/Title/ "The Name On The Sign"
/Medium/ Guided Interactive Walk, and Self-Guided Walks
Images of the project in New York City.
"The Name on The Sign" focuses on the stories behind businesses named after people, and was created specifically for the 2008 Conflux in New York City. The project is a series of interactive walks that explore businesses within a few blocks of Conflux HQ that are named after people's first names.
Walking in a city neighborhood, we pass dry cleaners, pizza parlors, beauty salons, often named for someone - Sam’s Falafel, Steve’s Deli and Grocery, Gigi's Nail Spa. Yet have we ever paused to consider who Sam is? Is Steve the old man at the deli counter on Sundays? Did Gigi sell the spa years ago, leaving only a sign?
What are the stories behind the names on the signs? My project involves the discovery and celebration of businesses near Conflux HQ that are named after a person. A series of interactive walks will be created to explore, investigate, and discover these businesses, their owners, and the stories that surround them and their neighborhood. With the pace of globalization and increasing consolidation of commerce, I believe it’s important to celebrate those small places that create a sense of the truly local.
Guided Interactive Walk: During the Conflux, I led an interactive, group walk. Together we discovered some of these local businesses. We sought to meet the person behind the name on the sign, learn some of the stories of their business, sample the business’s wares, and get a sense of who they are as a presence in the neighborhood. The walk was guided by a sense of adventure, fun, social interaction, sharing, and serendipitous discovery. Maps and brochures accompanied the walkers.
Self-Paced Walks: A series of specific “Name Behind the Sign” walks were be created for Conflux-goers to follow on their own time and discover stories of these local businesses at their own pace. For example, one of these specific “curated” walks is the “Pizza Walk”, which outlines the many pizza joints within the Conflux area that are named after a person (Ben’s, Joe’s, and John’s being just the start...)
Download the project map and walks list. Fold it with the map on the inside.
More info about the project at the Conflux Website.