Whenever I visit a new place, my favorite way to get around is to simply wander around the streets. Walking a city is, in my mind, the best way to discover a city. It gives you time to soak up the surroundings and slows you down enough to notice the details that make a place what it is.
But wandering is not just for new places. I love “playing the tourist” in Seattle. Yeah, I’ve lived here my whole life; but even so, there’s always something different to take in. Walking the streets can offer new perspectives even in your hometown.
I do have a few favorite “techniques” for hometown touristing (did I just make up that word? Probably.).
Focus on a specific element
It could be buildings, window displays, cars, etc. Yesterday I had a couple hours to wander downtown Seattle, and I chose signs (click on the image to close the gallery):
The fastest way to see a familiar place differently, I think:
Walk down an unfamiliar street
Naturally, only recommended in the daytime if you’re alone. . .
Check out an iconic place you haven’t been
For me it was Mee Sum Pastry in Pike Place Market (super popular among actual tourists) and Bauhaus Books & Coffee in Capitol Hill (super popular among natives). Great for people watching, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Are you ever a hometown tourist? How do you look at the familiar in a new light?
January 31, 2011 No Comments
People-watching is a guilty pleasure of mine, which explains why I find this 60-second video portrait of Seattle photographer Chase Jarvis incredibly captivating. It’s amazing how much you can learn about a person even before they speak.
January 18, 2011 No Comments
Wow. Really enjoyed looking through Jordan Matter’s gallery Dancers Among Us, a photo series capturing dancers on the streets of New York:
January 13, 2011 No Comments