Friday, July 27, 2007

William Whyte on the Joys of People Watching

"Whatever they may mean, people's movements are one of the great spectacles of the plaza. You do not see this in architectural photographs, which typically are empty of life and are taken from a perspective few people share. It is a quite misleading one. At eye level the scene comes alive with movement and color-people walking quickly, walking slowly, skipping up steps, weaving in and out on crossing patterns, accelerating and retarding to match the moves of others. There is a beauty that is beguiling to watch, and one senses that the players are quite aware of it themselves. You see this, too, in the way they arrange themselves on steps and ledges. They often do so with a grace that they, too, must sense."

-William Whyte in The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

The last part of that reminded me of perichoresis, a term that the patristics used to describe the Trinity's life of mutual love and indwelling.

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