Thursday, October 17, 2013

la ville me manque

Above, a few pictorial memorials of my sweet taste of City a few weeks ago (Ann Arbor). I'd been told, soon after my arrival in Hillsdale, that I'd like Ann Arbor: "Lots of hipsters." I'm delighted to report that I do, in fact, like Ann Arbor, though honestly all it takes these days is a few bright lights and person or two outside the Hillsdale demographic spectrum (which generally consists of rather conservative-looking youths or professorial older types) to get me pretty excited.
        What particularly caught my fancy in this city, (besides the fact that I was on an outing to a fancy French restaurant and a Parisian-themed show, generously subsidized by the French department, and was accompanied by amiable new Francophile acquaintances) was something you could call its "creative space".

         We had some time between dinner and the show at that point of evening where the shops lights have just started glowing but the sky hasn't faded yet. We walked past a large wedding taking place in a farmer's market parking lot and a loud, colorful festival of sorts, and turned down a quiet street. Under the branches of the boulevard trees, the city was quiet and close. Doors and windows to my left drew my attention, the lettering on their surfaces emerging slowly in the dusk. A light on, in the recesses of a place, back through another doorway, spilling toward us over dark chairs and papers, suggestively silent; the insignia-ed signs of the establishments swinging above us, only hinting at the nature of these diminutive universes with their worlds of shadow and light behind glass. Their precise definitions remain mysterious; I've noted a portion of East Ann Street for further exploration. They seemed to be mixtures of living and working space--project headquarters, places where young, creative things were being nurtured.

        This is a painting I saw at the Toledo Art Museum a week and a bit ago, entitled Architectural Fancy With a Concert Party.

        It's an "architectural fancy". These places were atmospheric fancies come to life. Activity and material, purpose and practice, branding and fact all warped and woofed. We inhabit our spaces with dreams, not just doings, and here were dreaming places.
          Perhaps someday the Keefer House cum Brimming Quill will dream in paint and mortar.

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