Katie Kerl: Philly Reloaded-Life After Lockdown

Aronimink Swim Club. Drexel Hill, Pa. Photo: Katie Kerl, Copyright 2021

Text by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2021

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Philly Reloaded: Life After Lockdown

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After a year and two months, Philadelphia is about to lift all the restrictions put in place for COVID.  I get my second Moderna Shot June 1st. I honestly am having a hard time wrapping my head around all of it to be honest. It was a Rainy Memorial Day weekend in the city. What better way to spend it than to inform people of some upcoming events, and other local small business re-openings.

We all have setbacks and I am healing from the entire year. I have no idea what the fuck I am doing now, but its working for me…

My lips and Botox…….. I wake up every day and am so happy I did it. because adulting Is hard, but we really do not have to look old anymore. 

My idea of fun has changed so drastically, I think I am still discovering what new things make me happy.

Personally, I do not think I am ready to be in large crowds even after being vaccinated. While others slowly got to see more and more people, some never stopped what they were doing to begin with, and I am still getting used to being around 5-10 people again. 

Be mindful that not all your friends will be running out the door to large events. That has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with their own comfort level, and their experience this year. more importantly feeling freedom again.

The beginning of summer always leads me to the pool..

I belong to a quiet & a party pool (balance).

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Aronimink Swim Club

Address: 1180 Dermond Rd, Drexel hill Pa 19026

I am fortunate to belong to Aronimink Swim Club in Drexel Hill with my parents. A much more subdued non partying pool, but it is a perfect pool if you have children. There is a large main pool with a connected baby pool, diving board, and a slide. There is a smaller adult pool which is nothing but peaceful. Downstairs from the pool deck is basketball, tennis, volleyball, BBQ stations, food to order, and a playground for kids. My father’s family has been a member there for as long as I can remember. He coached the diving team when I was a kid, and I was a swimmer. Generational membership was a real thing there is the 1960s- 1990s. Families with their great grandchildren and everyone knew each other. It still has that vibe today. Sometimes I complain about things feeling like I am stuck in the 1950’s, but something about the pool never changing kind of reminds me of a scene from Dirty Dancing. That type of nostalgia I am completely ok with.

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Vesper Day Club

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Vesper Day Club

Address: 1031 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia Pa, 19123

Website: www.vesperdayclub.com

IG: @vesperdayclub

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Vesper Day Club

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Located in Northern Liberties and a convenient 10 minute walk from my house . I have been a member here for a few years now. When I had a regular 9-5 job, I could not take advantage of how peaceful it is there during the week. I want to go when there is not a large crowd. It really satisfied my need for me time, and quite a few frozen Pina Coladas. The slushie drinks are lethal in the sun. Be sure to have many and stay hydrated. I do not remember a time walking out of there without being a shade darker, and a smile on my face.

The staff there this year is nice. Another reason I like going places when it is not crowded. There is nothing worse than  a bad attitude.

The host Gia was informative about renting out the private cabanas with tv, seating, and your own private elevated pool. Perfect for birthdays and business events. There are two levels to the pool deck. If you want a quieter experience the upstairs lounges are nice as well. There is a DJ on the weekends and music playing around the pool daily. They also do networking and wellness events. Be sure to reserve your lounge, daybed, or cabana, and the time slot you wish to go on the website.

To receive 20% off your season membership please use my link on the website:

http://Vesperdayclub.refr.cc/katiek1

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Fold Theory Presents Michelle Sparks

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Fold Theory Presents: Michelle Sparks

Date: 6/26

Time: 10-2:30am

Music style: Techno

Artist info: https://www.michele-sparks.com/

Price: $20 presale/ $30 at the door

Tickets: https://ra.co/promoters/81983

Venue: Warehouse on Watts (WOW)

Address: 923 N. Watts St. Philadelphia, Pa 19123

Fold Theory and their large group of like-minded friends held a live stream fundraiser totaling $5k to benefit Warehouse on Watts. Seeing communities of people coming together to save a venue is huge. After losing so many restaurants/clubs in the city; it would be nice to see more of this.

