This post has been percolating in my head for longer than I care to admit. When I first started this blog, I had the intention of writing (among other things) about my undying love for “the city” and my obsession with every aspect of it as it dynamically changes around me. Vibrant urban centers are anything but static and I find this endlessly fascinating.
Most of the time though, I find myself writing about music. Why? Because I feel that music is as much a part of the urban fabric as sidewalks and infrastructure is (and also I love music!). Sure, it’s not as tangible as a lamppost, but you can still feel it. Plus, music is often a reflection of the artist’s environment and where else can you find a diverse selection of music but within the urban spaces of the city itself; spaces which are constantly changing as new buildings are built up to rest against the buildings of the last century or decades much in the way that new music draws from and is influenced by previous generations.
You can draw inspiration from anywhere, and a metropolis is like candy for the eyes and brain, full of texture, sight and smell full of seemingly limitless possibility. Walking on streets with buildings looming above, you can imagine that they’re full of souls doing whatever it is they’re doing: creating, re-making, living and dying. We’re unique as a species in how we create spaces, in effect we also destroy like no other (which is another topic altogether). The importance of these spaces that we create is something that Alain de Botton touches upon in The Architecture of Happiness.
It’s true that living in a city is not always conducive to actually living. Cities can be crowded, polluted, unfriendly, alienating, and…you get the idea. Maybe you have experienced some of these things before. If you do live in a progressive city, your local government may actually strive to improve the very infrastructure that contributes to the quality of the average citizen’s day to day. If you live in a safe, walkable city with a vibrant music scene…you might just live in a modern paradise.