Harvest Gold

Local artist livens up our November cover with a scenic walk down memory lane. 

Summer’s light has faded, a chill is in the air, and the vibe is… nostalgic! Fall is homecoming and harvesting; hot cider and cinnamon sticks; fuzzy fleeces and cozy knit hats. Here in Philly, the colors, scents and sounds are so distinct and indelible, it’s practically impossible not to feel at least a little sentimental this time of year.

Autumn ushers in our most cherished and family-centered holidays, too: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, each of these a host of emotional memories.  Fall is our most fragrant season, as well! Spicy and sweet with apples, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Acrid wood fires, yeasty breads baking, savory roasting turkey… Psychologists have long known that smell is linked more closely to memory than any other sense. No wonder we’re primed for bittersweet pangs this time of year.

Barbara Zanelli’s autumnal street scene captures this feeling of contented contemplation with a single figure among falling leaves and silent porches. In her own words:

“As soon as September came, I began to feel nostalgia coming on. I decided to be proactive and do things to mark this change of season that bring me joy! One of them was to make this drawing. When I moved to East Falls in June, Osmond Street became my favorite block. Perhaps it’s the houses with European roofs, or the variety of plants in the lovely gardens and decorated porches….

Illustration by Barbara Zanelli (East Falls, Philadelphia) 2021

“… Or maybe it’s the giraffe-trunked sycamore trees that remind me of the neighborhood where I grew up. Whatever it is, when I walk down Osmond Street, I feel happy. So I decided to draw myself walking along, crunching the fall leaves, and convey that quality of dreaminess and nostalgia that I was feeling. ”    — Barbara Zanelli

What do you think? Do you feel wistful this time of year, too? What sights/sounds/smells say “fall” to you? Please leave your comments below.

And make sure you seek out November’s Local newspaper, where you can find Barbara’s illustration printed in full color on our cover, suitable for framing or hanging on your fridge! 🙂 Find us at Nouvaux Market, Slices Pizza, Founded Coffee, and lots of other local establishments, as well as train stations & libraries, too. You can also pick up a copy 24/7 from the red “honor box” outside our office at 245 W. Chelten Ave (map).

We Love Art! If you’ve got something to share, please email editor@nwlocalpaper.com for information on how to be featured on our cover or in our pages (includes modest stipend). Big thanks to Barbara for her lovely work!

Osmond St (Oct 2019)

Barbara Zanelli holds a B.F.A. in Illustration from Syracuse University. Enjoy more of her artwork at barbarazanelli.com

About The Local 161 Articles
The Local byline reflects community-created content (usually from social media, often from audio/video sources) that we've collected and edited into an article for our website/newspaper.

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