When I was in high school, we had a talent show. One of the kid bands that performed was "Local Streets." I remember having no clue that that was a reference to the signs, as you are driving on the highway through the Bronx...instead of saying "bypass" and "business district," the signs that lead you off locally say "Local Streets" above them. Anyhow, this blog is not about bands, high school, or even New York City, it's about local streets.
Ever since I have started using GPS on my trips, I can stray. I am no longer prisoner to highways and easy routes. I can meander and get as lost as I want. I can explore and find little neighborhoods and town parks. I can feed my curiosity for finding out what an area is REALLY like. You probably suspect and maybe, if you travel a lot, know how similar the beltways, byways and suburbs of all US cities look from a fast moving car.
In a related post, I can also get myself into a completely dangerous neighborhood without having a clue beyond hearing gunshots and seeing women working the corners. There are both benefits and drawbacks to exploring the local color.