shops, restaurants, and curbside vendors means to Philadelphians who coined the moniker. Perhaps adding to the confusion is the fact that the Italians there traditionally have called it the Ninth Street Market. Granted, in recent decades, immigrant shopkeepers from countries other than Italy have found a home there, just as Italian immigrants have since the 1880s.
April 12, 2013
I THINK WE ARE heading in the right direction as far as not arresting people for small amounts of weed. But why does everything have to be about race? Yes, more white people smoke weed. But we tend to do it in the privacy of our own homes. Look around in the summer. In black neighborhoods you see blunt tobacco everywhere on the ground. In the parks, on people's own front steps, anywhere they feel like lighting up. They're doing it in full view of children (mostly their own) and even police.
April 3, 2013 |
IT'S TIME to rename the not-so-Italian "Italian Market. " Hear me out. I'm not trying to slaughter one of Philly's sacred cows here. But the name of the market just doesn't reflect the reality of the street. I mean, have you been on South 9th Street lately? Bachata music spilling out of Paco Records. Kids playing outside one of the street's numerous taquerias, switching from English to Spanish to Spanglish. Signs in all kinds of Asian languages on the window of Hai Tao Hair salon.
January 15, 2013 |
Frank E. LaVerghetta, 79, of Ardmore, a Philadelphia-raised electrical engineer and pioneer of early computer technology, died Thursday, Jan. 10, at Lankenau Hospital from complications of heart disease. Mr. LaVerghetta worked for 18 years for Philco and its successor, Philco-Ford Corp. In the 1950s with a group of engineers, he developed a transistorized computer, according to his brother-in-law, Robert Smargiassi. Mr. LaVerghetta was developing the computer as part of a bombing system to be used by the military, Smargiassi said.
December 13, 2012 |
Joseph Brigandi Sr. found more than one way to serve the people of Glassboro. The first was academic; the second, gastronomic. During 24 years on the Glassboro Board of Education, the last six as president, Mr. Brigandi was a force behind several nationally validated reading and writing programs in the 2,300-student district. He was pivotal in getting a grade school built. And he negotiated teachers' and administrators' contracts. But there was another post he held nearly twice as long - behind the counter at Joe's Sub Shop.
December 6, 2012 |
Francis A. Biunno, 87, formerly of Wallingford, a retired Common Pleas Court judge in Philadelphia, died of complications from dementia Friday, Nov. 30, at Riddle Village, a retirement community in Media. Before retiring in 1994, Judge Biunno presided over numerous criminal cases in his 20 years on the bench. Among the more heinous cases were those of a Fishtown man found guilty of setting fire to an abandoned rowhouse in which a firefighter died; a man who shot a high school student for her gold earrings; and the rape and stabbing of an 85-year-old woman.
October 8, 2012 |
MARY D. PUSHAW was so proud of her Italian heritage, she became fluent in the language, studied the culture, cooked the food and made numerous trips to Italy. She also was active in a number of organizations in the Philadelphia area devoted to Italian heritage and culture. Mary, a real-estate associate who was born Mary De Francesco to Italian immigrants, a patron of the arts and a gourmet cook, died suddenly on Tuesday. She was 81 and lived in Havertown. "Family defined a large part of Mary's life," her family said, "and [she]