Friday, January 21, 2011

metro-politick observations around the fastline

Security checked I entered the US where the border begins in Dublin airport. A redrawing of the political map of the world establishing a new frontier within another territory. The Atlantic journey of adventure just another domestic trip.
In flight floating people journey as one disconnected, united only by direction of travel - objects falling through space together alone obedient passive trajectory with screen magnets for the mind.

Taxi to the apartment and I get the story that this is the land of opportunity for a man with a family to feed and clothing to move when not at the wheel. Schwarzenneger is the quoted paragon of rags to riches, immigrant to pillar of society and I am a bit surprised by this coming from a hard working Ghanian (My thought was of James Brown's rise from shoe-shine to superstar). First surprise of many. My ignorance is broad and long. We always look to an opposite pole.

Union Square Farmers Market. Fresh produce in the thick of the hustle, wooden money for food stamps, emerging economies of inter/in-dependence.
Two onions for 45c my best deal. Living parsley and basil on the cold and snow-pile littered streets. A woman closing in on mortality treated by paramedics and concerned passersby. Strangers' compassion erasing difference and separation. Oxygen face mask and frosty breath on the hard street life of the elderly.

Julia shows me the ropes of the place and a rooftop view of Union Square. A great welcome to set me on the way.

Jetlagged and tranquilised nodded through the The Encyclopedia Of New York book launch, a 'wealth' of information, a massive and yet still selective chronicle of some of the histories of the City. And what of the unwritten... unremembered... unknown.

Street furniture seen only in movies now surrounds in a virtual movie of actuality. Ambulances, police cars, fire engines, taxis, street crossings, sounds of voices, accents, moods, advertising, prices in dollars, faces you feel you could have seen before, tube steel, red leatherette, chrome plated, plastic coated, ensembles of transportation, concentrations of people, all in constant motion.

The subway, jammed, crammed, hot, sweat, close and enclosed we are all navigating the catacombs of the Metropolis, underground graffiti, culture of the creative scrubbing of grime, personalise, territorialise, exteriorise/externalise, marking to signify.

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