Stella's a Star

An Upper Darby woman with schizophrenia is an unlikely celebrity on South Street. 

By Becca Trabin 
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 5 | Posted May. 19, 2009

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On our way to the terminal, Stella playfully sticks out her tongue, bright blue from a water ice, at a kid next to her on the subway. “Shut the fuck up,” he says.

She leads me into a surprisingly clean, well-lit station and shows me where she sleeps: a blue metal bench in a fairly empty lobby. After a few minutes, about 50 high school kids swarm into the station, shouting and flipping out as two girls tear at each other. 

While everybody panics, Stella sits on her bench, unphased. Like a monk, she hears the chaos around her but is completely impervious—which I suspect is why she’s never had any problems with anyone while sleeping there overnight. 

“Does that sort of thing happen here a lot?” I ask.

“Sometimes. Not really,” she says. 

I ask her if people ever give her trouble. She says sometimes people try to take her money when she’s sleeping by going through her pockets. She responds by yelling, “Get the fuck off!” 

Now she gets on the last train to Upper Darby—the same neighborhood where her idol, fellow Greek woman Tina Fey, grew up. Like everyone else on South Street, I don’t know what I can do to help her get the proper care she deserves. I tell her to get home safe. ■

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Comments 1 - 5 of 5
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1. Anonymous said... on Jul 12, 2009 at 09:49AM

“I saw her at the ice cream festival at Penn's Landing She was very pushy This was a family event Panhandlers are obnoxious on the street I am sorry her meds don't help but there must be something she can do with her time besides confront people!”

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2. stella iliopoulos said... on Oct 15, 2010 at 12:15PM

“i love you”

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3. Anonymous said... on Jul 24, 2012 at 06:49AM

“I love Stella. :)”

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4. Young simon said... on Jul 20, 2014 at 11:56AM

“She does the best she can.....i like stella, she's always been pleasant to me...”

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5. Sebastian Miller said... on Jul 27, 2014 at 09:08PM

“I especially appreciate when she calls me a "fucking bitch" when I don't give her money, or when she aggressively follows and berates my girlfriend for a few blocks.”


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