“This is a grim city,” she says. I look over my left shoulder through the car’s back window. The hill of lights to the south is lost in fog. A concrete partition rises tall to our left to divide the road from the neighborhood just beyond.
In the city of bridges, the worlds of road and residence do not mix. Overpasses and tram-lines and throughways are knotted and braided together, running first perpendicular and later side-by-side, cars funneled into the contours of the concrete landscape like rainwater into a river isolated by the trees that stand along its banks.
“Yeah,” he says. Branches on both sides of the road hang over us. Their trunks wall us in. Urge us on.
I like this city for its grimness. I like that the gray of the city’s concrete matches the gray of its sky, and that its inhabitants choose willingly to live between the two, as if there is no other choice, no escape. There is not.
“Look at that,” he says. A homeless woman is standing crooked behind a bus bench with a naked woman painted on it. An ad for a strip club.
She says, “Interesting.”