Have you ever visited a place so unique, so unusual, so enchanting that you can scarcely believe that such a place even exists? That you wonder why it took you so long to discover it? That you can't wait for your next opportunity to go there again?
|Street view of the Magic Gardens
The Magic Gardens at 10th and South Street in Philadelphia is just such a place.
Back in the year 2000, when I lived in Center City, I would see a really cool mosaicked wall on the building across the street from the Super Fresh where I shopped. There were other little patches of mosaic along South Street that always drew my eye.
Fast forward to 2013, and I hear about this place--the Magic Gardens--just two blocks from where I lived all those years ago. How had I missed it? It turns out that the artist, Isaiah Zagar, began his huge mosaic masterpiece project in 2004, three years after I moved out to the suburbs. What had been a fairly overgrown lot next to that wall I used to love has been transformed into a multi-layer wonderland of tile, mirrors, bottles, ceramics, bicycle wheels, and really any other object that captured the artist's eye over the decade that he worked on it.
|This photo shows somewhat of a close-up of the different materials Mr. Zagar uses.
|My five-year-old on an adventure at the Gardens
|My mother standing in one of the many hallways of the multi-layered space.
|I snuck a photo of Mr. Zagar when I first saw him, before I had a chance to ask him for permission!
|My four-year-old tucks herself into a mosaicked niche.
Take a moment to look at the web site for the Magic Gardens to see some more photographs and look through some of the opportunities for events and classes. I highly recommend adding a stop at the Gardens to your itinerary if you are anywhere near Philadelphia!