Videos Under the Philadelphia El Tracks
That looks extraordinary. 35 years of surveillance video? What a fascinating archive that must be. A very nice piece.
Killer episode. Glad to see it after you told me about it. Very interesting stuff. Wouldn’t it be cool to make an art project out of his old surveillance tapes!?
Outstanding! I wanted to see more. Very well done David. The episodes are getting better and better!
Another fantastic episode- the fact that he has 35 years worth of old surveillance tapes is incredible- what is far more incredible is the fact that he watches them (to see his dead girlfriend no less). Powerful stuff.
i felt very fortunate that Richard took the time to talk to us. I didn’t actually get the sense that he routinely watched the tapes. when asked, it didn’t seem to ever occur to him to do anything with them. I think it is only recently that he decided that he wanted to see his girlfriend again. For you and I, his collection of tapes going back 35 years sounds like a wonder of buried treasure. for Richard, I suspect they are something altogether different. I don’t believe that the tapes actually held much sentimental value for him until the death of his girlfriend. they were merely the product of something very practical. What strikes me was how little change there seemed to be between the store now and the store 35 years ago, except for the fact that most of the people in the videos, except for Richard, are now dead. In fact without the people in the video, you probably would not even be able to tell that you are looking at video from 35 years ago and not the live feed and this is what Richard sees everyday. that alone I find to be quite poignant.
the whole thing is poignant, David. You treat this with great dignity and respect. The tone is just right. Congrats on another super episode.
Oh, David, that’s so sad. But the shop endures and the tapes endure and he endures. In the end it will only be the tapes–if someone hangs on to them. Wow!
Hey David. This piece did turn out great. Thanks again. It was a great experience going out on the shoot with you.
thank you, John! John is an archivist at Temple University’s Urban Archives. It was really the perfect episode for him to be a part of. his presence there really helped shape this episode.
I think this is my favorite yet.
David, in 1974 I went to Penn on the Frankford El. My freshman year, I commuted from Lawndale. I took the N bus from Rising Sun and Martins Mill Rd to Bridge and Pratt, then off at 34th St. The El was in an advanced state of disintegration and the trip took up to 2 hours or more. The weakened trestles forced the train to crawl at less than 10 MPH between some stations. Of course, I had taken the El a thousand times or more going downtown, to the Tower Theater and then the last time I regularly took it, before I started to drive on a regular basis and moved into a dorm at Penn. I had always observed the neighborhoods, the buildings and when the rebuilding/completion of I-95 took the last leg of the El into its new route and removed many familiar landmarks, I often thought about taking pictures. So much of the Industrial city that I knew is gone. I am glad you have the heart to go out and record a living history of the great people who helped build and then endured the decline of Philadelphia.
what kinda camera you use bro ?looks nicemy email’s firstname.lastname@example.org been thinkin of doing some vidsthink i’d like to use the same cam
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