The World Before Your Feet, a documentary about Matt Green, a civil engineer turned urban nomad who has vowed to walk every single block of New York City—an intracity journey totaling more than 8,000 miles.
Matt wasn't new at long distance walking though, he'd already walked from New York to Oregon. In 5 months.
Then in 2008 he walked every bridge that touches Manhattan
“I had gotten really interested in this idea of seeing what it looked like on the ground on all these places on the map,” he says. “I’ve always been very interested in maps, so even just looking at the subway map, you’d see these stops with certain names and the stations—just like, ‘What does it look like there?’”
Green began his New York City walk on New Year’s Eve in 2011, with the goal of seeing every navigable pathway the city has to offer—not just streets, but also pedestrian-friendly parts of parks, cemeteries, and beaches. A little more than two years into his journey, filmmaker Jeremy Workman began tagging along, shooting what would end up being more than 500 hours of footage of Green walking throughout the five boroughs.
“[Green is] not somebody who’s, like, dying to have a documentary on him,” Workman explains. “So it was very much about trying to not impact [him] so much and stay back a little bit and observe, and let the audience experience his walk without making it, ‘Oh there’s a big documentary that we’re doing on you about the walk.’”
He posts interesting things he comes across on his walks, like this rare original milestone marker on his blog https://imjustwalkin.com/
The film also delves into Green’s background—he quit his job as an engineer and gave up his apartment to do this project, and subsists on about $15 a day—and includes interviews with his family and ex-girlfriends, which shed some light on why he would undertake this kind of project. But mostly, it’s about the walk: what Green sees, who he meets, and how such a simple act can create such a strong sense of place.
In 2006 he and a friend traversed the entire city subway system, passing through more than 400 stations in a record 24 hours and 2 minutes.
great documentary, not an action, but a smooth cool afternoon watch.
He's noticed some interesting things too, like most barbershops in NYC end in Z, and a lot of Jewish synagogues are now churches