#StreetsDeptTurns5: The 5 Most Popular StreetsDept.com Posts – Ever!
As I approach the 5th anniversary of StreetsDept.com – which we will be celebrating with a BIG ol’ show on January 22nd at Paradigm Gallery with some of my favorite artists from over the years – I wanted to take a look at the most popular, i.e., most viewed, posts from the past 5 years.
Some these may surprise you. At least one surprised me. In all, I think they’re a fair example of some of the most inspiring/exciting posts on this site!
5) Bernie Sanders Mural in Queen Village 
Little more than a few weeks old, this new mural from artist Brooks Bell, paid for by the people at Sweettooth, has become quite popular quite quickly! Meanwhile, all of the other posts in this Top 5 have had years to rack up views. I think it’s fair to say that Philly is Feeling the Bern!
Curious to see what Philly artists might do when the political world is at our doorstep this summer as the DNC (Democratic National Convention) comes to Philly!
Ever since Kid Hazo popped on the scene nearly 3 years ago, he’s delivered installation after installation that’s caught the attention of the Internet and art lovers alike, but his satirical take on those ubiquitous Visit Philly ads in 2014 seem to (at least with regards to this blog’s audience) top them all!
No doubt Hazo’s got more genius in store for 2016, and I know I can hardly wait to see.
This post, frankly, surprises me that it’s in the Top 5. Perhaps because it’s so unlike most all the other abandoned explorations I’ve posted, which are typically within the City of Philadelphia? Perhaps it’s because of it’s Walking Dead-ish appeal? I’m not sure.
Nevertheless, this photoessay of PA’s abandoned Linfield Industrial Park has been rising in total views year after year.
2) Yarn Bombing The Blue Line 
Still to this day my most popular street art-related post, Ishknits yarnbombed the Blue Line just 3 months after the launch of Streets Dept – and it blew the world’s mind.
The installation was talked about EVERYWHERE from Newsweek, to Laughing Squid, to Juxtapoz, just to name a few! (Another Ishknnits’ yarnbomb from that same year even ended up in the very last print edition of the fucking Encyclopedia Britannica!)
Suffice it to say, Ishknits’s incredible work helped to elevate this blog from a mere street art fanboy site to THE SOURCE for news, info, and celebration of Philadelphia’s burgeoning street art scene. And I am forever grateful to her, and to all of Philly’s amazing artists who continue to inspire me.
Far from a surprise, this post from 2013 exploring one currently-not-in-use station along the Broad Street Line’s Broad-Ridge Spur (and one station that’s for some strange reason only half in-use) is the photoessay that got the attention of The Guardian, who then named Streets Dept one of the ‘Best Blogs for Travellers,’ adding:
“[StreetsDept.com] is a wonderful site to spend some time exploring, following in the footsteps of the site’s main curator, Conrad Benner, who describes himself as a ‘blogger/photographer/all around very curious fellow’. Less word on the street, more sights of the street, there’s little text here, just compelling photos from around town.” –The Guardian (2013)
Coming in at Number 6 is perhaps one of my personal favorite photoessays, exploring the Divine Lorraine, so I couldn’t leave it off this countdown entirely! :p
Looking forward to the next 5 years… Thanks again to all the artists who have made this blog what it is, and to all the readers who help keep it going! Hope to see you all out on January 22nd! <3