PATCHWORK LIVING.REPORTAGE ON LIVING IN THE “SOFT CITY”. BY STEVEN BENSON.

Thanks again to Jonathan Raban,and his psychogeographical trailblazer, “Soft City”(1974)

It was an old house, probably Victorian. It told its own story; and was situated in an area of social housing, mixed with various different qualities of private landlord stock and embourgeoismented interpollations of appartments (selling at around £200,000.) The number of flats (“apartments” if you had pretensions),in each massive house(when not developed as nursing homes), ranged from eight to upto twenty. Most of the houses themselves were in varous states of ramshackle; though a few had pristine new developments, especially around the grand, spacious park. The ramshackle ones seemed barely held together, were quirkily shaped, reeking of decayed elegance, remodelled, from the inside, into various jigsaw combinations of

bedsits (aka studios)

flats on TWO levels!

1/2 bedroom standard design flats

Rooming houses for students

Even a men’s hostel.

My own house boasts:

a split level flat, where entry is obtained from the top floor of the (whole) house, with the split level going DOWNWARDS, an especial architectural/design oddity;

my own, long narrow, one level flat,with its bedroom(so intended) so large I had made it into (an almost)self-contained bedsit!;

another two-level flat; this time you went from down to up;

a bedsit/studio

and two flats, where the only entrance,because of the complex design of the building’s re-modelling,was through their own SEPERATE doors at the back of the main building(even though the flats were IN the main building!).

My house had a troubled history:a few years ago(before I had occupied it) a VERY tall, thin chimney stack (fitting with the house’s “Gothic”, Transylvanian countenance) had toppled right through the whole right hand side of the house, from the top to the bottom, bringing part of one top floor flat onto the floor of the one below. The Hopper-esque grand porch was also destroyed and the tenants had to be moved out, for about a year, whilst at least a third of the house was wholly rebuilt! I checked that the previous tenant of MY flat had had the landlord replace/repair the OTHER chimney stack on my side of the house; it had been done, luckily.

The house also boasted a disused cellar, once inhabited by a previous landlord.

—————————————————-

Next door but one, the even more gargantuan house (formerly 14{sic!} flats) was, yet again, being rebuilt, probably hapharzardly, as was the wont of these crazy re-envisionnings.

——————————————————-

A Ren

Naissance

Lute; a

Flute:

WAFTING

From above.

A (loosely!)

Gothic

Hopper

Porch

(Sans glass);

A tree

Full of

Squirrels; and

Rare birds

——————————————

A house, with a difficult history, somehow sewn together,like a patchwork quilt; ensconced within the  psycho-social hodgepodge of the area. My home!:)

Advertisements

Published by: decayetude

ENTHUSIASMS: CLASSICAL MUSIC, ESPECIALLY OBSCURE ROMANTIC COMPOSERS; BACH/HANDEL LITERATURE, ESPECIALLY THOUGHTFUL, WELL-WRITTEN(STYLISTICALLY)NOVELS W G SEBALD WALTER BENJAMIN THEODOR ADORNO(JUST BEGINNING!) AESTHETIC PHILOSOPHY GAY MEN'S WRITING;QUEER THEORY STIMULATING DISCUSSIONS(EMOTIONALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY) GOOD RICH THICK ESPRESSO MICHAEL PONTI SPRITUALITY/LIFE'S "AURA"(BENJAMIN), WHATEVER TRANSCENDENTAL THING YOU WANT TO CALL THIS MEMORY-the elusiveness thereof. LOST TIME AND AN ATTEMPT AT ITS REDEMPTION(NON THEISTICALLY/RELIGIOUSLY)

Categories psychogeography urban monstrosityTags, , , 1 Comment

One thought on “PATCHWORK LIVING.REPORTAGE ON LIVING IN THE “SOFT CITY”. BY STEVEN BENSON.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s