If you commute by bike and follow the same route every day, I think it is possible to be both observant and oblivious at the same time. Why both things which are completely the opposite? Well when it comes to being observant, after following the same route almost every day for three years, I can pretty much tell you where every crack, pothole, bump, and tree root eager to see the light of day resides. I can tell where a puddle will form if it rains, and what size it will be based upon the rainfall. Heck, I have named every squirrel on my route and am almost to the point where they will high five me on my way by. When it comes to being oblivious, I think many brains like mine kind of tune out the surroundings you pass each day.
For example, for almost a full year I never noticed a small park I passed every day until one day a podcast ran out and I stopped to get another one going on my phone (don't worry, I only keep one ear bud in). I looked across the street and was stunned to see something that I had never noticed before - a little park which was in my peripheral vision every day but my brain never catalogued.
One thing I have been fascinated with most of my life is graffiti. I am torn because I find graffiti really interesting and I like it (and take pictures of it all the time), but then again I have never had someone spray paint, tile, stencil, sticker, or place adhesive paper on property of mine. I probably would not think it was so cool if some "artist" came along and spray painted the front of the building my condo is located in.
One thing that did wake my brain up on my commute when I lived in NYC was graffiti. When new stuff would crop up, my brain would notice. For example, this was one of my favorites during my time in NYC and I thought having the cheerleader cheer my bike would make a great photo.
Graffiti is not as prominent in Boston, but I was woken up recently when I passed this piece.
I am not familiar with this artist or the characters, so my question to you readers out there is, what was in the speech bubble that is missing from the character on the left? Feel free to comment. For graffiti aficionados, I can tell you this is not Invader like in the sense that the art/vandalism (you choose) is paper, not tile.
If you find certain things fascinating on your commutes, feel free to comment or to contact us with your own stories and pictures.