You want to see some great art, but you don't want to spend a beautiful summer day inside a museum? I hear that! And I might have the perfect solution for you.The Love Letter Train Tour in Philadelphia. I referenced it in "For What I Want, I Can Wait" last year, and I finally took the full tour last weekend.As I knew it would be, the tour was an incredibly unique experience.First, we hopped the El train at Market East Station and headed West. Once we hit 45th street, a whopping fifty murals by Stephen Powers (aka "ESPO") started popping up one by one, all within eighteen blocks. It was almost like a rapid-fire game of "I spy." And each mural was more creative and colorful than the next.Check out some of my favorites below: "Your everafter is all I'm after." (with the greatest view of Philly I've ever seen) "Miss you too often not to love you." (note how Powers was sure to never paint over any original building signage. Cool.) "Open your eyes I see the sunrise." "This heart is safe for valuables" (above Philadelphia Savings Fund)What a beautiful, upbeat and positive gift Stephen Powers gave to West Philadelphia. I highly recommend you check it out!
Last week, a brand new spot called Metropolitan Café opened in my Philadelphia neighborhood, so I used the cold, snowy weekend as an excuse to grab a cup of tea and check it out.When I walked in, the very first thing I noticed was the absence of laptops. Hard to believe, right? But see for yourself:Turns out, there is no WiFi at Metropolitan Café, and I think that's awesome. It seems that cafés have become synonymous with hiding behind a laptop while sipping on a latte for five hours. So I love that Metropolitan is doing just the opposite. They're not trying to one-up their competitors. They're just trying to be themselves; a place to enjoy a cup of coffee, catch up with friends, get to know your neighbors or read a book. They're really just trying to be what cafés were meant to be.Metropolitan Café is also eat-in only. No take-out allowed. It's like this café is practically forcing me to relax and unwind! And therefore, it's my new favorite spot. You should check it out!
2013 is well under way and Philadelphia continues to inspire me to add more color to my life. That's right, Resolution Color continues.My latest inspiration was the Mummers Parade on New Year's Day. It traces back to the 17th-century Swedish holiday tradition of visiting neighbors' houses while singing, dancing, making noise and drinking. (Did you know the Swedes were the first settlers of Philadelphia?) This later evolved into masquerades and parades.And I'm pretty sure the big event just wouldn't be the same in black and gray. Check it out!It is equal parts strange and amazing. Much like the city of Philadelphia, I suppose!Tell me, what is your New Year's resolution? And what is inspiring you to keep it up?
Have you heard of this site called hitRECord? I admit that until Monday, when I attended hitRECord On the Road at the Merriam Theater, I hadn't either. And if we're being totally honest, the only reason I attended was because I heard the show was hosted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.Well, as it turns out, hitRECord is this amazing website where all types of artists, including illustrators, designers, writers, photographers and musicians, from all over the world come together virtually to make films. Currently, the community consists of over 125,000 artists. And yes, it was founded by Joseph Gordon-Levitt himself.The film that stood out to me the most on Monday night is called Iterations. It is about life's journey and it was created by SophieRumi of Hungary, in collaboration with mirtle of Cyprus, set to a song by Metaphorest of Scotland and orchestrated by Robo_J of the US. Additional illustrations and instrumentation were provided by the entire hitRECord community, then animated by fajigajiga of Canada. And well, it's beautiful. Take a look:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtxN_axxmDEAs a creative, I think the most important thing I took away from hitRECord On the Road, is that we don't have to do it all ourselves. Sometimes as creatives, we want to own a project. We want to write everything, design everything, illustrate everything. But when we collaborate, our work rises above what we might have created on our own. You know what they say, two heads, or 125,000, are better than one.So tell me, have you checked out hitRECord yet? What do you think? And what other amazing sites might I be missing out on?
