Cartina’s world, Willow Grove, PA

Hey, there lonely cart

The shopping cart is capitalism’s beast of burden. Scaled to iconic proportions by the Supermarket, the shopping cart feeds the world’s desire for consumption and convenience. Yet, in its pragmatic form, the cart offers functionality beyond the transportation of goods from the market to the car trunk. Sometimes freed from the parking lot by teens as well as those in need, shopping carts often appear abandoned in odd places. These non-sequitur appearances showcase the functional value of the cart as they are sometimes filled with recycling, flea market debris, and other sundries. And when unattended these carts appear like a lone modern-day donkey on the periphery of urbanity awaiting its next cargo.

Niemandsland, Munster, Germany

Not rolling, drowning, Providence, RI

Cartifacts, Philadelphia, PA

 Lumber cart, Philadelphia

Junkyard Jawn, Philadelphia, PA

Open basket, closed for business, Hannover, Germany

A cart full of women’s history, Philadelphia, PA

Out of the blue, NYC, NY

At the ready, Washington DC

Ramped up, Philadelphia, PA

RIP, Philadelphia, PA


1-savies8bwAfter a particularly heavy snowstorm, the clean up begins. Parked vehicles on the street are are often plowed into their spots, thereby compounding shoveling out. Much effort is often individually expended to release one’s vehicle from its frozen prison. Therefore, once the spot is cleared, that spot is often believed by the shoveler to be personally “owned” until the snow on the street has melted away. Random furniture, concrete filled buckets and unwanted bric a brac are brought out to “save” the spot. Signs are often posted with threatening, expletive-laden scrawl. Fights have broken out over these cleared spots, and in Boston last year a man was shot. Evidently, clearing a spot altruistically, for any neighbor to benefit, is not something taught in Sunday school. Instead, marking one’s temporary territory by calling “Savesies” is the lesson learned.

2-savies7bw 3-savies4bw 4-savies3bw 5-savies5bw 6-savies9bw 7-savies10bw 8-savies11bw 9-savies1bw 10-savies2bw 11-savies6bw 12-savies12bwSavesies is now a 2017 calendar! Send $10 via Venmo or Paypal to RethinkTANKllc per our contact page along with your address and it will arrive within a week.

Train Buffers

Train buffers are single use vernacular elements of rail infrastructure. Destructive forces derive their forms. They have evolved through tragedy and serve silently.
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Buffer: Aegidientorplatz, Hannover, Germany

train buffer old (2)

Buffer: Near Kassel HBF


Buffer: Merida, Spain


Buffer: South Station, Boston, MA


Buffer: Industrial Parkway Hayward, CA


Buffer: Chestnut Hill East line, Philadelphia

hoboken train buffer

Buffer: Hoboken Train Terminal


Buffer: Pearl Brewery, San Antonio, TX

Toledo buffer

Buffer: Estación de Ave,  Toledo, Spain


Buffer: Kassel HBF


Buffer: Centralstation Malmö, Jernhusen AB

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Buffer: Orlando Airport, Florida


“I wore my sneakers but I’m not a sneak, my Adidas touched the sand of a foreign land”

Run- D.M.C.


“Shoefiti,” an emergent urban phenomena,  has spread beyond the city grid to suburban areas.  The purposes of this practice are myriad:  memorialization of a local “taken-down” in their prime, celebrating an era wearing a pricey pair of kicks, urban decoration, marking a well-played game on the court, etc.  For these photographs, each was taken from the sunroof of a car, carefully composing the view within the given roof aperture; each shoe tread above flatly displayed, yet slowly twirling in the breeze.

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Sidewalk Memorials


These images were all taken on the streets of Philadelphia. The objects brought and the emergent nature of display at an impromptu memorial site, are by-products of our culture.
Here, people have been taken before their time. What do you bring for a child that has been gunned down? How does one express their grief and sorrow for a friend or neighbor? Who cleans the site up and when? Where does it all go? When will it stop?

2600 W.OAKDALE ERNST FLASH MILLER (2)memorial 12th & south900 E.TIOGA HUNNYrip child6418 ELMWOOD (2)N PHILLY (3)1300 HARMONY ST SIMMONS WEST (5)MEMORIAL DAUHPIN (3)RIP BUTTA 13THFITZ (8)MEMORIAL 16TH&RT1 (4)memorial 400 n2nd (6)

1 RIP Bessie-N13th & Leterly Streets
2 RIP Flash-2600 W. Oakdale Street
3 RIP AJ-1200 South Street
4 RIP Hunny-900 E. Tioga Street
5 RIP Ty-1100 Federal Street
6 RIP Liberia-6418 Elmwood Avenue
7 RIP Pikachu-N. 13th & W. York Streets
8 RIP Friends-1300 Harmony Street
9 RIP Mook-2000 Dauphin Street
10 RIP Butta-1399 Fitzwater Street
11 RIP Wizz-N 16th & St. Luke Streets
12 RIP Red-400 N. 2nd street

Boot Scrapers


In the days of yore, when horses and buggies were the norm, boot scrapers were placed outside of each house. Horse excrement then was our dog doo of today. Many of these vernacular works reside by our residences, quietly standing, often unnoticed. Pictured here are a few examples of their integration within the urban fabric.
2010 was a difficult year from a financial and political perspective. In 2011 let us scrape away that residue for a more prosperous year and a cleaner soul.

