12 August 2008

The City is Bananas

Today I finally caught up with my friend Astrid. We found some coffee then went hunting for banana skins - no really. Astrid runs London Bananas, a photoblog dedicated to the urban banana. A new(ish) resident of the City, she writes:

"When I arrived I noticed something straight away: there's a lot of banana skins around.
I see them everywhere. They're languishing on doorsteps, hanging out in the middle of the road, dangling off street signs, peeking out of piles of garbage, reclining in the middle of the sidewalk, riding the bus for free....
Eventually I managed to get a camera and started documenting these bananas in situ, partially because I thought it was funny and partially to assure myself that I wasn't making it up."

Here's one of her photos:

Why's this belong here? Because, like people on BoingBoing, I'm loving the game of 'guess where?' these photos inspire. Taken at banana-height perspective often without much background context, these pictures challenge my micro-knowledge of the City. I know where Astrid lives, works, goes drinking - but have I been concentrating? Can I place that shopfront, those railings, that advertising hoarding? I want to be able to do so: I want to know my City intimately, not (just) as theoretical structures and systems but like the palm of my hand. (Like my own body...)

And simultaneously London Bananas also functions as a guide to someone else's City, her paths and the traces these leave in her mind; a little awareness of the things she sees that I never do, that is, banana skins.

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