Under World

July 31, 2014 | by Peter Woodall


Editor’s Note: Photography is usually thought of as a solitary pursuit, the lone hunter stalking a shot. This is true of street photography especially, but there’s something to be said for making it a group activity, as Theresa Stigale, David Swift and Rob Lybeck did recently in Kensington. Having a few other people along for the walk provides encouragement, camaraderie and a measure of safety. Plus, there’s nothing like seeing how another photographer shot the same thing to expand one’s vision.

The trio started off from Front Street, near York and Jasper, then headed north on Kensington Avenue. The streets got busier as they approached Allegheny, and there at what may be the most notorious corner in the city for junkies and dealers and hookers, they talked with people going about their daily lives. To be sure, there is enough darkness and tragedy in the neighborhood to fill a dozen Russian novels, and this side of Kensington has its own chroniclers, none better than Jeff Stockbridge. But on a bright Sunday afternoon in June, this is what these three photographers saw.

Theresa Stigale


David Swift


Rob Lybeck


Photo: Rob Lybeck

Photo: Rob Lybeck


About the Author

Peter Woodall Peter Woodall is the Project Director of Hidden City Philadelphia. 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


  1. pete hart says:

    im always shocked by how little grafftti their is now..the late 70’s and 80’s you could not find a bare spot to tag…even the el was covered inside and out

  2. Here are a few portraits shot on the street in Philly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.