Gillian Ladley discovers her new city by taking the the Mural Mile Tour

Gillian Ladley
Favorite Spot: The Mural Mile
Neighborhood: City Center
Address: Winding through Center City

I am: a misplaced Brit in the USA, part-time photographer, media rookie, blogger, and culture lover.
Years in Philadelphia: less than one – I’m a Philly newb!
Current Home: I say it’s Philadelphia, but it’s really Montgomery County (Shhh). Hoping to move my way into living (and working) closer to the city.

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(All photos from Gillian)

My Love Note:

Several years ago I married a local, and moved here last year with a shiny new Green Card. I knew very little about the city before I arrived, but I did know it was a city that wore its heart on its sleeve…

… And its walls.

When I found out about the murals – 3000 of them – it sounded like a challenge to me! The Mural Mile tour was a perfect introduction to the city, and to the USA. I wandered around, with a little print-out, listening to podcasts on my phone, admiring these giant colorful works.

Just like Philly, the murals are vibrant, edgy, different, and a testament to the creativity of my new home. They are a visual account of its history and diversity, and its strong arts and culture scene – something I hope to become a closer part of.

Still now when I wander round the city center, I navigate by these murals. The 16 or so on the Mural Mile, works of art that brighten up corners and parking lots, help me catch my bearings when I stumble around for job interviews, shopping, and exploring. If you asked me for directions in Philly, God help you, I still probably couldn’t give you street names, but I could direct you on a long route passing Muses, the Tree of Knowledge, and heading Towards Equality.

Underrated Philadelphia, you and I are not quite close enough yet, but I know this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship. I look forward to getting to know you – and your murals – much, much better.

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