Naked Cities Journal – Exploring The Minutiae of Everyday Urban Life
Naked Cities Journal attempts to bring together a number of passions that have captivated me over a lifetime: a love of exploring the urban landscape and its extraordinarily diverse range of places and spaces; a love of keeping writer’s notebooks; and a love of Urban Studies an intellectual discipline.
My interest in the minutiae of urban environments has been profoundly influenced by the works of such diverse writers as Georges Perec, Walter Benjamin, Georg Simmel, Blaise Cendrars, Herbert Huncke, William S. Burroughs, Edmund White (The Flaneur), Alain de Botton (The Art of Travel), Jane Jacobs and William H Whyte to name but a few…
Many creative inspirations for my writing projects have been drawn from reflective time either spent walking to or around my favorite places, or simply sitting in a favorite a place where I could engage in the art of people watching and making copious notes in my notebooks.
The literature devoted to the delicacies of ‘seeing and noticing’ cities most especially through the gaze of the flaneur – whether it be in the form of the novel, poetry or creative non fiction – is a distinct body of creative work authored by some of the great writers including Baudelaire, Aragon, Hugo and more recently by such contemporary authors as George Perec, Jane Jacobs and Philip Lopate.
My own humble perambulatory adventures over the years have taken me through the streets, lanes, and city centers of Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Saigon and Hanoi, the boulevards of Vienna, the urban canyons of Boston and Manhattan, the bohemian underground landscapes of Sydney in the 90’s, and the streets, lanes and hidden histories of my former home city of Melbourne, Australia – all in personal search of the unique myriad of ways in which people live and work and how they interact with the cities they live in.
In a world increasingly devoted to iteration, task and time focused interactions (as Simmel presciently predicted), it challenges us all to value the qualities of reflection, observation and contemplation even more.
Hoping you enjoy visiting Naked Cities Journal as much as I enjoy bringing it to you…
Marcus D. Niski
Site author profile photograph by Wally Re © 2017