Down The Alleys…A Psychogeographic Walk

psychogeographical alleys

A day off and a list of errands led me to get out and complete them by walking around town. I had to traverse a couple of miles, as my errands spanned one end of the downtown area to another. I plotted out a usual course, down streets I normally drive or walk. On the way back, though, I had the sudden idea to walk the entire way only through alleyways. I am used to tripping through the occasional interesting alley on walks, but not making an entire trek using only alleys as my course. Luckily, this town has numerous alleys and they can run unbroken for quite a way. So off I went. The first thing I noticed was, of course, far less traffic. But as I moved along, a curious thing happened. I became disoriented, despite the fact that streets I normally drive or walk almost everyday were less than half a block away. I leaned into this disorientation. Buildings looked unfamiliar. I was hyper aware of their windows and the planes of light reflecting off of them. Doorways seemed secretive and mysterious. At one point,  the backdoor of a church opened, some loud music blared out, and a bag of garbage slammed down on the stoop. I only saw a hand as the bag was deposited. The puddles in the alleyways reflected the sky and felt like they were portals to other dimensions. The few people I saw were furtively leaning against outer walls and either smoking their break cigarettes or staring into phones. It was a classic trek in the liminal zones of the city and helped me see it in a different light.

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