Category Archives: Environment

Katie Kerl: Philadelphia Foodgasim



Photography and Text by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2018


Philadelphia Foodgasim


Two things I love about Philadelphia are the amazing restaurants and historic architecture. I’ve lived in the city for quite some time now. Being a major foodie I had to let you in on a few of my favorites. Some on the top 50 list , and others that you’d have to search off the beaten path to find . Being that I love cooking it’s a great hobby for inspiration. 

Philly is known for its boutique dining experiences. I usually categorize my favorites by section of the city. Some of the major names in food that stick out in my mind are:

Michael Solomnov. He is a pioneer of Israel’s most authentic food in Philadelphia. Zahav located in Society Hill,  is on the essential 38 restaurants list in the country . Their tasting menu is my personal favorite, and the food goes on for days. One bite better than the next, and leaves you with the happiest of foodgasms. If that were to be my last meal I’d be more than ok with it. We worked with him at Mr. Bar Stool for the seating in the restaurant. Often booked on the weekends, you can slide into the bar mid week and get full service . His other venues include Goldie, Federal donuts, Percy Street Barbecue, Abe Fisher,and Dizengoff  . You cannot choose a bad one. His cookbook is on display in all of his restaurants. It is a must have for the at home Chef. His back story has to be one of my favorites as well .A recovered addict, an immigrant to this country, turned restaurant mogul. That’s an amazing feat. 

That takes me to Stephen Starr. Everyone knows his name and conglomerate of restaurants he owns in the city. Parc Rittenhouse is the best people watching spot in my opinion, and a brunch staple in Philadelphia. The outside seating overlooking Rittenhouse Park is just gorgeous. The service is great, and a fresh bread basket that will make you forget you just gave up carbs.

Then there is the amazing female duo Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran. They own Lolita, Jamonera, Barbuzzo, Bud & Marilyn’s, and Little Nonna’s, two boutiques (Open House and Verde) which I get a lot of my gifts at. Of them all Lolita is my favorite. I remember when they used to be a BYO tequila place with fresh mixers before they got their liquor license. After their remodel the food is just as amazing and the cocktails always keep me coming back. 

Ardiente is a new spot on my list. Just a few blocks from my work on second street. I had the pleasure of working with Michael Sciore for some of the seating. He also owns Philly’s Latin radio station known as La Mega. He brought a touch of Miami flavor to Philly with the all white interior seating against gorgeous stained glass, amazing food/ drinks, peep shows in the bathrooms, and the pastry chef from the old Le Bec Fin. Be sure to try the stamp collector cocktail when you go it’s my favorite yet lethal!

Pine Fish situated in the Gayborhood has a bohemian Moroccan vibe on the inside to die for. They do an amazing happy hour 7 days a week that is hard to compete with. It has a neighborhood clientele , and quite a few regulars that will absolutely humor you while snacking on 1$ oysters and sipping champagne.  

In old city, Tuna Bar recently opened in 2018. Owner Ken Sze and his wife are the nicest people. The lunch specials are great, beautiful cocktails, and tasting menu. They won the Best of restaurant design award in Philly Magazine. Mr. Bar Stool also did the seating for Ken. The live edge sushi bar is my favorite part of the interior. It is a very sexy welcoming atmosphere. Kens wife also owns the Geisha House on 3rd street. If you are in need a perfect weekend outfit that is the place to go.

I have lived in Queen Village for over a year and always overlooked going into the Morning Glory Diner. After seeing the giant mural above it, I had to check it out. They are a cash only diner and have the best pancakes, and I’m not really a pancake person. The portions are huge totally shareable and the staff is so nice! Be sure to try the homemade lemonade.

Barcelona Bar on Passyunk square is the place to go if you love red sangria and tapas. It sits a little further down from the fountain, but well worth the walk. The outside has one of my favorite quotes “I can resist anything but temptation “. – Oscar Wild. 

Now, Fond and Noord also sit on Passyunk Square. The owners also together own the breakfast spot The Dutch. All three drool worthy. Fond is my second favorite tasting menu restaurant in the city . Fantastic complex cocktails, friendly staff , and diverse food depending on how adventurous you are . Noord is a BYOB to die for overlooking the fountain. I could sit there all afternoon in the summer. 

Devon Seafood has the most amazing happy hour and again overlooks Rittenhouse Park. Sit sipping your wine people watching. Try the mini lobster rolls, mussels , and lobster Mac and cheese . Another secret, Sunday’s they do half price bottles of wine 100$ and under, perfect spot for Sunday funday adventures. 

