Tuesday, February 26, 2013

In the Big City: Before I Die

I am a pretty big fan of public art displays.  The Pittsburgh Dinosaurs.  The Erie Frogs. The Garret County Bear Trail.  The Punxy Groundhogs. I love seeing art out in the real world.  But when a public art display is also interactive, meaning I can be a part of the art, well, that just about makes my day.

What do you want to do

On Sunday, Hubby and I had an impromptu day date in Pittsburgh.  We went to explore a couple of specific businesses, and ended up driving around and exploring parts of the city as well.  It was something I used to do a lot when I was single, and we did together a few times when we were dating.  While we were driving around, we stumbled into Allegheny Center, and drove past a remarkable building.  It had large squares of chalkboard paint on different spots of the building, and there were sentences written on it.  Each sentence began with the words "Before I die, I want to__________________".  The blanks were filled in on many of the sentences.  We drove by it, and I was so struck by it, visually, that I decided to drive back around Allegheny Center so I could stop and take pictures.

Before I die, I want to

When we got back to the spot, I got out of the car, and started snapping shots.  Some of them are a little hard to read, since it was obvious the chalkboards had been written on many many times.  The remnants of old wishes mingling with new wishes.  Many of the wishes were poignant, many were sweet, many were heartbreaking, and a few were just fun.  I searched and searched until I found a tiny remnant of blue chalk and wrote a wish of my own.  Before I die, I want to write a book.

Write a book

I have never been a huge fan of the whole bucket list concept.  I am not sure why, but to me it just seems sad.  I would rather live in the moment.  But this public art project took the whole concept of a bucket list and made it into something I found inspiring and incredibly moving.  If you live in the Pittsburgh area, I really encourage you to do some explorations and find this building.  If you live somewhere else, go exploring.  And do a little reflecting about what you want to accomplish during your time on Earth.

Let go, Be free, Be alive

See all the photos I took here.  Also see a video about the project here.