? Love Philly? Sign up for the free Billy Penn newsletter to get everything you need to know about Philadelphia, every day.
Eagles tailgaters and fans heading to Lincoln Financial Field can play a new game before they head inside for kickoff: How many Philly references can they find in the new mural hanging in the Pepsi Plaza in K lot?
Created by local illustrator Hawk Krall, the giant banner is packed with Philadelphia people, places, and things. The jumble is meant to evoke a celebratory mood.
“When big sports things are happening … the city just transforms into a different place, a giant party,” Krall said. “I wanted to capture that.”
If you’ve lived and worked in Philly over the past decade, Krall’s work might be familiar. The Jenkintown native is behind the “Fuck around and find out” ode to the insanity that was the 2020 election, and he created the celebrity-packed mural at Pizza Brain on Frankford Avenue. His Instagram page shows one colorful food illustration after the other, including a piece for Pizza Jawn.
The new commission at the Eagles stadium pays homage to what unites the city’s neighborhoods, and also what makes them stand out. Food plays a big role. “There’s too much to eat all the time,” Krall said.
He spent years working in the Philly’s restaurant scene, primarily at Brasserie Perrier, a staple of restaurant row on Walnut Street until it closed in 2009.
“Working in restaurants kind of helped me realize how hard you have to work to make something work,” Krall said. “Just watching the chefs and the people I worked with. Like, ‘Oh, this is what working hard is like; if I want to make it as a freelancer, I have to work as hard at my art as you would in a kitchen.”
During his time at Brasserie Perrier, he said the restaurant’s co-owner, Chris Scarduzio, would give tickets to the staff and throw big tailgates with filet mignon as part of the spread.
Krall’s mural in the Pepsi Plaza has added significance because of its location in the K Lot, where he would tailgate Eagles games with his wife’s family when they first met.
Because the mural is a collaboration with Pepsi, Krall included certain brands, and there were restrictions on including some specific landmarks, buildings, or even foods with copyrights. But there are still a ton of hidden gems scattered throughout the piece.
Here are 10 things to look for if you’re at a Birds tailgate, or just find yourself near the sports complex on any given day
1) The Philly Taco, aka a Jim’s cheesesteak wrapped in a slice from Lorenzo’s
2) Lemongrass chicken wings from the Boba and Co. food truck that often sets up at FDR park
3) The Gritty cheesesteak in all its glory from Joe’s on Girard Avenue
4) A team of rowers on the Schuylkill going past the Philadelphia Museum of Art
5) The “Manayunk Wall,” a steep stretch of Leverington Street that’s a staple of the Philadelphia International Cycling Championship
6) 69th Street Station on the Market Frankford Line
7) A provolone cheese “tangerine” hanging in a shop at the Italian Market
8) A slice of tomato pie
9) A birria cheesesteak, which Krall was “so damn happy” he got to include
10) A portrait of Krall’s friend who likes to wears an Eagles luchador mask (we all have that one friend who takes their fandom above and beyond)