Friday, December 27, 2013

Copper Rocking Chairs:

I am currently in London; a place I've never before visited. London is huge, and in many ways, the exact opposite of magical Amsterdam: it is dirty, sprawling, diverse, and they speak English (which is very welcomed, though it's certainly not continental English, nor North American, either). I have never been to the UK, which is odd considering that I've lived in Europe for about seven years now. Happy to be here, I am. Though, as I just said, it is no Amsterdam. What is wonderful about the city on the eastern edge of the North Sea–Amsterdam–is that it's not really a megapolis; far from; it's a village with the mindset of a global power player–which keeps it fun, interesting, and full of transient faces. I feel as if in London I am constantly commuting–the same act of which happens when traversing Paris, or Madrid, or Berlin, or Manhattan; getting around takes effort. Why not just cycle somewhere, like in Amsterdam? Well, that's possible, but it will take some time, and you'll probably have to fight for your right to be in the street as well, as while dedicated bike lanes are present, they are also a rarity. Amsterdam's scale certainly has something going for it that makes it accessible; oversee-able.

The copper rocking chair above is only one of about six of an ensemble that have been clustered and installed alongside Alexanderkade, on Pieter Vlamingplein, in eastern Amsterdam. They so delightfully allow one to sit, stop, think, and watch the world pass by. These are my favorite types of places and spaces in my city–tucked away while still out in the open, freely in plain sight, yet simultaneously allowing for voyeuristic views. These rocking chairs are oversized and all positioned in animated states of their 'rock', yet none of them do 'rock; they are fixed, steadfast to the ground that they call home. Just like me, or so I'm coming to learn. As they patina, I patina along with them. They have become one of my favorites places in this city: while sitting on any of them, I feel small owing to their oversized status. They remind me that I am just a spec in the world; only one creature among billions of other humans, and countless other living entities, all of which are competing on this planet for air, light, and energy. Yet as these rocking chairs continue to patina, and as their lovely golden-brown depreciates into a subdued shade of emerald, I begin to wonder what they'll look like in 10 years, and if they will be resting in their same location at that time. I wonder the same of myself. I'll have to wait and see.