I never take a direct route when on foot, always take the long way home, never in a straight line and if possible using side streets and alleyways. I think of the side streets as veins and arteries of a city or town. Deliveries of supplies, the collection of waste, the part of the city not meant to be on public display. You get to see the more mundane side of buildings, air conditioning units, fire escapes, cables and vents. They are functional and uncared for, mundane and beautiful in their own way.
A sample of shots below, the full set is on the Flickr Stream.