2018 Winners

Congratulations to the 2018 winners of the Grit and Beauty contest.


Beautiful Views

By: Daleen Al-Barqawi


Philadelphia to others is cheesesteaks, pretzels, and the liberty bell. To me, it is home. Living in Philadelphia for over 10 years, I learned to love not only the obvious, tourist sights but also the beauty that is in mundane, random places. I learned to appreciate the shoes hanging from wires on my bus rides home. I learned that the skyline of my city is effortlessly beautiful from any angle, at any time. Always. The way that I view Philadelphia is not as a city that always has perfect views but as a city that teaches you to find beautiful views in the least perfect places. Here are some beautiful views of my city:


Daniel Chua

City Skyline

Factory Skyline


“O’ Mixed Grit and Beauty” by Kevin Crawson

O’ mixed grit and beauty, Philadelphia!

Home of hoagies, bastion o’ birds,

The shimmering beacon of Independence and

A long-standing tradition of electing Democratic Officials,

And stopping to take a selfie with Philly Jesus.

Quaker, Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist, Freemason…

It don’t matter; the official cloth of Philadelphia

Is a Carson Wentz jersey.

(Or perhaps a Nick Foles sells more these days?)

It’s a beautiful thing, public transportation –

Submerged underground,

Smelling of piss,

Ceremonially late –

That is SEPTA: A splendid thing,

When the union is not on strike!

O’ mixed grit and beauty, is Philadelphia!

If you are driving like you’re from New Jersey,

Or mouthing off an inedible truth,

Criticizing our sports-teams,

Then a Philadelphian has a million ways to offend you…

It’s a mean, stubborn spirit that is in these People.

Wawa be a beautiful thing;

Run By The People, Cheesesteaks For The People.

When it’s Sunny In Philadelphia, children are encouraged to

Run around, play, MOVE (1985), get active!

Oft does the sun smile upon Our City,

Not upon a hill is it built, but on a slant into the ocean,

Pouring out what our hearts hold, polluting the Schuylkill…

So that as we may be most honest, most brave and most true,

We may also be one of the most toxic cities under the Red, White, and Blue.


O’ mixed grit and beauty, is Philadelphia!


Leah Vedder

 Sun Glare


Mary Liu



New Leaf


Matthew Altea

Superbowl Parade

Maya Minhas





Michael Lopez

Art Is Forever


Naomi Lawson

Podcast: Pretzel Raccoon 

Check out Naomi’s five-minute podcast here on Google Drive.


Skyeler O-Brien


Check out Skeyeler’s video Phresh here on Google Drive.