boot arch-bwboot-cant3-bwboot-column-bwboot sko bwboot slant bwBOOT boston bwboot rail bwboot maw bwboot canterburyboot angel bw

1 Ornamental abrade, Philadelphia
2 Shaker Shoe scraper, Philadelphia
3 His and Hers, Canterbury, UK
4 Bridge Edge, Philadelphia
5 Low-frills, Copenhagen, DK
6 Archway blade, Philadelphia
7 The Standard scraper, Philadelphia
8 Ionic knife, Boston
9 Railing guillotine, Philadelphia
10 Lutyens’ Maw, Philadelphia
11 In-wall Boot Scraper, Canterbury, UK
12 Winged Boot Scraper, Philadelphia


Windshield Memorials



“Wherever I go, she knows I’m thinking of her.” That was the response of a car owner when asked why he placed a memorial decal on his car. These Windshield Memorials, often found in Latino communities, are one of the many examples of cultural public displays of grief. Some are written with large glass paint markers, an immediate response to the loss. Others are designed with permanent decals, whose graphic designs are often expressions of clip-art and folk art. Most of the Windshield Memorials obscure the rear view, thereby ignoring the risk to the driver. As demonstrated by the August entry, sometimes room is set aside for another loss (as on a grave monument) despite the impermanence of the vehicle. This is an insight into an industry, one that is largely devoid of trained graphic designers.

CAR MEMORIAL ALLAN CAL car memorial angel CAL car memorial buddy CAL CAR memorial car luis rodriguez car memorial colon (22) car memorial fallen CAL car memorial helen cal car memorial jay CAL car memorial marie CAL CAR MEMORIAL PEY cal CAR MEMORIAL THANKS BOB

1 W.M. Grandma, Philadelphia
2 W.M. Marie, Philadelphia
3 W.M. Luis, Boston
4 W.M. Helen, Philadelphia
5 W.M. Buddy, Philadelphia
6 W.M. Jay, Philadelphia
7 W.M. Carmen, Philadelphia
8 W.M. Pey, Philadelphia
9 W.M. Bird, Philadelphia
10 W.M. Fallen Angel, Philadelphia
11 W.M. Angel, Philadelphia
12 W.M. Bob, Philadelphia

Storied Hands

Lempieri NLphoto  1-juanita

Juanita, 69. Mother of 11 children, Grandmother of 60, Great-Grandmother of 26.

Photographs of hands from residents of a senior residential tower in Philadelphia, PA.  Hands tell a lot about a person.  It gives insight to employment, hobbies, health, momentary posture and gesture.  These photographs were taken while in conversation with the residents about their life; the camera, snapping away as they shared stories of their work, family and friends.

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Arlen, 80. Former boxer.

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C.J., 69. Former bouncer for Frank’s Bar & Cultural Anthropologist.

Lempieri NLphoto 4-Elton

Elton, 59. Pianist & Drummer.

Lempieri NLphoto 5-julia

Julia, 71. Former paralegal.

Lempieri NLphoto 6-Leslie2

Leslie, 72 Left home at the age of 13, “because I was 21 at the age of 13.”

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Annie, 66. Former young adult mental health case manager.

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Thomas, 70 Former blood technician at the V. A. Hospital.

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Reverend Muse, 81. Former Union representative.

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Janette, 73. Retired 23 year housekeeper for one family

Lempieri NLphoto 11-Joyce

Joyce, 60. “I know my mother’s hands. She was a hairdresser & my father was a carpenter.”

Lempieri NLphoto 12-ruth

Ruth, 90 Worked at the Philadelphia Naval Yard on a carrier during the war.

Party Wall Sections

1Fifteenth and West Stiles Streets, Philadelphia

When an urban building is torn down a ghost of its former volumes remain as a vestige visible on the party walls. Architecturally, these vestiges read as longitudinal sections and are quite beautiful. They read as memories of lives lived and places of work rendered in peeling wallpaper and paint, stair remnants, random writing and demolished wall mounted elements like tile, toilet paper holders and moldings. Unfortunately, for the neighbors these vestiges are reminders of neglect. Cities move quickly to parge over the party wall often in textured beige; making graffiti challenging to apply. However, one can find banal beige more stultifying than the colorful remnants of rooms now rendered in two dimensions.2Monroe Street between Second and Third Streets, Philadelphia5West Butler Street between Thirteenth and Camac Streets, Philadelphia4Poplar Street between Fifteenth and North Carlisle Streets, Philadelphia3Thirteenth Street at Erie Avenue, Philadelphia6Bainbridge Street between Sixth and Seventh Streets, Philadelphia11Eleventh Street at cypress Street, Philadelphia10Arch Street between Third and Second Streets, Philadelphia9West Cumberland Street at North Sydenham Street, Philadelphia8Thirteenth Street at West Auburn Street, Philadelphia7Thirteenth Street at Christian Street, Philadelphia

Sansom Street demolition with a horrible digital cam.

Sansom Street between 16th and 17th streets, Philadelphia