Let’s Meet Up on Saturday, March 7th at Champagne’s in Germantown!

Hey everyone,

I know two mothers who have been dligently fundraising to send their daughters to South Africa as part of a school sponsored exchange program.  I haven’t seen anyone work as hard as they have been working to make this happen.

On March 7th, they will be hosting a fish fry at Champagne’s in Germantown, Philadelphia to raise money to go toward the proceeds.  Since I will be back in Philly by then, I wanted to give you a few reasons why you should come out on the 7th!

1. I’m ready for some face-to-face interaction!

I love our online community, and I love the fact that we can all connect via this blog.  Here’s the thing: I’ve never met some of you in person, and I think that community really happens when we put faces to names. Let’s come together and connect!

2. We will be supporting a Germantown establishment.

Champagne’s has been here for years and I wonder how many of you have gone there for a bite to eat or a drink. Let’s come out in full force to support our local businesses.

3. We will be supporting two Northwest Philly mothers and their daughters who contribute so much to our community!

4. Our actions show love and support for two of our children – and that’s important. They need to know that we care for and want the very best for them.

5. AND, we can all reconnect and chat about the great time I had in Chi-Town over the past 6 weeks!

So… will you join me? I hope so!

There’s not much time, so get your tickets for this event via Eventbrite, because advance tickets sales are always so helpful.  But if you must keep us in suspense, you can buy your ticket at the door.  Champagne’s is located at 21 East Chelten Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144.

And you can also make a donation or get more information about the efforts to send Ishara and Brooke to South Africa next month through their crowdfunding site at http://gofundme.com/saexchange

Thanks so much!

Peace and blessings,




I was going to tell the backstory about how I came across this, and how I felt about seeing graffiti and how to me it’s a symptom of a bigger and deeper problem in my community, but I realized that it doesn’t even matter, because there are forces bigger than me and those responsible who don’t really care what I (or they) think.

Peace and blessings,


Countdown to Germantown Day 4-6-2013-0197


One was serious, and the other one was not.  Isn’t that how it always goes?


PHOTO: Questionable, March 13, 2013.

I snapped this photo of an ad plastered on one of the many beauty supply businesses along Chelten Avenue.

I guess there must have been some disagreement regarding the “captioning” of the image.

You decide…. LOL

parking day 9-21-2012-0031

RECAP: PARK(ing) Day Acknowledgments.

Left to right: Quincy Stallworth, Bert Tate, Lina Alliss Baker, Jay Knivez, Lenny Belasco and Bethlehem Roberson (seated). Taken September 21, 2012 in Germantown, Philadelphia.

So, it’s been a week since PARK(ing) Day in Germantown and I wanted to wait until the dust settled a bit before I updated those of you who follow this humble blog on how it went.  Three words:  It.Was.Amazing! 

It was a hot day.  God knows the sun was blazing down on us.  It had to be about 85 degrees.  I was running around, sweating and trying to stay hydrated and focused.  We were jammed into a parking space on one of the busiest streets in Germantown.  There was art, music, laughter, positive energy and good vibes.  The food truck Birds of Paradise  joined us later that day with delectable healthy eats (thank you Mia).  1115 West Chelten Avenue in Germantown was the place to be Friday, September 21st and I don’t think I would have wanted to be anywhere else that day.

Thank you to everyone who participated, volunteered, and/or came by to show their support.  A big thank you goes out to those who gave of their time, input, positive energy, and talents.  It was great to see so many familiar faces and meet so many new people.

To the artists, poets, musicians, spoken word artists, singers/songwriters and creatives who were showcased:  Renny Molenaar, John Phillips, Jaz, Quincy Stallworth (thanks for coming through with the amp and the microphone!), DeLantz, Lenny Belasco, Dan Kennedy, Osiris Wildfire, AJ Flow and WordFlow, Bethlehem Roberson, Victoria Huggins Peurifoy “The Axiom”, Jewel Lloyd, Terri Lyons, Jay Knivez, Lina “Alliss” Baker, Karen Smith, Bert Tate, KennyArtNSoul, and those whose names I can’t recall right now due to advancing age (sorry about that), THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for rocking the mic and bringing your unique brands of creativity to this space.  Thank you for acknowledging the International Day of Peace and sharing your ideas and thoughts on how we can bring peace and non-violence to the space in which we live and/or work… We have to figure out a way to do this again real soon.

