Andrew Turgeon- Sensory Cartography

Andrew is a National Geographic Intern with NG Competitions. He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the honors College at the University of Vermont with a degree in Geography and Latin American studies.  Andrew conducted thesis research in his hometown of Bennington, Vermont on the intersection of teen identity, public engagement and the rural experience. We are excited to kick off the Blog-a-thon with his post about a very special kind of mapping… enjoy!

The crispy crunch of fall leaves below our Converse sneakers. The cooling taste of watermelon on a hot summer day.  Those weird smells that waft into our nostrils. These experiences all make up our ‘Sensory Cartography,’ the mapping of our world through the five senses.  Inspired by this delicious, loud and sometimes stinky method of mapmaking, I present to you a tasting sample of sensory interpretations.  From a critic to an illustrator to an electromagnetic induction artist, these three individuals creatively reveal how the discoveries and explorations of geography can occur right beneath our very noses. Literally.

image_turgeon_3.jpgJonathan Gold Eats Pico Boulevard
Jonathan Gold is LA Weekly’s restaurant critic and 2007 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism – the first ever restaurant critic to win the award.  Like the city of L.A., Gold’s love of food is sprawling and diverse.  In his early twenties, Gold attempted to eat at every restaurant on Pico Boulevard in L.A during one year. Passing through Japanese, Persian, Central American, Jewish, African-American and Korean neighborhoods, Pico Boulevard is a melting pot of cultures stretched across fourteen-plus miles of pavement.  Gold worked his way – restaurant to restaurant – from downtown LA towards Santa Monica Beach, the west end of Pico.  Although Gold’s expedition was never officially finished, he did end up writing about the diverse restaurants he visited – from Salvadorian pupuserías to steak houses, Southern soul food to Scandinavian delis.  In effect, Gold “mapped out” the world of Pico Boulevard that year, eventually making a career out of expanding people’s geographic awareness through their palates.

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