Kieran Koch-Laskowski: Life on Baltimore Avenue


Photography and Text by Kieran Koch-Laskowski


If you take a stroll down through West Philadelphia, you’ll find nestled on the corner of 43rd Street & Baltimore Avenue a quaint hideaway from the bustle of urban life: Clark Park. A lovely green-space, the park blossoms into a hub of activity as the spring and summer weather draw neighbors outside. Friends play chess on the picnic benches, passersby pause to let their dogs greet each other, crowds peruse fresh produce at weekly farmers’ markets, and children let loose on the playground as parents watch from benches.


A couple blocks eastward lies a stark contrast: Woodlands Cemetery. Here, you won’t hear children playing or dogs barking, but instead only the sounds of your footsteps as you traverse fifty-four acres of tombstones, monuments, and mausoleums. Some graves are so ornate and intricately carved that they seem like works of Michelangelo himself. Others seem little more than unmarked, crudely placed boulders. The differences make you pause and wonder – who were these people and what did they do with their lives?


The journey down Baltimore Avenue, from Clark Park to Woodlands Cemetery, is symbolic of life. Children, at the dawn of their lives, spend their time climbing, swinging, and frolicking as they explore what the world has to offer. Too engrossed in activity, the day passes without notice, and before you know it, dusk arrives. The sun sinks towards the horizon, and all that remains are monuments and memories.


Sunrise and sunset are constant – nothing can change the star’s daily path from East to West. In the meantime, find the time to listen to the birds’ morning songs, enjoy the afternoon warmth while spending time with loved ones, and admire the colors of the sky after a fulfilling day’s work.  It’s about the journey, not the destination.


Photography and Text by Kieran Koch-Laskowski, Copyright 2016.


About The Author: Kieran Koch Laskowski is a senior majoring in Biological Behavior  in the College of the University of Pennsylvania. Class of 2016. To read more articles by Kieran, go here:

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