On the edge of Ostrava there’s a sharp-sided hill. If you stood on it, you’d have a view over the old city, and you’d marvel at the number of smokestacks you saw. They’re all shapes and sizes and surround the old town centre like widely-spaced fence posts. If it was wintertime, you’d also marvel at […]
The security in Philadelphia is so slow and so badly organised and so repetitive that despite having 90 minutes to make my transfer to Washington I miss it. Now some people reserve their especial opprobrium for American security. That, I can understand. Others pick out American bacon. Or American exceptionalism. Or the infiltration of the American mil-industrial complex into everyday life…
Streets bare of anything but the orange glow of emergency lighting. Stretched black shadows of key workers (coffee shops, fast food joints) waiting thin and angular at bus-stops. Miles of normally pounded pavement getting a brief respite save for the endlessly-walking homeless and solitary drunks, wearing spirals and curlicues into its surface.
London at 5 a.m. is a different city.
Charlie. Maria named everything we owned. I’d have to see the objects again to recall their specific pet names, but the one that mattered to me was when she named my car Charlie. I’d started learning to drive when I was 21 and looking for a job as a journalist. I thought it would give […]
And a puff of cloud beneath, and the world is gone. London, rigid in its rows of suburban houses, grey and brown like a tired corpse, vanishes with a sigh. I look down at the passing clouds and I imagine them opening again, to reveal: flocks of dragons drifting beneath, mammalian muscles rippling beneath scaled […]
Some cities have a larger literary presence than tangible. Paris balances the two. London weighs towards the real, rather than the page. But Berlin, for me especially, is a city explored first in media, only peripherally in the real. Mr Norris Changes Trains, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold gave me a sense […]
I’m writing a big article about Istrian food for Time Out: Croatia. I sometimes feel like the only adult in the world. It’s an arrogant feeling, I’m aware, but it’s more a view of assumed maturity; seeing people making the same mistakes I’ve made before, the same clichéd patterns of behavior cropping up. So here […]