Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

The Russian-Ukrainian Team
My favorite pseudo-sister-cousin Masha came to visit New York this summer for the umpteenth time. This time around we ventured out to the beach in New Jersey, a day trip to Philadelphia, and a weekend in Washington, D.C. The trip to Philadelphia was a very Russian one as it was my Russian brother, his Ukrainian girlfriend, her Germany livin' Ukrainian cousin, Masha for Russia, and me Dasha from Russia. My wonderful brother drove us down there and we spent about 12 hours walking around the downtown area, visiting the Franklin Institute, walking around the Rodin Sculpture Garden, seeing the old cartways, and eating dinner with a Brooklyn friend. One of the places we all loved the most was Philadelphia's Magic Gardens
Philadelphia's Magic Gardens (PMG) is the creation of mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar. Zagar has been mosaicking murals in Philadelphia since the 1960s, and in 1994 he began the Magic Gardens in a vacant lot near his studio. This was back before companies bought up property, lots, empty space to build condos and other such monstrosities. Zagar worked on this labyrinth of a garden, complete with staircases and much to see and explore, for 14 years. In 2002, the owner of the lot wanted to sell it due to rising property values. An amazing, unique thing happened instead - the artist community and those who love Zagar's work united and supported Zagar as his mosaicked lot became a non-for-profit and officially turned into Philadelphia's Magic Gardens. When you're in Philly next time, I highly recommend you visit this place. For a small fee you can spend a few minutes or a few hours walking around and noticing the different pictures, words, ideas mosaicked into the walls.

Sibling art

My brother's awesome girlfriend, Stefaniya.
Joyful at Philadelphia's Magic Gardens.
Not so little brother.
Ladies. Very tough ladies.

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