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A Walk around the Corner

4 November 2013 No Comment

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
― Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

We discover cities…not by gazing at them on a map… but by traversing through them- their inner streets, seeking their secrets, their stories…

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We watch the gates open…. their inner spaces beckon us…calling out to us…

Come see me again…

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These aren’t stories that you tell now… these come from a time of the past, of the gone, of the wandered off…

The people that once lived these houses, roads…said a prayer too many at the weddings, funerals and to mark the arrival of a newborn…

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“Under the seeming disorder of the old city, wherever the old city is working successfully, is a marvelous order for maintaining the safety of the streets and the freedom of the city. It is a complex order. Its essence is intricacy of sidewalk use, bringing with it a constant succession of eyes. This order is all composed of movement and change, and although it is life, not art, we may fancifully call it the art form of the city and liken it to the dance — not to a simple-minded precision dance with everyone kicking up at the same time, twirling in unison and bowing off en masse, but to an intricate ballet in which the individual dancers and ensembles all have distinctive parts which miraculously reinforce each other and compose an orderly whole. The ballet of the good city sidewalk never repeats itself from place to place, and in any once place is always replete with new improvisations.”
― Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

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We walk aimlessly…we saunter… we do a little dance…

We jump just to click our heels together…

We walk…we keep quiet… we smell… the old, the new and what’s cooking…

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Did great men build this city?

Who put it all together?

“His aim was the creation of self sufficient small towns,really very nice towns if you were docile and had no plans of your own and did not mind spending your life with others with no plans of their own. As in all Utopias, the right to have plans of any significance belonged only to the planner in charge.

– discussing Ebenezer Howards’ Garden City”
― Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

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We are many a people…

Making these days tick…

Walking through the same streets… again and again…

Trying to get home… to work… to home…

We pass the same many people…

We take their hands in ours- to know them…we, then, know them…

This, indeed, is a big city…

All we have an imagination for is that the city—-

The City is the background… to our dreams/ nightmares/visions…

With a bit of of realism snuck in…

 

 

 

About the Walk

The walks in Mazagaon and Bandra on 12th May and 19th May 2013 were conducted to commemorate the birthday of Jane Jacobs, an urban theorist, who loved her streets as much as the madness of the city.

The Mazagaon walk was conducted in conjunction with Urban Design Collective, Chennai with the assistance of my friend and colleague, Reema Gupta, and the Bandra one was conducted with my friend, Shormistha.

Photos of the Mazagaon walk are part of this post and were clicked by Himanshu Rohilla.

The Bandra pics (not featured here) were clicked by Kartik Chandramouli: http://issuu.com/kcmouli/docs/jane_jacobs_walk_bandra

 

Press:

BPB

http://bpbweekend.com/events/sign-up-for-a-jane-jacobs-walk

Mumbai Mag

http://mumbaimag.com/jane-jacobs-walks/

About.com

http://goindia.about.com/b/2013/04/12/join-a-free-jane-jacobs-walk-in-delhi-mumbai-chennai-and-pondicherry.htm

Mumbai Boss

http://mumbaiboss.com/2013/05/09/things-to-do-this-weekend-36/

Hindustan Times

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Mumbai/Explore-the-city-s-hidden-marvels-with-Jane-Jacobs-walks/Article1-1043026.aspx

Mumbai Mirror
http://www.mumbaimirror.com/mumbai/others/Slice-of-history-served-fresh/articleshow/20024916.cms

BBC Travel
http://www.bbc.com/travel/blog/20130515-walk-with-the-locals-in-mumbai


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