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Love Letters and Prisons

Chandrea's picture

I thought yesterday's field trip was a lot of fun. I was reluctant at first to go because we had to leave so early in the morning on a Saturday, but it was beautiful out! I think my favorite part of the trip was the Mural Arts Tour. When I visited Bryn Mawr for the first time, we took a walking tour and I learned about Philly and how big it was on murals. I've been taking the Market-Frankford Line into West Philly for work for the past year and I always noticed these funny, lovey-dovey messages in mural form on the top of the buildings we pass. My friend told me that they were love letters but I didn't believe her. But in the Mural Arts bookstore, as I flipped though a little booklet detailing how these love letters came about, I couldn't stop smiling. I'd totally take a mural over flowers any day!

I think this idea of creating murals to prevent tagging and beautifying the city is a brilliant idea. It's so cool to hear about how people in the city take pride in the murals and how the people respect the artwork and take ownership of it.

I've been to Eastern State Penitentiary before but I realized yesterday that that place still gives me the creeps. I've been thinking a lot about the women's penitentiary that I live down the street from, as well as the elementary school, and a chemical corporation. I'm confused about how I feel about the way these buildings were built and set up, and I don't know if I should be furious and bitter about it. Why didn't I notice the penitentiary before? And is it reasonable to feel worried about its relatively close distance to my house and a local elementary school? It's even worse knowing that this geographical structuring probably has a lot to do with my community's economic status. And no matter how much I try to ignore my socioeconomic status, it just keeps coming back to haunt me.