It’s notable that in our negotiations of the urban environment, we hardly ever notice the power-lines. In Halifax anyways, they’re everywhere — running along the streets overhead, criss-crossing over intersections  — I can see twelve right now out of my front-room window:

We must see these power-lines as we walk-about the city. They are incredibly conspicuous, starkly standing out against the softer greys, blues and whites of the surrounding urban environment. It seems we choose to ignore power-lines, these black wires that frame almost every road and intersection of the city.

Obviously, many details of a city must be ignored so that some sense can be made of it. Focusing on every element of the urban environment would be impossible, meaningless-ness resulting from the overwhelming amount of information that can be read, scene and heard from the city and those who populate it.

It is these invisibilities that make living — and more specifically living in the dense-clustered-complex-intertangled networks that are cities possible.

Negotiating the city also means choosing not to engage with the hundreds of people that pass-us-by in the streets and parks. Next time you remember, pause, look around, and there will surely be at least three people walking around, carrying on with their own rich, complex, lives. There are always hundreds of people surrounding us in the city — on the streets, in the houses, stores and apartment buildings — we must ignore them or pay them little attention so that we may get on-with-our-lives.

The city must abstracted to be understood, to be inhabited.

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