• Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.
      Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.

Spotted: Philly gets its own sticky-note 'subway therapy' just before Inauguration Day

Just like in the New York City subway, sticky-note messages have started to accumulate on a tile wall in the concourse between Septa’s City Hall Station and Suburban Station.

The colorful notes answered a central question stated on pink: What is your vision for the future? A pen was attached to the wall and several sticky-note pads were on the floor, and by 6 p.m. Tuesday the anonymous installation was getting a lot of attention from commuters.

“I don’t know who did it, the only thing I know is that I walked by and people have just been coming and putting up little stamps,” said Twana Cisse, 56, a resident from University City. “I videotaped it and it says: equality, medical care, I want to go to nursing school, everybody’s life matters, stop fighting, peace and unity for the world.... It’s amazing that there’s still people out there trying to do positive things.”

There was no indication on site of who started the public intervention. (Was it you? Know more? .) New York artist Matthew Chavez, creator of the Subway Therapy project, told PlanPhilly it was not him, but that more and more replicas have appeared after his post-election intervention in November. “I do get this question from time to time,” Chavez, also known as Levee, said in an email.

On a pink sticky-note Cisse added her vision: “We are all Americans/Remember/We were all refugees and immigrant at one time. /It does not matter if we came here by slave ship boat or plane/we are Americans.”

“I think all the illegal people should stay too, because there’s enough room for everyone,” Cisse said. “Hopefully we’ll change the Democratic Party, get rid of Trump and put in someone who really cares for all of us. People are scared, they don’t know what’s going on, everything with China and Russia. And it’s so positive to see this.”

For Andrew Castle, 20, a student from Temple University who wrote “a new republic” on a sticky-note, and hazarded a guess that Philly’s version of sticky-note therapy had to do with Donald Trump’s Inauguration coming on Friday.

“His platform has been based on hatred from the very beginning, and I think that we’re going to need to spend the next four years fighting to undo all that’s been done only in his campaign,” Castle said.

Blake Darrelson, 23, from North Philadelphia said his vision was to change and impact people’s lives. “This is great,” he commented.

“This is something that we need right now,” added Isabella Bacciarini, 17. “As the world is falling to pieces, I feel that we all need to remember what we truly want. It’s just so beautiful to me, you don’t understand, it gives me a joy in my heart.”

    • Sticky note wall in SEPTA concourse between Dilworth Park and Suburban Station. January 17, 2017
      Sticky note wall in SEPTA concourse between Dilworth Park and Suburban Station. January 17, 2017
    • Adding to the sticky-note visions. January 17, 2017
      Adding to the sticky-note visions. January 17, 2017
    • Passers-by add their visions to the subway concourse wall. January 17, 2017
      Passers-by add their visions to the subway concourse wall. January 17, 2017
    • Sticky note subway visions, January 17, 2017
      Sticky note subway visions, January 17, 2017
    • Answers to the sticky-note prompt: What is your vision for the future? January 17, 2017
      Answers to the sticky-note prompt: What is your vision for the future? January 17, 2017
    • Answers to the sticky-note prompt: What is your vision for the future? January 17, 2017
      Answers to the sticky-note prompt: What is your vision for the future? January 17, 2017
    • What is your vision for the future?
      What is your vision for the future?
    • What is your vision for the future? January 17, 2017
      What is your vision for the future? January 17, 2017
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About the author

Catalina Jaramillo, Reporter

Catalina Jaramillo is a part-time reporter for PlanPhilly. She covers community development issues, environmental/sustainability stories, and neighborhood narratives. For most of her career, she has worked toward social justice, writing about inequality and creating real and virtual spaces for people to communicate. She is a freelance correspondent for Chilean newspaper La Tercera, collaborates with Feet in Two Worlds –a news organization that brings the work of ethnic media journalists to public radio and the web–, and teaches journalism at the first Spanish-language program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. She was born and raised in Santiago, Chile, and has lived in Spain, Mexico and the US. She’s been living in Philadelphia since 2014, in front of Norris Square Park, in Kensington. She tweets as @cjaramillo and you can email her at cjaramillo@whyy.org.


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