Graffiti cement barrier. Looking out on One World Trade Center.
I tend to like things neat and tidy, but I also appreciate art and character. I don’t know that I consider graffiti art. I’ve never known an actual graffiti “artist”, so I’ve had no one to help me solidify the answer. The closest I’ve come is the random guy at an artist street fair who makes cool poster size prints from spray paint. They usually have a painters mask on while little kids sit right in front, breathing the fumes as their parents stare in fascination.
Back to graffiti; I won’t say I’m not intrigued by it. It’s hard not to draw your eyes from random splashes of color in places amongst plain brick or cement backdrops. There are times that I appreciate color on a decrepit and crumbling wall, in the form of a beautiful mural. There are also times I see spray paint on two hundred year old Continue reading →
When you look at the neighborhood around you, do you wonder what it used to be?
Did it used to be busy, or was it quieter? Is it safer than it was or a tad seedier? What kind of people roamed the road and what kind of wheels rolled down your street? Do your views today make you long for the past or yearn for the future?
Old Philadelphia, courtesy of thingamababy.com
We took a stroll around a pretty neglected area of Philadelphia over the weekend. We had no real destination. My pictures fail to capture the atmosphere unfortunately. It’s something I’m learning to figure out as an amateur. I like to find the beauty in what “was”, and I like to dream about what used to inhabit the buildings and sidewalks that I walk.
When I see areas that are abandoned and half demolished, I wonder if the area is going through a transition to be rebuilt again or if the crumbling bricks are a true metaphor for the neighborhood. Time will tell.
I’m not foolish enough to think that the past was glamorous. Crime, corruption, drugs and heartlessness have always lurked in corners of every time period. There are still sights to be appreciated and customs that are appealing, particularly when we don’t know the pitfalls. The revolutionary buildings that I admire may not have seemed so beautiful with excrement being flung out the windows out into the alleys below.
There are times we can’t experience and life to be enjoyed today. Generations will pass on, scenery will continue to change and traditions will be altered. That is how time works and it always will.
An intersection that used to be busy
A seedy establishment that once was appealing
A wall that once touched two rowhomes
A train bridge that transported trains instead of weeds
Bicycle that ran on a shiney chain
Building that had four walls
Windows that kept the outside world out.
Brick that was mortared tight
A home that had electricity
A tower that supplied water
A warehouse that was plain
A skyline that had emcompassed only church steeples
How steps all over the city were made, polished and cleaned by their owners.
Philadelphia was built by innovators and blue collar immigrants. Though we’ve housed our fair share of wealthy folk, it has never been an upscale or rich city; rich in culture and history, yes, but not in money. Like other old East Coast cities, Philadelphia was built by people like my ancestors. They mixed the mortar, carried the bricks, polished the marble and bend the heated iron.
The city has beautiful areas that are captured of Philadelphia based movie and TV sets. It also has beautiful materials left in rundown neighborhoods that share marble steps amongst trash and crumbling concrete. It may not all be polished, but it’s ours.
To coincide with my last post, here is Philadelphia and its brick.
I was kind of excited when I saw the theme for this week’s “Phooootoooo Challllllenggggge”. I apologize, the excitement got away from me and I envisioned Ben Bailey from Cash Cab announcing the WordPress weekly challenge. This is my first time joining this cult, I mean group. Moving on.
I just happened to have taken a photography class in the Fall at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center. As we walked around to shoot, our cameras that is, I tended to shoot so much of the ground. I’m actually kind of surprised I wasn’t mugged because I upon review of my photos, I didn’t spend very much time coming up for air and checking my surroundings. This of course began with my feet, which like Sara Russo and many other bloggers I’m guessing, marks the location and the fashion of choice.