I love the adjacent abiding of old and new. (Hmmm... is this partly why I love The Best Husband Ever? Haha!) Walking through a town or city, this juxtaposition in architecture hints toward a common story of the life of the place. Stately & ornate founding buildings often occupied ample surrounding real estate, befitting their original importance to the region's commerce or government. Generations later, infill construction made room for growth and trail-blazing enterprise near the city's core. On a downtown stroll, I gain appreciation of city fathers who embraced progress yet recognized the value of existing historic structures. Conversely, it's a bleak sight that greets a traveller to any town which razed all the old to make way for the new. Especially if the new was of the 1970s mass-production institutional variety. Vast stretches of low-slung aluminum-framed windows do little to inspire the soul. These did not weather well under the test of time, unlike the more place-conscious modern design of, say Frank Lloyd Wright.
Timeline patterns can also be seen in a neighbourhood stroll - Victorian farmhouses granted a little room to Craftsman bungalows, leaving plenty of ground to squeeze in a wave of ranch ramblers, now all sharing space in a single block, albeit with slightly adjusted lot lines.
Your walk around the block takes on a whole new aspect when you ponder the why-and-when-and-who stories behind each structural style. Just don't ponder too long at any one house - we don't want folks thinking of you as Creepy Stalker Neighbour.
"Glory be to God for dappled things –
"I heard the old, old men say, 'all that's beautiful drifts away, like the waters.' " - William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
“There are two things that are more difficult than making an
after-dinner speech: climbing a wall which is leaning toward you and kissing a
girl who is leaning away from you.”
- Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
Ahh, the perceived wisdom strewn amongst rooftops and back alleys! And then there are those glass-half-full brand of folk who insist the future's so bright, as they put on their shades in faith.
Me, I just find that daily thankfulness for small niceties- say, adequate food and shelter and clothing - puts a whole new spin on things. (Repeat as needed.)
"We see the world through the lens of all our experiences; that is a fundamental part of the human condition." -Madeleine M. Kunin