Magic Gardens

See that girl with the notebook in one hand and her phone in the other? Yeah, that might be me. It’s not that I’m trying to be annoying–it’s that I’m researching settings for my new book.

A few weeks ago I did a monster round of research, running around Chinatown in Philadelphia. Part of that was to figure out how what it sounds like and it was it smells like. The answer to that, by the way, is this: it sounds like jackhammers and cars and a tittering of English and various Asian languages. It smells like fried things and car exhaust. And there are these awesome old women in old-lady flowered smocks selling flip flops, bundles of chives, and whole fish. And there’s some phenomenal Korean barbecue.

I also made a pit stop into Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. If you’ve never been, it’s an art gallery to show off the mosaics of Isaiah Zagar, an artist whose mirror and broken tile mosaics sprawl over the South Street area. My husband and I had a great time traipsing around the joint, and the notes and photos I took were instrumental in writing a scene in the novel I’m working on.

Like most Philadelphians (and I count myself as one now–I’ve lived here longer than I haven’t lived here), I’ve never been to most of the museums or other assorted touristy things happening in the city. It’s always interesting to cross another site off the list! In case you’re interested, below is a gallery of some of the Magic Gardens photos.

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