SN:  If this isn’t evidence that Germantown is a supportive and generous community of and for artists, then I don’t know what to say to you.  Perhaps someone else can make it more clear.

Thank you to all of the local media outlets that covered the event, including Newsworks, G-Town Radio, and PhiladelphiaNeighborhoods (can’t wait to see the video footage), for shining the spotlight on Germantown on what turned out to be a great day for Germantown.

Thank you to the Germantown Artist Roundtable (in particular Paula Paul, Susan Mangan, Allison Weiss, Dennis Barnebey, Andrea Powell, Terre Stidem and Lisa Hopkins for coming through in your own special ways) and the Germantown United CDC (especially Andy Trackman and Megan Fitzpatrick for your leadership) for entrusting me with organizing this parking space and for providing so much support and encouragement.  It was a great opportunity and put a lot of my skills to the test in new ways.  Also, thank you to the owners of Sun’s Discount Center for putting up with us for nearly 8 hours…

Congrats to all of the other Germantown partners who participated in PARK(ing) Day, including Historic Germantown, and the Streets Department’s Unlitter Us campaign.  A united Germantown is a strong Germantown and can help to make a stronger Philadelphia.

If you have a moment, check out these links:

Here’s my photo set from the day.

Here’s what NEWSWORKS had to say (thanks Alaina Mabaso)

Northwest Soapbox – G-Town Radio: “Man on the Street” event coverage

If I forgot to acknowledge something or someone, like I said, charge it to my advancing age.  You know I got love for you.

Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you soon.

Peace and blessings,


parking day poster 9-18-2012

THIS FRIDAY!!!! Germantown PARK(ing) Day Pop-Up Street Gallery & Artist Showcase!!

When is it?  It’s Friday, September 21, 2012 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm!

(Psssttttt…that’s tomorrow!)

115 West Chelten Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144 in Germantown

(click the above link for map)

Click the image to access the Facebook invite!

Check out these links about the event:

About PARK(ing) Day Philly

 press – Newsworks

more press – PlanPhilly

An interview I did on Tuesday, September 18th along with Andy Trackman of Germantown United CDC on G-Town Radio with Morning Feed host Ed Feldman

Photographic gallery of performers

It’s going to be an awesome day…music, poetry, photography, art with a social message…

Plus we’re celebrating the fact that Friday is also the International Day of Peace…. we’re going to use art and creativity to share messages of peace, non-violence and alternative methods of conflict resolution with the community

I want to send a big thank you to the co-hosts:  Germantown Artist Roundtable and the Germantown United CDC for the opportunity to bring this transformational event to the community.

I would also like to thank all of the artists and performers who will be giving their time and talents to help transform this space.

Finally, I would like to thank each and every one of you who follows my blog for being so patient with me during the last month or so. I haven’t had a chance to post up my daily photos, and I know that I owe you.  I’ll be honest with you…I miss being out on the streets doing my thing, so it’s my hope and wish to get back to shooting in October after I’ve had a chance to catch my breath.

Didn’t I tell you that that September was going to be busy!!!


Bowed but Not Broken.

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Bowed But Not Broken.

Bowed but Not Broken.

Bowed but Not Broken. Taken July 31, 2012 in Philadelphia, PA.

Hack with the Mustache.

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Hack with the Mustache.

Hack with the Mustache.

Hack with the Mustache. Taken July 31, 2012 in Philadelphia, PA.

Single File Line.

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Single File Line.

Single File Line.

Single File Line. Taken July 31, 2012 in Philadelphia, PA.

Leading the Charge.

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Leading The Charge.

Leading the Charge.

Leading the Charge. Taken July 26 2012 in Philadelphia, PA

All Business.  Taken June 28 2012 in Philadelphia, PA

PHOTO OF THE DAY: All Business.

All Business.

All Business. Taken June 28, 2012 in Philadelphia, PA.

I’ve seen this man around Germantown and Mt. Airy since I began shooting on the streets in Philadelphia.

I was totally surprised when he asked me to take his photo one afternoon. I was sitting outside the library, talking on the phone with my bestie and cleaning off my camera lens.

Talk about awkward.

But I was gonna get the shot.  He stood up and struck this pose.

Now, let me set the stage from you.