I’m also very into Asian soups and two of my favorite spots are DanDan Rittenhouse which has an amazing spicy beef noodle soup. At Cheu Rittenhouse I’ve yet to pick a bad item on the menu. They also have a cool vibe with graffiti walls and welcoming staff. Nam Phoung is my go to pho spot on Washington Avenue. Ask for the #159 you will thank me later. 

If you’re taking a trip to Philly in the near future I hope a few of these have sparked your interest. To me food is love. Leaving a restaurant feeling full from food that was beautifully prepared creates lasting memories, and obvious reasons to go back.

Thank you to all the hard working innovative chefs in this city. 

Now where to try next? 


About The AuthorKatie Kerl. Born 1984. Raised in Drexel Hill,  Pennsylvania. Attended Drexel University for Behavioral  Psychology .Occupation : commercial/ residential  design Philadelphia resident since 2011 . Hobbies include  : Foodie, whiskey drinker,  fitness , cooking  , tattoos , & house music lover . Instagram:  @beatz_eatz_n_freaks .To access additional articles by Katie Kerl, click here:


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A.H. Scott: Sour Moneybags’ Dumbasssss Song


A.H. Scott: Sour Moneybags’ Dumbasssss Song


Poetry by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2018


Sour Moneybags’ Dumbasssss Song


Tweets don’t fail me now!

Tweets don’t fail me now!

Tweets don’t fail me now!

On the run

Ain’t no pun

Feelin’ the strain on my feet, as under the sun my old body is beat

Hellhounds on my trail

I’m being persecuted beyond the pale

Gotta run from “The Man”

Cuz’ I’m a renegade without no plan or power

Oh, who am I kiddin’, I’m “The Man” livin’ in the Ivory Tower

They call me Prez,

But, behind my back they call me Sauer

Mueller’s on my case

But, no crimes are mine

Not even a trace

Gotta stick it to “The Man”

Cuz’ I’m a poor l’il lamb

Just ignore the fact that I’m outta’ the crib with my pappy’s platinum rib

Gold home plate is ever so great

But, I’m a lonely man in the peoples’ house all alone

Yet, there is that certain something that melts my heart and keeps me from turning to stone

As long as I have that aqua chirper, I sure as hell ain’t alone

Tweets don’t fail me now!

Tweets don’t fail me now!

Gavel’s gonna’ get me, if I stand still

Nancy P. lookin’ at me and is goin’ in for the kill

Gotta put on a mask of strength

Even though I’m on the short end of length

Dames! Dames! Ruining my game

RBG is the Energizer Bunny and fit as a fiddle

She’s older than me, but I’m a tantrum toddler that dribbles

My iron grip is startin’ to slip with every pushback of democracy’s nibble

But, I’m new to this job, ya’ gotta remember that fact

Two years running and I still ain’t got no tact

Gotta’ keep on the run

Ya’ know I ain’t no nun

Ya’ know I ain’t no monk

Damn, gotta keep on runnin’, to keep out of this funk

But, Mueller’s crampin’ my style

Now, Dems ain’t lettin’ me have no more fun

Guard rails be damned, I’m drivin’ this mutha of a country off the razor’s edge

After all, I’m running this show with my orange glow

Yet, nobody realizes that hazy hue is actually my halo

Promises, promises, I screech again and again

Gonna make a run for the border and get me some cashin’

Makin’ them Mexicans pay for my wall is my key voting blocks’ passion

Sour Moneybags spouting gibberish of worker bees praising him for shutdown

While, fed employees’ cash flow is running down

Tweets don’t fail me now!

Tweets don’t fail me now!

My dumbass song won’t do me wrong

This is my song, am I wrong? Am I wrong?

Cuz’ it got me where I am all along

Gazing out my window, I see the little bluebird

As it flies by, I run outside and give it a wave

Little bluebird comes closer towards me

It must be quite brave

A fat turd from that bird lands in my eye

Screaming, I cry, “Why? Why? Why?”

Tweet is my friend, again and again

Yet, sweet bird of blue is a myth that is ever so true

When a tweet comes from the soul which is sour, call of the barbarian is diminished in power

Tweet defeat

He CAN be beat

Dems don’t fail us now!


