Tag Archives: urbanscapes

Holding pattern(s)

The lacy arms and fingers of newly empty tree branches brushing up along third story bays and wide-eyed attic windows along Boston streetscapes unfailingly warms my eyes. A thousand possible stories lie within those homes, many of them likely beginning with “In late autumn, I looked from my window and….” The houses themselves tumble in crowded rows along short, and usually terrain-hugging curved, streets, not so much dressed for an occassion as remarkably comfortable looking worn robes of clapboard painted a dozen times across parts of two or three centuries, or, alternatively, proud in their pink puddingstone pajamas. ¬†The rise and fall of the land offers the sense of nearly constant activity, blankets shifting and swelling, caught stop action in the morning’s grey light.

Plumbed lines rarely appear–except on brick school buildings, the severity of Bromley Heath Housing, and repurposed cathedrals. Streets rarely pass more than 40 feet without curving, so any intersection where angles approximate 90 degrees are nominated as “squares”: Jackson, Hyde, a restaurant that calls itself Canary. ¬†Walking is so acceptable, and accepted, that a request for directions tends to start with “Walk ova to…” instead of Northern California’s “Drivin’ or walkin’?” or SoCal’s “Go down and get on the 405…”

It’s a good place to roost between one home and the next, soothing in its buzz, undemanding of poses.

The streetscapes do the sitting, the constant readiness for visual capture. They demonstrate endless possibilities for do-overs. Come spring, the bare trees will sprout freshly green again.

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