Joseph F. Marino is the new publisher of the Passyunk Post. We took a few minutes to speak with him about his role and hopes for the website and its associated social media.
What prompted you to purchase the Post?
I always believed that there was a great value in the timely information provided by the Passyunk Post. However, I also wanted it to have a wider focus for all of South Philadelphia’s neighbors – old and new. When I learned it was for sale, I checked with my friends and professional advisers. Everyone felt I was the perfect person to move the Post in that direction.
What are your plans for the Post?
When the Post was conceived in 2012 its principal focus was the East Passyunk corridor and its adjacent neighborhoods. Gradually, the coverage area expanded. Our focus is now all of South Philadelphia south of South Street, from river to river. Although my home is in East Passyunk, I’ve been fortunate to be active in the Whitman and Packer Park neighborhoods. Through my work organizing the civic associations of South Philadelphia I’ve come to know people from every corner of our wonderful neighborhoods. I hope to use these connections to create a rich source of information for all residents. I want the news we offer to increase people’s connectedness to the neighborhood and improve their quality of life.
What will your role be at the Post, and what do you bring to the website?
While I’ll be the public ‘face’ of Passyunk Post, the ‘voice’ of the website, and its social media, will be the editors, reporters, and contributors.
I see myself as a great connector. I want to leverage my relationships with business owners, clergy, civic, and political leaders to connect neighbors to information and events that will keep them well-informed.
I also want to connect reporters to stories, and connect residents to some of the finest businesses, restaurants, individuals and nonprofits in the city…if not in the country!
How long have you lived in South Philadelphia?
I’m extremely fortunate to be a lifelong resident of the East Passyunk neighborhood. I live in a home which has been in the Marino Family for over a hundred years! I’ve also been fortunate to have had almost 15 years of regular interaction with newer neighbors through work as founding co-chair of East Passyunk Crossing Civic, the inaugural board of the South Philly Food Co-op, and as president of East Passyunk Community Center advisory council.
What do you love about living here?
There’s so much to love!
I enjoy our wonderful traditions like the St. Nicholas Italian festival, or newer events like Flavors on the Avenue. I love our litany of restaurants from Moonshine to Francoluigi’s. I love the walkability of our neighborhoods. I love seeing neighbors sitting out nights on their stoops in the warm weather. And, most of all, I enjoy seeing the long-term and newer neighbors interacting and even bonding. One of my favorite stories to tell is about an interaction I observed during a neighborhood cleanup some years ago. I watched a recent transplant to the area who had earplugs, tattoos, and a mullet, speak for 20 minutes with an elderly gray-haired Italian-American woman dressed in black mourning clothes about the best way to propagate basil!