I have a map fetish. For this reason (and my superb navigational skills---thanks for that gene, Dad), I will never ever ever own a G.P.S. I am categorically opposed to those little Garmin goodies which tell you to turn here and exit there.
I love getting my hands on a map, awkwardly unfolding its pages and figuring out where to go. Plotting a route, veering off course, and seeing the grand design of a city is supremely pleasurable for me.
Maps also provide an inherent visual delight. Have you ever noticed the color palette of a map or the way streets interlace into patterns? As an art historian, I treat maps like tidbits of visual culture, like artworks worthy of formal analysis.
As you might guess, my favorites maps are of my beloved Paris. I adore the way the Seine slices the city in half. I love charting imaginary walking trips from arrondissement to arrondissment. I admire the linear quality of the streets as they radiate (thanks to Baron Haussmann in the 1850s) from the city's major monuments.
Do you like wandering through a map too?
Images borrowed from Famille, Bozaround, ThePaintedHive, ParisBoutiqueHotel, XoxoLesley.
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