Urban-Archives

This shot was taken on Halloween, October 31, 1977. There appears to be a headless grocery shopper strolling along Wayne Avenue in Germantown.


The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin staff would often manipulate photographs prior to publishing them in the newspaper. The above photograph was featured in an article on Philadelphia houses. A woman blocked their shot, so the Bulletin painted the background over her head and cropped the image just above her shoulders.

External image

The published image.

From the George D. McDowell Philadelphia Evening Bulletin Photograph collection.

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Civil rights activist Yuri Kochiyama has died at the age of 93. Yuri, a Japanese American woman, was actually the person cradling Malcolm X’s head when he was assassinated.

Yuri was among the first legendary Asian American activists I had heard of. I had also known of Grace Lee Boggs whose lifetime of activism (she’s now 98) originated in the civil rights movement. And only recently had I heard of Fred Ho, the recently passed ‘jazz’ musician and activist.

In Toronto, I am inspired by activists like my now passed away professor Roxana Ng who did various work connected to immigrant women; the labour activist Winnie Ng; and her now passed away partner Eugene Yao who was one of the founders of Urbane Cyclist Worker Co-op. These are all people I had grown up never knowing of, and who really challenge the stereotype of “model minority” and/or politically apathetic Asians.

When I was recently in Brooklyn, I really wanted to see this exhibition but it unfortunately had already passed. Serve the People: The Asian American Movement in New York. http://culturestrike.net/taking-back-chinatown

‘When I grow up I want to be just like Yuri Kochiyama’

“The Mechanical man. George German, of the Lobster Club, was the human robot in the annual Mummers’ Parade today. He demonstrated the mechanical man of the future.”

1936, Jan. 1.

From the George D. McDowell Philadelphia Evening Bulletin Photograph collection:

http://digital.library.temple.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p15037coll3/id/7523

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Temperatures around Philadelphia have plummeted in the last few days creating a feeling that winter has almost instantaneously arrived. One recurring visual representation of the sudden transition is a frozen Swann Memorial Fountain, looking like it forgot to check the weather report over the last few days. The Swann Fountain freeze has been well documented, popping up in numerous Facebook, Instagram and news feeds around the region. Newsworks even published a feature explaining the freeze here. We dug through the George D. McDowell, Philadelphia Evening Bulletin Photographs to provide some ‘pre-social media’ views of freezes past. Stay warm/dry and enjoy!

Top to bottom:

“Unseasonable cold weather provided unusual view of fountain on Logan Circle before the water was turned off for winter.” November 21, 1976.
http://digital.library.temple.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15037coll3/id/14822/rec/1

Fountain at Logan Circle completely frozen. 1937.
http://digital.library.temple.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15037coll3/id/14824/rec/1

“Another Striking View of the Fountain, also looking toward City Hall, the high tower of which looms against a wintry sky. Philadelphia probably has no more striking ice-picture than its frozen Parkway fountain.” December 29, 1925.
http://digital.library.temple.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15037coll3/id/14823/rec/1

From the George D. McDowell Philadelphia Evening Bulletin Photograph collection, Temple University.

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Retroperspectives

Some photos from my archive… sometimes it’s strange to click through the past, looking at nearly forgotten pictures. Just fragments from years ago, but when I look at those I still remember the moment when pressing the shutter - as if it was yesterday.

Ricoh KR-10x | Ilford XP2 Super 400 & desaturated Fuji Superia negative scans