Walking every week, with every chance I get. My feet vault me out of a sedentary habit (we are what we repeatedly do) into the unique opportunity of an urban walk, latent with unexpected encounters. Encounters, such as the sight of this smokestack somewhere north of the lunch hour ground zero. I marvel at its unlikely location, amid the housing and workplaces. Surely it cannot still be in use. Do its neighbors consider it a historic resource, a neighborhood landmark? What if it is in use, but for a use not originally intended...
The smokestack is a non sequitur, a rather large and prominent form nestled within a residential, low-rise neighborhood. Surely, some research would tell its story. But the point is not to know where this smokestack came from or its historical use. The lunchwalker on the go is all eyes and ears to the sidewalk unfolding beneath the feet; no time to research on a smartphone. Even the excuse of wanting to just "be there" aside, there is more reason to disregard the histories of structures and spaces along the walk: the forms of the city are opened to fresh interpretation.
Ceci n'est pas un smokestack. It is a vent for a vast subterranean vault. A wind pipe for a geological organ. An observation post to collect ambient neighborhood sound. Let the city try and preserve all of its artifacts. I can create and destroy them at will.
The lunchwalker embeds a set of desires unto a set of inert objects. The set of desires is not alien to the walking environment, not fabricated beforehand, but generated along the walk, activated by the sounds present and alive there.
Do not walk to see what the city is. Walk to see what the city can be. Walk, to make the city anew.