Jungmin Ryoo: The Journey

photo of city of Philadelphia from Art Museum looking east

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Posted on March 11, 2015 by Jungmin Ryoo

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My dearest Sixsmith,

I dreamt of you last night. I could not get in the mood to do anything all day long. So I went for a drive to the city. The city where we were together. 

The sun imbues the skies as man imbues the roads. Wish we could see this rapture together again. Back then we were so alive.

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photo of philadelphia skyline at dusk

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Our hearts were driven by extremes. In the heat of the summer, we were blind with dreams and tight with fears. Every passing minute permeated our lives like the sound of music and perfected it. Back then we were so young.

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silhouette of man on train with Philadelphia skyline in background

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All then suddenly became unclear. My life was filled with an endless dull of ordinariness and I became scared of uncertainty. I have died every night being lost in old memories. 

But I know that it is stupid to hold on to the pieces of the past while waiting for the future. When I look back at the journey we rode, I soon realize that all is going to be well.  All will be so perfectly well.

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silhouette of man on train with Philadelphia skyline in background

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Philadelphia skyline

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silhouette of man on train with Philadelphia skyline in background

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Now I lay the past to rest and live today. I miss you. Can’t wait to meet you again.

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Photography and Text by Jungmin Ryoo, Copyright 2015

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About the Author: Jungmin Ryoo graduated with a degree in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014, and  is currently a research assistant at XLab: Experience Design and Technology Lab,  University of California, Berkely.

Karuna Krishna: Julius Scissor Hair Salon

Portrait of Julius Scissor hair stylist philadelphia

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Posted on March 10, 2015 by Karuna Krishna

On Locust Street in Philadelphia, you see passersby stare curiously at a window with arresting sculptures and a sign, Julius Scissor Hair Salon. Past these Dali meets Duchamp assemblages, Julius is on display, shaping hair.

Julius is a master hair artist. His station is a theater, with spotlights on the chair, where he performs. “Everyone is beautiful,” he says, “I want to bring it out.” An old Philadelphia tradition, he opened the salon in 1980. Not unlike the barbershops of old, it is a place to meet an eclectic, urban cast of Center City residents.

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Julius Scissor at his salon on Locust street Philadelphia

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“Everything changes when you hear that your daughter has cancer,” says Julius, talking about his life. His daughter battled ovarian cancer for eight years, and lost. Her photo looks back at him from the mirror. His wife, Marsha, ran the salon but is at home now, with cancer. Julius handles the Salon and still manages to care for Marsha at home. “The only way to live life,” he says, “is to live it.” He reflects, “I choose to be happy. I live life each day.”

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KARUNA-4-BLOG

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Portrait of Julius Scissor at his salon on Locust street in Philadelphia by Karuna Krishna copyright 2015

A self-taught artist, Julius’s art and sculpture frequently incorporate hair and scissors — literally. “Scissors on faces is an obsession,” he confesses. “The Scissor Man can withstand anything,” he says, striking a warrior pose with the mask he painted yesterday. Best known for his 1980’s Ronald Regan sculpture, the same whimsical, quirky humor animates the dizzying amount of art displayed in the salon.

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Portrait of Julius Scissor at his salon on Locust street in Philadelphia by Karuna Krishna copyright 2015

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Julius transmutes tragedy to laughter and his work to art. Much of his art is ephemeral. During the shoot, he cuts my hair and as I look at myself, I see the way I feel.

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Portrait of Julius Scissor at his salon on Locust street in Philadelphia by Karuna Krishna copyright 2015

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Photography and Text by Karuna Krishna, Copyright 2015

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About the Author: Karuna Krishna is the director of Creative Services, Marketing Communications at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Racquel Ward: 10 Advantages of Dating Older Men

couple kissing in movie theater
Title: Movie Kiss

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Posted on February 12, 2015, by Racquel Ward

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10 Advantages of Dating Older Men

Young women often get tired of the let down that comes from dating men their age. There are too many fleeting, career-minded gents who are simply looking to have a little fun until they are ready to have a genuine relationship. Although society generally accepts the younger woman/older man duo, these relationships can be taboo. But what do we do when men our age are constantly letting us down? If you’re tired of waiting around for a “good guy,” you might want to explore another age group: the older man.

Here are 10 things you can expect from these ripe gents:

1. He knows who he is

You will know who he is and what he wants right from the get go.

He knows what he likes and doesn’t like, but he is open minded enough to go with the flow. His ease and confidence will be a breath of fresh air.

