Thursday, September 23, 2010

Soundtracks and the City

To get home from BU, I take the green line to the red line via Park. There are a lot of things I don't love about the T (starting with the screeching wheels in the morning), but I do like the old feel of the stations. All that cool mosaic work and subway tile gives you such a wonderful feeling of how Boston is. I feel Boston's history whenever I'm in the city, from the cobblestones to the subways to the park space and the buildings - you can't escape the feeling that This Place Is Old, in the best possible way. I harp on a lot about how we need to remember the past and speak often and eloquently about what made us the way we are in order to move forward, and this sense of history in Boston makes that project much easier. It's not so difficult to discuss our Americanness, as it were, in the shadow of buildings that were touched by the Founders themselves.

In any case, I like going downstairs to the red line at Park because it's got this beautiful red tile that was used throughout the red line and there's something about the design of the platform that just feels very...enveloping. There's usually someone playing some kind of musical instrument, and today there was a guy playing guitar and singing. The songs he played just kind of fit the feeling of the station and my mood, and I started thinking about how often that happens. I was out last night with some of the other grad students and the music, again, just fit.

I think this explains why I like cities, and particularly why I love Washington, DC. A city always provides you with a soundtrack, be it comprised of street musicians or just the sounds of a lot of people in close proximity. It's more than just sound, too. Anyone who has spent time in a city can pick up on those small shifts in mood or energy that either carry you along or contrast with your own feeling. There's something about being in one place with thousands of other people, all with different things to do and places to go, and the noise that comes along with those people, that makes up a city's character. Boston has always been a special place for me because of its quiet, deep music, but it was in DC that I found a place that played the full range of music in my own soul.


  1. BTW You are TOTALLY allowed to use my photos on your blog and link to them if for some reason any of them ever fit. If you have a flickr and we become contacts I can mark you as a friend and you'd have access to the larger image sizes.

  2. Thanks Katy! I actually did try to gank one of your photos but when I ran into resistance I immediately gave up because I am a loser. I will attempt to create a Flickr.

    I also have like nine zillion back projects to get back to you on because I am a shitty friend.

  3. You could always do a cheapo screen cap but it would be crap resolution obvs. No worries. Your headpiece is still more like head pieces. We're even.