Saturday, September 27, 2014

University City area/West Philly

Clark Park flea market and porch sales, and details.




Nature in action: Sorry, no pictures or video. I was walking through the University City neighborhoods, following the porch-sale signs, when I saw a tiny Chinese (?) couple each with what looked like junior-varsity mastiffs. Then the dogs went nuts, barking at something. Turned out this smartass cat, like a juiced Morris, was taunting them by following them. He had to have been a full male; I'll call him Tom. These mastiffs wanted to rip Tom apart but he got on some front steps, walking right up to their barking faces, arched his back, had his back hair standing on end, and hissed at them, showing off his fangs. "OK, motherf*ckers, come and get me." I think he knew they were on leashes.

But those little people could have lost control of those big dogs and Tom would have been history. I mean, sure, he has fangs and claws but it was two on one and the dogs were bigger than him. One dog who knew what he was doing could have grabbed Tom by the neck, bitten hard, and shaken hard. Bye, Tom.

Brave cat. But a dick. Cattitude plus testosterone. Bet he's the father of a multitude, many of whom are as cool as he is.


Our holy mother, the church: St. Francis de Sales, at 47th and Springfield.

Other houses of God.


Crusaders for Christ Church, "founded A.D. 1972." This one always reminds me of Carol Nickolai: "OK, what was it REALLY?" Fourth Presbyterian, I guess back when the neighborhood was respectable middle-class burghers.


St. Peter's Church of Christ (Disciples) was originally the Episcopal Church of the Atonement, literally across 47th Street from the Scottish-American Presbys. Victorian Gothic. The Episcopalians decamped many decades ago; it was long St. Peter's. So sorry to see such a Catholic building go to waste.


This used to be Christ Memorial Church, a Reformed Episcopal church, looking more cathedral-like than the Church of the Saviour, which is now "the Episcopal Cathedral." Limestone? One rainy night about 10 years ago the spire crashed onto 45th Street. Secret: very little of this is the church, which is/was off to the left. Went in one Sunday: it was trip back to pre-Tractarian Anglicanism! Tiny Communion table and the minister in his academic robe in the pulpit. Once upon a time, the priest would change from cassock and surplice at the gospel to his academic robe for the sermon, which is why St. Clement's of all places has a hymn after the gospel at High Mass.


This denomination was/is the Worldwide Church of God, formerly the Radio Church of God (sign used to say that 30 years ago). Only in America. The sect's founder and preacher: the late Herbert W. Armstrong ("that old guy on TV" in the '70s), evangelicals turned non-Christians (he denied the Trinity), now returned to Protestantism.


Ethiopian community festival. These Africans are one of the world's first Christian peoples, belonging to one of the Lesser Eastern Churches, resembling the Copts (I think the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church was once under the Coptic Pope) but a different rite. Same style of iconography, from ancient Egyptian funerary art. The Orthodox haven't quite decided if they're Orthodox. Estranged Catholics.

2 comments:

  1. You might be surprised about the cat. We had a old fixed tom named Johnny, who came to us declawed no less, who chased all the neighborhood dogs around, all of whom outweighed him by a factor at least five.

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  2. "But those little people could have lost control of those big dogs and Tom would have been history."

    When I was a small child, I saw a pair of enormous pit-bulls snap in half the metal chain holding them to a pole and rush over to tear apart a little fluffy lapdog in the parking lot. My father jumped in and wrestled one of them off, and a second bystander subdued the other, but the lapdog was in pretty rough shape. I doubt it survived very long after that, poor thing.

    "You might be surprised about the cat. We had a old fixed tom named Johnny, who came to us declawed no less, who chased all the neighborhood dogs around, all of whom outweighed him by a factor at least five."

    My grandfather's cat used to wander off for about 3 months every summer (they later learned that the greenskeepers at the nearby golf course were feeding him and letting him stay in the tool-shed), and every fall he came back with fresh battle scars. The neighborhood dogs were petrified of him.

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