Thursday, January 8, 2015


Throughout my web-travels during the back half of last year, I came across quite a few online boutiques I think everyone should know about. One of the things I hope to do more of here on the blog is share these little retail treasures I come across with you. I'm a big believer in small business and have a special affection for handmade goods and Etsy in particular.  I have so much respect and admiration for folks who put their talents out there for the world and nurture and grow something they love to do into a full or part time business. 

One of these finds speaks to my current state of mind. A new year has me seeking all sorts of new adventures both stateside and abroad. There is little I love more than to put a map in my hand and walk unfamiliar city streets, discovering and observing the landscape and architecture of a place not previously visited. I always marvel at how cartographers can capture even the smallest details of a city and make it easy for a traveler like me to find my way.  Even more interesting are views into older maps and city structures. It's amazing to see a city grow over time on paper. 

I came across Etsy boutique GeoArtShed while searching for some new art for a future project here at the house and was mesmerized by the simple, black and white city grids they turned into bonafide works of art. No buildings or icons needed. Here, the lines, curves and waterways forge a fingerprint of sorts for many of the world's biggest cities - places like my beloved Los Angeles, but also New York, Dallas, Tokyo, Paris and others. 

They offer both a black or white background for most prints which come affordably priced and ready to frame in several sizes. The date listed below the map identifies the historical view depicted, a special detail that provides context, while adding a vintage feel to a modern interpretation. 

The shop owner Joey is based in Los Angeles and his bio hints at a childhood spent moving about and exploring new cities as his parents rehabbed homes, a personal detail that endeared his work even more to this serial renovator.

 So go check out GeoArtShed and look for your favorite city. There are many others not featured here. Each listing includes informational tidbits on the corresponding map date which make them even more interesting. Adventurer, map-lover or maybe just homesick for a city you once visited or lived in, there's quite possibly a print deserving of a place in your home or one that can be framed and wrapped as a gift for a beloved traveler.


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