Archive for September, 2007

Change of Weather, Change of Pace

September 23, 2007 Leave a comment

Autumnal equinox! We have now entered my favorite season of the year, and blogging has never felt more justified. Not that there’s anything else I could do anyway, seeing as I’m currently plagued with a nasty cold (in typical Sophie fashion).

I hate Sundays; I always have hated Sundays, and I always will hate Sundays. They’re always sunny, bright, and happy–as if Monday weren’t just around the corner. Fall Sundays are particularly beautiful: the way the morning air smells, the way the golden afternoon sun hits the leaves attached the branches gently swaying in the breeze, the carefree giggles of the children playing outside, the sense of zen that surrounds the house… It’s on days like these that I like to remember my younger years, when I was still in school in France. I remember leaving at 7:30 in the morning to get to school at 8. I remember stopping by the little pastry shop to get a pain au chocolat for five francs. I remember lining up two by two in the school’s playground, waiting for our teachers to lead us to class. I remember, I remember so much more.

I get nostalgic once in a while–probably more than I should, or more than is healthy. I long for those days that seem to be so far behind me. I long for the days when I borrowed five or more books from the library every Wednesday afternoon. I long for the days when my friends and I sat outside to talk for hours after school. I long for the days when my only worries were how to memorize the Beatles song we had to sing in class that week and getting to class on time. I long for much, too much that I know I won’t ever get back.

The main–and permanent–disadvantage of renovation is just that; goodbye old, hello new. It’s especially true nowadays, when “renovation” actually means “complete makeover.” I miss my old middle school, which is now practically unrecognizable. What was once an old, weathered facility with high ceilings and shaky stairways has now become a bulky, sleek, modern institution.

Le Collège Louis Pasteur. How I miss the echoes in your corridors.


Listen to the City

September 22, 2007 Leave a comment

I’m back in the blogosphere–for good this time. For too long I’ve been wishy-washy with blogging, and now it’s time to settle down (note that this is the only area where I’m willing/ready to settle down at the moment). I’ve been blog-hopping for a few years now for various reasons–the main one being that I was never really satisfied with my username;  the others don’t matter (anymore).

So, why “listentothecity”?

One day, I was telling some people that I couldn’t stand walking with headphones plugged into my ears because it limited the amount of information being fed to me by my immediate surroundings. I then explained that, once I get off the train and back on street level, I free one ear (because I’m too lazy to turn off my mp3 player and put everything away). Someone said, “That’s so city of you.”

Not that city folks are all paranoid–no (although they could very well be). What he meant by that was, people who were raised in an urban setting feel more of a connection with their environment (therefore have less of a tendency to listen to music while walking) than others; is that true? At least I think that’s what he said; I could be a little off, I could be way fucking off, I don’t know.

Then I realized that he was right: I don’t want to hear what’s happening around me just because I’m paranoid; I want to hear it because I like it. The cars, the people, the subway, the wind in the trees–everything.

The ugly and the pretty.

But mainly the ugly.

I want to walk through the city being able to hear bits and pieces of conversations–arguments, confessions, monologues; the good, the bad, the odd, the funny, the mean, the sweet, the sad, the crazy, the happy. Do you have any idea how eerie it is when the streets of Philadelphia are silent? Besides, I don’t want to prance around like I’m in some music video.

I originally wanted “citynoise” but it was taken on some other blog. I came up with “listentothecity” (and I’m sure I’m not the first one to have come up with this) and liked it a lot. Around the same time I decided that I preferred WordPress over everything else, so I signed up.

“listentothecity” fits better because it suggests a more intimate connection with the cityscape; “citynoise” makes it seem like you’re just in the middle of it all, drowning in the “noise.”

No. The city tells me stories; they’re all shades of ugly, and all shades of pretty.

So here I am. Hello.

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