I was down to go. I was eager to leave New York for a little while and a destination so convenient to get to and new to me seemed like a good option... and it was. There are many amazing things to do and see in Philadelphia, but what struck me the most was the amount of interesting and uniquely creative street art along its infamous South Street. At any random corner you might find something the city's residents referred to as a "mosaic bomb" - a mural crafted of several hand-made tiles and glittering mirrors. They make Philadelphia's streets a lot more interesting and beautiful in such a distinct way. These tiled murals reminded me in some way of the mosaic architecture of Antoni Gaudi found throughout Barcelona, Spain. And like Gaudi, the artist behind these mosaic bombs left his city an entire, impossible to replicate, building crafted in the same way as his murals. This place is known in Philadelphia as The Magic Gardens.
According to the destination's mission statement, "Philadelphia's Magic Gardens (PMG) inspires creativity and community engagement by educating the public about folk, mosaic, and visionary art. PMG preserves, interprets, and provides access to Isaiah Zagar's unique mosaic art environment and his public murals." From floor to ceiling, the space is entirely crafted by the artist, Isaiah Zagar's, beautiful mosaic art. It's unlike anything I've ever seen before with the sparkling mirrors and hand-made tiles weaving beautifully into boldly colored glass bottles, bicycle wheels and folk art statues. In addition to serving as an inspiration hub of Zagar's work, the space also houses an art gallery that features similarly colorful work of other artists.