by Nathaniel Popkin|
July 5, 2009
I resist. Sitting in a luminous apartment, I hear a car's engine. I hear birds. I hear church bells. "I think I am getting accustomed to those bells," says Lena, 9.
Actually, aside from a noticeable lack of police sirens, the sounds aren't that different. We have church bells on Bainbridge Street.
This sort of thing is what I resist for now: the need to compare this city and ours, the form of one quite apparently based on the other (more on that subject later this week
or next); and also the endless and centuries' old cliché of American urban inferiority. They know how to live here. This too I resist.
Instead, and at least for now, resistance reveals: rhythmic monumentality. Unfurling piazzas. Aperitif. A languorous river. Arcades. Arabic in the market -- Europe's
largest in open air. The Alps linger, and sometimes they are visible. But they are mostly forgotten here. This -- Torino -- is a serious city, a haughty, elegant, thinking
For Nathaniel Popkin archives, please see HERE, or visit his web site HERE.
For more on The Possible City, please see HERE.
Photo of Mole Antonelliana, Torino, Italy, from Wikipedia public domain.