Coexistence

Coexistence
by Kyle J Wotring

This is an experimental film that conveys the ugly, grit, black and white distortion present in Philadelphia and how it juxtaposes the magnificent and colorful beauty that the city of Philadelphia has to offer. Both of these opposite entities interact in the end of film to create something that is even more aesthetically attractive than either could achieve on their own. With both of these entities working together, Philadelphia becomes an individualistic and unique city where eternal peace and harmony can reside.

 

Stained Glass

Stained Glass
by Lindsey Anne Thompson

There was a time when the city meant rushed school trips in the sticky summer-soon air. Skyscrapers crowded out the sun, and people crowded out the sidewalks. I held on for dear life as the subway car screeched and jostled too violently for comfort. I’m not a city girl, I’d say. College dreams were grassy lawns and picturesque historic buildings. The grit of the city formed a film on my view. How could it be beautiful?

Now, the city holds a different meaning. It means weekend subway rides, knuckles no longer clenched, no planned itinerary of Historic Philadelphia and re-boarding of the school bus by 3pm. It’s admiring the Schuylkill River, eating donuts from Reading Terminal, and sharing the same incredible moment with hundreds (or thousands) of other people at a concert.

Philadelphia is like an old friend now. Philadelphia has seen me through my 10-year-old whines on a family trip, my first college visit to Temple University, and the small moments admiring the sunset behind the skyline from my dorm room window. My grassy lawn dreams have transformed to reading a book on Beury Beach on Temple’s campus, or dog watching at Rittenhouse Square. The city has given me an assortment of opportunities—for food, for music, for times spent with friends and family, for understanding the magnitude of distress and how we can help.

When I walk through the streets and find countless perfect snapshots, it’s hard to believe I couldn’t see the beauty before, but Philadelphia is about more than beautiful appearances. It’s about the people who come together to create and help each other. It’s not just seeing through the grit; it’s seeing the beauty in the grit– the prism of light whenever I walk up the Lombard-South station stairs at a certain time of day, the reflection of buildings on Walnut Street in a melted snow puddle. The grit makes its own kind of beautiful stained glass.

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Realizing You Are Home

Realizing You Are Home
by Richelle Kota

The children on my street have the ability to be free in ways I was never afforded. They run in the streets, bike with the siblings they’ve made through physical closeness, dance on porches belonging to others without fear. I see old and beautiful and large and grand buildings and houses. Where the climbing nature interacts with the abandoned, crumbling, but beautiful edifices. The wood covering the windows, the graffiti laid intentionally, the sky peeking through the roofs. Loving neighbors sit on the porches building relationships and recounting histories. They remind me to put a jacket on when it’s cold outside. They warm me with their brotherly love.

Where people see a jungle, I see a beauty I have never seen before. Never have I seen a community so based on love, history, and self-reliance; such a collectively strong people. I may just live here for a short time, but for now—I’m home.

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Snapshots From My Travels

Snapshots From My Travels
by Meredith Getzfread

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A Changed Perspective

A Changed Perspective
by Phoebe Mikalonis

This semester I had the opportunity to partake in something I never thought I would. I found myself signed up for a class that involved intensely studying a small neighborhood known as Sharswood. Located in the 22nd Police District, Sharswood is a small neighborhood, yet considered one of the most dangerous locations in Philadelphia. It is safe to say I had no idea what I was truly getting myself into, but I was scared. I had heard so many stories of the surrounding areas of Temple that I found myself too afraid to venture anywhere off campus, day or night. These on-site surveys of Sharswood would be my first experience outside of the “Temple bubble,” and what I witnessed will stay with me forever.
What I found in Sharswood was a tight-knit community filled with people of all ages. I saw children playing in the streets and families barbequing on their front porches. I saw a great deal of decay, too, but through it all I saw pride. I met and talked with people of the community who, no matter how little they had, were filled honor to show us their homes. A home they bought and worked to pay off; a place that they could call their own. I got to see the history of this small neighborhood, through its architecture and structures, corner shops and community gardens. Most of all, I was able to see how beautiful this area truly was and still is. I found that with every visit, my perspective shifted more and more. My strict guards and unwavering opinions slowly began to collapse. I realized that I was wrong all along. This area was beautiful, yet was crying out for help with no one to listen.
I fell in love with this small local neighborhood that I never thought I’d step foot in. I was committed to be the voice for those who had none, and that is exactly what I did. I joined forces with University of Pennsylvania graduate students and helped in the documentation of the area. Through this, we found multiple areas within the neighborhood eligible for historical preservation. This process is helping to save the homes of those in Sharswood who were wrongly about to lose them under the PHA’s Eminent Domain laws. While no decisions have been made yet, the people of Sharswood received what they never thought was possible: a voice. They saw what the power of influence could do, and even had a change of heart. Like myself, they too had their own opinions of us Temple students. They thought no one cared about them, that while we were there walking around, we would disappear in a semester’s time and forget all that we had seen and everyone we had talked to. But that is not the case. We are changing their lives, bringing attention to the unjust nature of the PHA, and giving Sharswood the voice they need to bring change to a great neighborhood. The pride this community has continues to grow, and they are filled with joy knowing someone is looking out for them.
While we can’t save all of Sharswood, we have begun to impact the community for the better, even as the PHA continues demolition on streets that cannot be saved. Yet I know when this semester ends, that I have made the biggest impact I physically could, and most of all, I learned that not everything in Philadelphia is what it seems on the outside. There is beauty through the breakdown and strength in shadows.
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Rebirth: The beauty of change and infinite cycles in North Philadelphia

Rebirth: The beauty of change and infinite cycles in North Philadelphia
Maric S Kusinitz

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Graffiti Daze

Graffiti Daze
Trez Knox

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So You Gotta Let Me Know

So You Gotta Let Me Know
by Mark Raytses

https://vimeo.com/120728607

 

 

Life • Liberty • And You

Life • Liberty • And You

Jiahui Ji

0320: City hall
1993: Eastern State Penitentiary
6013: Spring of Philly
9638: Sweetness of Philly

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@SavePhilly

Nick Canonica – @SavePhilly

I created SavePhilly in Philadelphia to inspire individuals to live life to the fullest and explore beyond their means. With the city at your fingertips, adventure is always there, even if you don’t know it. These days we all seem to be stuck on our phones. We lose half of our productive day being social, but only on a device. Our adventures are taken and presented to connect people with the world and show them what kind of life exists beyond the screen.

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By Nick Canonica