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Noto NightClub

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NOTO Nightclub

Address: 1209 Vine street, Philadelphia, Pa 19107

For tickets and Vip Bottle Service contact:

Aleckrayzel@yahoo.com

Phone: 215.694.8584

Ig: AK Promotions

The opening weekend line up:

Friday 6/18 with Vicetone, Saturday 6/19 Dj Stevie J

Friday 6/25 Andrew Rayel, Saturday 6/26 Dj Spade

I have had some amazing nights here before the shutdown. One of my favorite nights at NOTO was Fisher; his parties never disappoint!

I highly suggest booking a table, so you have room to dance.

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Old City Tattoo

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Old City Tattoo

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Olde City Tattoo

Hours open 11am -7pm

Address: 44 s 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

P: 215.627.6271

IG: oldecitytattoo, jag13badluck

They will soon be open later Saturday and Sunday.

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 I may not be ready for giant crowds, but I was however ready to finish my Alice in Wonderland half sleeve. Jason Goldberg is the owner and has been tattooing my whimsical dream since 2017. I finish my half sleeve in June, after starting it right before the pandemic hit. The funny thing is; when I was at Vesper Day Club two of the people had been tattooed there!. Jason has been in business for 20+ years Check them out if you are looking for ink.

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Brittany Goldberg

Heavy Metal Hair Salon

1604 E. Passyunk Ave. Philadelphia Pa, 19148

215.467.1757

Hours: Mon- Fri: 10-6, Sat 9-6, Sun 10-5

Brittany Goldberg is married to Jason. They are quite the creative hustling couple. She opened her hair salon in the middle of the pandemic! I must give her credit for jumping through all the city’s hoops and restrictions. The rainbow of bold colors that come out of the salon are quite breathtaking. I walked out a perfect dark to light ombre pink. I had tried to get this color for a long time, and no one was able to do it in one shot, or as bold as Brittany did. I will be back there after the city re-opens fully.

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Heavy Metal Hair is also Having an event on 6/6

The Sick66 Jewelry Pop-Up with special guest Necronomicharm

Time: 6-8

Beer included

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Necronomicharm

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Independent Philly

Owner : David Miller

https://www.independentphilly.com

Independent Philly has been around for quite some time. They will be up and running again next week as well. I remember them running around the venues to get the perfect shots at all the shows. This was when you could go to three amazing events in one night in Philadelphia.

 I think we were fortunate enough to live though the height of the Philly nightlife scene. I was chatting with Dave about it when I asked for this info. We have seen three cycles of venues here over the years. In each the dynamics were a bit different, but it is cool to see the change in the city.

 The photographers working with him all take amazing photos. They have been recognized in one way or another for their creativity in capturing a moment.

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Dave Grohl. Foo Fighters. Photo: Dave Miller, Copyright 2021

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Dave has also created an NFT Interactive gallery storefront.

NFT Store: https://oncyber.io/nftmvp

Dave has taken some of his photos and put them onto the Ethereum blockchain network. Creating an NFT (non- fungible token) store front. Which simply means it cannot be replaced with something else. If more creatives got together to learn this forward-thinking way of dealing art; there may not be so many starving artists in the future.

NFT’s are new to me so I am going to leave this link with the basics:

https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/22310199/nft-ecplainer-what-is-blockchain-crypto-art-faq

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Pete Checchia Photography & Arts

Address: 733 n 2nd St., Philadelphia, Pa 10123

Website: www.petesart.com

Presents: Jorge Luis Vega’s Paintings

Explore a Personal Vision in Tropocalismo

Date: 6/4       Time: 6-8

Sponsored by: Stateside Vodka & The 700

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Revive Medical Aesthetics & Weight Loss

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I write about Revive every chance I get to support women run businesses.

Not to mention you leave there feeling and looking like a goddess. I have my Botox, and lip filler done there. Aubrey has yet to disappoint me, although the entire staff is the nicest! There are no stupid questions, no mean girl attitude, and all the information you would want to know about your service. That is absolutely something to celebrate

. Aubrey also balances being a working wife, mom, and has a cool little guy at home to raise. The more I write about the small businesses here you really get to know the people behind them. I think that it is a big factor people do not always investigate when starting a business. What is your mission, and what kind of vibe are you giving off to the community?  

Aubrey DelVescovo PA-C (Aesthetic Physician Associate)

P.484.402.4750.

