I expected to be able to get around more easily once I moved to Manhattan from Brooklyn.  I had probably taken a bus in Brooklyn twice in the 30 years we had lived in  our brownstone neighborhood downtown and was expecting to take buses all the time in Manhattan to supplement the subway.  What I didn’t expect is how often I decide to walk instead of taking any mass transit.

Walking in Manhattan these days is certainly different from when I lived here last, in 1978.  My husband and I lived in one of those white brick apartment buildings on Third Avenue in the 20’s and, as evidence of our walking zeal, would not infrequently walk back from the theater in the evening and downtown to eat in Chinatown on Saturday nights.  So I do have some historical perspective on the subject.

I feel a little like Rip Van Winkle as I walk around these days.  Demographically, Manhattan has certainly gotten younger with everybody looking to be no older than about 25.  Everyone seems to have a tatoo, women show much more skin and everybody is wired to something.

Of course the city is much safer than it was in the 70’s (and 80’s), when some of my walks now as a single woman, coming back from the theater at 10:00 pm, would have been very inadvisable.  My greatest concern now is stepping on a dead rat, which one young woman, crossing East 38th Street, said she must have stepped on in the middle of the street; it obviously wasn’t quick enough to escape the frenetic traffic heading east toward the Midtown Tunnel.

So walking would certainly be a logical theme to pursue in collage, and was my immediate response to a design challenge to come up with a narrative for a 15″ x 40″ sheet of nice, 3-ply, Strathmore paper.

Walking in the City collage with newspaper, colored paper, watercolor, marker, paper fasteners, ribbon, and foil paper

(middle panel detail)

As nice as it is to be distracted by art and walks, the renovation requires some decisions on appliances, lighting, and a subject about which I know little, 21st century electronics.  More on that to come.