As I recently discovered during an innocuous search for Thor GIFs, Tumblr can be a mind-altering place, populated by obsessive, combative Internet users who specialize in off-putting fan art, grainy photos of people drinking coffee in bed and ludicrously detailed theory writing about the CW show Supernatural. But it’s also a repository for some incredible stuff! Like adorable dogs who paint to raise money for animal charities and that’s all I’ve got at the moment. Perusing Tumblr is a bit like spelunking without a headlamp — for every awesome stalagmite garden you uncover, you’re bound to endure at least two to three flesh-eating troglodyte attacks.
There’s also some excellent local representation on the blogging site that might not be well-exposed to non-Tumblr users, since you can’t wade through the tags and archives without a login. Here are five Philly-centric pages to check out that, to my knowledge, will not chill you to your vulnerable core. Remember that this is just a small fraction of worthy local Tumblrs — don’t hesitate to link up more in the comments.
The Philadelphia Zoo (http://phillyzoo.tumblr.com)
Whoever runs the zoo’s Tumblr has an impressive grasp on how the site itself is used — highly rebloggable images and videos that capitalize on the Internet’s fixation on cuteness but never stray off-message. Their latest star? Buckley the Nigerian Dwarf Goat, or, at I like to call him, BUCKLEY THE NIGERIAN DWARF GOAT AGHAGHAHHGHH. That GIF is from his agility training. Eeeee!
The Philadelphia Museum of Art (http://philamuseum.tumblr.com)
There’s something so heartening about the grand dame of Philadelphia fine arts emblazoning this late-18th-century Ralph Earl painting with the coveted “Man Crush Monday” tag. Get it, reclining hunter! Seriously though, the Art Museum is more than adept at Tumblr discourse, cleverly highlighting programming with a visual-first approach.
The LOLadelphia guys have excellent eyes, mixing hyper-local cultural commentary with snapshots from underexposed parts of town. There’s also a focus on street art, making the blog a Tumblr-based complement to Streets Dept — with whom LOLadelphia recently engaged in an intelligent debate based around Philly schools.
Live From Philadelphia (http://livefromphilly.tumblr.com)
Speaking of excellent eyes — plenty of Philly-based photogs have a Tumblr presence (shoutout to David Maialetti and Neal Santos), and James Johnson’s one you need to know. Check out his in-progress Black History Month photo challenge series.
Dear Philadelphia (http://dearphiladelphia.tumblr.com)
This Tumblr plays personal details a bit close to the vest, opting to let its warm, colorful images of the city speak for themselves. And if there’s something we could all use right now, it’s a little color.