I’m never without a notebook — for stray ideas and interesting facts — but sometimes it’s easier to pull out my phone and take a quick photo. Sometimes I’m snapping a photo of a poster on the street so I can go to the website associated with the advertised event. But most often this is at a museum, when I’ve been looking at the work of an unfamiliar artist or the museum’s commentary is particularly intriguing. I’ve seen other people do it, too.
But when I was walking to the post office the other day (yes, I still use snail mail sometimes) I saw a man stop and take a photo of an innocuous doorway, before moving on down the street. Always curious, I stopped to examine the doorway. There wasn’t much THERE there. It was just an unremarkable metal door with some graffiti and a small cartoon character sticker. If I had to guess, I’d say that it was a service entrance that was kept locked when not in use.
Looking at the door, I started to wonder about why the man had stopped to take a photograph. Was the sticker part of an urban scavenger hunt? Was it a private message announcing a meeting of a secret society? Had I stumbled onto a spy ring’s message board?