Standing in his Southwest Philly neighborhood yesterday afternoon, at the corner of 54th Street and Kingsessing Avenue, Paul "Earthquake" Moore removed a pile of limp stuffed animals around a traffic pole.
He then went to Cobbs Creek Parkway and Greenway Avenue and removed a wilted balloon tied to a tree, and below it, the broken candles littering the ground.
It began what Moore calls Round 2 in his quest to take down the makeshift memorials on blocks and on corners throughout the city.
For Moore, a once-troubled kid, who grew up around drugs and violence, turned community activist, such memorials are a grim reminder.
"It diminishes our community," says Moore, 52. "It's alright to put them up, but there's a time and place for them. And after a while the healing process needs to start."
When Moore announced his plan last month, he received some media attention, and was turned away by one family at a site, but he remains undeterred.
During a tour last week of his neighborhood, he visited five makeshift memorials.
At one monument, on the side of a rowhouse, by a bus stop, someone erected a tower of teddy bears sealed with tape around a utility pole.
"Do you know who this is for?," Moore asked passerby after passerby.
No one knew.