Philadelphias Magical Gardens
As a New Yorker, I have to admit that neighboring northeastern cities were never something I deeply yearned to visit nor places that most of my friends recommended to travel too. So, though I only live a two hour drive away from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the only time I ever visited that city was for a brief college tour when I was seventeen. Aside from the campuses I saw, I really don't remember much about the city. More recently, a friend suggested we visit Philly, a city she happened to grow up just outside of, for the 4th of July - where coincidentally the events that lead to the creation of the holiday took place. 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.