About The Author: A.H. Scott is a poet based in New York City and frequent contributor to Tony Ward Studio. To read additional articles by A. H. Scott, go here:


Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Friends of TWS, History, News, Politics, Popular Culture, Women

Diary: Theresa. A Visit to Alcatraz


Theresa: A Visit to Alcatraz. 1980


 Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2019


Diary: Theresa. A Visit to Alcatraz. 1980


I first laid eyes on Theresa as she excited a cable car on a side street next to the Fairmount Hotel where I was staying in San Francisco on assignment in 1980.  She walked directly towards me as I was standing on the sidewalk next to the hotel waiting for the concierge to have my car delivered from the garage on my way to a photo shoot.   I said hello and she said hello back with a flirtatious smile.  Low and behold she was an employee of the hotel as she motioned to open a side door I noticed for employees only . As she opened her purse to get her pass key,  I commented that I was a guest at the hotel and mentioned how satisfied I was with the accommodations.  She said she would pass the compliment on to management.  We exchanged phone numbers.  Later that day we met for drinks at Donatello, her favorite Italian restaurant just off of Union Square. 


Theresa at Donatello. Union Square. San Francisco, 1980.

Theresa at Donatello. Union Square. San Francisco, 1980.


One thing quickly led to the next and so began a brief but romantic relationship. One of the highlights of our time together was a trip we took to Alcatraz Island where I captured this very beautiful moment with this Mexican beauty!


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Bob Shell: Bondage?

Bob Shell: Letters From Prison #31


Letters by Bob Shell, Copyright 2019


Photographs by Tony Ward, Copyright 2019




Why are “straight” people so freaked out over bondage? That’s a real puzzle to me. Here in the enlightened Virginia Department of Corrections (VDOC), all bondage photos/videos are classified as “violent.”. That would come as a surprise to the thousands of couples who employ bondage as part of their sex play, and buy their bondage gear and sex toys at the local shopping mall or on line. In England the big Sainsbury’s supermarket chain just announced that they will begin selling a selection of sex toys.

Sure, restraining an unwilling person is a violent act, but when both people, Dom and Sub (or Top and Bottom in today’s terminology), are voluntary participants, where’s the violence? Only in the eye of the beholder. And who else’s business is it, anyway?

I can attest to the fact that there was no violence in the 100+ bondage photos I shot for my bondage book. The only violence was violent fits of laughter that the models and I sometimes fell victim to. We laughed until we cried.

Not long ago I had an issue of Vogue confiscated as contraband. You heard right, Vogue, the 126 year old fashion and culture magazine. Why? Bondage. One of the advertisements showed a full page photo of two young women playfully wrapping stockings around one another. That’s bondage? Yep, in the eyes of the VDOC it is. Even though the mailroom censors approved the magazine and gave it to me, I still got a “possession of contraband” charge for having it!

At the same time in the buildup to Halloween this year several cable channels that we get showed movies in which involuntary bondage, usually of nubile females, played a part. I don’t even have a TV, but just passing by the big pod TV put these images before me. Talk about violence! The old “damsel in distress,” (Little Nell tied to a railroad track by Snidely Whiplash, waiting for Dudley Doright to come to the rescue), still attracts viewers, and if she’s mostly naked, so much the better. I’ve got news for the VDOC, I’ve never tied Little Nell, or anyone else, to a railroad track! And seeing two women playfully wrapping stockings around each other only brings a chuckle from me. It never even occurred to me that anyone could look at that playful image and see violent bondage


If people want to tie each other up, and there’s no force or coercion, whose business is it besides theirs? Even if for sex? So fucking what?!!

For some time the Fifty Shades of Grey books were on the VDOC’s disapproved publications list, but after a while and many complaints, the Publication Review Committee (PRC) changed that and now our libraries can have them. Out of curiosity I read all three books. They’re awful! How they became best sellers is beyond me. But, awful as they are, they should never have been disapproved for anything other than bad writing and saccharine plotting!

Even having something like a publication review committee strikes me as very un-American. You know, the old First Amendment and all that. The current disapproved publications list is many pages long in small print! And they pay people to be on the PRC!

