Neal Santos and Andrew Olson Getting Married On Mural Arts Love Train Tour


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Mural Arts has chosen the gay couple who will get married on their fifth and final Love Train tour on Sunday, February 8th: photographer Neal Santos and his partner of six years Andrew Olson.

Mural Arts tells me they chose Santos and Olson, because of their “completely adorable story about falling in love in Philadelphia.” Santos shared the story with me this afternoon:

My partner and I are not from here. We grew up on either end of Philadelphia, myself from Jersey City and my partner, Andrew from Hockessin, Delaware. As cheesy as it is, we fell in love here, in the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection.

Andrew and I met in 2009, through OKCupid. Our profile compatibility read something along the lines of 50% chance of being lovers, and 50% chance of being enemies. I think it was pretty accurate as that balance has fueled an organic, passionate relationship and solid partnership.

In our first year of dating, we began an urban farm where Andrew lived in Southwest Philadelphia. We called it Farm 51. He cleared the lots, and through the help of PHS’ City Harvest program, we grew vegetables, herbs and flowers for sale at our weekly farmstand. As the vegetables grew year after year, our love grew just the same. 2015 will mark the sixth year of our farm operation. 2015 will mark the sixth year of our relationship.

We bought and renovated a house adjacent to the farm in 2012. We are proud dads to four rambunctious dogs, three cats, some chickens, and two turtles from the Italian Market. …

A wedding like this would embody everything we’re about: a bit untraditional, a bit romantic, and whole lot in love with each other and Philadelphia.

The Love Train tour is a slow-speed, privately chartered tour of Steve Powers’ now-iconic Love Letter project on the Market-Frankford Line. The plan for the afternoon is as follows: Judge Dan Anders, Philly’s first openly gay male judge, will marry Santos and Olson as the train saunters past the 50 Love Letter murals that are scattered throughout West Philly. A reception at Loews Philadelphia Hotel will end the tour, with cake and champagne.

There are still a couple tickets available to join the tour and wedding party. They can be purchased here.

Full disclosure: Neal Santos is a personal friend of mine—we worked together at Philadelphia City Paper, and he contributes photography to Philadelphia magazine.