Sign up for an Elastic City Walk and you may be asked, in the words of founder Todd Shalom, to “collectively sing the shape of the skyline, construct visual poems from objects we find on the street, and make monuments with our bodies in response to the monuments we find in public space.” Shalom conceived of this project as a way to encourage more poetic interaction with one’s surroundings, and each walk takes participants through a number of artistically inspired exercises while they explore a small section of the metropolis. Shalom leads several walks himself and works with artists who devise their own based on their medium and expertise: You might get a lesson in perspective from an aerial artist or explore civic identity with an urban activist. If activities feel uncomfortable initially, they quickly break the ice between strangers — many of the walks end with a spontaneous group dinner or drink. No matter what direction your stroll heads, it’ll likely give you a fresh way of looking at dynamic New York City.
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