Another short-short Friday Fictioneers story! Don’t forget to see what other people did with this week’s prompt picture. And please let me know what you think of this one –
“This is such a great city, and nobody appreciates it but me. Does anybody even notice – sculpture, architecture, and all our murals? So many styles – abstractionism, symbolism, trompe l’oeil – why, there’s a garden you could try to walk into by mistake. And does anybody care?”
“Wasn’t there a book about-”
“Nobody cares. Let me show you! Come on, down this way. How could anybody tear this down?” He swept an arm dramatically toward the missing wall.
“I tried to tell you. Just like your painted garden. It really looks like you’re seeing the inside of the building, doesn’t it?”
Day before yesterday, I met with a friend, and we walked through a large chunk of center city Philadelphia, taking pictures as we went. A few of them –
Some walls in Philadelphia have murals painted (or otherwise constructed) on them, like this one – the “Lincoln Legacy Project” – in the 700 block of Chestnut Street.
I couldn’t get all of this mural in one photo. It faces into a narrow parking lot…
…and if I had stepped back any farther, the mural would be hidden by the building on the other side of the lot. (Or else I’d have been standing in the middle of Chestnut Street, which isn’t a good idea.) You’d need a wide-angle lens to photograph the whole thing, and I didn’t have one.
(I’d give you more information about the mural, but the mural project website doesn’t discuss its meaning – I suppose it speaks for itself. I can tell you that it’s partly a mosaic made of more than a million glass tiles, and that the left side was painted by inmates at Graterford Prison.)
Then there are walls that are artwork in themselves –
Carved stone on 5th street near Market.
Beside the stairsteps in Independence Hall.
The stair landing in Independence Hall. We often think of eighteenth-century architecture as fairly austere, and compared with what the Victorians built, it is. But builders in the 1700s were perfectly happy to include a bit of ornament, as long as it didn’t compromise the classical proportions of their work.
Sometimes change is hard to see, and even harder to illustrate. But I finally remembered this photo –
This Pompeiian gentleman is much too responsible and serious to acknowledge the apparition staring at him from the distant future. When everyone knows that Roman culture is perfection, why waste attention on these barbarians? It’s not as if anything in a prosperous little town like his could ever change.
Turns out that you don’t have to go to Philadelphia to see public murals –
While looking through some photos, I came across this picture I took in Seattle two years ago. (And this may be your only chance to see a whale lunging up out of trees.) Now for a question: is the whale in the mural larger or smaller than a real whale?