This collection was inspired by the photographer’s curriculum work in the MatadorU Travel Photography program.

My Philadelphia


One thing I've learned from living in Philly that the moment you think you've seen everything, you discover something new in a place you've been a million times before. This site, now abandoned, was part of the Reading Viaduct, once a major transportation channel to and from the city. It cuts right through a portion of Center City directly over the street. You can see its underbelly from the street, but there are very few points of entry to gain access to the tracks above.


Even when there's crummy weather

...go outside. On any given day in the city, there's some sort of event happening. In this shot, I'd left my apartment to go get coffee and got swept up in a crowd going to see a parade.


In Philly, everyone can be an artist

The city is certainly famous for its sanctioned building murals, but oftentimes people paint murals or graffiti on abandoned buildings or other unused spaces. This plywood wall blocks access to a property in the Italian Market area, which local artists have decorated over the years.


Along another section

...of the same plywood wall, painters work on completing a new mural. A few times a year, the current murals on the wall are painted over and new art put in their place. The artists are free to decorate in their own styles.


One of the things I love about Philadelphia the different forms public art can take. Someone attached this swing to the metal frames over the abandoned rails of the Reading Viaduct. A little further on, I got to try out a tire swing as well.


Despite Philly being a large metropolitan area

...with an unfortunate amount of crumbling real estate, there are still places that are steadily growing. The Italian Market, just a few blocks from my apartment, is almost exactly as it was decades ago. It remains a great way to get local produce without the big-city prices.


The market runs year round during the chillier days people have fires in barrels to keep warm.


This is an alley

...just around the corner from some of the produce vendors. It's always worth walking around these areas to see the ever-changing graffiti and art, but also to see the vendors transporting and preparing their products for display.


At Gleaner's Café can sit on the sidewalk and watch the people in the market.


The sounds of the Italian Market

...are just as interesting as the products sold. The man in the picture, John, has been selling shopping bags there for years. He calls out with the rest of the vendors to sell his product. It's an ongoing challenge to try to decipher what the vendors are shouting.


In case you're ever short on frozen python meat can get it here. Another thing I love about Philly is that someone nearly always can help you get what you need.


This is my city.