After hours, the city looks largely uniform in its Flemishness, represented by buildings both old and new. On that overcast afternoon, for a glorious couple of hours, Antwerp did become the city of my imagination. As I spied the old men sipping Sagres in Espigueiro, a corner bar in the heart of the Portuguese barrio in Sint-Jansplein, the sun peeked out and the city-within-a-city project of the immigrant didn't seem so misguided anymore. I might have been in Lisbon. Like all great cities of the world, there are more beginnings than ends here.
Monday, January 14, 2013
"When a man rides a long time he feels the desire for a city. Finally, he comes to Isidora, a city where the buildings have spiral staircases encrusted with spiral seashells, where perfect telescopes and violins are made, where the foreigner hesitating between two women always encounters a third, where cockfights degenerate into bloody brawls among the bettors. He was thinking of all these things when he desired a city. Isidora, therefore, is the city of his dreams: with one difference. The dreamed-of city contained him as a young man; he arrives at Isidora in his old age. In the square there is the wall where the old men sit and watch the young go by; he is seated in a row with them. Desires are already memories."
- Italo Calvino (trans. William Weaver), Invisible Cities, at 7.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Another final played today. Another evening spent staring at my computer screen and alternatively, the ceiling, not really noticing them. A rather perceptive person put it beautifully today - our private faces know no restraint. Our public faces, no liberties. 4 years now. Still only 15 games played. Still only 17 goals scored. Still no final. Still no title. Want to know how to do it? Dig yourself a basketball-court sized hole, jump-in (don't spend a moment pondering talent/ability - just dream, dream, dream), gift yourself a tear of the medial meniscus, and don't climb out. Simple.