2. He doesn’t mind the bush

Goodbye shaving, waxing and plucking. Older men grew up in a different generation when the bush was sexy. He’ll go down on you without question. You’ll feel more like a “natural woman” which will be liberating and free. He appreciates your girl parts just the way they are.

3. He is financially secure

Older men are financially secure. Even if they are not rich, they know where there money is, and this won’t be an issue. You won’t have to worry about contributing to the bill even on the 5th date. If you choose to, it’s because YOU CHOOSE TO out of fairness and equality, not because his courtship grace period is over.

4. You will never hear, “I have to focus on my career right now.”

The older man is settled. He has made a career in this field or the other. He is free to focus on you, his interests and desires and, eventually, your mutual plans. How liberating would it be to be with a man who can focus on the relationship irrespective of whatever else is going on in his life?

5. If you are indecisive, he’ll choose (and it’ll be great)

Older men have been around the block. They know great places to eat, drink and socialize. No more walking around the East Village for an hour trying to figure out where to sit down for a good conversation.

6. Sex will be like making love each time

No more questioning whether or not he’ll hold your hand or introduce you to his friends. Sex will be intimate. He will kiss you, look you in the eyes when he’s inside you and tell you how beautiful you are. He will know how to touch you so that you enjoy sex just as much as he does. He will appreciate each time he gets to sleep with you because he looks at it as an experience, not an adventure.

7. He appreciates your depth

Older men genuinely enjoy good conversation. It is not an arbitrary dating ritual. He wants to hear about your career, ideas and adventures. It turns him on just as much as your physical appearance. So speak up on these dates!

8. He appreciates your youth

Confident older men want to keep in the now. They want to surround themselves with vibrant people because it keeps them youthful. When people approach middle age, it is easy to coast through life and be comfortable with what they’ve built for themselves. If a man is dating a younger woman, chances are he is looking to maintain his youth. You keep them feeling alive and inspired which, in return, makes you feel deeply desired.

9. He knows how to handle his family

It can be tricky introducing your significant other to the family for the first time especially if you’ve only done it once or twice before. Older men are well aware of their family’s dynamics, and he knows how to navigate through landmines and awkwardness when a new spouse is introduced. You won’t feel the pressure because he’ll be like a magician, handling the tough nuances without you even knowing he’s doing it.

10. He will show you places and things you never thought existed

With age comes experience. This is no secret. If you have an adventurous spirit and you’re curious about the world, let him show you the ropes. You may find yourself in a country you didn’t even know was on the map or in a workman’s shop that makes customary doorknobs for country homes. The older man doesn’t just know the streets of your city; he knows the back alleys as well. Let him show you the world.

If you find yourself uninspired by the oh-so familiar dating dynamics of your age group, try an older gent. This may not be the guy you see yourself marrying and having kids with, but it’ll sure be a low-risk adventure that you’ll never forget.

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About The Author: Racquel Ward is a writer, actress and educator based in New York City.

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Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2015

Transformation: New Americans in Philadelphia

33 people of Burma
Photography by Harvey Finle, Copyright 2015.

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Posted on January 21, 2015, by Roberta Fallon (TheArtBlog.org)

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A Photographic Exhibition by Harvey Finkle at the main branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia Until 2/15/15 in Conjunction with “One Book, One Phildelphia.

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An historic, exciting transformation is occurring in this unique neighborhood, South Philadelphia, the original destiny for immigrants arriving in this city during the last decades of the 19th century and early 20th century. This diminishing population of descendents of European immigrants from over a century ago are being replaced today by immigrants from a variety of other countries, but bringing the same energy, values and hopes brought by their predecessors a century ago. As a Jewish community that some once estimated at a quarter million evaporated and the Italian community slowly shrinks, they are being replaced by Indochinese from Cambodian, Vietnam and Laos; by Indonesians of both Christian and Muslim faiths; by Mexicans and most recently by refugees from Nepal and Burma.

 

South Philadelphia is a microcosm of what is occurring in old neighborhoods of many large cities throughout the country. New immigrants and refugees are revitalizing urban neighborhoods with their energy and commitment that emulate what prior immigrants brought. Homes, shops and restaurants, once vacant and deteriorating are being regenerated; schools are being refilled; even religious facilities are being restored or constructed to reflect the varied belief systems of these new arrivals. Simply put, they work hard, want to live in safety, raise their families, educate their children and worship without fear.

 

This is a unique historic moment. The issues of immigration are once more at the forefront of a national discussion. Immigration will continue to be a natural occurrence throughout a globalizing world, imposing the need for major political and policy decisions. Social movements have already blossomed. An organized, informed grass roots effort can influence and enable beneficial decisions. This work can offer some small contribution to the already existing local and national discussion.

 

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