Ig: preferred contact @the.aesthetic.pa  

Availability: Tues-Turs 11-6pm, Fri-11-3, Sat-10-2

Revive Med IG: @revivemedphilly

Website: www.revivemedphilly.com

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K Vaughn Scarves

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K Vaughn Scarves

Designer: Kevin Harris

www.kvaughnscarves.com

Ig: k.vaughn_scarves

I have been friends with Kevin for quite some time now. I am always floored at his creative energy, and ability to pick fabrics that look amazing on everyone. He took the time to hustle out in the pandemic and did pop-up shops, designed masks to go with his scarves, and coordinated a spring photoshoot in Rittenhouse Square for his line. The thing about Kevin that I love is; he is always changing and onto the next thing.

There is never a dull moment, and he is well respected in the Philadelphia arts community. The launch of his new website & Instagram events posted through the week. My grandmother told me no outfit was complete without a scarf. She was not incorrect .

Looking back, I know some amazing business owners that were able to maintain their shops. A few opened new ones in the middle of a pandemic & a shut down!!

Resilience in the face of anarchy is what we need to survive. People who live Alternative lifestyles that have different careers seem to be the ones winning.  Also, empathizing with people going through it this year. We seem to be much better with this drastic change. If you are used to life not being normal, why would this be any different?

We adapt, grow, soften with every tragedy, help others win, and support the people who have made an impact on your life.

 It is the effort we put into our lives that will direct us from here.

Good luck to all the businesses in the city about to fully open.

Happy Memorial Day!

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Katie Kerl: Summer of 2021

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Katie Kerl was raised in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. She is currently living  in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia. Katie has a background in Psychology from Drexel University. She is a manager in the commercial/residential design field . Katie can be reached  on Instagram @kerlupwithkate 

For collaboration e-mail: Kate.kerl32@gmail.com

To access additional article by Katie Kerl, click herehttps://tonywardstudio.com/blog/katie-kerl-thirty-seven-the-power-of-enlightenment/

 

Sharon Wang: Traveling Under the Pandemic

Photography and Text by Sharon Wang, Copyright 2021

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Traveling Under the Pandemic

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When we talk about traveling, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Beautiful scenery, exotic matters, fascinating culture, tasty food, and so much more. A year ago, the most unexpected and tough experience wiped over the entire human race — the COVID-19 pandemic. If the world before the pandemic was a constantly spinning wheel, one component stopped working one day, and the rest just crumbled down. 

In light of the pandemic, traveling became harder and harder. Quarantine is the default when traveling from one place to another. International travel is nearly impossible. Even though the traditional way of traveling is limited, journeys still happen around us. 

Usually during spring break, students will go outside of the school and have fun. This year, rather than us taking a trip to the zoo, the zoo traveled to us. Our fluffy friends comforted us with their cuteness, saving us from all the work, and healing our exhaustion quitely. 

Another thing that travels is the endearment and attachment between loved ones. Because of the restriction of travel, lovers, or family members are sometimes separated. Although for international students on campus, who have been in this foriegn country for over a year all on their own, their emotions still travel to their loved ones. Even with all the restrictions because of the pandemic, love travels through words on the postcards and with packages to the people on the other end. 

Time also travels. Last year, when the flowers were blooming, no one was here enjoying the blessed weather. Exactly a year later, the flowers are showing off their beauty again. Even though the world was shut down at one point, time continues, not caring about anything. After many years when I think back at college during the pandemic, I probably will not remember the problem sets that were driving me crazy, but I know I will clearly hear the husky, sensual voice of Lana Del Ray from my headphones. I look outside the French windows on the first floor of the library — the sun drizzles on the sprouts and buds; their reflections sneak into the room and hug me from behind. Everything is colored “warm” on this early spring afternoon. It is the time of the year where people wear clothes as if they were living in different seasons. It is a Saturday afternoon, one that everything is recovering. Time travels on its own, not caring anything about us. Time travels, and it heals everything. 

