Thursday, December 06, 2012

The Cranes of London

I can see two tower cranes from the window of the room where I write. At night, one fades into the darkness, leaving behind a solitary red star fixed above the horizon; the stalk of the other rises from a spotlit construction site like a rocket gantry. The image of cranes as Martian fighting machines, signalling to each other across the simmering basin of the occupied city, is obvious and more than a little trite, I guess. But it's still startling to turn a corner in central London, as I did yesterday, and be confronted by a boarded construction site with a crane looming over a deep pit where once some solid, respectable Victorian office building stood. Part of the boom in high-rise building that's significantly altering the city's skyline. Volumes of air solidify into real estate stacked inside shimmering glass curtain walls. A restless re-imagining of the city that reminds its scurrying inhabitants of their own transcience.


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