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Editor'S Choice - 2020

Manhattan emotional maps

It started as a Tumblr and now it's a book, Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers. Becky Cooper was dedicated to distribute maps of Manhattan through the city asking strangers to fill them with their stories and personal memories. And this is the precious result. Do you dare to make yours?

If you were given a blank map of your city, what would you mark on it? The houses where you lived, the bars you went to with friends, the corner where you met the love of your life, the corner where you lost it, the ways to get out of it, the road to work that you hated so much ...

This is what he did Becky cooper in the summer of 2009, distribute blank maps of Manhattan to strangers. I just asked them to fill them in any way they wanted and send them back. "Imagine the answer," he says on the phone walking to his job in a cafe in Brooklyn. "This is New YorkThere were people who didn't even look at me, they thought I was advertising them… but little by little I got them to listen to me and I would say that 75% of people liked history and smiled. ”

Long before what he expected his electronic and physical mailbox began to fill with those maps, only that they were no longer blank but full of stories of love, life, friendships, lost objects and even fast food places that she was uploading to her tumblr, Map Your Memories.

Lost gloves by Patricia Marx, editor of New Yorker magazine © Map Your Memories / Patricia Marx

The idea came to him two years earlier, in an internship for a cultural company in which he was commissioned to finish the project that three fellows had not achieved before: a map of all public art in Manhattan. “I spent the whole summer finishing that map. There was so much information, so many doubts ... When I finished it, I saw all the notes, photos, that I had been collecting and I realized that this map was also a reflection of me, of the history of my summer in the city, of what's on the streets and that is what I find most valuable. ”

"I also read Calvin's book, The invisible cities, about how Marco Polo tells his travels to King Kublai Khan. At one point, he asks: 'Why do you always talk about these big cities and never yours?' And Marco Polo tells him: 'Every city you see from the eyes of your house no matter how far it is'. That's it, says Cooper, the thousands of perspectives and points of view from which you can see and understand a city.

"A web of aspirations" © Map Your Memories

“A city we do among all”, says this New Yorker who is now preparing to repeat the project in Paris and Berlin. "At the moment these two because I lived in them and, I think like New York, arouse a certain nostalgia and its inhabitants feel a very special connection. ”

In the book (published by Abrams), Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers, has selected 75 of the hundreds of maps it receives and continues to receive (even more since the book is on sale), most drawn by anonymous people, but also by well-known New Yorkers, such as Yoko Ono.

'Memory Lane' by Yoko Ono © Map Your Memories / Yoko Ono

And you, What would you mark on a map of New York? The hotels, houses you've stayed in, the best burger you ate, the place where you lost a glove, the first Starbucks you stepped on, the bar where you met that one hipster

On your Tumblr you can download the blank map and send it with your memories.
* You may also be interested ...
- A Map Of The World: the rebellion of beautiful maps
- A route illustrated by New York
- New York Guide
- All articles by Irene Crespo

The Manhattan Starbucks (in green) form a 'Mapucchino' © Map Your Memories

'Wives and lovers', one of Becky Cooper's favorites © Map Your Memories

Video: ᴷ Walking NYC : Walking Greenwich Village at Night during 50th Anniversary of Stonewall Riots (April 2020).

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