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CONCRETE JUNGLE A photographic reflection of Henry David Thoreau’s essay “Walking” compiled by Ying Ye

“When we walk we naturally go to the fields and woods;

what would become of us if we walked only in a garden or a mall?”

what business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods?


“ , almost all man’s improvements, so called, as the building of houses, and the cutting down of the forest, and all large trees, simply deform the landscape”

The best part of the land is not private property; the landscape is not owned, and the walker enjoys comparative freedom...

” The day will come when it will be partitioned off, when fences shall multiply ”

”The day will come when it will be partitioned off, when fences shall multiply” To enjoy a thing exlusively is commonly to exclude yourself from the true enjoyment of it.

“Some do not walk at all, others walk in the high-way; a few walk across lots.

Roads are made for horses and men of business.

I do not travel in them much comparatively, because I am not in a hurry to get to any tavern, or grocery, or livery stable...�

“What is it that makes it so hard sometimes to determine wither we will walk?”

“I believe that there is a subtile magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright. It is not indifferent to us which way we walk....we find it difficult to choose our direction, because it does not exist distinctly in our idea”

When the spring stirs my blood With the instict to travel, I can get enough gravel On the Old Marlboro Road.

Nobody repairs it, For nobody wears it... What is it, what is it But a direction out there, And the bare possibility Of going somewhere? –”Marlboro Road”

“Hope and the future for me are not in lawns and cultivated fields, not in towns and cities but in the impervious and quaking swamps�

Within the urban space there are pockets and crevices of nature, which are indefinitely constructed. Walking on Chicago Avenue west from N Milwaukee Avenue I ended up walking to N California Ave within an hour and a half hour frame {give or take} capturing those pockets and points demarcating what is natural. The camera was a means to catch my points of attention of a new environment. These points mark a place of interest in a delineated direction, which was to “escape” the city but in some way I did escape even when I never left it. This path does not mark any points of interest; it is a tangent. I chose Henry Thoreau’s writing mainly because he reflects deeply upon Transcendentalism. It is a positive philosophy of living intuitively, and in time, ultimately, to “allow one to finally come to a sense of connectedness with Nature and humankind.” Taking these photos in the afternoon sunlight gives a warmth to my images. I think that connotes the positive message of Transcendental thinking. The colors are a transition from monotones of gray to sparks of greenery, weeds and shrubs within the scope of the sidewalk.

Concrete Jungle  

Photographic reflection of Thoreau's essay "Walking"

Concrete Jungle  

Photographic reflection of Thoreau's essay "Walking"