By Catie Marron
Catie Marron’s City Parks captures the spirit and wonder of eighteen of the world’s most-loved urban parks. Zadie Smith, Ian Frazier, Candice Bergen, Colm Tóibín, Nicole Krauss, Jan Morris, and a dozen different amazing participants think of a specific park that holds certain which means for them.
Andrew Sean Greer eloquently paints a portrait of past love within the Presidio; André Aciman muses on time’s fleeting nature and the altering face of latest York considered from the excessive Line; Pico Iyer explores hidden locations and privateness in Kyoto; Jonathan modify takes readers from the 1968 race riots to Obama’s 2008 victory speech in Chicago’s furnish Park; Simon Winchester invitations us alongside on his adventures within the Maidan; and invoice Clinton writes of his affection for Dumbarton Oaks.
Oberto Gili’s colour and black-and-white images unify the writers’ targeted and private voices. Taken world wide over the process a 12 months, in each season, his images trap the inherent temper of every position. Fusing photographs and textual content, City Parks is a unprecedented and certain undertaking: via own mirrored image and intimate element it faucets into collective reminiscence and our feel of time’s passage.
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Additional resources for City Parks: Public Places, Private Thoughts
You look up pleadingly at the little putty babies. You take a right, a left, another right—here is the Duomo again. But you have already seen the Duomo. In Florence, wherever you try to get to, you end up at the Duomo, which seems to be constantly changing its location. The heat builds and the walls of the alleys feel very high; the thought of a green oasis is now as tantalizing as a cold bottle of water, though far more difficult to attain. The last time you remember seeing grass was that little strip in front of the train station.
And wherever you are you are always within reach of a bench, of a drinking fountain, made of marble, elegantly and simply carved. Azhar Park refers you to the great gardens of Islamic civilization in Andalusia and Baghdad and Damascus and Isfahan; the gardens that used the rise and fall of topography, the sounds and changing aspects of water, the varied colors and textures and characters of plants to create an aesthetic of balance and harmony. Off the top of my head I can come up with four words for garden in Arabic: bustan, which makes me think of a very formal Persian garden complete with nightingales; rawdah, with its overtones of sport and vigor; hadeeqah, the most common and with the most obscure etymology; and junaynah (or geneina in Egyptian dialect), my favorite.
There will be a few morose-looking gulls around the pond, and a duck or two, and possibly a skulking black cat. Rooks will caw, sparrows will twitch, perhaps you will see the flicker of a lizard on the wall of the police station. ). All this, to my mind, speaks of satisfied well-being. This garden is civilized, cultivated, and pleased with itself. It is not one of your aristocratic pleasances or honky-tonk parades, neither a Coney Island nor a Rotten Row, but a proper place of pleasure for a proud and successful middle class.