“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.” – Jack Kerouac
I’d been running the streets in center city Philadelphia with my friends at Back on My Feet for quite a while before I thought to photograph the murals I found at seemingly every turn. And then in November 2012 I got the idea to share the art that adorns the city with readers and posted The Art of Running, Part III – Cityscape. What followed was a series that now includes twenty posts about all types of art that makes up the urban Cityscape–sculptures, architecture, glass, murals and much more.
Fast forward two and a half years and I find myself Cityscape editor of the Schuylkill Valley Journal Online. Almost two decades after SVJ published their first edition in 1996, they launched an online journal in April 2015. The SVJ is part of the Manayunk-Roxborough Art Center. The twists and turns along the journey of life.
There is no better way to discover a new city, town or countryside than on foot. David Byrne of the Talking Heads makes a case in “Bicycle Diaries” that a two-wheeler is best. I wouldn’t disagree; whether two feet or two wheels, both keep you grounded. In fact, many of the photos I shoot are taken on jaunts around town on my two-wheeler. The point is to slow down and smell the fragrances, listen to the sounds, the music of dialect, and breathe in the culture that surrounds you. Another advantage is that tiny streets, narrow alleyways and obscure hideaways are more accessible on foot and bicycle than by any other mode of transportation.
I was born and raised in Philly, yet is wasn’t until my early morning runs that I was struck by the art that had surrounded me on the city streets my entire life. So I share the urban art of my hometown with you in the hope that you will notice and appreciate the beauty of art that make up your own Cityscape.