Every now and then someone contacts me on Etsy about creating a special piece for them. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes it doesn't. In one case I was never able to figure out what the individual who had contacted me wanted. We can't always translate what's in our heads to what the person making the thing is capable of doing. In any event, I had an idea about creating a map that was more white space and very specific shapes. It coalesced during one of these conversations around making a map of Harlem.

This is one of my favorite maps. The straight lines reveal a sort of skeleton of NYC. The bottom of Harlem touches the top of Central Park. I enjoy running my fingers across the remaining lines of paper.

What makes this piece work is the bodies of water. I've drawn it out for my old neighborhood in Chicago, but it doesn't look as visually compelling.