Bridges & Doors: The Will to Connection – Threshold. By David Beer When it comes to the demarcation of social spaces and flows, Georg Simmel’s best known work is undoubtedly ‘The Metropolis and Mental Life’.
But there is much else that deals with questions concerning thresholds in his work. As David Frisby and Mike Featherstone have pointed out, the ‘theme of sensory distance and proximity’ is common in Simmel’s work, and especially his work on space. You can find these themes in his essays on topics ranging from trade exhibitions to alpine journeys – covering the period from the 1890s through the early 1900s.
It is well-known that Simmel mostly produced shorter works that captured the fragments of social life, or the ‘fragments of modernity’ as Frisby has put it. Simmel’s essay ‘Bridge and Door’ was originally written in 1909, an English translation was published in 1994 in Theory, Culture & Society (translated by Mark Ritter and introduced by David Frisby). Centre for URBan Research - Sociology, The University of York. Nightmare in Berlin by Hans Fallada review – a compelling portrait of postwar Germany. Hans Fallada’s career was chaotic and disastrous.
Posterity is lucky to rescue anything from the long catastrophe. In ideal circumstances, he would have been the sort of novelist to address social issues in a popular, palatable style, enjoyed by a wide and serious-minded readership. As it happened, he had the bad luck to write in Germany, between the last years of the Weimar republic and the end of the second world war. The circumstances in which Fallada had to write and tried to publish badly affected his novels. Two are worth our attention: Little Man, What Now? These two novels, Fallada at his best, have a curious quality. There is a good biography in English by Jenny Williams. The heart of darkness that still beats within our 24-hour cities. On some nights, in the insomniac intervals between rumbling goods trains, and beneath the sound of ambulance sirens, I can hear owls calling mournfully to one another from the trees that screen the railway tracks running past the back of the house in which I live in inner London.
On most nights, alongside the shouts of people fighting or having sex, I hear cats and foxes screaming intermittently, as if they are being tortured. On some mornings, when a thin light first leaks through my blinds, I can hear a cockerel croaking from a garden in which chickens are kept a couple of streets away. Occasionally, when the mornings are resonantly still, the insistent tapping of a woodpecker chiselling at a tree trunk wakes me. The city at night is far eerier, far more feral than it is in the day. A tribute to female flâneurs: the women who reclaimed our city streets.
It’s never been more fashionable to write about walking in cities.
Books on psychogeography have become a cottage industry, their authors held up as philosophers of modernity. The roots of what they do lie in a 19th-century phenomenon – the flâneur, a figure of privilege and leisure, with the time and money to amble around the city at will. He is both stimulated and agitated by the buzz and hum of the city, the crowd; he is both part of and separate from the urban spectacle, both actor and observer.
Baltimore. The Arcades Project Project or The Rhetoric of Hypertext by Heather Marcelle Crickenberger. Aberdeen. Los Angeles. Cities in Conflict. The Subway in Stockholm, Sweden Features Incredible Designs at Each Stop. The subway in Stockholm, Sweden, is unlike any other metro system in the world.
Although different subway systems throughout Europe tend to decoration their stops (like the Paris metro, for example), Stockholm’s metro system is seemingly dedicated to taking fantastical art deep beneath the city’s streets. The subway system has 100 stations, with each stop sporting a different design. Some show exposed rock, and others tile, but all of them have one thing in common: they are awesome.
Many stations feature bright, eye-popping colors. It’s almost a shame to leave each stop. Others have statues carved into the rock walls. Almost every metro stop has a theme. And whether that theme is based in rock or tile, they are all incredible. If you’re ever stuck at a stop while using the Stockholm subway, don’t fear, because the vibrant station designs will soon give you a small case of Stockholm Syndrome. Source: visualnews.com. John Gray and Will Self - JG Ballard.
Baudelaire, Benjamin and the Birth of the Flâneur. On voit un chiffonnier qui vient, hochant la tête,Butant, et se cognant aux murs comme un poète,Et, sans prendre souci des mouchards, ses sujets,Epanche tout son coeur en glorieux projets.
Charles Baudelaire: ‘Le Vin de Chiffonniers’ (‘The Ragpicker’s Wine’) Charles Baudelaire.
Shoefiti. Bucharest. The Art of Looking: What 11 Experts Teach Us about Seeing Our Familiar City Block with New Eyes. By Maria Popova “Attention is an intentional, unapologetic discriminator.
It asks what is relevant right now, and gears us up to notice only that.” “How we spend our days,” Annie Dillard wrote in her timelessly beautiful meditation on presence over productivity, “is, of course, how we spend our lives.” And nowhere do we fail at the art of presence most miserably and most tragically than in urban life — in the city, high on the cult of productivity, where we float past each other, past the buildings and trees and the little boy in the purple pants, past life itself, cut off from the breathing of the world by iPhone earbuds and solipsism. Horowitz begins by pointing our attention to the incompleteness of our experience of what we conveniently call “reality”:
Athens. MICHAEL WOLF PHOTOGRAPHY. Lagos. Radical Black Cities. Occupy Wall Street has provided a dramatic reminder that cities still matter as spaces of participatory democracy and engaged citizenship.
Manchester is the most linguistically diverse city in Europe. It boasts City and United, Corrie, world-renowned bands and famously inclement weather.
Samba e Choro. I think the cities we remember best are the ones that greet us with the utmost cruelty. I arrived in Rio after some months in Salvador de Bahia, fleeing a break-up: Europe was throwing itself into its sinister Christmas, and I thought that the summer sun of an unknown city might be a good way to dodge what was coming over me. It never stopped raining – not for a single moment – during the first week, and the city was empty. Horizontal deluges swept the desolate beach. You couldn’t even guess that there might be a sun, and by six in the afternoon the cats-and-dogs rain turned into a night of raining wolves.
On one of those nights, out of pure despair, I decided to go to a downtown nightclub. The taxi was leaving behind the majestic backdrop of Rio’s maritime facade. ‘My God,’ I thought, completely absorbed by my role as astronaut stranded on a hostile planet, ‘I’ll never get inside this implacable city. Of course, I ended up living there for two years. I lost two cities, lovely ones.
Los Angeles Plays Itself - Part 01 / 12. Handheld Time Machines. The modern explorer has it all.
Every gadget you can think of combined into a pocket-sized smartphone. There’s no need to be lost, or lonely, anywhere. Home. Tony Murphy from the City of Salford. About Tony Murphy, I would just like to say that three years ago, in 2009, my sister and I journeyed to England from the U.S. (our first trip to Europe ever) primarily to see the homeland of our father, who was from Salford (or should I say "City of Salford"!?). We had the good fortune to be picked up by Tony in his cab in the middle of a downpour. He wanted to know why two American girls had come to Salford, of all places! When we told him that our dad and his entire family came from the Whitlane neighborhood in Salford, and that we wanted to explore our family's roots there, he turned and grinned at us, just like in the photo, and said "You've found yourselves a Salford lad - it's almost like it was meant to be!
" Our time with Tony ended up being a highlight of our trip.
Paris. London. Homelessness.