Before all of this transpired, I walked up on him begging for cigarettes from passersby and shouting random stuff to anyone who walked by.

So the irony of this image was not lost on me.  He looks like a man who has it all together.  But in reality, he probably has a lot of issues.

But that’s okay. It’s not my job to diagnose or assess. My job is to capture life in Germantown, exactly how it is. You be the judge.

Meet Charles part 1.

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Meet Charles.

Meet Charles part 2.

Meet Charles. Taken June 26 2012 in Philadelphia, PA.

After coming across Charlie the Mack Daddy earlier that day, Charles was a breath of fresh air.

He actually stopped me on Chelten Avenue as I was making my way back to Greene Street.  I was carrying my camera, so he asked me if I was a photographer.  I told him yes, and he then asked me if I could take his photo.

Of course, I replied.

But before I fired off any shots, I wanted to talk to him, see where his head was.

Fortunately for me, he wasn’t trying to spit game.  He had pleasant conversation for me, and we talked for 15-20 minutes before he had to go back to his job with a local charter school in the neighborhood.

We talked about Germantown, the state of the black community, the mindset of black men, his faith (he’s Muslim), relationships, etc.  Our conversation ran the gamut of topics that are typically discussed on the street.

It’s always nice when people in my hood invite me to take their photos because they become a part of what is shaping up to be a pretty compelling body of work.

Taken June 22, 2012 in Philadelphia, PA.

ANNOUNCEMENT: I’m in NewsWorks!

Taken June 22, 2012 in Philadelphia, PA.

“There are a lot of people who aren’t at the table to talk about how the community is changing. I want to give them a voice.” — Tieshka Smith, photographer and new Germantown resident

The above quote by yours truly is in a Newsworks article by Alaina Mabaso.  You can click the quote, which links to the article in its entirety.

The article covers my presentation of a series of Germantown-specific images from my Portraits of Philadelphia photo series to the Germantown Artist Roundtable group on Thursday, June 21, 2012.  Many of these images that were shared with the group, I’ve shared here on this blog.  As many of you know, I’ve been working on this project since I’ve moved here to Philadelphia in January 2011.

I am very grateful for the writeup.


Meet Artist Terry Artis part 1

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Meet the Artist Terry Artis (Seriously.)

Taken May 16 2012 in Philadelphia, PA.

I encountered Terry Artis and his paintings a few weeks ago as I was leaving Northwest Regional Library one afternoon. I was going to walk to the H/XH bus stop at Chelten and Greene to catch the bus to my dear friends’ home, but I kinda got distracted by the scene out of the corner of my right eye.

There were paintings… nine of them in all…. all of them mystical, colorful, spiritual paintings… taped to the side of the cinderblock wall.

What?? Who does that? (I had to remind myself that I was in Philadelphia)


There was a man, leaning against against the wall, with a cane and a bicycle. We made eye contact and I walked over.

I introduced myself and we began a conversation about his work. He told me that he had been creating art (drawing, primarily; painting a little later on) since he was a young boy.

He was Philly-born and raised…but get this!!! When I told him I was from Chicago, he laughed and said that he had spent many summers as a boy in Maywood, Illinois!! Had I heard of Maywood, he asked?? Yes!! Of course, I’ve heard of Maywood!

So there was a connection!


Well, I asked him if I could take his photo, that I was a photographer working on a street portraiture project, he was a bit reluctant.

His fear? That someone would perhaps use the photos to copy his artistic style.  I mulled that over and told him that he had nothing to worry about because it takes a very spiritually grounded individual to create the type of work that he does.

I have no idea what I told him to convince him to let me take his photo, but he said it had something to do with my smile and me smelling good.  Okay. I’ll take what I can get.  I’m a blogger with a camera on a mission.

Once he agreed to be photographed, I wanted to make sure to capture him standing alongside his paintings. Terry paints these mystical, Afrocentric scenes in acrylic on FELT!!! So they have this comforting, earthy texture and mood to them.

I could tell he was a bit uncomfortable with me photographing him…. but by the end of the session, he loosened up a bit (okay, maybe not that much).

Taken May 16, 2012 in Philadelphia, PA.

