Giving Back 2017

Oh this year. Time to buckle down and do what I can to give back. Like last year, I'll be donating all of the profits from the map sales to local nonprofits from Thanksgiving through Giving Tuesday. That means that your purchase of a map will help to support all of the following organizations: Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory, Marian Anderson Historical Society, SEAMAAC, Red Paw Relief and Students Run Philly Style (more about the nonprofits below). Last year we raised Read more

#whyilovephillyarts Launches

It's official, the first #whyilovephillyarts, featuring Sean Martorana, is now live! Check out the prints below and purchase one of the 30 limited edition prints online. This is the first collaboration that aims to build a body of Philly-specific art across a variety of mediums for people to purchase with 100% of the profits going to the artist (along with a full commissions and licensing Read more

Sean Martorana x Philly Love Notes

The best part about running Philly Love Notes and making maps is the opportunity to connect with, spotlight, and help build the Philly community (see Giving Back This Year -- news about 2017 soon, #whyilovephilly Twitter campaign, #whyilovephilly parties, Philly Love Letters). So... I'm very excited to announce the new project, #whyilovephillyarts, a series of collaborations aimed at showcasing the amazingly talented artists and makers we have here in the city.  The Concept - Commission a piece of art from a variety of painters, illustrators, graphic designers, Read more

Philly Round-ups

8 Philadelphia-centric and Philadelphia-made Etsy Picks

It would have made more sense for me to compile this list before the holidays, but there are always birthdays, weddings, and housewarming parties that demand some type of gift. Obviously, the ones I would choose for this blog are Philly-centric. More importantly, all of the items are Philly-made as well.

1. Make a Match Memory Game Philly Edition
Mama May I toys and games are made by Jessica in South Philly. This memory game and others can be found on Etsy and online. You can also follow her on Facebook

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Philadelphia’s Interactive Art Exhibits of 2012 and 2013

Inspired by a post from My Modern Metropolis (an incredible blog if you haven’t yet seen it) and a trip to the Park Ave Armory in Manhattan for Ann Hamilton’s the Event of a Thread (see below), I thought I would look back on some of Philly’s interactive art installations of 2012.
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1. Longwood Garden’s Light: Installations by Bruce Munro
This installation featured seven trippy large-scale outdoor light installations. My favorite was the Forest of Light featuring 20,000 illuminated stems that looked like blooming flowers amidst a dense forest. The other most striking part of the installation was the Water Towers, a collection of 69 symmetric towers made of two-liter soda bottles. Each bottle contained a fiber optic cable that changed color in relation to music that was being played throughout the installation. I don’t know what Longwood Gardens could do to top that installation.
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My favorite posts of 2012 (Emma)

5. Ross Markman and Emily Paull (Love Notes #4 and 5): Reading Terminal Market
Ross was my friend’s roommate.  Emily is his girlfriend. Somehow I convinced them to be the first love note writers outside of my own short notes. I met them at Reading Terminal, iPhone in hand, having no real experience with photography, and certainly none with photographing people. We sat down at the tables in the Market, and I handed them each a piece of paper to write their love notes that I would later transcribe. I have learned much since then: 

  • Have people submit their notes via email when they are good and ready 
  • Courier is a terrible type font for this blog (yes, I know, it will be fixed soon)
  • Shoot photos of people discreetly if possible so as not to make them too uncomfortable
  • Warn contributors that it’s “just me and an iPhone” so they’re not too disappointed when I come sans camera
  • Have standardized questions
  • Hyperlink
  • Occasionally add in some personal moments (but not too many)
  • Use the meeting as an opportunity to get to know the contributors and the places they’ve chosen
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A round-up of Philly’s great style bloggers

Philly has no shortage of great city-centric blogs. Some of my favorites are the style blogs, which maybe, just maybe, are helping me hone my fashion sense a bit. I wanted to give a highlight of those that have made it into my Google Reader and which I now read religiously.

1. Streets and Stripes: A fashion and lifestyle blog authored by freelance photographer and editor Chaucee Stillman that’s geared towards young, creative, and culturally aware readers. Lots of photos of Chaucee’s great personal style, other beautiful Philadelphians, and photo shoots in some of the city’s lovely boutiques.

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