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Do It

Observe The City, Snap A Pic & Publish It Online. Repeat.

Patrick McDonnell


Find a public space or place where there are lots of people and hang out. Observe how people interact with each other. Take a pic, jot down your observations then publish them online. Instagram and Twitter works well for quick stuff.

By publishing your pics, you're letting people know what's happening in the urban environment and helping to facilitate a dialog about the place. To maximize that interaction hashtag # photos with the neighborhood name or geotag the location that way other people can see what's happening in that place too.

Over time, your documentation will add up to a visual portfolio of city life. The pics are clues that capture what you were doing, when, and with whom. They tie us to the emotional and social aspects of place and time. When it comes time to solve problems in the city, all those clues, from all those documenters, make an amazing collective resource about the place.

Tweet your #CityLifeObservations to @patrickm02L on Twitter.



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  • Laura Clevenger

    I love this idea. Living in NYC gives me so many opportunities to do this. NYU just started the fall semester yesterday and it is amazing to see Washington Square Park come alive with even more people, musicians, dancers, artists, etc.

  • Scott Harris

    If it helps, I would love to offer ShutterCal (literally a calendar based daily photo journal) to host and promote this project for any member of for free.

  • Holly Scott

    Love this idea. I see all kinds of benefits for the picture-taker and the picture-reviewers. I am in.

  • word

    my favorite similar site/idea:

    no login necessary, been runnin for a good while

    • Patrick McDonnell

      Are you kidding me! This is fantastic! Thanks so much, word!

  • Patrick McDonnell

    More City Life Observation Awesomeness! Check out #MyDayInLA Hashtag

  • Patrick McDonnell

    A friend of mine in Dallas just told me about a friend of hers working on a Project called the Candid City in New York that is all about observing the everyday. Sooo Cool!

  • Tom Worville

    What about Flickr for this sort of thing? We could get a Flickr group going?

    • Patrick McDonnell

      Yeah, def. Right now I'm just adding them to the Storify thread (link below).