The above scene depicts the exact point where a string of fast-food restaurants and convenience stores gave way to the more sophisticated architecture of old world Philadelphia at the meeting of an almost Romanesque Church and a Checkers fast-food joint situated a little too closely together. It caught my eye because I could really feel how these fast-food convenience structures were almost forcing out the religious structures of the past, which had been much more carefully constructed and decorated than these glorified permanent hot dog stands. This was, of course, my first impression, but when the photo is viewed in isolation I think it not only reveals the absurdity of the religious transition to consumerism, but also suggests the image’s ability to speak of a “fast-food religiosity,” an almost too obvious cry for the feeding of both “body and soul.”
This is an awesome photo and rich in potential symbolism. What a great find in the City where my Quaker ancestors helped to found religous liberty.
Despite the ostensible encroachment of commercialism shown in the photo, I was very glad to see the old cross illuminated by the sun and still raised high above the signs below.
Congratulations to the Editors on the launch of Nomos Journal!
It also seems to reveal a radical democratization of feeling, no? The Old World church, with its implied elites and hierarchy, and the New World pragmatic people’s church. Provocative as usual!
I love checkers. I say nice job checkers and why would a building so old still be here? that’s just plain old odd. I disagree of this being sad.