My first bondage photography was with a beautiful young woman who modeled as Elkie Cooper. She’d been referred to me by a photographer friend in DC, and had just turned 18. She says I was her first real photographer. I photographed her for years. I loved her sense of humor; Her website said, “Elkie Cooper, The Other White Meat,” parodying the pork industry’s slogan. I hadn’t even thought about bondage until she sent me some bondage photos of her that another photographer had made. So we tried a bondage session, and got some good images. The only photos in my bondage book made on film are the photos of her. She also appears in the Rotovision book Erotic Photography, to which I contributed several images. A little later that year I booked Maria Shadoes for a shoot, not realizing she was heavily into bondage. She brought her friend Heather along, and I made a bunch of light bondage photos of the two of them. I wanted some of them in my bondage book, but the publisher didn’t like them and they were cut. Maybe someday I’ll do Volume Two and include them.

Then along came Marion and changed everything. I’d never before had a romantic relationship with a model. Of course there is always a measure of sexual tension between photographer and model, and that, in my experience, energizes the session and the resulting images. Some of the best nude photographs ever made are those of Charis Wilson that Edward Weston made, and, of course, they were lovers off camera. Weston’s best are full of erotic tension, even when they’re just bell peppers! I like to think that a similar tension inhabits my best photographs of Marion, bondage or not. To me, and I believe her previous boyfriends, Marion was sexual energy personified. She was like a runaway generator, shooting sparks to anyone nearby, male or female. She couldn’t have turned this off, even if she tried. Only one model I’ve worked with even came close, Tina Marie. Put her together with Marion, as we did, and the energy took over the photo shoot and comes through in those images.

I feel like I was at the peak of my creativity and craft in those bondage and fetish photographs I was making from 2002 until 2007. Then the state shut me down. Maybe one day I will be able to pick up where I left off. I’ve still got a lot of ideas for new images. Just set me free and I’ll go to it!


About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Shell was recently moved from Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia to River North Correctional Center 329 Dellbrook Lane Independence, VA 24348.  Mr. Shell continues to claim his innocence. He is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click here:


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Bob Shell: The Evolution of Photography


Louise Daguerre



Bob Shell: Letters From Prison #30


Letters by Bob Shell, Copyright 2018




When and where was photography invented? The standard story you will find in books on photographic history is that a Frenchman named Daguerre first fixed an image on a silver plated metal surface. The negative/positive process that became the standard for so many years is credited to William Henry Fox Talbott, an eccentric Englishman. Those are the standard stories.

Long before photography artists were using the camera obscura (literally dark room), a device which projected an image onto a surface. Someone had observed that in a darkened room with a hole in the wall an upside down image of the world outside was projected onto the wall opposite the hole. Fitting a lens into the hole allowed focusing of the image and made the image sharper. Fixing that image became an obsession of many, but none succeeded. Artists at first just tacked a sheet of paper to the wall and drew the scene. Later, the lens was mounted on the front of a portable wooden box with the glass plate at the other end. The artist would put his paper against the glass and observe and draw the image seen through the paper. At some point it was discovered that a mirror could be mounted in the box at a 45 degree angle to the lens axis and the glass plate moved to the top of the box. This made the image upright, but left to right reversed. This worked great outdoors so long as the artist was in the shade or had an assistant holding an umbrella (literally little shadow). Some brilliant person invented a leather or wood hood that surrounded the glass and blocked off excess light. I’m not sure at what point it occurred to someone to mount the box on a tripod, but the whole apparatus was then nicely portable. Thus, by the time of Leonardo most of the elements of a photographic camera already existed. The camera obscura revolutionized perspective in art and we begin to see paintings like those of Jan Vermeer that look remarkably like photographs. Although there’s no proof, I’d put money on Vermeer’s use of the camera obscura. Before photography, the camera obscura also became a popular attraction. There is a beautifully preserved Victorian one at Hove/Brighton on the Sussex coast. It is a round building with a big lens on top that projects a wonderful panorama of the surrounding. landscape onto a big bowl-shaped screen that you walk around and look down into. If you’re in the area, it is well worth seeing.

Who solved the problem of capturing the projected image chemically rather than artistically? In Russia you will be told that photography is a Russian invention. In Brazil you will hear that it is a Brazilian invention. And in China … And so on. maybe a lot of folks got the idea. I’ve seen pictures of ancient Chinese plates that have images on them looking for all the world like photographs, so maybe photography is much older than we’re taught in class. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone found photographic images in an Egyptian tomb. There’s an old saying: There’s nothing new under the sun.


About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Shell was recently moved from Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia to River North Correctional Center 329 Dellbrook Lane Independence, VA 24348.  Mr. Shell continues to claim his innocence. He is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click here:


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