A Philly institution gets a heartfelt eulogy in Michael Penn's photographs of the iconic Center City eatery.
For the aging residents, students, and blue collar workers of Philadelphia, meals at Little Pete's served essential moments of connection over food, conversation, and simply hanging out. As Philadelphia underwent a massive gentrification movement, Philadelphians saw a number of other independently-owned, affordable, and popular eateries be replaced by high-end dining or razed completely for a chain store or overpriced living, including Little Pete's. A passionate grassroots campaign to save the eatery gained headway, but by October 2015, the City Council voted to develop a high-end boutique on the site, taking with it the last affordable diner meal in the area.
For the staff and loyal clientele of Little Pete's, life has gone on and will continue, but it will look a lot different. This project documents the end of a way of life for a city whose blue collar population is marginalized by a lack of work, and the suburban migration as the the demographics of Philadelphia are inverted. The blue collar are pushed to the outskirts, and the rich, formerly suburban dwellers, move back into Center City.
202 pages. Paperback.
About the Artist
Michael Penn is a Philadelphia-based street photographer. He is known for his high-contrast black and white works. Inspired by the Japanese Provoke Movement, Penn's street photography projects include the 1000-photo collection "The Philadelphia Project," Out of New York," "Lonely New York," "Tune In Philadelphia," "Graffiti Pier," and "Welcome to Market East."