Bishopville, South Carolina is home to less than 3,500 people, yet last year it was host to more than 15,000 visitors. They traveled to this small, impoverished town to wander the gardens of a man named Pearl. There, on a former cornfield that was cleared in 1981, you will find the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden.
I do not recall exactly when I first saw the 2009 PBS documentary A Man Named Pearl. But I will never forget the image of an older, tall, sinewy, physically fit black man on a high ladder with a saw creating art after dark among the trees. There are many things I can perceive in abstraction, like story ideas or multiplication tables. But my mind cannot manipulate space in the way his hands shape and […]
It was one of the first days when the horrid Philadelphia winter gave way to the anticipated summer. The breeze from the Penn’s Landing waterfront brought the perfect wind relief to the blazing sun. Sunglasses, print caps, shorts and skirts adorned onlookers as the legendary Roots crew put together its seventh annual picnic.
As a first-time attendee, I was happy to find that the Roots Picnic wasn’t just the land of the current hip-hop lords. It was a mixture of old and new, noted and upcoming, hip-hip, soul and alternative. Bit by bit, throughout the afternoon, I saw a handful of attendees turn into a sea of thousands shuffling between the two stages every half hour.
The acts were as diverse as the audience. What I respected most about the festival […]
While living in New Orleans, I would take Amtrak to Atlanta several times a year to experience the food, events and famous tourist attractions. I was smitten by the skyline that seems to illuminate the entire evening sky. During the day, I’d tour the historic neighborhoods to see Southern architecture and lush trees. I’d also make a much-needed jaunt to the suburbs for shopping and fine dining before heading home.
Atlanta, the seventh most-visited city in the United States, has a range of amenities and attractions that reel in over 35 million tourists annually. This includes some 4,000 restaurants to choose from — all guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest eater. Also, the city offers generous savings to certain attractions, including the Georgia Aquarium (the world’s largest indoor aquarium), the […]
Ah. Greenville, South Carolina: my southern home away from home. I try to get down to The Palmetto State at least twice a year to visit family. And whenever I’m there, everyone knows exactly where to find me: sitting in a rocking chair on my sister-in-law’s porch with my feet kicked up, rocking back and forth while taking in fields of green grass and listening to the sounds of absolutely nothing. You see, as a northern, urban city dweller, nothing excites me more than, well … peace and quiet. Still, there’s a lot more to the Upcountry than lazing the day away in a rocking chair with a Mason jar full of homemade sweet tea by my side. Let’s explore Greenville!
The Swamp Rabbit Trail
It’s hot. Not the it’s-summertime-so-of-course-it’s-hot kind […]
Summer weather in Miami, Florida, leads not only to barer bodies on South Beach but also awe-inspiring art walks in the Wynwood Design District. This out-of-the-way neighborhood serves as a foil to the pretension of the famed Miami strip. Here, gutted warehouses hold the heartbeat of Miami’s art movement. Both inside these walls and proudly broadcast on the sides of buildings, there is an unapologetic expressionism in the form of graffiti and fine art. Bright colors, richly explored themes and kinetic energy vibrate through the small neighborhood, defined by the artists who adorn it.
Over the last four years, the Wynwood strip has been transformed into a cultural playground for the eye by hundreds of artists. Internationally renowned Wynwood Walls serves as the outdoor epicenter of the neighborhood, but there […]