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Portrait of Sharon Wang by Abby Harris, Copyright 2021

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About The Author:  Sharon Wang is a sophomore enrolled at Haverford College, Haverford, Pa. To access additional articles by Sharon, Click here:  https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/love_is_a_decision/

Aliana Ho: Unity at the Initiative

Photography, Video and Text by Aliana Ho, Copyright 2021

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Unity at the Initiative

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Friday March 12th, 2021, we piled into my car and set for Vine Street. Through social media postings and online publications, we had heard about the Asian Arts Initiative’s exhibit, Unity at the Initiative. Dedicated to providing spaces and greater representation for queer and trans bodies of color, this partnering of the the two collectives involves multiple visual exhibits,pop-up indoor skate park made accessible through a Covid-safe, reservation-only system.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the brilliant Philly sun as we waited for someone to come and unlock the door. Stepping inside, the cool air graced our skins as our eyes adjusted to the lighting. We gazed in excitement at the skate ramps and rails, at the posters covering the walls and their beautiful artwork created by beautiful queer artists of color. After spending about an hour and a half skating, admiring the artwork, and even putting up some of the extra posters with the wheat paste method, we were told to go check out the visual installation on the backside of the building.

We collected our boards, extra posters to take home, and other belongings and wandered down the back alley, and came across the window display of the installation. Inside the window were countless posters, cans of spray paint, zines, tapestries, and an assorted clutter of other visual art pieces, illuminated by a soft yellow glow. The surrounding walls had beautiful murals, one titled “Color Me Home”, made in collaboration between the Asian Arts Initiative and the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. 

The main focus of the Asian Arts Initiative is to “create community through the power of art”. For UNITY, an Oakland, CA based organization, they focus on dismantling white supremacy by pushing for representation for queer, trans, and disabled, bodies of color in spaces like are typically dominated by white cis-men, like the skating community. In merging these two organizations and creating representative art and spaces for QTBIPOC, this installation provided a brilliant example of making changes within smaller communities to make impacts on a larger scale. Despite all the media attention these issues have been getting, especially since the shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, which happened just four days after we visited the show, does not mean that these issues did not exist before people started paying attention to them. This exhibit proves to show that conversations around accessibility, inclusion, and creating safe spaces for the most marginalized communities has and will continue to be important to creating lasting change. 

See more about the exhibit here!

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Song credits on video: Someone Else by Deb Never

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Portrait of Aliana Ho by Rachel Grand, Copyright 2021

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About The Author: Aliana Ho is an Anthropology major, Visual Studies & Health Studie Minor student at Haverford College, Haverford, Pa. Class of 2022. To see additional articles by Aliana, click here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/we-thrive/

 

Harvey Finkle: Faces of Courage

Harvey Finkle: Faces of Courage. Ten Years of Building Sanctuary
 

PRESS RELEASE:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” 
by Emma Lazarus, on the Statue of Liberty
 
On entering Sanctuary:  “Like my soul had returned to my body. 
That’s how my story in sanctuary began.” 
by Carmela Apolonia Hernandez, immigrant from Mexico
 
 
To All,
 
This timely publication, FACES OF COURAGE, highlighting the accomplishments of the New Sanctuary Movement at its 10th anniversary,  coincides with the best opportunity in decades for undocumented immigrants to argue their reasons for achieving asylum.
 
The  new guidelines, recently promulgated by the current administration, make asylum possible but not inevitable. And, at this moment, two families living in Sanctuary in Philadelphia have chosen to exit Sanctuary. New Sanctuary Movement’s effective support has given these two families the chance to give voice in their attempt to seek asylum.
 
In Solidarity,
Harvey Finkle, 
Photographer
 
 
*All royalties will benefit the New Sanctuary Movement
 
 
Please see the link below for more information and how to purchase the book in quality paperback or digital format.

Sandy Ward Design: The Plus Room

Sandy Ward: The Plus Room, Copyright 2021

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It’s Time to Take it Outside

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Tired of being inside? Even after going out for a walk or to exercise do you really want to go back inside? Enjoy outdoor eating and happy hour with friends and family who can visit you outside. Add a heater or fire pit in winter and a sun umbrella in summer. Add plants like holly and bamboo for year round greenery. Add ambiance like lanterns and wall art. Too much sun, create a cozy feel with a retractable awning – let’s play, let’s dream, let’s create your personal outdoor Plus Room!

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Tiny balcony to expansive yard, ideas you will love to loll in.

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Sandy Ward. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2021

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About The Designer:  Sandy Ward is a renowned interior designer and builder based in Philadelphia. To learn more about Sandy Ward Design, click here: https://sandywarddesign.com