Mapping Outside of the Lines

On Monday night I went to Otis Elementary School to help the principal paint the walls. I looked up halfway through painting and realized that the original walls fit my color scheme. I took it as a sign to start at my exploration walk at an elementary school for this piece.

On Tuesday afternoon I started at Oscar Mayer Public School on Clark Street. Sure enough, the school colors were a perfect fit.

The sidewalk was crowded with lots of small children. Many were being picked up by their parents and many others were in the area behind the school at a after school program. On the front side of the school there was a pen with chickens. Lots of children were screaming and shouting. There was a path leading into a park. At least six dogs were spotted. On was being watched by a five year old blonde with curly hair while another brown mutt was running across the dusty baseball field. Lots of children were running around and playing games.

I decided to take a right on Webster. I walked down the path and saw more or less of the same type of people walking up and down the street. I stopped outside of Sweet Mandy B’s and realized the colors had guided me in the right direction. Sweet Mandy B’s smelled as sweet as it looked. When stepping inside there was a long line of mothers and babysitters with their children, including two babies.

The roomed smelled of sugar and it made me hungry. I left the bakery and continued towards Magnolia St. Again, the colors guided me toward a lone bed of purple-blue flowers on the corner of Magnolia and Webster.

Continuing down webster, I eventually turned right on Lakewood. The road curved and turned to Clybourn. On Clybourn we passed Petco and A Paws Animal Shelter. Continuing we walked around and saw a store called “Treasure Island Foods”. I went inside and there were more colors waiting.

I don’t know what it is but people seem to enjoy placing these shades together. Treasure Island Foods was a cross between Whole Foods and World Market. Funky disco tech music played and the salsa aisle smelled like a frozen foods aisle. There were not very many people inside the store, but the food was there ready to be bought. It was a very inviting store with flowers and essentials lining the doors.

After walking out of Treasure Island Foods there was a pottery barn kids. And of course parked on the curb across from the Pottery Barn was a blue car.

As I walked down the street down Seminary there were lines of older, extravagant apartments which had lots of ghosts and pumpkins in the yard. One area of grass was alone except for a single purple flower which poked through the gate.

It was amazing to see the two colors I chose show up in so many different areas. The best part of this walk was how the colors were almost always right next to each other, the sweet smells inside Mandy B’s, and the discovery of Treasure Island Foods.


Thoughts About Maps

A map is anything which changes the unidentifiable into the identifiable. Maps are all about perspective. Different kind of maps can describe the same area. For example, a terrain map may be different than a transit map making a insanely crowded area seem very serene and vice versa. We make maps so things can be located and assessed easily. A map of all the states is good for geographical tracking and a map of the best cupcakes areas in DC can provide a good idea of the best route for a sugar addict. How common or uncommon things are, and why some areas are better than others are why maps are a good way to understand an area. While looking at a map it is difficult to understand what it holds, making a map is a much more intimate look at an area. Anything is mappable, it just depends on what is being recorded.