Passage #366: 24 August 2016
The form of the city takes shape at the confluence of our inheritance from the past and our aspirations for the future -- to preserve, erase, or improve. However, though there are of course exceptional moments of great will, rarely is it a matter of either/or clarity. The city's evolution is messy. There are few bold acts of preservation that keep buildings and neighborhoods meaningfully intact, even fewer of Haussmann-scale reimagining. It is most often a complicated both/and patchwork of conflicting ideas and objectives: design colliding with chance; economics intersecting with opportunity; intention meeting ambivalence.
This week on the ride we visit places of convergence, our route connecting points where earlier routes joined together. Generally form-poor, when compared to a building or monument, they can be just as history-rich, existing at an intersection of events and ambitions like any other place. Sites of literal transition, they are fitting avatars of the transitory.