“Running” Into Art
I’ve mentioned before that I love traveling to new locations and exploring an area on foot. Heading out for a run after a quick survey of available routes is one of the best ways to explore a large area in a short amount of time. The abundance of running social media sources (Strava, MapMyRun, GarminConnect, etc.) means there are always routes already posted and shared no matter where you are staying. You get a chance to scope out shopping, restaurants, parks, and other unique aspects to a city, even if they don’t appear on any readily available descriptions. Outdoor art is one of the most interesting aspects of any major metropolitan area.
In recent years, many cities have attempted to breathe new life into neighborhoods, and one of the best ways to do that is with outdoor art installations and murals. Not only does it add an exciting design element to any space, but it allows the city to incorporate the work of local artists and further reinvigorate the area. I just got back from a trip to Philadelphia for a professional conference, and my running adventures allowed me to discover those interesting pieces!
Everyone is familiar with the ‘LOVE” sculpture in Philadelphia, but as it turns out, there is quite a bit more to be discovered in the city of brotherly love. I stayed at a hotel in the Center City neighborhood, which was a great location for some excellent restaurants and coffee shops (my two other favorite parts of traveling to a new location). It also happened to be very near several universities and an art school. As you can imagine, there was plenty to see during my morning runs.
I truly believe that the beauty of a city lies not just in its traditional and historical cultural areas, of which Philly has plenty, but also in the abstract and unique art. Heading out for a run allows you to see the beauty of an area in those hidden areas. The murals on the sides of buildings, the small sculpture installations near office buildings, the architectural features of an area, and the simple ways that folks have made the city their own, all add to the visual interest of a new location. Needless to say, Philadelphia did not disappoint!