I try to walk different routes on my rambles around Seattle. This forces me to pay attention to my surroundings instead of lapsing into a blissed-out travel coma. It also means I do a certain amount of backtracking out of cul-de-sacs and old stone staircases that turn out to be entryways to private yards.
It also doesn't hurt to look up. To notice the graffiti tags and signs and private little posters affixed to nearly all flat surfaces and public objects. Conversations are being conducted all around us. People expressing themselves. Saying what's on their minds--cursing, celebrating, being goofy, talking about sex. All the things that make being a human being so great and so painful.
In the course of an hour, between the U-district and Fremont, I saw these 2 signs and a graffito, which range from Hallmark cheer to menace to despair:
Then I spotted this lovely creature pasted to the site of a utility cabinet. No commentary. No URL. Just being.