Beauty in Philadelphia

The city of Philadelphia isn’t exactly what comes to mind when people picture beauty. Although a major United States city, Philly lacks the massive skyscraper skyline of New York that entrances masses and the luxury of a comprehensible city-wide street cleaning system. Unfortunately, this allows people to overlook Philly and mark it down as filthy and unimportant. But, after living in this undervalued city for over a year, I aim to change that narrative. 

It all started during the fall of my freshman year, when my naive ideas of the world were thrown to the wolves and landed in Old City. After realizing that I had the capacity to branch out and explore my new city by myself, I was blessed with the unrestrained ability to question, discover and learn about the history and the culture of Philadelphia.

To illustrate, on every street corner you can find artistic demonstrations of the people who live there: graffiti, chalk sketches, window decor or a neighborhood flea market. The innate beauty in these pieces allows for people to open their minds to the stark differences between cultures, economic and social statuses, and generations. These minimalistic pieces of art could have been created by anyone and everyone to represent their feelings during a moment of time and cement their historical legacy. Beauty like that is unsurpassed, and creates a special bond between the people and their city. 

Just like Philadelphia creates a specific breed of city folk, aspects of the people who live there help to define and shape Philly. You have the ability to view the transition of the city from its original form, as home to the Constitutional Convention and the foundation of our nation, all the way up to modern times, in what I believe is the middle of Philadelphia’s upward spiral towards its pinnacle of an artistic and cultural explosion. 

As my home, Philadelphia has stood up and invariably made itself noticed for something other than being another crowded city with a homeless population problem. I have experienced a visual and emotional beauty throughout the city of Philadelphia. A warmth that floods your whole body with love from the caring people within, and parades the scenery with the creative genius of those people throughout every nook and cranny of the city.

I’ve discovered that even when the overall view isn’t overwhelmingly gorgeous, there’s still room for surprises and beauty in places you would least expect. So slow down, breathe and take a glimpse at the simple wonders you may be missing!