than the sum of buildings, parks and avenues, cities are complex
organisms most often viewed in stereotypical and lifeless form
through iconic structures such as bridges, towers and monuments.
Yet each urban metropolis is a throbbing concatenation of people
from a multitude of backgrounds and origins, weaving a cultural
tapestry in a continuous state of vibrant transition. What attracts
people to these special metropolitan centres is as much cerebral
energy as safety or food. Sometimes there is a particular period
when a city captures the imagination – Paris in the 50s,
London in the 60s, San Francisco in the 70s. These were particular
times of social and intellectual fermentation. But great cities
have a special quality that transcends these cycles. To explore
the magic of these cities one needs to go beyond the bricks and
mortar but also beyond rational, explicit and direct reportage.