Thursday, July 12, 2007

She Loves the Moon

In middle school (and unrepentantly, often in high school) I was the queen of Choose Your Own Adventure books. I read (and shamefully re-read) dozens of thin novelettes in flimsy paper covers with the romantic settings of riding dragons in Pern, voyaging beneath the ocean, or time traveling to Feudal Japan (that last one was especially hard to survive. Don't go into the garden!). When I saw this story of a kind of Choose Your Own Adventure written on the sidewalks of the Mission District of San Francisco, my interest was piqued.

In an intriguing mash-up of short story and street art, "She Loves the Moon" is a two-person romance told through interactive sidewalk stencils. "Players" can start at two different locations (one for the man and one for the woman) and follow their story through spray painted markers connected by arrows (the streetscape is used as a sort of illustration to accompany each piece of text). By making choices along the way, you determine whether the romance has a happy or tragic ending. There are also two places were the story abruptly ends if player make the wrong choice. His story starts at 16th and Valencia, in front of the Crown Hotel / Limon Restaurant with the text "He Leaves his Lonely Apartment." Her story starts at 21st and Guerrero in front of a Victorian mansion with the text, "She Leaves her Lonely Apartment."

I suspect that these fun little stencils may start popping up all over cities across the world (Much like those damnable Chicago cows). And I am sorely tempted to write one for DC. (midnight spray painters unite!).

This sight on Flicker shows some of the stencils like the one above (don't worry, they don't give away the ending).


  1. (Bethesda's? Chevy Chase's? DC's?)Willard Ave. off Wisconsin near Western, has some very profound aphorisms on the subject of time etched into sidewalk squares.


  2. Do it now, Candy.
    -a stranger

  3. Really, I am trying to work out how to add to the viral spread of this idea. However, I first have to write a story, suitable to and exclusive to DC, before I can make up some stencils and go in search of industrial paint. Also, what section of town? I suppose an area of 8 to 12 blocks shouldn't be to taxing to the urban explorer. Dupont? U Street? The Mall is too pristine an area for guerilla urban artwork to last. Anyone have any other ideas?

  4. Well, if I was one of the creators of the project (and for legal reasons I totally am not)
    I'd do the following:
    1.Have a heartbreaking experience to draw inspiration from (most have got this one covered)
    2.Walk around until you are struck with beauty and inspiration of an area.
    3.Brainstorm with like minded cohorts.(at least 2 others)
    4.Edit what you have to sound better than it does.
    5.Repeat #2-5 for 5 months.
    6.Get out your hoodies and spray.
    -a stranger

  5. This last comment is incredibly enlightening. If a wise stranger were ever to return, I would wonder(hypothetically if one were to stencil how could it be done?): how many blocks the (hypothetical) work covered; How many blocks (or half blocks) apart the stencils were?; how were the (hypothetical) stencils made (professionally or painstakingly by hand?); and how long (hypothetically) would it take to spray 30-some stencils (does the work need to be split up among several days?).