Tuesday, 8 June 2010
A Week in Leeds
I went to Leeds for a week. I liked its tall buildings and the movement of people through its streets. It was warm and alive but confused and disconnected. Parts of it seemed to have forgotten how to breathe, its main arterial roads clogging up its space. Areas have been created where you are not welcome to walk, where it would be better if you didn't. I imagined a city without these roads, I walked as if they had never existed and found the parts that the built up centre makes you doubt exist at all. I walked the canal and the river, through old mills and factories, over bridges and across roads, I found my way from one place to another, my path connecting them for a moment but leaving them disconnected and cut off, a section of a city and not a part. I could see why these sections had developed and why it was hard to stand still and consider anything other than urban function. It seemed too big to have feelings, to admit its faults, a city with an idea of itself desperately trying to keep up with it. I imagined a future in which my journey would take priority over the traffic, where others would walk and reconnect their streets. I imagined a city that gave more of itself away, that allowed its history and difference to be seen rather than tucking them away behind the money making centre.