Friday, November 2, 2007


I've often found that the smallest details make the biggest impact. Take for example this choose-your-own-adventure sidewalk story that has been created by a street artist in San Francisco's Mission District. The artist using spray paint stencils on the sidewalk tells a love story between a man and a woman. Four different endings are possible based on which direction the reader chooses to follow the story.

In case you can't read the picture text here it is in a little larger font. "A sudden guest of wind blows the plastic daisy from his bike and across the street". If you want the character to retrieve it, you must turn left. If you want him to continue without it, you move forward. Based on what you want the character to do, you shape the story and the ultimate outcome.

This is just a beautiful, flirty idea and ideal for a downtown such as Columbus where sidewalks are large and not overly crowded so the story can be noticed and people won't be upset if you stop and read it. These stories can be written by local authors, tell a story about the neighborhood they appear in, be temporary or permanent, etc. Several different stories can appear along the same stretch and not be confused if the text border and paint color distinguish the stories.

I especially like this idea because I think it appeals to residents and tourists alike and is a surprising, fun and potentially heart warming experience to stumble upon. Sidewalks are blank pallets and it is up to us to make art.

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