"The city is being swept away by the metropolis. This action does not just replace one noun with another, but radically turns one state of affairs into a state of perpetual motion. As a collective action -- a verb more than a noun -- the metropolis destabilizes our concepts of time and place. With the dissolution of the city into the forever- emerging metropolis, our existence slides into permanent mobility." - L. Lerup, in After the City

4.02.2007


twenty. environs.
hot long day today (4.2) navigating north only to find that the extended boat service has been nixed (possibly to give the tourist-fed long tail boats a monopoly on the route to Ko Kret island). in Nonthaburi, the terminus of the Chao Phraya ferry, waiting for and getting on the right replacement bus to Pak Kret (aka "Park Red") was an hour-long endeavor followed by an hour north in traffic followed by a quiet massage down the road from an overpass followed by an hour and a half return in traffic again ... sweaty bus seat + eternal traffic = antsy yuki. so i got off and walked the last bit through leafy Dusit in the by-now dusk. it was good to see the northern boundary of the city; the river ferry’s northern segment reveals a dense quilt of stilt-borne riverside residences, some barely standing, some beautifully renovated and gentrified. a few industrial complexes intersperse throughout, as do a multitude of quiet canals with an occasional adjacent glittering temple. saw two monks drifting up a canal in a small boat, their saffron robes never failing to startle in their saturated richness.

yesterday (4.1) was also a day spent exploring the outskirts, although Thonburi, which is just across the river, is hardly a stone’s throw from Bangkok proper. the former capitol before Bangkok, Thonburi’s wide avenues and quiet side streets suggest an organizational logic that evades its sister across the river. the silence of a Sunday afternoon allowed a sense of spaciousness to infiltrate my long walk north from the Wat Arun to the Saphan Phra Pin Klao pier. most stores were closed, but food stalls never are, making it a day of snacking to fuel tired legs. I’m getting used to the dramatic occurrences at every cloverleaf/overpass intersection; dead end elevated road sections, restful parks, basketball courts, even a rock band’s practice of American 1970’s tunes.

... forgive the postcard photo, it was too clich├ęd to pass up.

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