“I’m New Here”

Hey everyone! It’s been a pretty busy first month for me here in Philadelphia, so let’s just jump right into everything.
I’ve finally figured out how SEPTA works (the local public transportation,) and I can say that it’s absolutely terrible. Enough said. It certainly beats driving into the city and sitting in traffic for 3 hours though. When I do have to drive anywhere outside my neighborhood, I’m finally able to get back home without using my GPS, that’s progress!
My marketing internship has been challenging. So challenging in fact, I wanted to quit about three weeks in. There’s just something about not being paid that just makes free, hard work so much worse. It’s really great experience, and the marketing department has even implemented a social media plan that I created to market one of our shows. So, I’ve decided to stick it out, because nothing worthwhile is easy – and Beyoncé wouldn’t quit.
My actual job is the most insane and incredible place that I’ve ever worked at. The Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is a non-profit organization that was started in 2004 to preserve the structural art of local artist, Isaiah Zagar. I really can’t even begin to describe this place so – look at my pictures and come visit me if you’re ever in town.
Next….THE POPE CAME! I assure you, it was just as awesome as it sounds. I didn’t get to see him in person, but my friends and I were a few blocks down from him standing with tens of thousands of people, all craning their necks to see Pope Francis give his mass and kiss babies on the jumbotron. The baby-kissing was actually pretty funny. The secret service held the babies up to the Pope and then as soon as he kissed them, they held the babies back out to the crowd like, “Alright, who’s is this? Come get it.”
I’m not catholic, and I disagree with the Pope on many things – but I can certainly appreciate a prominent figure like Francis urging us to deal with issues outside of religion; such as climate change, immigration and poverty. If you have the time, I’d definitely recommend reading the speech he gave to congress. I’m glad that I’ll be able to tell my children that I was there on the day that the pope came to Philadelphia.
I also got to volunteer and do something that I’m really passionate about, which is environmental protection and conservation. United By Blue is a Philadelphia based, environmentally conscious clothing company that’s committed to removing a pound of trash from our oceans and waterways for every item of clothing they sell. It’s a really cool business model, and they have a dope Instagram account – so you guys know I’m all about it.
My friend Dan and I signed up for the last event of the season which took place at Bartram’s Gardens, a local park on the Schuylkill River. We were part of a team of around 20 people – all ages, all ethnicities – who came together to make a difference. The first 10 minutes I thought to myself, “Wow, look at all the good we’re doing here.” Then I started to really think about our efforts with a broader perspective. It’s not enough.
Cleaning up the river was great, but that trash will only be replaced with new pollution in the coming weeks. I pulled a huge cement mixing bucket out of the water that day; are you telling me someone just “accidentally” forgot to NOT toss it in the river? We need to really change the way people think. The best way to clean up our water and anything else is to make sure that the trash never makes it there in the first place. That, is obviously much easier said than done. When it comes to combatting environmental issues, we almost always seem to be fighting a losing battle.
Still, I believe that doing something is better than doing nothing at all. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” That’s a Mandela quote, I’m very cultured you know. That day, we pulled over 500 pounds of trash from the river. Is it much? Not necessarily. Will it make a difference?  Absolutely, and we’ll never stop trying to do what we can.
So, that’s what I’ve been up to so far. I’m still new here, and there are plenty more adventures to be had.
Til’ next time!

The crowds were pretty crazy.

Watching the Pope near City Hall.
Watching the Pope near City Hall.
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Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

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Bartram’s Park Clean Up

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Bartram's Park Clean Up

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