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Philadelphia, PA // November 2014

After almost two years of not seeing my step-father because, well, life gets in the way, I finally got the opportunity to visit with him in his new digs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You would think he's lived there for ages, since he knows all the best spots and walks through the streets like he owns them. I made sure to bring my 5D mark iii and 24-70 f/2.8L lens so that I could document my explorations in a new city to share with you. Some of these photographs are of more tourist-geared destinations, and some are from walking through allies and such.

On our first day, we headed to a local diner, which is sort of a tradition with my step-dad. While the food was on the bland side, the people who served and were patrons there, were quite colorful. I love seeing and observing the "locals" in each new city I visit. Our waitress was my favorite person in the joint. She was very sassy and was not afraid to say what was on her mind. I'm sure you can guess the level of attitude I got after asking for a bowl of fruit without any melon.

This is my younger sister and best friend. I always catch her deep in thought or observation, and in these moments I think she looks so beautiful.

Giving tours of this park and the Liberty Bell, are men dressed in garments worn in the area in the 1700s. The Liberty Bell was to be used to call lawmakers to their meetings and the townspeople together to hear the reading of the news. On the bell is inscribed, "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof."

This is Independence National Historical Park, where Independence Hall, Old City Hall and the Liberty Bell are located.

In this area is also the cemetery where Benjamin Franklin was buried. Oddly enough, there is an entry fee to enter, but you can peek through the gate to see his tombstone...

...As I did here.

Here is the top of Independence Hall, where the Liberty Bell used to ring, amid the beautiful fall colored tree tops.

Walking back to the Hall for our tour, we found these guys. The Mt. Rushmore four had never been to Philadelphia, as they reside in South Dakota.

George Washington in all his glory, in front of Independence Hall.

CU George Washington statue.

On our last day in Philly, we did some exploring and of course had to stop at a local juice/smoothie shop, of which there are an abundance of in the area. This one, called Sip + Glo Juicery, had the sweetest people working there. They were very welcoming and knew their regulars names by heart. And yes, the smoothies were delicious.

I was excited to have stumbled upon this alley way. There is tons of street art in Philadelphia, but not in the traditional sense. I passed by numerous ground to rooftop scaled paintings on the exterior of various buildings. They are incredible. This particular installment intrigued me because of the many beautiful textures and colors these textiles had. There was also an adorable display of teamwork going on that I felt I needed to share.

Just by observing, I believe the woman was the artist and the man was helping her apply her textiles to the wall. He was so sweet and patient with her, that I had to capture their dynamic.

Almost all of the wall space in this alley were covered by tiles, mirrors, and found objects. It looked to me like a collaborative project between multiple artists and not just this one woman.

It was quite inspirational to watch them, as a fellow artist.

"Teamwork makes the dream work."

Here is some of the other wall space covered in a different style.

And another pretty angle for your pretty eyes.

Here I found some working class heroes taking their lunch break. I loved the contrast of the dirt and their red shirt colors to the bright yellow wall behind them.

This beauty had her eye on me from across the street. I thought it was love, until I got closer and she told me about their $5 Palm Readings.

And to end this on as good of a note as anyone could, I give you: The Fonz.

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