It finally felt like a real First Friday on the eve of May 3. Once the warm weather began to creep back into the streets and sidewalks of Philadelphia, people were out and about, enjoying the monthly art walk. That's when things are in full swing.
I meandered down Frankford Avenue, my preferred First Friday destination over the massively popular Old City, determined to whet my visual appetite. As of recently, the main strip of this Fishtown street is home to some of the most unique businesses in the city and some of the best galleries. The streets were alive with sights, sounds and scents–it made Philadelphia feel so alive.
I popped my head into Space 2033 to check out a photo retrospective by Marc Bluestein titled Chelsea Hotel: A 3 Year Journey. The Chelsea Hotel in New York City met its demise in August of 2011, when the landmark's owner put it up for sale. The hotel is historically known for being full of character and characters. Over the years it had become somewhat of a colony for artists, musicians and anyone seeking creative refuge–including the likes of Iggy Pop and Patti Smith. Bluestein's photo series captures just that. The gallery's walls were lined with vibrant, medium sized prints that depicted mostly portraits of long-lost characters from the artist's personal past. Mismatched frames and paper torn hand-written descriptions kept true to The Chelsea's quirky aesthetic. I am a sucker for photographers like Zoe Strauss and Daniel Arnold, who are masters at capturing contemporary urban subjects 'in the moment'. This exhibit was a total visual treat, in those same regards.