Unusual Journey

  1. A vivid memory I have of a recent walk was before I left New York City to come back to Bard for the school year about two weeks ago. I had just come from a free concert on the East River and was walking towards my friend’s apartment about a 20 minute walk away. What made this particular walk interesting was the path we took to get back to her apartment, which took us along the edge of Manhattan, where the agglomeration of buildings is unusual compared to the rest of the island. The cooling breeze floating from the river made me remember that I was not in the middle of the city, but an interesting intersection between unutilized waterfront and a high density of housing projects. Although I have lived in the city for most of my life, the area of the Lower East Side right next to the water was an unfamiliar experience because of the area’s seeming desolateness. However, there remains a great amount of potential in these underutilized waterfront spaces, which can accommodate both the existing residents and a greater public interaction with the space.
  2. As I walked my dog for her morning exercise, I took note of the various elements of the environment which I would not have otherwise noticed. With the companionship of an animal, I was able to look at the surrounding elements on a walk with a different perspective from the normal “A to B” logic. A walk with a dog is interesting because it doesn’t carry with it the dogmatic boundaries of a fixed destination. This can help to induce some of the keened senses that urban design and theory hope to bestow on the individual. My dog Lucy curiously investigated each and every visually enticing object that we come across. This thorough yet mindless investigation can draw the human’s attention to previously unacknowledged aspects of our surroundings, such as discarded objects, unusual geographical shifts, or unnoticed scents. The journey was uneventful, save for the dog eating a few gross pieces of food, but it drew my attention to things around Tivoli that I would not have noticed before, without the help of an unwitting trailblazer. 

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