You probably guessed that with a name like "Suriani" I just might be Italian. Both sets of grandparents and my dad were born in Italy and came through Ellis Island. They all settled in South Philly and the grandparents called it home until they died.
Even though I grew up in the Philly suburbs, I spent many weekends with my grandparents, The very narrow streets, row homes, corner stores and restaurants fascinated me. On trips home after moving to Atlanta, South Philly began to look like a foreign country to me. There is certainly nothing like it in the south. Beginning in 1978, I began photographing the Italian neighborhood every chance I could.
The emphasis of this study is my family, the environment, the people and now, the influx of new immigrants form Mexico and Southeast Asia. I am still lured by the unique stories, the people, the landmarks and, of course, the delicious food.