Thursday, January 21, 2010

Philly Street Art Revisited...


...biked out last Thursday from West Mt. Airy...state of illuminated discombobulation...for the first time since last month’s blizzard-like-storm...(that’s what the Associated Press called it...just in case anybody was confused by the all day whiteout conditions and nearly two feet of snow and thought it was an actual blizzard)...into the harder streets downtown...


...ended up riding about ninety-five miles over the past week...which is a lot after not being on the bike at all for a month...and, yesterday, while doing some of that hip-opening, hamstring stretching, bending over the bent legs kinda yoga stuff, noticed that my legs hurt...like, a lot...


...nonetheless, managed to make use of the sunny weather to take some pictures around the city...street art...and the places where I find it...including the stuff that tends inevitably to be in front of it, blocking a clear shot...which, I’ve come to think, is essential, kinda like the random noises John Cage incorporated into his music...


...and often enhances rather than taking away from it...like the painted cloud mixing in with the real one, and tree whose small branches seem in danger of being set afire by the guy’s fingers...


...or the KEEP OUT! spray painted in white right next to the dreaming girl...like a strange, discordant caption...


...movement’s always felt comfortable to me...as countless friends and acquaintances have learned that my idea of walking distance doesn’t necessarily correspond with theirs...maybe part of that is the constantly changing contexts...and the constantly changing meanings attached to myself that go with them...


...of course, sometimes ya just wanna disappear...or, at least, make other people disappear...


...Laura compared meditation to being a passenger...simply watching and enjoying the ride rather than feeling the need to always be in the driver’s seat...I said I guess that's also part of what makes meditation difficult...feeling like I need to get up and put my foot on the gas pedal to drive my life forward...as if it’s not gonna keep going, anyway..





19 comments:

It's A Yoga Thang said...

A little something about biking (I'm about to start getting serious about it), is that is symbolizes freedom and moving forward in life (To me) and it also means I'll need to change the yoga routine up a bit, because, like you said, the legs might hurt, like, a lot.

Beautiful art here!

Brooks Hall said...

I like your Point of View. The location and other stuff around or poking into the art says a lot. And to just appreciate what is without wanting to change a thing seems pretty meditative. I might have to think about this a little more... There is a time to appreciate what is, and a time to do ___ to create the world of one's dreams. And there is an aspect of life that is beyond an individual's understanding that holds wonders, surprises and moves along without conscious control by the individual. So in a sense we seem to be "along for the ride" and in another we are powerful midwives for what comes next.

earthtoholly said...

You have excellent pics here, drjay...awesome artwork as well as your captures. I like those things blocking the shots...they belong. Like the exultant fellow and the One Way sign or the waifish children, held captive by the chain link. West Mt. Airy looks like a cool place to bunk.

Hooray for you on the recent mileage...your legs hurt, but it's a good kinda hurt, right? At least that's what I tell myself...

...of course, sometimes ya just wanna disappear...or, at least, make other people disappear... --- oh yeah, like every breathing moment.

Carol Anne Strange said...

This is fabulous street art, Jay. So inspiring! Thanks for sharing.

Bob Weisenberg said...

OK, so now we have "illuminated discombobulation."

Hmmm, I'll have to think about that one.

Love it. Thanks.

Bob Weisenberg
YogaDemystified.com

Mandy said...

In order of posts read...Awesome pics, looks like a great ride through town...the Seane Corne class sounds great (like the trippy feelings at the end)...love that MLK quote, shoulda found that for my post today...the recommendation letter ideas have me laughing great big belly laughs, will be making mine up for the rest of the night ( kinda like I make up symptoms to random drugs from commercials for fun)

Laura Hegfield said...

Hey Dr Jay,
I am so honored that you mentioned me here in your post. Quite a lovely surprise actually. I swear there wasn't so much street art back when I lived in Philly in the 80's, but I wasn't really paying attention to anything but myself back then...(curse of youth I suppose) The photos and your "take" on each one are all thought provoking. I too am becoming more accepting of the things that "get in the way" of clear shots (and clear mind)... a little less control, less foot on the gas, more foot on the break...or just sitting and viewing what's there.

enjoy the ride.

Lana Gramlich said...

This post reminded me of where I lived in Canada. Thanks for sharing these murals...they're lovely!

berenice said...

superb photos Dr. Jay!
and it was great reading your post, the biking and your ride reminded me of this wonderful Ulrich Schnauss song, Clear Day, and the video a fellow biker and musicologist, Turbid, made of the song, while riding his bike, hope you enjoy this, as you enjoyed your ride and your photography
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HOVwJq8b5A

you know? i don't have many or any yoga fellows, most of my friends practice other 'sports' and rarely yoga, so lately, after being acquainted with your blog, i have thought of you a couple of times during my practice at the studio, and i had to smile, thinking, ah!! this is what the cynic Dr. Jay does while stretching :)

the walking man said...

Our street art in Detroit is much different. the art is in knowing how to move through the streets without getting parts of you painted on a wall.

It is more akin to dance than visual or graphic art.

Kim said...

"feeling like I need to get up and put my foot on the gas pedal to drive my life forward...as if it’s not gonna keep going, anyway.."

That line really resonated with me. It's so hard for me not to be in control, yet I'm wholly not in control.

Elize said...

Your photos are amazing, particularly for capturing the things-in-the-way... I really love the tree whose thin branches risk being burnt by the man's fingers...

I agree with Kim, great phrase about wanting to put your foot on the gas pedal... I've always loved movement, probably why I started dance lessons so young, and that surrendering-to-stillness in meditation is giving up a control of movement which is really challenging for me... maybe I keep moving to avoid feeling like I'm being swept away, or maybe because I don't know what I'll find in the stillness. Will have to think on that further...

writeonyoga said...

"feeling like I need to get up and put my foot on the gas pedal to drive my life forward...as if it’s not gonna keep going, anyway.."

Love that.

Erik Donald France said...

Very cool shots. Looks sort of like Harlem Renaissance realism, if there's such a thing. I recall more graffiti-like alphabet soup when I roamed the city in the early 90s. Didn't have an auto, so had to move around in every other way possible. Great way to see things, certainly.

Me-Me King said...

Wow, this art is so bitchin'! Thank you for sharing these great works of art.

WR said...

The need to express being in art form is amazing. Great photos.

Hope the hurting "a lot" legs feel better - it is why the divine cosmic force invented K+ and water! :)

stuffedmice said...

great photographs and another set of inspiring words! thanks!

Ed T. said...

nice art, do we have any names for the artists? I dig everything a lot except for the ones where the tags predominate, if only for the reason that the tags are stylish to the point of being important only to other taggers, which is maybe what the artists intended. Thanks for sharing the streets of Philly with us.

Melissa said...

beautiful street art. sorry I cannot comment on the writing, my brain has not been in a place to comprehend words. right now, due to stress and pending loss, I am all about blog reading as picture books.

Thanks for posting.