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Another Street Art Marriage Proposal on Percy Street?!

February 12, 2021

––Post and photos by Streets Dept Contributor Eric Dale––

A few months ago, we wrote about a new Dora Cuenca mural on Percy Street in South Philadelphia. It was commissioned by nearby resident Jonah as part of his marriage proposal to his then-girlfriend Danielle. But as it turns out, that wasn’t the end of the story.

Unbeknownst to Jonah, Danielle had also been planning for months to propose to him with a street art installation on Percy Street! “Ever since Jonah and I first began talking about getting married one day, I knew I was going to propose to him,” she told me over email. So she was shocked when he proposed in late December last year—since she was already planning a yarnbomb proposal with Nicole Nikolich (aka Lace in the Moon)! What’s more, she first met Nicole at the same Streets Dept Walls event that inspired Jonah to commission his mural from Dora Cuenca!

After seeing Nicole’s collaboration with Amberella in September, Danielle decided that Nicole’s colorful style was exactly what she was looking for. “I was so excited to make this piece for Danielle,” Nicole told me over text. “The placement of the proposal yarnbomb on Percy Street was extremely special because of its importance to the couple, who have helped curate and build the alley, and also an exciting and electric backdrop for my textured and bright medium.”

Danielle specifically did not want to write out “will you marry me?” in her proposal piece. Instead, she had been searching through Jonah’s love letters for “the perfect phrase that would be special to us, but also accessible to any street art enthusiast.”

“Early on in our relationship he began sending letters to my office’s mail room with colorful hand-made envelopes,” she said. “My coworkers thought it was sweet but that it would eventually fade away, but the letters just kept arriving. Like in a rom com, but it was real life. It always brightened my day and made me feel so special, so I knew I wanted to incorporate the theme of love letters in my proposal idea.”

But Jonah’s surprise proposal ended up providing the perfect message instead. “He was so emotional that he didn’t say much,” Danielle recounted. “But he said ‘Danielle, you inspire beauty in the world. Will you marry me?’” It was a perfect fit for what she had already been envisioning.

So on February 10th, Nicole crocheted Jonah’s words onto Percy Street, and Danielle “counterproposed” to him later that day. “Doing a love letter theme around Valentine’s Day seemed like a perfect declaration of love not just to my partner, but to South Philly,” she said.

I highly recommend taking a walk down Percy Street to see this installation, Jonah’s mural, several newer murals painted by David Guinn, Theresa Rose, and Hsojel, and various wheatpastes and stickers that have popped up in the alley. It’s turning into a real arts walk down there!

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