Money To Loan!

If you repay me not on such a day,
In such a place, such sum or sums as are
Expressed in the condition, let the forfeit
Be nominated for an equal pound
Of your fair flesh to be cut off and taken
In what part of your body pleaseth me.

–Shylock in William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice

Shylocks I suppose have never been shy–at least not judging by their storefront advertising, which has always shouted at the passerby.

Never mind Shakespeare’s playing with the historical place of Jews in European society, observing money lenders here–those of today and those of Philadelphia’s past–there does appear to be an inverse ratio between neighborhood income and interest rates…


View Moneylenders in a larger map

Peter Woodall is the co-editor of Hidden City Daily. He is a graduate of the UC Berkeley School of Journalism, and a former newspaper reporter with the Biloxi Sun Herald and the Sacramento Bee. He worked as a producer for Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane and wrote a column about neighborhood bars for PhiladelphiaWeekly.com.



1 Comment


  1. Harry Kyriakodis

    The place at 6th and Girard used to be the Mammoth Theatre, built in 1909. It began as a nickelodeon but showed feature foreign films as the World Theatre until closing in 1936. It was subsequently turned into a pool hall and stores. And now it’s a dollar store and a check cashing place.

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