Recently pod-casters Phia Bennin and Brendan McMullan tried something they thought of as a delightful experiment involving colors and the simple outdoors. The Color Walk is an activity that William Burroughs had hoped his students would be inspired by. It’s a simple activity people can do on their free time when they just want to be able to forget about complicated things going on in their lives and take time off to just go outside and get lost. The basic idea of the color walk is to go outside of your front porch pick an eye catching color and follow it from object to object. The point of this walk is to view your surroundings with things you wouldn’t typically see on any given day.

Bennin and McMullan gave themselves some flexibility in there walk and instead of sticking to one color, they moved from color to color. They began there walk on a Sunday afternoon in lower Manhattan. The first color they were intrigued with was blue. A women was walking by as they saw her blue “glamours” scarf as described by Bennin. That blue would then lead them to the color purple, then finally ending the walk with the color pink on a man who showed it proudly and “manly”.

By the end of the walk the two authors told readers how it was an experience they’ll never forget. At the end of the walk not only did they find excitement in taking pictures of lower Manhattan but they also found themselves catching glimpses of colors that they wouldn’t normally see if they hadn’t taken that walk. It’s interesting to see how much a simple activity such as walking outside and observing colors can change your whole perspective of the world. After the walk Bennin and McMullan have both said to have seen colors in extraordinary ways such as “the rusty orange of a rooftop water tower in the sun, a bright blue mohawk, and the humble yellowy greens of a new leaf all jumped into our eyes.” (Bennin & McMullan)

Bennin and McMullan had tips and advice for people who wanted to try the color walk and experience it first hand. They said that in order to do the walk you should first start off by dedicating some time out of your day into doing so. They recommended at least an hour to actually get the most of the experience, without interruptions and without any worries that could potentially stop you from observing the little things. Having trouble debating where to start? Just go outside of your door and either pick a color or let a color choose you, and let the color decided where to start the beginning of your trip. They’re last piece of advise was to let you know if your lost, your most likely doing it correctly. The point is to get lost but still find yourself back into reality.

The reading was interesting to learn from. Not only can you find an exciting way to go for a normal walk but you also find colors that you wouldn’t normally notice. It’s a walk that lets you exercise your eye’s and lets you see the whole picture instead of just black and white.


“Color Walking” by Radiolab: