Last weekend I spent several days in downtown Pittston, PA at my brother’s home, Pittston is a friendly city located between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. Just by walking the streets, I found out that similar to Scranton’s First Friday, Pittston is hosting a Second Friday Artwalk on the second Friday of every month from June to September 5-9pm.
Pittston thrives on tomatoes and is the self-proclaimed “Quality Tomato Capital of the World,” but it also has a deep connection with Northeast PA’s coal mining history.
Pittston also tries to accommodate all of their visitors or residents by peeking a variety of interests such as art, history, outdoors, parks, religion, sports, and food. You can’t get half-way down main street without noticing their many murals and painted fire hydrants, or the tomato statue in the center of town.
What caught my eye most particularly was the two murals imaged above and below. The mural above is a gorgeous mural that reminds me of the Italian Renaissance style of paintings, in the way that they include many different people and images relevant to patronage and significance. These small details may go unknown to a passerby, but to the citizens of Pittston that are familiar with their heritage, paintings like these become so powerful and important to the people that pass it everyday.
The mural below was painted by Leigh Pawling and has the quote ‘Like A Tree, You Have Deep Roots’ written along the base of the tree. It’s unclear to determine if the tree is growing apples or tomatoes, but knowing Pittston, it’s most likely tomatoes. I thought that this was a beautiful connection to the often depicted “tree of life” concept as well as many of the concepts of yoga, as the figure is posed in a yoga position. The body is clearly connecting mentally, spiritually, and physically with their community (tomatoes), their world (the roots), and their family (the tree).
Next to this gorgeous mural is a prayer garden with engraved stone benches and a marble statue of the Virgin to pray to.
Much of my experience in Pittston reminded me of my time at Marywood, it’s a community of enrichment and spirituality which can be difficult to find. I definitely recommend a short trip if you ever get the opportunity. They also hold an annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade which happened last weekend, and their famous Tomato Festival every summer.