Saturday 10 November 2012

Snail trails

One of the weirdest things about living in a megalopolis is that you never go to most of it. You have your habitual tracks between where you live, where you work, where you know someone and a few preferred public places - your private, sticky snail trails on which you persistently criss-cross the city, while the rest of it exists only as a vague hypothesis in far recesses of your mind. 

Today, to get to the Comiket Festival at the Bishopsgate Institute near Liverpool Street Station (of which more later), I caught a bus and then walked right across the City financial district, which felt odd both because it's so busy all week and so quiet at the weekend and because I never go there now, on busy days or quiet days. 

There have been times when one of my trails came this way, when necessity compelled me to take a short-term job in some corner of the financial world. That job with the Argentinian banker, for example, in a pleasant, old converted house - long since demolished - in a street with the wonderful name of Crutched Friars (which is even better with a heavy Hispanic accent). That was so long ago - time and space slip and slide on a long-disused snail trail.

 photo of Crutched Friars statue in the street of that name from Wikipedia 


marja-leena said...

What a wonderful description, this 'snail trails'. I do believe that they are many parts of my own city that I've not been to, and it isn't as huge as London.

And that is a wonderful name for a street, and I like the statues, the use of two colours makes them stand out.

Jean said...

I must admit I've never seen the statues - they belong to a building erected in the wholesale redevelopment that happened some years after I worked in Crutched Friars. Rather nice statues, though.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Yes, snail trails exactly. Like that cartoon map of the USA which was on the cover of the New Yorker once - was it drawn by Spiegelman? I think it showed N.Y. taking up most of the space!
My snail-trail would be very small indeed.

Glad you broke out and came to Comiket!