Saturday, July 02, 2005

The City Unraveled

So, I was going by Philz coffee again. (I had written about his popularity with women.)

As I was getting my coffee this time, I noticed a small pile of handmade books titled 'Love Letter to San Francisco' by a certain Spiralgirl. I bought one, the next to last.

The small booklet is divided into two parts. The first half is a series of love letters to san francisco. For example:

"Everything is timed, to the second. And
when you are synchronized with her, time
gets wider. And when time is wide, there is
more of a chance for the people to come into
your life who you are meant to meet.

When time is narrow, we barely notice
what we are doing, we are just going
through the motions."

The city is depicted as a woman, a lover. In these series of short pieces, Spiralgirl reveals a city that can be at times elusive, at times warm, a capricious creature who taunts us with her ravishing architecture but betrays us with her frigid weather. A city full of faults "She's impossible (when it comes to parking)" but redeemed by her charm , her "creative fire."

The second half of this little book is a list of specific places that Spiralgirl has collected. We all have collected places like these, those of us who have made a home here. A small private treasury:

"If you were a film director looking for the perfect lounge for your two characters to have an affair, I'd take you here..."


"Expect to see older men wearing white aprons at these places..."

The associated blog for this book is here.


"This is the city and I am one of the citizens,
Whatever interests the rest interests me. . . ."
-Walt Whitman

How do you characterize an entire City?

In 1925, the artist Frans Masereel set out to do just that in a small novel called Die Stadt (The City)

It is a wordless novel. Through a series of images, Masereel presents us with a collection of glimpses into this vast accumulation that we call a City.

Start here and then click on the words "Die Stadt" on that page to get started.

No comments: