Friday, May 19

Well, really this was an elementary school field trip I went on last week, a Philadelphia Murals bus tour. You can bet that I begged to be a chaperone for this! Despite overcast skies and smeary schoolbus windows it was terrific. Under two hours long, and aimed at 8 to 9 year olds, I don't think we got anywhere near the complete tour, but it was incredibly rich and diverse all the same. What was interesting too, was that we passed many "rogue murals", unsponsored and undocumented by the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program: just a spontaneous, private outpouring. And also "tag walls", where young graffiti artists are actually allowed to do their stuff: ever-changing and quite remarkable. The murals of Philadelphia are one of the most amazing things about this city.

Jouncing around Philly with a bus load of excited third graders may not be the most luxurious way to view the murals but it had a certain piquancy all its own. The kid's comments were often very entertaining, as was the way our (excellent) tour guide soft-pedaled certain aspects of some murals. When we (quickly) passed one about drug and alcohol abuse and someone asked "What's that?" she glibly explained it being in honor of good medical care, and being sure to take your medicine just the way the doctor prescribed it!

This mural in the photo is in honor of the Nursing profession. It is really quite impressive. I thought I'd post it in honor of my mother and aunt who are retired nurses, and also my cousin Keith, a hard-working nurse in an poor urban community.

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