Feeling Philly

We spent an extended weekend with friends in Philadelphia so that I could run a half marathon on Sunday and, I have to admit, we were pleasantly surprised. Though I grew up a mere hour north of Philly, I’ve never spent much time in the city [except for that one girls’ weekend two years ago that involved more giggling than sightseeing]. Fortuitously, it was also restaurant week. We had some great food, some great drinks and enjoyed some really great company. Thanks, Laura!

We also had the opportunity to check out Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens on South Street – a delight that I’ve passed by before, but had never entered. And what fun!

The Gardens are comprised of the work of Isaiah Zagar, and are pure decorative arts; the folk art influence of his time spent in the Peace Corps in Peru is readily apparent. Mirror shards, ceramic remnants, bricks, bicycles and bottles mingle in the winding mosaics that cover the floors, ceilings and walls of the space, both inside and on the exterior.

Zagar has been working on this and other South Street masterpieces since moving there in the 1960’s, and the Gardens were established as a non-profit to save them from death-by-landlord-demolition in 2002.

Isaiah Zagar: Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it.

Read more about the history of Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, and Isaiah Zagar, on the site of the non-profit. Be sure to check it out next time you find yourself roaming the streets of Philly!

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