Walking Every Block in New York City to Unknow
Do you think you know the city or town where you live? Matt Green is walking every single block in New York City. When he’s done, he’ll have traveled more than 8000 miles on foot. His goal? To know nothing.
In an article he penned in GOOD, fellow traveler Green writes, “The more you explore a place, the less you realize you know about it. The easy stereotypes and labels and narratives start to break down as you delve deeper beneath the surface.” We couldn’t agree more. He sees walking as a way to pass through a place while experiencing it at the same time. This allows him to ask new questions—and in practice, inspire others to do the same.
Green’s blog, I’m Just Walkin’, mostly consists of photographs he takes along the way, one posted per day, some with historical information included. You won’t find any judgments there though—just a simple presentation to document day and location. We love Green’s minimal style of documenting his project. It suggests he is living inside of his experience, constantly framing and taking photographs of that experience.
His is a practice of not knowing. He wants “to learn firsthand that this wildly multifarious collection of 8 million human beings can’t be known, not by newspapers or blogs or public officials or loudmouths at dinner parties or anybody else.”
Why is it important to give yourself the opportunity to see anew and to ask new questions? We at The Possibility Practice think that without taking a look at how we see, we are easily duped by our assumptions—about ourselves, about others and about the world — in ways that prevent us from living life fully.
We encourage you to not know with intention – so you can learn all kinds of things that you can’t if you know it all already. How might you apply the core of Green’s project of discovery to your life? How can you develop a practice of not knowing that opens the world up to you?
Thanks Matt, for your inspiring and ambitious project in curiosity and discovery, and for sharing it with us in such a way that we can not know with you.