5 December 2008

Aerial Cycle Chic and a Telling Quote

Bicycle Crossing
A new angle on Cycle Chic. I was atop some buildings last August, shooting some footage for an upcoming film about cycling in Copenhagen for the city's Bicycle Office. I snapped some stills while I was at it.
Following the Arrow
This stretch was in the process of being renovated, thus the odd scribbles on the asphalt.
Blonde. Bicycle. Pictogram.
Simplicity. Bicycle. Copenhagener. Bicycle Symbol.

I just finished a fantastic novel - The Impressionist, by Hari Kunzru. Nothing to do about bicycles, but part of it takes place in Oxford in the early 1920's. This passage is splendid and as you can see on this blog, it is history repeating itself.

"Then, all of a sudden, something rare and signifigant happens. Like one of those minor celestial bodies whose trajectory requires slide rules and conversion tables to calculate, Johnathan, homeless particle, undergoes a collision. It is an event which changes everything, for ever.

"It begins with a bell, and the sound of a chain in need of oil. Turning the corner outside the Ashmolean Museum is a bicycle, and on the bicycle is a girl. Bridgeman steps out of her way, and for a moment she looks him straight in the eye. Blue eyes. His world turns syrupy and slow-flowing. She is wearing a white summer dress, and over it an academic gown. On her head is a wide-brimmed hat, with yellow silk flowers around the crown.

"As she wobbles towards Cornmarket, he confirms that she is beautiful, and a string section materializes in his forebrain, drenching him in grand and stylized emotion. Beneath the hat her cheeks are flushed with the effort of cycling, and as her feet work the pedals the white cotton of her dress stretches with the line of her thighs, taut and slack, taut and slack."

From Excerpt from 'The Impressionist' by Hari Kunzru.

Except for the academic gown, this scene could take place on any - every - street corner in Copenhagen. 365 days a year.

3 comments:

Karl McCracken said...

Lovely photos, though the first one does strange things to my eyes!

And the quote from the book is just perfect for the imagery. It's like they say - the scenery in novels / on the radio really is better than on film.

Anonymous said...

Release the McCracken!

You have inspired me to go listen to some Lives of Harry Lime. Thanks.

I have a hard time imagining Harry on a bicycle though, unless he were forced to steal one to make a quick getaway.

m e l i g r o s a said...

poetry in motion, wonderful bird's eye
xo/ ♥meli