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The Murals of Washington, D.C.

"Mermaid" by Aniekan Udofia

Announcing a brand-new tour!

We here at Traipse love public art for the ways it can reflect the character of a neighborhood, how it can honor or remind us of the neighborhood's history, and for how it often utilizes daring forms of artistic expression. Murals in particular can brighten dingy alleyways or boring brick walls.

We've just put the finishing touches on a new tour throughout Washington, D.C. where you can visit many of our favorite murals. If you're unfamiliar with how Traipse works, you need to physically travel to each mural and upon arrival, a challenge question about that piece will unlock within our app. For every challenge question you complete, you'll unlock a hint toward the Bonus Challenge (more on that below).

Creating tours like this is one is certainly a perk of the job. Many of these pieces are among those that I've admired for years and revisiting them for the purpose of building site-specific puzzles was enjoyable and at times quite powerful.

When I arrived at "Felipe" by Joel Bergner I was confused because I remembered the mural looking very differently years ago when I last visited it. That's because it has indeed changed significantly since then.

"Felipe", according to Bergner, is dedicated to a young boy who he met in his travels to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and has kept in touch with since. As Felipe grew up, he was ensnared by many of the same traps that young men born into his slum community fall into. Joel updated his mural over time to reflect the forces assailing Felipe. I was quite moved as I read more about the mural and saw updated versions in succession.

(Over on his website Joel wrote a blog post about Felipe and updating the mural.)


The original "Felipe" mural. ​​

After an update. ​​

The mural in its current form.

While we don't get such a comprehensive background story for every mural on this tour, there's something extra special about pieces of art that connect us to people who we've never met.

Download the FREE Traipse app to get started.

Bear in mind that this tour isn't comprehensive. There are many more murals we hope to add later! If you have a particular favorite that we haven't yet added, please let us know and we'll make it a priority.

While you're certainly welcome to complete this tour in one epic day, the tour is meant to be completed a little bit at a time. Also, while we've set up a path that geographically makes sense, you can visit any mural, in any order. You'll need to complete the challenges for at least 15 murals to assemble enough clues for the tour's Bonus Challenge.

Enjoy the tour and if you post any cool photos to social media, be sure to tag us @GoTraipse!

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