He looked on fabulous monsters, the twin beards and huge beast-bodies of Assyrian Kings, the walls of Babylon.
-Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward Angel
All photos by Benn Bell
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
So, I decided to take a walk in the park, This is what I saw:
Because when you’re in Philly it’s almost like being in heaven…
- Go to South Street
- The Continental Martini Bar
- Mt. Airy
- Valley Green
- Chestnut Hill
- Silk City Diner
- The Italian Market
Home is the sailor home from the sea
Home is the hunter home from the hill
But for the sailor who fell from grace with the sea there is no home
He is destined to roam endlessly
And wherever he lays his head is where his home will be.
Genius Loves Company
Photo: Benn Bell Sculpture: Picasso Model: Ginger Bell
All Photos by Benn Bell
The Story of a Victorian Mansion
On one fine day in May I was strolling through one of old Louisville’s beautiful “walking courts” with my good friend and trusted side-kick Victoria Mansion. When much to our surprise we came upon a phenomenon down toward the end of the block for which neither of us was fully prepared. A Pink House! Now this wasn’t any ordinary sort of pink house it was an extra fancy with raisins sort of pink house. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t a house at all but a palace.
What caught our interest was a small gathering on the porch. Everyone had a drink in their hand and seemed to be having a good time. Come on in, they beckoned. Well it was just too hard to resist. Turns out it was an open house put on by a local real estate agency. The old Pink House was for sale!
Now let me tell you what they had to offer for refreshments: beer, whiskey, two kids of wine, cheese and crackers, and sushi. Well, we came right on in and helped ourselves. We were invited to explore the house which we did.
A little of the history of the place. The “Pink Palace”, circa 1896, features beautiful period architectural details and a massive turret. The entry foyer and elaborate and ornate staircase are impressive to see as you enter the front door. You will see quarter-sawn “Tiger Oak” floors and woodwork throughout and magnificent stained and leaded glass windows. The “turret” rooms are located on each level of the house are as you might imagine round and filled with light. Great for sitting or reading.
This glorious mansion began its history as a Gentleman’s Club and Casino for the male residents of St. James Court and Belgravia Court to relax and unwind. They enjoyed a good cigar, brandy, stimulating conversation and cards, as well as other past times including the services of ladies of the evening.
The Gentleman’s Club was in existence for only a few years before it was sold to the local chapter of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union who bought the mansion for their headquarters and promptly painted the red brick structure pink. Hence the “Pink Palace.”
It is said the Pink House is haunted by a friendly ghost named Aviary.
He only appears at times of danger to warn the residents…
You can see Aviary in the mirror above the fireplace.
It was on a very merry day in May…..
Once upon a time in a land faraway (New Jersey) I made a road trip with my then wife Robin to Niagara Falls. On the way we made a stop in Corning, New York for a business meeting which justified our trip.
We traveled in my new convertible Crossfire which could go from 0 to 100 in under 10 seconds. It came equipped with it’s own green frog whose name happened to be Kermit.
We stayed at the Embassy Suites Hotel on the Canadian side.
While walking around the downtown area of Niagara Falls we sort of wore ourselves out. Robin commented that if I was a few years younger she would make me pick her up and physically carry her back to the hotel.
I responded that if she was a few pounds lighter I would pick her up and carry her anyway. She laughed and I laughed and we both had a good laugh.
Next day we went out to the falls which were nothing less than spectacular.
This lovely creature is found in the Morikami Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach Florida
Would you rather be a fish?
It was my last best hope and expectation to meet up with a very special girl from Jersey in Wildwood. I was from Philly and she was from Harlem and our lives intersected in a small town in South Jersey. She was a sweet kid and wild as Friday night and we were supposed to meet for a weekend rendezvous in the seaside town of Wildwood. It was during the off season and there weren’t too many people around, which was how I liked it.
I holed up in a cheap hotel near the beach for a few days but she never showed. So I walked the streets and combed the beach a bit and I snapped a few pictures.