Please click on link to access Adam Kolodny’s video submission.
What a reputation this city has acquired.
Often resented and neglected instead of admired.
Oh, Philadelphia. How long of a way you have come.
The first capital of the United States – a fact only known by some.
Philadelphia – the cradle of the Liberty Bell.
This city is the epitome of show and tell.
Philadelphia is known for its arts and culture.
Take a walk through the city with the most beautiful sculptures.
For instance, the freedom sculpture on 16th and vine –
A depiction of struggle and desire cleverly intertwined.
The universal theme for freedom stands true.
Countless cultures have their own versions of the blues.
We all face obstacles throughout our life;
Underestimate another’s and you welcome strife.
Freedom – a universal desire we share as a team.
Freedom from illness, freedom from sin, freedom from prejudice in race and sexism.
My reaction to the sculpture that depicts a victory.
But I think we should help each other and not repeat history.
Moving on from the past and onto the present,
Philadelphia’s sights will have you feeling transcendent.
Fairmount Park – an outdoor museum of art –
An atmosphere that pleases my heart.
Now I’m no tour guide and no nothing of the sort.
But I do know Philly isn’t just a regional port.
I have not seen it all but I am waiting anxiously
For a day to observe the mural arts close and personally.
Each building has a message for all to hear.
I hope you know I am truly being sincere.
Indulge in this one-of-a-kind city of “Brotherly Love.”
Philadelphia is historical, modern, contemporary and all the above.
Philadelphia, what does it mean?
A balance of old, new and everything in between.
I never considered it to be pretty
Until I snapped a photo of the city.
Those buildings wouldn’t stand so tall without the rest,
Even the weakest, ugliest, shortest branch supports a nest.
The not-so-safe areas of Philly have potential
And acknowledging this is essential.
Because when I say the city of Philadelphia is beautiful overall,
I mean how the layout of the city functions all the way up to the buildings that stand tall.
It gives us all something to look forward to.
Oh, Philadelphia. I truly appreciate you.
Click the link above to view the video.
This video highlights how the grit of Philadelphia can be celebrated as a part of its beauty!
Coming to Temple as an Art History major, I was intrigued by the architecture surrounding the campus. After completing a research grant on Philadelphia’s Gilded Age art collectors, specifically Peter Widener, I began to understand the architectural history of the area. Widener, a Gilded Age tycoon from street-car magnates, lived on the corner of Broad St. and Girard Ave. in an elaborate mansion designed by Victorian architect, Willis G. Hale. Though the mansion is now demolished, Hale’s remaining work can still be seen, disguised as student housing in North Philadelphia. Many of these remaining mansions that were built for the “nouveau riche” are forgotten or under deterioration, but the details that defined the Victorian style of the Gilded Age survive. I photographed two of Hale’s projects, the Stafford mansion built in 1895 and the 1500 block of 17th. St. built in 1886. The 17th St. homes were designed for Widener and his business partner and friend, William Elkins. The beauty of these building can rest in the hidden details if one stops to look and observe the history around campus, whether the carved decorative flowers or the pyramidal roofs. The mansions and block remind us of the beauty that is still present in North Philadelphia, and its vibrant history.
Way back in 2009 when I was narrowing down what colleges to apply to, I visited Boston to look at Emerson College (which, looking back was just an elaborate excuse to go on a road trip with my dad, because the idea that this Florida girl was going to handle living farther north was a hilarious pipe dream).
I felt slightly uncomfortable the entire time we were in Boston, and I couldn’t put my finger on why until I got back to Philadelphia. “Dad, it’s just so polite. And sterile. It’s like a city for dolls. Puritan dolls.”
I am an artist. I love juxtaposition, texture, and character. I love quirky noses, mismatched earrings, wrinkles, crumbling buildings, found art, curling cigarette smoke- the list goes on. The point is to demonstrate that for me, “grit” and “beauty” are inextricably linked- if something is just “pretty” it doesn’t arrest my attention, so I find myself drawn to things (and people, and places, for that matter) that merge the two. This explains my fascination with graffiti, an art form that is simultaneously an act of explosive creativity and aggressive vandalism.
Over the past few years at Temple, I have had the opportunity to explore the city where street writing was born and have collected some pretty cool relics along the way. Though documenting street art started my camera-carrying habit, Philadelphia’s unique landscape solidified it. The result is a collage of some of my favorite photos from my time living in Philadelphia- images that (for me) capture the true melding of the boundaries between grit and beauty and exemplify a city that is perfect in its imperfections. Enjoy!
(Click this first picture for a link to the video segment of my submission)
|A city is a character, dynamic with beauty and grit|
We’re all told as students to stay away from the areas surrounding Main Campus. Even students who live in those areas tend to power through their walk to classes until they get to Broad Street or see one of those welcoming Temple T’s. With good reason we’re told to stay alert when walking around North Philadelphia, but this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take a moment or two, put our tunnel vision aside, and take in what beauty lives around us no matter how unconventional.
Graffiti welcomes you in the morning as the neighbor you once didn’t like.
When September kisses your cheek, you know it is time to wear your sweater.
The benches are beds to men who make it their homes,
trash dances in the wind until it rests in the corners of the roads.
The streets like to test the patience of drivers,
and lullabies are made of sounds from trains, buses, and loud music.
A place that began
and transitioned to row homes and culturally different neighbors.
By: Ashley Rivera