Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mapping my runs

Since initiating "Left Behind on My Run," I have realized how much I enjoy hand-stitching a map. I get to re-experience the run, and to share it with others.

After installing the first round, I was happy to see that my pieces lived on for nearly a week.

They were taken down, probably not by pedestrians, but by the Department of Sanitation. I called 311 to try to find out if I could obtain a permit to post art publicly without the risk of a fine or having it taken down.

Neither the person I spoke with at the hotline, nor the internet research I did led me to the precise information I want.

The Department of Transportation has three programs to which non-profits can apply with an artist to do a specific project. This is not quite what I'm looking for.

What I really want is to be able to post my maps and emotional quips on the streets of the neighborhoods I traverse regularly. These streets and my runs are as much a part of my emotional landscape as the dates I've been on. When I run, all of these parts of my life seem to collide.

In the meantime, I plan to keep making maps, which I will assemble into a book. I have discovered that I really enjoy stitching on plastic. I like the semi-transparent quality, and the versatility and surprising strength of the material.


  1. This is really cool. I wonder if you took them down and moved them around more if they would "live" longer? Just a thought to see how long you could get one to survive.

    It's scary to think you could get fined. Did you find out how much that might be? Just curious because I know things tend to be expensive in NYC and I guess fines would be no exception.

    I have to admit that if I were in your area I would be looking for one and keeping it myself!!!

    Keep stitchin' you are an inspiration!

  2. I admit I didn't look too closely into the precise amount of the fine, and I think it's unlikely that cops would pursue this type of activity. I am thinking I may post my maps on publicly available bulletin boards that do exist along my running route.

    I want to avoid situations long term that could lead to any tension between myself and my local community. I love living here too much to jeopardize my comfort and sense of home by creating any public interface that could be perceived as negative.

    I do think of my pieces as love notes, and want to make sure that if people find them, they take comfort in them, rather than seeing them as intrusive because they are posted on public/City property.

  3. will keep an eye out for your maps...i frequent jefferson street when i am in town.