touching the city
By Andrea Gamba
18 Jun 2012
I must worn you that this won't be a mere recount of my experience in a certain city but rather a description of materials, patterns noise and silence that an urban environment is always made of. In other words you won't read anything about the inhabitants or the history of the place but rather a glimpse of a limited surrounding.
On the way to my friend's home I had to turn left toward the main road and then right on a narrow street that goes through a nineties borough. The silence is constantly broken by the noise of the numerous cars, which cross that spot to reach the nearby center. The smell of their exhausting pipes is sometimes broken sometimes by the wind blowing from west which bring the essence of the trees of the closest urban park. All around nothing is so relevant to be mentioned except for a particular bricks wall that stands in the behalf of the traditional carpentry of a certain rich borough. Like a flag they stand one above each other vigorously to worn everyone that a certain social class lives inside its bound. The color is light brown almost beige, very clean despite the amount of daily traffic and every now and again little openings served the ventilation of a building cellars. These little loopholes are shut by blue painted metal nets that have been carefully located as to interrupt the continuity of a constant pattern that could be monotonous otherwise. This decoration reminds me the achievements of famous architects although the intent here is truly functional rather than aesthetical. The wall that face the street and the other secondary building in the surrounding has no other opening as to advise the visitors that crossing the border would be like crossing a boundary between the wildness of the city and the order and richness of the local tenants.
A minute later while walking the environment changes again and the solitude of uniform elements gives way to another texture. This one seems darker at the first glimpse and looks it has seen long years and a long exposition to the pollution since it has been placed there to be part of a council house.
Its pattern looks pretty much the same as the previous but color and a sign hang at the entrance of this complex tell me completely different story. On the wall also a plant grows copiously as climbing till a sign and the brick porosity has given a great help to it for a better rooting.
Few words worn and intimidate anyone who doesn't respect the public green. The writing has slowly disappeared as to recount the drifting of the local community when concerning the good manners of social living but 100 of the local currency as fine for those who defy its worn still looks like a threat for any visitors who doesn't follow its instructions. Somewhere in a backyard kids are playing football as they shot for a free kick not given.
A black pipe down runs alongside the old sign till and reaches the top of a facade. Like a black snake it slaloms windows and connects all the units piercing ravenously the thick walls to explore the privacy of their loos.
A bit further down the road it's time for a lower construction, maybe a garage with its new blue painted shutter or maybe a little storage for those from the community who doesn't own a car. Everything becomes silence there, except for a little hand writing that reveal a sinister worn. First thought links the relation between the word and the blue shatter. It looks like somebody wanted to tell us that safety is no longer guaranteed if messing up with this property but the sinister contrast between the word and the color of the background gives me another key reading.
I might have been banged in a kids joke.
My eyes turn back to the previous wall and now it seems to have become the famous stone at the beginning of 2001 space odyssey.
A little upper the sky comes out from the roofs of the numerous building this city is made off.
I am in jail...