Wednesday, January 14, 2009


REAL STREETS


Every real street began as a footpath between places worth walking to, later widened for horse and cart and speed and then there were sidestreets, and avenues added in full-blown urban ad hocness to spell out whole cities all the way from foot to car to bus and truck and airport, air streets above the world city, the streets now memorable lines in the long story that is the city, veins in the living urban body, source of its nourishment, character and voice, people, houses, machines, metaphor for going, being, neighboring, community, membrane of private/public, face of the neighborhood, streambed of commerce, other half of home, the street is what the old folks lean out the windows or sit on the porch or stoop to gaze upon, remember the streets of their days, common property, the favorite memories of a former city kid are memories of the street, where all the meeting happens, all the socializing happens, all the growing happens, graffiti museum, streets too evolve, remember they were all once just dirt, even only a short time ago, look at the old pictures preserved in the museums that make people go Ah! The street as mythic theater, and as common voice, marketplace, festival, playground, way to elsewhere, to school, church, work, the way home, the way away, to other streets in towns and nations full of streets and towns of their own, on the street where you live, where happen miracles and terribles, potential stage of tragedy and comedy and romance every minute, and the streets of old cities, old Tokyo gone with the war, and the streets of old Kyoto with their old houses with the fold-down benches on the front for folks to sit on and watch the world of the street pass by too are gone to tv streets. Shijo, Main Street, Champs Elysees, Broadway, Unter Den Linden, Rodeo Drive, the beat, street smarts, street value, easy street, La Strada, the long brown road, life’s proving ground, the heart of the art, the way, the Tao, the Tao is a street, the way of all streets; streets are faces, streets are voices, and beneath the streets are streets above streets…

Slightly altered from Kyoto Journal #55, STREET Special Issue

2 comments:

Tabor said...

I have thought of this, but was never able to put it into the complete picture which you do so well. I felt this when I was walking along the Appian Way many years ago.

Bob Brady said...

The Appian Way! Of course! Shoulda had that in there! Will sneak it in at some point down the road... tks