Is it possible to train our minds to be happy the same way that we train our bodies to be fit?Designer, Stefan Sagmeister, has been on a ten-year quest to find out. In fact, he is creating a documentary called The Happy Film. The movie will showcase Sagmeister's experiments with meditation, cognitive therapy and drugs, and their effects on his happiness level."I am usually rather bored with definitions. Happiness, however, is just such a big subject that it might be worth a try to pin it down." - Stefan SagmeisterI think this is a fascinating study. So, I took a sneak peak of Sagmeister's findings at his exhibit, The Happy Show, at Philadelphia's Institute of Contemporary Art.One of my favorite parts of the The Happy Show was the "How Happy Are You" gumball machine wall.I was glad to see that numbers 1 through 5 were still pretty full! (And who are these people taking the #10 gumball? I'd like to meet them. Eh, maybe I wouldn't.)Anyways, the Philadelphia show ended last weekend. So if you didn't catch it... you missed out. But, you still have the documentary to look forward to. Due out Winter 2013. Woo!Personally, I like to think we can do things to train our minds and alter our happiness. Before we hear Sagmeister's verdict, tell me, do you think happiness can be learned?
On Wednesday, I moved into a new apartment in Center City, Philadelphia. This marks my 9th move in 7 years. Yikes! But I'm hoping this is it for a long while. In fact, the moving boxes I usually store under my bed are officially in the trash. Could this mean I'm here to stay? Could this mean Philadelphia has won me over? How could it not? Look at all the love around here:
A couple of months ago, as you may have read in my post, Resolution: Color, I decided to add more color to my life. Around the same time, I started seeing Color Run imagery pop up all over social media sites. Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube...Considering the first ever Color Run was just in January 2012, word sure was spreading quickly. Over 22,000 people signed up in Philadelphia alone, and I don't think I saw a single ad. Just fun, vibrant, amazing pictures all over the interwebs. Oh, the wonders of social media in advertising.If you actually haven't seen it, The Color Run is a 5K held in numerous cities throughout the nation. Participants wear white and are covered in different colored dust at every kilometer.Considering my color resolution, I thought it inappropriate not to sign up!Before (That there on the right is team "Pantones." All two of us.)AfterThe incredible clouds of color at the finish line festivalProps to founder Travis Snyder for creating this unique event that is getting the country talking. And more importantly, exercising.So tell me, do you have killer pics of your city's Color Run (or as it's also known, "The Happiest 5K on Earth")? Link us to them in the comments. We want to see!
We are in it now! The prime of wedding season, that is. And I have designed about a dozen wedding invitations. In doing so, I was recently asked, "When you design these, do you get upset that you're not getting married?"The answer came rather quickly.... Nope!And it's true.Fact is, I haven't found what I want yet. Therefore, I will wait. It's cool!Then later, while writing my blog post "Resolution: Color", I came across the website for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. While browsing the site, I fell madly in love with one mural in particular. It read, "For what I want, I can wait."My thoughts exactly. I had to check it out.So this past weekend, I drove to West Philadelphia. And as I neared the corner of 48th and Market, the mural came into site. Though it sounds sappy, the biggest smile appeared on my face. It was gorgeous! I love the bright blue color against the bright blue sky, the simplicity and the strong message.The mural was designed by Stephen Powers. It is actually part of a 50 mural series entitled "Love Letter". The series adds amazing color and energy to West Philly. If you don't live in the area, you can see some examples at muralarts.org. And if you do live in the area, apparently there is a "Love Letter" train tour every Saturday and Sunday. Another thing to put on the "to do" list, for sure!So tell me, what is the big hurry?
I moved to Philadelphia for a job opportunity 9 months ago today. Prior to my move, I was living in Boston. My dream city. Or so I thought. I was sure I’d live there forever.My decision to leave was a tough one. But I must say, I think it was the right one. Philly’s got flavor! Flavor, that to be honest, I don’t think Boston had. For example, it has thousands of vibrant murals. Literally. I see at least twenty on my morning jog alone. It’s got funky sculptures, plenty of yarn bombing (or as I prefer to call it, Grandma Graffiti), vibrant houses and as expected, lots of interesting people.This new city has inspired me creatively in many ways. Today, I'll tell you one.Philadelphia, you have inspired me to add more color to my life.If you know me, you know that I wear a lot of black. And by a lot of black, I mean only black. I’m not sure why.It might be because black is always in style. Or because it’s slimming. And matches everything. Maybe it’s because I’m a creative in advertising. Or because doesn't get dirty (most probable).But that phase of my life (28 years) is over! So thanks for the inspiration, Philly. (And new friends who have not been afraid to call me out -- “How many black tops do you own?!”, “What are you going to wear tonight? Black?”, “You wish you checked the weather? Why, what would you have worn instead? Black?”)So let’s get colorful!Tell me, where should I go shopping first?