Episode 21: Infinity Transit Odyssey Part 2 - Philadelphia

Beginning in late September 2005, I took a rail trip in which I visited eleven cities and rode transit in all of them. I had bought a North America pass from Amtrak and Via rail. This pass allows virtually unlimited travel by rail in the U.S. and Canada for 30 days.

In this second episode about my travels, I visit a recently restored streetcar line on Girard Avenue in North Philadelphia. Streetcars built in the 1940's were modernized to run the rails they had run until 1992, when streetcar service on that street had ended. I also ride the two subway lines in Philadelphia, the blue line and the orange line.

I was in Philadelphia for the conference of the National Alliance of Media Arts and Culture. As part of that conference I took a bus tour of several sites in North Philadelphia that had been part of a video oral history project. Featured in this show are a community garden built by a group of Latino women, and the fight to take back a historic Quaker Philadelphia graveyard that is the lasting resting place of the leader of the Underground Railroad. That graveyard had been taken over by drug dealers, but neighbors had chased them off, and now the place is safe for families.

At the end of the episode I take a sidewalk tour of an incredible mosaic sculpture by Philadelphia artist Isaiah Zagar. The artwork of his is threatened, because the owner of the lot that holds the gigantic sculpture wants to redevelop the lot.

Watch a clip from show 21.

Upcoming episodes will take me on a trip in the shape of an infinity sign.

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