There’s nothing like a bustling city street to make you feel like you’re a part of something bigger. Or at least make you feel as if you are there, watching life happen. Unless, of course, you’re in a detached mood: then maybe it makes you feel like life is passing you by. Or maybe it makes you feel lost, and small.
A city street, man. It can bring out a lot to write about. Here are three to get you going.
Balthus, Le passage du Commerce Saint-Andre, 1952-54. Oil on canvas. Private collection.
Bertha Lum, Theatre Street, Yokohama, 1905. Woodblock print.
28th Street Looking east from Second Avenue, New York City, on April 4, 1931. Photograph. NYC Municipal Archives.
This past weekend, Wren and I watched two people dear to our hearts get hitched. It happens to be one of several weddings we have on our schedules this year (congratulations, everyone!).
This week’s for the lovers. Feel like writing about a little romance?
Suzuki Harunobu, Young Lovers Walking Together under an Umbrella in a Snow Storm (Crow and Heron), ca. 1769. Woodblock print. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Natasha King, Untitled, 2011. Collage. Via flickr.
Stanley Kubrick, Couple playing footsies on a subway, from Life and Love on the New York City Subway series, 1946. Museum of the City of New York.
Foxes are a playful lot, and if folk tales are to be believed, crafty, too. I’ve already posted an edition featuring my all-time favorite animal; this week is dedicated to its smaller, slyer cousin. Let’s write a foxy piece, shall we?
mina_milk, jump, 2011. Watercolor. Via flickr.
Utagawa Hiroshige, New Year’s Eve Foxfires at the Changing Tree Oji, No. 118, 1857, from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo. Woodblock print.
Hollie Chastain, Punched Tin Dreaming. Mixed media collage. www.holliechastain.com
And, yes, this is what happens when fox meets wolf. (Apologies for the poor quality. Apparently Fox — as in 20th Century Fox, not Mr. Fox — is a stickler for posting clips online. Crafty bastards.)
I hold umbrellas in high regard. I’m a sucker for the cut of a solitary figure walking down a deserted alley in the rain. I’m a fan of the jaunty reflections they cast on rainy streets (or their shadows on sunny beach days). Even deformed, bent, and battered umbrellas, discarded on a curb with their innards on display, I find delightfully expressive.
This is all to say: bring on the April showers. I’ve got my umbrella ready.
James Gillray, A Meeting of Umbrellas, 1782. (Originally published on Jan 25, 1782 by W. Humphrey, 227 Strand, London.)
Toshi Yoshida, Umbrella, 1940. Woodblock.
Alex Katz, Blue Umbrella, 1979. Lithograph. www.alexkatz.com
Oh, alright, I couldn’t resist.