Monuments of Now

Ever notice how you can go to great lengths for a fresh perspective only to be reminded of what you already know?

I recently drove 1,000 miles of deserted Arizona roads to see some of our country’s most memorable landscapes including the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Monument Valley. I scrambled up rocks, peered over cliffs, and threaded my way through canyons no wider than a person. I also witnessed first-hand the impact of top-down government decisions — from the systemic poverty within Native American reservations, a result of being forced off their land, to the quickly deteriorating amenities of the shuttered National Park Service thanks to the federal government shut down.

I went looking for some new, deep insight. But it didn’t take long to be reminded of the things I hold most important in my work: that all people should have equal access to public spaces and that it takes all of us at a grassroots level to be the advocates and stewards our shared land deserves.

I like to think that what we’re doing at Now + There is supporting these values; helping to democratize space, spark conversations, and share the beauty and wonder inherent in our citizens and our city.

You don’t need to drive anywhere for a eureka moment, just open your door and explore the monuments of now all around us. And when you do, drop me a line below. I’d love to know what you think are Boston’s most under-recognized monuments (natural or otherwise), what areas might be in need of reinterpretation, and who should be thanked for their caretaking.