By Joseph Myers
Gasparro would likely agree with the saying “A penny saved is a penny earned” because the native of the 700 block of Carpenter Street designed the tails side of the Lincoln cent in 1958.
By Amanda L. Snyder
Salvatore Massaro, later known as Lang, trained for 11 years on the violin, but soon switched to guitar as his Bella Vista buddy,
By Joseph Myers
Living only to 38, Lanza has left many admirers wondering what he might have produced.
By Amanda L. Snyder
Bella Vista’s Medeiros, 62, began his career in advertising before selling his jokes for a few bucks. He later went on to write for some of comedy’s biggest names.
Working 16-hour days might not sound like an appetizing concept, but Jimmy Rubino Jr., — the fourth generation of his family to maintain the legacy of running Ralph’s Italian Restaurant, 760 S. Ninth St., – said, “It’s in my DNA.”
“Because of my history with homelessness, I definitely know what it’s like to be hungry,” Susan DiPronio said. “However, many others don’t want to believe malnutrition exists in our city and don’t want to look outside their sphere.”
Percy Street Barbecue chef Erin O’Shea unveilled a new menu last month with the 900 South St. spot’s first seafood dish, an $8 appetizer of Poached Shrimp with Spicy Pickled Vegetables, which are prepared in a housemade beer vinegar and served with saltines.
A five-star student at George W. Nebinger School, 601 Carpenter St., Amber Sutton is a 9-year-old who shows great leadership.
A pair of robbers broke into a Bella Vista comic book store, taking memorabilia and money.
The eight-day Jewish holiday of Passover begins Monday at sundown with the first of two Seders — a feast commemorating the exodus of the Jews from Egypt.
With Wednesday morning’s temperatures barely going above the freezing mark, Be Tran, owner of an eponymous fruit stand at 1035 S. Ninth St., decided to warm up proceedings for visitors with this intense flame.
» COMMUNITY PROFILE
Boundaries: South Street to Washington Avenue, Sixth to 11th Street
Origin of Name: The name is Italian and means “pretty view.” Real-estate agents dubbed it Bella Vista as a selling point because many dwellings have views of the Center City skyline and Ben Franklin Bridge.
Brief History: Many Italian immigrants who entered Philadelphia via Washington Avenue gravitated to the neighborhood because it had become a settlement for natives of Spadafora, Italy. The Palumbo family, for one, built boarding homes for immigrants. The first Italian immigrant bathhouse later became the Fante-Leone Pool at Montrose and Darien streets.
Alfred “Freddie” Cocozza, better known as opera legend Mario Lanza, grew up at Sixth and Christian streets and made his first public appearance at 19, singing “Ave Maria” at St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi Church, 714 Montrose St., where he was an altar boy.
Bella Vista has lost some of its treasures: Verdi Hall, 713 Christian St., which opened in 1905, and later became an Italian cinema, and Fabiani Italian Hospital, 10th and Christian streets, which was founded by Vincent Fabiani in 1904.
Famous Residents: Mario Lanza; “father of jazz guitar” Eddie Lang, born Salvatore Massaro in 1902, who was a Bing Crosby accompanist; author/lecturer and social activist Frances E.W. Harper, who devoted her life to championing the rights of slaves and free blacks; Edwin Forrest, the most famous American tragedian actor of his time; Illustrator Charles Santore resides at Seventh and Catharine streets; "American Bandstand" producer, Tony Mammarella, of the 800 block of South Ninth Street.
Major Landmarks: Italian Market, said to be the country’s oldest open-air market; South Street; the former Fante-Leone Pool; Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine; Mario Lanza Museum, 712 Montrose; Palumbo’s Restaurant, Ninth and Catharine streets, which burned down in 1994.
U.S. Congressional District: 1st, Bob Brady (D)
Pennsylvania Governor: Tom Corbett (R)
State Senate District 1st, Lawrence M. Farnese Jr. (D)
City Council District: 1st, Mark Squilla (D)
Police District: 3rd, Capt. Michael Ryan; Community Relations Officers Ace Delgado and Gary Harkins;
Libraries: Santore, 932 S Seventh St.
Schools: Christopher Columbus Charter School, 916 Christian St. and 1242-46 S. 12th St. in Passyunk Square; Fleisher Art Memorial, which teaches art classes; George W. Nebinger School, 601 Carpenter St.
Places Of Worship: Christian Street Baptist Church, 1024 Christian St.; The Church of the Crucifixion, 620 S. Eighth St.; Christ's United Presbyterian Church, 1020 S. 10th St.; Church of the Living God, 801 S. 11th St.; synagogue Lubavitch House, 754 S. Ninth St.; New Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 919 S. 13th St.; St. Paul’s Catholic Church, 808 S. Hutchinson St.; Waters Memorial AME Church, 609 S. Clifton St.
Rec Centers: Palumbo Rec Center, 10th and Fitzwater streets
Parks/Gardens: Bardascino Park, 10th and Carpenter streets; Cianfrani Park, Eighth and Fitzwater streets; Palumbo Park, 723 Catharine St.; Triangle Park, Sixth and Christian streets; Bel Arbor, 10th and Kimball streets