A year or so ago my husband and I entered Minnesota in order to visit family. Before we’d run into even one of the 10,000 lakes, I reached into the passenger-side cubby to grab a map of the Gopher State. No map. Neither was there one in the glove compartment, the pocket behind the passengers seat, or buried beneath the myriad collections of goldfish, crayons, and hot wheels. And the atlas? MIA.
We finally happened upon a town large enough to support a McDonald’s and a gas station, and while I changed twin diapers my beloved went in to purchase the necessary navigational guide. I wasn’t there, but apparently the clerk was in disbelief that someone was purchasing an actual paper map. He said it had been years since one left the wire display rack.
We can’t help it. We love maps. Real, foldable, crinkly, interesting maps.
It’s about seeing the big picture. Pronouncing the towns, comparing populations, researching optional routes. For us, maps are about more than following a little red balloon from Point A to Point B.
So in Gatsby I need to know, what makes them Eggs? Which direction is the water? When they take the train where are they headed? Where exactly is that pesky Ash Valley? Which way is New York?
If you’re even a little like me, you too might be reaching into the hat-boxes, supper-boxes, or tool-boxes of Gatsby’s cream-colored beaut of a car hoping to dig out a map of West and East Egg. And since stopping by Wilson’s garage to pick one up also seems out of the question, we’re just going to have to settle on the next best thing: the magic of the internet. It’s basically the equivalent of equipping your paperback with GPS.
This is the most prevalent map out there. It’s pretty helpful with the basics.
But if you want to see something pretty cool, despite its plethora of balloons, check out this map put together by the blogger Sharp Mimi. Okay fine, the balloons, golfers, and trains are what make this map awesome, that, and the amazing amount of time and research she must have put in to this project. Oh, and the Buchanan estate with a green marker? Nice touch, Mimi. Nice touch.
Sorry, it’s not paper though. You could always print it out. I might.