The overall sense I got from Terry is that he is a strong and passionate black man, very talented, ingenius (I mean, who tapes their work to a cinder block wall?? It’s all about promotion and exposure, right!  We artists have to do what we have to do to get our creations seen by as many people as possible) opinionated, and very much in tune with the pulse of the streets and the essential nature of humanity. After we laughed and talked for a while, we exchanged information and I big him farewell.

I’m sure I’ll be seeing a lot of Terry as the days grow warmer and longer. Chelten and Greene tends to attract all kinds of regular extraordinary folks.

NOTE:  If you’re interested in contacting Terry regarding his work, send me a message and I’ll pass along his contact info to you.

Peace and blessings!

Taken April 26 2012 in Philadelphia PA

Caption This Photo Contest: An Update.

How would you caption this photo?  I have no idea.  Taken April 26 2012 in Philadelphia PA

So it’s been exactly a month since I introduced the first “CAPTION THIS PHOTO” challenge to my readers and followers of this blog.

I got a pretty good set of comments both here on the blog and over at the PWTP Facebook page, so I wanted to double back and share with you the suggestions.

Just in case you were wondering, No…I didn’t forget :-)

At any rate, what I need for you, my readers, to do at this stage of the game,  is vote for the best caption, either here or over on Facebook, no later than June 15th.  Leave a comment either here, or over on Facebook, noting which of the captions you like the best.

Here’s the twist (there’s always a twist):

For your vote to count, you must be either a fan of my Facebook page or a blog follower (don’t worry, I have ways of checking this out).   Otherwise your vote won’t be counted.  :-(

So, without further delay, here are the caption suggestions:

  1. Fatima wrote:  Maybe “Left In the Cold” or “Cold Feet” ?
  2. Cheryl, over on Facebook, wrote:  “From glass slippers to cozy slippers, Cinderella tends to lose all kinds of footwear.”
  3. Malik, over on Facebook, wrote:  They say we should take steps to leave our worries at the feet of the Lord not the foot of the steps.”  
  4. He also asked, “If lost in pairs do comfy shoes end up in the dimensional rift with unmatched socks, mittens and Vice Presidential candidates?”  I’m not sure if I should count this as two suggestions or not….
  5. Wendy, over at my personal FB page, wrote:  “No Shoes required for this service.” (BTW this is my personal favorite!!!)

The winner with the most valid votes will win an 8 X 10 print from my collection of photography.

So, here’s a suggestion to those of you who contributed caption suggestions:  If you are really motivated to win, perhaps you can steer new traffic to my blog and/or to my Facebook page and get your friends to vote for your caption.  The more votes the better.

By the way:  This challenge is closed to new caption suggestions, but I will be issuing a June challenge real soon.   I hope you stay tuned.

Peace and blessings!

Taken May 12, 2012 in Philadelphia, PA

PWTP Pays a Visit to A Community Paint Day in Germantown.

Hey Friends!

One hot and bright Saturday afternoon in May found this blogger and her camera at 310 West Chelten Avenue in Germantown.

Why, you ask?

Well, community residents were participating in a Community Paint Day, led by muralist Jon Laidacker, all in an effort to lay the groundwork for what will be a spectacular mural sponsored by the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and other community stakeholders.

Taken May 12, 2012 in Philadelphia, PA.

There was a lot of painting going on. They were trying to recruit me to paint, but I was just there snapping a few photos. What’s neat about this project is that it coincides with a significant amount of revitalization that is either in progress or coming to the area.

Here is a rendering of what the mural will look like once it’s finished sometime this summer.

Image courtesy Jon Laidacker via Facebook.

Newsworks has provided extensive reportage of the mural project, including a story on the Community Paint Day at the site of the mural.

There is also a Facebook page for the mural project.

If you live in, work in, or just plain love Germantown, won’t you take a moment to check out this project and lend your support?

Peace and blessings.

I See You...


Taken May 15, 2012 in Philadelphia, PA.

This is the fourth of four photos I submitted to ADay.org.

BTW – this was in the queue to post Thursday, but I have been experiencing some glitches with WordPress and Facebook.  I apologize for the mixup.

A little about ADAY.org:  Photographers of all skill levels were invited to submit up to 15 photos depicting some aspect of their lives on May 15th, for the benefit of future generations.   Read more about this interesting project here.

I figured it would be nice to close out the month of May, which was National Photography Month in the United States, by sharing this and the other three photos I submitted with you.  Tell me what you think in the comments.