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Daily activity, discussion, ritual or drama, and a sense of place arose as part of the culture. Streets grew as gathering spaces, as counterform to social activity. Such responsive places developed over time, shaped by the habits of the people who then identified strongly with them. The alleys themselves became a series of spatial occasions, breathing in and out, creating places for companionable involvement.
One or two of my photos of Mykonos show convivial people sitting on wooden chairs in street corners. On many islands an extreme shortage of wood exists, but these chairs are greatly valued in the social life. Their positioning shows place arranged as interactive personal space, set up not just to watch the passing scene, but to be part of it. People choose a position that will give best chance to relate comfortably to others. Thus chairs can be found accumulated in alley recesses and at intersection corners where movement and human contact generate the type of space.
Cafes form additional street-side gathering nodes for men, whereas women associate more with the entrances of their homes. As well as chairs, there may be built-in stone benches, Whitewashed walls back these congregating areas, protecting from pestering wind, providing luminosity, and a sense of security behind. The whitening may be continued from the base walls, picked out between the paving flagstones, emphasizing the volumetric definition. Inhabitants depend on these street niches to act as extensions of their narrow homes, thus creating a sense of greater spatial freedom.
In streets of the Chora the flights of steps and flowerpots give the impression of an interior space, a furnished passageway with sky ceiling. This lady enjoying the middle of her street in the photo above was happy for me to take this photo.
Subjects: English poetry
Publisher: Boston, Houghton, Osgood, and company
Contributing Library: The Library of Congress
Digitizing Sponsor: Sloan Foundation
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Text Appearing Before Image:
, thou canst testify.For Englands shame, O Sister Realm ! from wood,Mountain, and moor, and crowded street, \iliere lieThe headless martyrs of the Covenant,Slain by compatriot Protestants that drawFrom councils senseless as intolerantTheir warrant. Bodies fall by wild sword-law;But who would force the soul, tilts with a strawAgaiust a champion cased in adamant. ^9— CAVE OF STAFFA. Thanks for the lessons of tliis spot,— fit schoolFor the presumptuous thoughts that would assignMechanic laws to agency divine;And, measuring heaven by earth, wouhl over-ruleInfinite Power. The pillared vestibule,Eximuding yet precise, the roof embowed.Might seem designed to Inuuble man, wh?n proudOf his best workmanship by plan and tool.Down-bearing with his whole Atlantic weightOf tide and tenqicst on that struetures base.And llasliiug to that struetures topmost height.Ocean has proved its strength, and of its graceIn calms is conscious, finding for his freightOf softest unisie some responsive place. ^
Text Appearing After Image:
J(ycM^yi^y^ a- TRANQUILLITY. —THE OLD MINSTEEL. 625 ■^ TRANQUILLITY. Tranquillity ! the sovereign aim wert thouIn lieatlien schools of philosophic lore;Heart-stricken by stem destiny, of yoreThe tragic muse thee served with thoughtfiJ vow;And what of hope Elysium could allowWas fondly seized by Scidpturc, to restore-Peace to tlie mourner. But when He who woreThe crown of thorns around his bleeding browWarmed our sad being with celestial light,T/iea arts which still had drawn a softening graceErom shadowy fountains of the Infinite,Communed with that idea face to face :And move around it now as planets run,Each in its orbit, round the central sun. SIR ¥ALTER SCOTT. 1771-1838. THE OLD MINSTKEL, The way was long, the wind was cold. The minstrel was infirm and old: His withered check, and tresses gray, Seemed to have known a better day; The harp, his sole remaining joy. Was carried by an orphan boy. The last of all the bards was he. Who sung of Border chivalry : For, well-a-day ! thei
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