Soho (Needless to Say)

Al Stewart paints a picture of an urban afternoon that I think is quite timeless. Many people are taken with the romance of the pastoral, but city life can be equally enchanting, in its own way. There’s something about the thrum of so many people peacefully going about their own lives, interacting and yet not interacting with one another. It’s not the same as the serenity of being away from so many people, but it’s appealing in its very uneasiness. It’s constantly full of the promise of an adventure – or a misadventure, or even a disaster. Anything could happen. That’s been true for as long as people have been congregating in cities. The poetry of city life may not be its own genre, the way pastoralia is its own cliche, but it’s always been fertile ground for writers and artists. There’s always inspiration, even in squalor.

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