Thursday, December 29, 2011

Londoners!

Yes, I still have to complete my 2011 reading list, but just can't resist copying out this passage from Craig Taylor's Londoners. This is from the interview with civil engineer, Nick Tyler, who works with, and theorizes, London transport: After saying that "Maybe we need to design a city around making sure that stopping is part of it" -- a sentiment I heartily approve of, Tyler goes on to say,

Whenever I come back from a trip and we fly over the centre of London, this is what comes to mind: what a fantastically green place London is, what enormous history there is, what a huge variety as you fly over. . . . And I almost think as I sit on this plane, I want to tell you about this. Forget all this crap about seatbelts, I'm going to tell you! I'm going to tell you about this! This is my city and I'm going to tell you why I love it so much and what it's about. I wouldn't be able to, but that sort of magic about it maybe you can only see from the sky. We tend to see people who are living and working here as they get stuck on the Tube, on the buses, on pavements that don't have enough width, in traffic jams. They get stuck in that sort of detail and forget that actually all they're doing is moving around inside some sort of mythical philosopher's stone, which is this wonderful city. It's a phenomenal place to be. I find lots of places exciting places to be, but somehow London delivers that piece of fifth dimension of which how we move around it is part. (The underlining is mine -- I love that notion of city as idea, as philosopher's stone, wonderful!)

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