Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Other Thing That Tourists Leave Behind

Tourists to San Francisco arrive in great number, a reverse diaspora of different cultures converging upon our own. The currency they bring remains after they are gone but there's something else similarly valuable which they leave behind if we're lucky enough to notice - a fresh perspective on the city we live in, one whose familiarity often makes us blind to some of its fine features, character and vitality.

The opportunity is quite literally everywhere around us and comes from that ubiquitous, indispensable accessory of well-equipped travelers. In their act of lifting up cameras - or often these days it seems, phones - to a scene or landmark they want to capture for a memory, so too our own perspectives are raised, and we have the fleeting chance to glimpse our environs in a new way, through the eyes of an outsider.

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