New Thing #316: All The Buildings In New York

jgh_allthebuildings_32-72-45thstreetRemember when I told you about 99% Invisible way back in February? Well, I still can't recommend that podcast enough - or its accompanying website, which gives some visuals to go along with the audio.

But what I'm here to tell you about today is a website one of the most recent editions of the podcast opened my eyes up to.

It's called "All The Buildings In New York", and it's one man's attempt to draw the more than one million buildings in New York City.

There are a couple of reasons, I think, that this project speaks to me.

One is that it has that element of counting things off, which is such a part of my personality and I don't quite know how to explain what that means to me other than you can see by this year's project of mine that anything that allows me to number as I go is satisfying to me. (Although the lack of numbering on this New York project makes it a little hard for me to follow…unless they're numbered somewhere that I'm just not seeing.)

The second is that it features New York City, which I love. I heard on the podcast that the drawings span all five boroughs, and I wondered exactly what "all the buildings in New York City" meant - would the artist be drawing the private houses in places like Astoria?

Well, as that picture at the top of the page indicates, it looks like he is. I was thrilled when I clicked on the "Queens" tag to see that among the very few Queens buildings he drew was this one, which, though it doesn't show up on the map he has on the site (I'm not sure he has them all recorded there, because I'm sure of what I'm about to say), is roughly five blocks from where I grew up.

There were some sentiments that the artist, James Gulliver Hancock, expressed in the podcast that hit home with me too. He referred to his project as a diary, and there have been times that's how I've felt about what I'm doing - this 365 New Things In 2013 has been kind of like a daily journal. And as he says, while mine is in words, his is in pictures.

He also said that sometimes he looks at the skyline and different buildings as he goes through the city and feels anxious, because the task is so overwhelming. He wants to spend time, he says, drawing all of the different buildings. He doesn't realistically think he'll finish, but he knows what's before him - and joked that he would pass the project down to his son so it could be completed. (I've thought that about my World Series and Super Bowl matchups chart.)

I totally know how that feels.

But I also know how it feels to get positive feedback on what you've already done - and it helps make that hopeless chase of doing everything feel that much better.

Which is why I so appreciate all of the positive feedback I've received these past 315 days on this march to 365...

..and why I'll keep checking back on 'All The Buildings In New York' to check in on the progress and to see what other buildings I recognize.

And to simply appreciate a good, fun project.