Warning: A provincial Philadelphian’s view of the Commonwealth

     Map of Pennsylvania by Tony Auth.

    Map of Pennsylvania by Tony Auth.

    Remember Saul Steinberg’s infamous New Yorker cover where three Manhattan blocks (avenue blocks) made up half of the world? “Jersey,” Chicago, Texas — even Russia are just names fading in the distance according to the perspective of a Manhattanite standing at 9th Avenue.

    (Hey, at least they were deemed worthy enough to make the map.  Where’s Philly, Pittsburgh, Scranton, or Shamokin?)

    The often parodied drawing became an iconic symbol for the narcissistic New Yorker, who believes The City to be the center of the universe and every other city a distance second rate place.

    Pennsylvanians may not be as egotistical as New Yorkers, but we are all guilty of believing at one time or another that our lot of land is more important — dare we say better — than the people next to us.  From Erie to Allentown, we all have our own perspective on what the Commonwealth looks like to us.  

    When we asked WHYY’s digital artist-in-residence Tony Auth to illustrate his map of Pennsylvania, he said it was an odd assignment:

    [I was] asked if I had any interest in drawing “my” Pennsylvania. “Of course,” I said, without thinking. 

    It turns out my Pennsylvania is very personal. I mean no disrespect to the rest of the state, which is pretty much terra incognita to me. Of course I’ve done some exploring over the years, but much of the state is a mystery…I perhaps should have drawn a dragon or two out there…Philadelphia is my Pennsylvania.

    Pittsburgh…land of Pirates! New Jersey…the shore. Central Pennsylvania is apparently the land of giant cows. What does it all mean? I don’t know, I just started drawing.

    You may not be a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, but we want to see and share your map of Pennsylvania.  Sketch us your version of the Pennsylvania state map. Attach an image of your map in the comments below, tweet your map to us @Pacrossroads, or send it to us the old fashioned way: WHYY, Attn: Keystone Crossroads, Independence Mall West, 150 N. 6th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106.

    When we receive a collection of your maps, we will post them on the Keystone Crossroads website.  




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