This Is Where I Live

Americans Are Returning to Their Cities

From Adam Peditto's Returning

I met Adam Peditto back in 2014 when we guest curated Collage Festival.You may recognize Adam’s name from the viral video he filmed of David Lynch previewing his exhibit, “The Unified Field,” at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Adam’s work has received national attention, and has been featured on NPR, on Indiewire, and in the Los Angeles Times.

-Amanda V. Wagner, co-founder 

In South Philadelphia neither born nor raised.

However, it’s the closest thing to feeling “home” I’ve experienced since the age of 11. I often wonder if my love for the blocks south of Washington would have existed if the neighborhood was more like it was 20 years ago. Which makes me feel a bit like a fraud compared to the people who have actually called this neighborhood “home” since way before they were the age of 11.

I see a change happening here; one hundred year old houses demolished within hours. Every other block seems to have new freshly built condos, and even more being constructed; all with the proud stamp of the post-modern-hyper-sterile self-described architectural “visionary,” Carl Dranoff.

I often wonder, who are these condos for? Who is paying $2500 for a one bedroom? There are two new luxury condos being built within a half mile of my apartment, so clearly there are hundreds of these people. My soon to be neighbors.

I am the last person to speak about the affects of gentrification. I might even be assisting in it. I mean, I wasn’t born here and I got really excited about the new coffee shop that also rents dvds. Yet, I dread the idea of generations of diverse cultures being washed away to make things shiny for upper-class soon-to-be residents. I don’t want to live in a neighborhood like that. I want to see the textures of heritage, not chrome buildings where the rich can manufacture their own community.

My video piece features the audio recorded in The Mission District in San Francisco (which has the second highest income equality of any major US city) when new residents clashed with a group of kids who grew up there. It is something I fear will happen here. As much as I love my neighborhood I remind myself that it is and has been someone else’s home.


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