Stop. Don’t take another step. Get off that beaten path in front of you and take a turn where few choose to go…down an alleyway.
I’ve been hanging in Boston this week for a marketing conference—feeding my other self (Keyhole Marketing). Fortunately, I’ve been able to sneak away from the schmoozing and slideshows every once in awhile and head out into the beautiful streets of Beantown. If you’ve been here, you know of what I speak.
But to me, the real beauty of Boston—of any city, for that matter—lives in the alleyways…away from the hustling people, glistening sidewalks and alluring storefronts. To me, the intriguing stories exist in the dirt, the trash, the rats, the spray-painted walls.
Today, I went down an alleyway and captured three images that could each be its own novella. The first was a pair of sneakers tossed over a telephone wire. Nothing new there, right? I mean, we’ve all seen a hanging pair of kicks. But have you stopped to storyline those sneakers? How’d they get there? Did they fall from the roof or get tossed from the ground? Did someone wear them before? Who was that person? Did they know their shoes ended up there? How long have they been hanging? So many story lines.
The next was an overturned box of trash. Again, nothing to see here, right? Wrong. Why’s it turned over? How’d it get like that? Was there an altercation that turned it over? An accident? Was someone rummaging through it? Were they living in it?
Finally, there was a bricked-up doorway…a former passageway now blocked and closed off. When did that happen? Why? Who got a chance to walk through it? What was their view when they entered? And when they exited?
So many story lines, all from taking one 90-degree turn and one 10-minute walk down an alleyway. Three stories yet to be told.
Go find yours.