Extra’s From This Weekend’s Trip to Philly

PhillyIn years past each of my trips to the city of Philadelphia involved a number of defined moments and fulfilling ‘must do’ lists. Tony Luke’s Cheesesteaks, Pat’s King of Steaks, Gino’s Steaks and The Reading Market. With one particular trip fondly named “The Great Cheesesteak Chase”, where me managed to chow down at each of the three cheesesteak landmarks in one fateful day. All great memories considering the amount of consumption and downright gluttony involved. Becoming a vegetarian some years back served as a change of plans as well as destination.

Philly2While I sometimes miss the idea of wrapping my hands around a juicy steak and cheese with flavorful onions. Passing up these long time favorites has allowed me the opportunity to spend that time exploring in order to take home a few worth while images. Not having a belly full of meat to weigh me down has inspired me to walk more and perhaps walk the lesser travelled streets in search of an eye catching image to put on my wall or share on my blog.

Philly1I do my best not to block the sidewalk, be intrusive or act like a clueless, self involved tourist. Photographing the things that draw my eye as well as my imagination. Cautiously recalling my last predawn trip to Philly’s Chinatown when, while photographing the alleyways of the area.     I was greeted by a naked Chinese man having a smoke in one of the doorways. My goal being to document my travels without turning each one into a documentary. Ultimately, a person can often learn a lot about where he’s going when he can look back where he’s been.

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The People You Meet.

As we walked down South Street in Philly I notcied this gentleman sitting quietly by the storefront meticulously carving his wooden statue. I began to lift my camera to steal a shot but decided instead to move closer and engage him in conversation. I said hello and asked a few questions about his tecnique and how long it took him to turn a piece of wood into a work of art. He was more than happy to share his ideas and our conversation grew from there. I told him how at an early age I became a fan of Reggae. How artists like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Yellowman, Black Uhuru and Steel Pulse were major contributors to my growing up. The shops owner soon emerged from the store in a Bad Brains shirt and greeted me with a smile. I couldn’t help but share my story of how my date and I left our Senior Prom early in order to see the Bad Brains perform. The experience reminded me what I enjoy most about traveling. Everywhere I go in this world the streets and stores look more and more alike. There’s a Starbucks and a McDonalds on virtualy every corner. There’s a GAP and an Old Navy in every city. I can get that whether I’m in NYC, London or wherever. What’s important is the people you meet and the stories you come back with. That’s what makes it important to me.