Monday, April 20, 2020

THE VIRTUAL TOURIST: Celebrating 9 Years of The Intrepid Tourist--In My Own Neighborhood

A token of cheer placed along a neighborhood walking route in West Los Angeles
The world as we know it has been forever changed by the Corona pandemic. For now, all travel is essentially cancelled, thus making The Intrepid Tourist more theoretical than actual. So, while we all shelter in place, it is an opportunity to be virtual tourists, remembering favorite trips in the past, dreaming about places we might like to visit some day, and seeing our own neighborhoods anew.
Sidewalk art has begun to appear along the streets of our neighborhood.
This week is the 9th anniversary of the launch of The Intrepid Tourist in April 2011. Since then I have posted a new article once a week (usually on Monday), now totaling more than 400 posts and more than 300,000 page views. I am gratified to have found an audience that is enjoying the articles, both mine and those by friends and family.  I especially thank all the guest posters who have widened the scope of the blog, often reporting on places I have never been, whetting my appetite for future travel and providing their unique point of view.
Perhaps this sidewalk artist was inspired by Jackson Pollock!
I hope that it won’t be too long before all of us can enjoy traveling again. Meanwhile, Art and I remain at home, except for a daily walk around our West Los Angeles neighborhood. We try to vary our route each day. Just changing the side of the street, direction, or time of day often brings surprises.
Rays of sunshine decorate this rock.
A week or so ago we began to notice small colored rocks appearing in nooks and crannies along the sidewalk. Like oddly shaped Easter eggs, they were mysterious hidden treasures. Some had messages, others were simply painted with designs.
This colored rock was tucked into the roots of a tree.
Then, in the Easter Sunday edition of the LA Times, a front page article described a similar phenomenon going on in other communities. The headline read “They’re rock-solid in a crisis.” The author told about a group of children in Santa Clarita, inspired by a local artist, who found rock painting a welcome activity during all the hours they must now spend at home.
I don’t know who is creating the painted rocks and sidewalk art in my neighborhood, but they are tokens of cheer that brighten my day and help me stay sane as I weather the pandemic.

1 comment:

karen m, california said...

This is lovely - a tribute to your neighborhood!