I’m an artist and a freelance editorial illustrator.
Why do you live/work in Philly?
As soon as my mother dropped me off at school on Broad Street, I loved Philly. The city has great music, great people, awesome food, a thriving art scene. It’s a really distinct city. Philly does really have its own flavor and style. I mean it is next to New York and D.C, but it’s very different from both of the cities. It’s just this really raw feeling here that people are very honest and open, and you feel that and you hear that.
Where do you live in Philly? Describe your neighborhood.
I live in South Philly, close to the very alive Passyunk Ave. I love my neighborhood. It's very diverse: white, black, Italian, Mexican. There are many great restaurants with GREAT food. My favorite pho restaurant is around the corner, and the best Mexican food I've had in the city is just around the other corner. The Italian Market is just a couple of blocks away.
How does Philly compare to other cities?
Philly is very liberal. I think of Philly as a much smaller version and more down to earth version of NYC. And, while I love the time I spend in DC, I will say that Philly is a lot less pretentious. Philadelphia is raw. The people are passionate and honest. That is something that I always miss about Philly when visiting other cities.
Do you take inspiration from the city?
Philly is a very beautiful city -- especially in the spring and summer. I'm also inspired by other artists. There is so much talent here. I have many friends who are artists, musicians, writers. Seeing them perform is always an inspiration.
How would you describe Philly to someone who has never been here?
There are tons of things to do no matter what you're into. I love live music and am always finding a great show whether it's hip-hop, R&B, rock. If you're into poetry, there are open mics and slams. If you're into art, there are so many galleries and museums that host interesting art exhibitions. If you're into theater, there are a number of theater companies putting on productions throughout the year. Philly is very rich in its arts and music culture and offers diverse options.
What is something you wouldn't know about Philly unless you lived here?
How great the people are. I've heard misconceptions about Philly regarding the people here. I've lived in poor neighborhoods, worked in rich neighborhoods, been friends with underground rap artists and 60-year-old community workers, and I've taught children who live in rough neighborhoods. And from all these interactions, I've concluded that the people of Philadelphia are great.