September 23-29, 2004
Home Away From Home
Documenting the growth of Philly's Latino Community along North Fifth Street.
Photo Essay By Michael T. Regan ... Page 1, 2
GAME ON: Every summer, eight softball teams battle on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights for bragging rights at Willard Street's Rivera Rec Center. Here, a shortstop for the Dominican Republic squad fields a high bouncer in a game against the Barranquitas, a team named for their hometown in Puerto Rico.
SECOND FRIDAY: CUNAD, a community-based folklore group that's been bringing music to the neighborhood for a decade, performs at Noches de Arte en El Barrio. Once a month, the community's art centers turn North Fifth into a veritable festival.
LESSONS LEARNED: A neighborhood art center located on North Fifth at Huntington, Taller Puertorriqueño's education building serves as a colorful community fixture. There, neighborhood children can take year-round classes in performance, creative writing, dance, music, theater, capoeira (Brazilian martial arts), ceramics and painting.
MORE THAN NEIGHBORS: In Latino neighborhoods, bloodlines run deep as extended families often live near each other. Here, the young Soto cousins pose outside their adjoining homes at Fifth and Indiana Sts.
WALK THIS WAY: Multicultural signs abound along the Fifth Street commercial corridor where signs in English and Spanish hang over unique sidewalks.
NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH: Local muralist Rafael Morales keeps a lookout from his front porch near Cumberland Street.
SIGNS OF PROGRESS: Los Garay, who has worked at Mr. D's Barber Shop for 10 years, says he's seen the neighborhood improve over the course of his time cutting hair near Fifth and Cambria.
LIGHT AND BLIGHT: A lone bicyclist cruises up North Fifth between Jefferson and Oxford Sts. as the late-afternoon sun reflects off a row of colorful houses abutting a vacant lot. While property values are low and blight rampant, locals take pride in the places they call home.
FAMILY AFFAIR: Jose Trujillo and his wife, Irma, moved here from Peru before their 4-year-old daughter, Rosa, and 3-year-old son, Angel, were born. Two years ago, they opened the family-operated Angel's Record Shop at 2918 N. Fifth.
STREET STYLE: A young couple takes a Sunday afternoon stroll.
TORCH BEARER: Fancy Gomez, 2, represents the future of a neighborhood where family reigns supreme.