A Walker in L.A.: An Obstacle Illusion

A blocked sidewalk usually spells inconvenience. Sometimes it spells discovery instead

As a pedestrian, I tend to get a bit peeved when I see objects blocking the sidewalk. Cars are the worst, of course; My blood temperature rises when a driver pulls out of a driveway quickly without looking and tries to avoid my eye as he or rolls sheepishly in reverse, but really, anything I have to navigate around on a narrow sidewalk is annoying. While walking 3rd Street the other day, something in the middle of the sidewalk caught my eye—enough so that I had to investigate what it was. This blue cement planter didn’t seem to be part of any particular landscaping strategy, and it wasn’t close enough to an address to necessarily belong to a certain business. It was like an oversized vase of bougainvillea just for me, placed gently on this street corner by some giant unseen hand. I didn’t mind walking around it at all.

Alissa Walker is a writer, a gelato eater, and a walker in L.A. She shares an experience from her adventures around town at CityThink each Wednesday. Follow her daily on Instagram at @awalkerinLA, on Twitter, or at her blog, and use the hashtag #betteroffped to share your own photographs of walking in L.A.