11 hours ago
Monday, April 19, 2010
Stamford, therefore, is very much a town. A town that plays host to UBS and R(u)BS and some other glass menagerie dwellers. It has a couple blocks that could be called a downtown plaza, a shopping mall, and a host of undifferentiated condos. I have known of Stamford for many years because it was where devoted partner and I traveled when we had need of items Greenwich didn't provide. Devoted partner, a Greenwich native, knew the bars, the Mongolian restaurant (sadly defunct), and the various houses of ill repute. But we never spent much time in Stamford.
So when work yet again took devoted partner's Sunday, I decided to head on out to Stamford and practice with my camera a bit. I was shocked by one thing: the streets were entirely empty. It was a beautiful Sunday morning, the kind of Sunday morning which, in a city, would see young couples pushing strollers and people lining up for brunch. Stamford was so deserted that I found myself grateful that the people who were out and about were patrolmen. I had hoped to take pictures of people, something I am notoriously crappy at (why must you be so blurry, people?), but there just weren't any.
And I think that's where I come to the problem of calling places cities. A city is alive all the time. Stamford may thump to the beat of the markets Monday-Friday from 7am to 7pm; it might even have some thumping on the weekend nights, but it doesn't sustain its pulse. Places like Dallas, which have a downtown business district, but where most people live in surrounding suburbs, are different. Life, the life that happens between families and friends, happens elsewhere.