Issue Twelve

Contents

‘How those railings stir one’s blood!’

The iron railing is one of the most pervasive yet rarely remarked features of the London cityscape. A form of street furniture that proliferated in the industrial revolution, London’s railings mark … Read article

Size Matters

For an era that has embraced the microprocessor, that has mapped the infinitesimally small building blocks of life, that has broken open the atom and gawked at its floating innards, we are still obses… Read article

On Fighter Jets

I’ve been a jet anorak for as long as I can remember. I grew up in the middle of nowhere, the sort of place you’d immediately describe as ‘quiet.’ But every 10 minutes or so, an RAF Tornado fr… Read article

A Gal in Kalamazoo

In May I went to Kalamazoo, Michigan (pop. 74,000). The town’s attractions include the Kalamazoo Regional Psychiatric Hospital Water Tower and the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, which in 2000 was voted th… Read article

High Water

My grandmother’s house – my childhood home – was the only one on its street to flood last year. The timing felt almost providential. My grandmother herself had only recently been convinced to le… Read article

How to Spend It

How can we comprehend a capital city? You might start with its own consecrated places: the palace, the parliament, the cathedral, the stock exchange. From the top deck of a tourist bus, the story that… Read article

Will You Feel a Presence?

Jill the beauty salon owner from the West Country rides into her husband’s funeral on a black stallion with a black lace veil over her face to the tune of ‘I’ll Stand By You’. She tells the co… Read article

The Museum of Broken Relationships

However,when, during routine evictions, I discover alien pants, cinema stubs, the throwawaycomment – on a post–it – or a tiny stowawaypressed flower amid bottom drawers,I know these are my souv… Read article

Laforgue Looks on Unter den Linden

Mai [1882?]Berlin. Art, my most dear Charles,              art. Let me tell you how I live here:              apart. Cloistered in the palace like… Read article

The Parenting Trap

At dinner in north London the other night, I was wishing – not for the first time – for an off switch to my academic radar. As an anthropologist by training, it’s become habitual to see even the… Read article