Name: Frank Baldino
How long have you lived in the neighborhood? We bought the house in LoMo in ‘06, but both my wife and I are from South Philly, we grew up here. I’ve been here pretty much all my life, 37 years.
You’re an active member of LoMo – any specific reason why or as a resident did you feel like it was sort of your obligation to be civically involved? Well South Philly is undergoing a good change. There are a lot of civic minded people moving into the different neighborhoods and when I saw the movement coming into this neighborhood I wanted to get involved. I’ve always been a proud South Philadelphian and I wanted to get involved.
And you’re participating in the upcoming LoMo fall clean up? Yeah, Kim [Massare, LoMo President] knows I’m always down for a good clean up (laughs). I do a lot on my block; I’m kind of like the block garbage man. Maybe once a week I do my block and the adjacent areas. I like to get involved on a neighborhood scale when the cleanups happen, that’s one of the things that drew me to LoMo. I think litter has always been a problem in South Philly, so it’s nice to see people who want to fight it. I’ve always had a good role model, my dad did a lot of cleaning and so did my neighbors, it’s just something that I took with me here.
As well as a resident of Lower Moyamensing, Frank is also a proud new father!
Congrats on your baby! Are you excited that your daughter will get to experience growing up in the neighborhood? I am! It’s important. When I was a kid it was a popular thing for a lot of families to leave Philly and go to South Jersey. All of my mom’s siblings went over the bridge, as they say, and that’s good, but all of my dad’s family stayed here. Growing up in that environment, where all of your family is in the same neighborhood, it really has a nice impact on you. We’re a close family and I’d like for Seraphina to experience that. My folks live about 9 blocks from us, and my wife’s parents live about four [blocks away]. I’d like her to experience that and have the advantage that growing up in a city offers, culturally and in terms of diversity.
What are your favorite local spots in LoMo? I mean, I love Bomb Bomb’s. There’s Frangelli’s, New York Bakery, and I like the Starbucks here. I think the neighborhood offers a lot of traditional South Philly spots, which I like.
Is there anything you would like to add to the area that it doesn’t have? Anything that you would like to see? I’d like to see maybe an art gallery, something like that, there are a lot of artists that need an art gallery. Or maybe a nice pub, like a gastro-pub, where they have different foods and beers. That would be nice. But for now, Bomb Bomb will do (laughs).
And finally, what one word would you use to describe Lower Moyamensing? Vibrant. I think it’s a nice community, it offers a lot, and it has great potential for future growth.
Frank, and many other wonderful LoMo residents, participated in the first fall block clean-up on Saturday, September 15th. Save the date for LoMo’s second fall block clean-up on Saturday, October 13th!
— Interview by Tylor Augustine