The Passage of a Few People Through a Rather Brief Moment in Time #161: Portals for Mortals
One or more persons during a certain period drop their usual motives for movement and action, their relations,
their work and leisure activities, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the
encounters they find there.
It's a bike ride.
Started by user nathansnider and user theroyalacademy.
It meets every Wednesday at 8:30pm at California Donuts #21.
We ride at 9pm.
We'll endeavor to return before the last red line trains (around midnight).
On the fourth year of this bike ride, you might expect:
- more inconvenient passageways
- more full moon picnics
- perhaps more "cover" versions of other people's rides, performed with amateurish enthusiasm
- certainly more amateurish enthusiasm
- pool halls
- bowling alleys
- dance parties
- imaginary histories
- scavenging for fun and sustenance
- more geocaching
- more oblique strategies
- more Oulipian constraints
- traffic median tea parties
- A medium pace (maybe not for beginners; certainly not a hustle)
- We're not in a rush; we don't need to run every light.
- Maybe some hills; maybe some distance
- Victory donuts!
Portals for Mortals
Isn't it just a bit odd, this practice of marking civic boundaries with large, free-standing doorways? It is... a bit.
Just. There are no walls that require a gateway, nor even any doors for these frames to support, but there they
are, marking some notional boundary with their large, purely ornamental presence. Though their formal origins
may lie in ancient methods of city fortification, perhaps the very embodiment of exclusion, they are now meant
to convey something quite the opposite.
In this age of consumer choice, a gateway is a sign of welcome, an indication that it's time to get *excited*
about this place. Nothing exciting is ever entirely free of menace, of course, and even a completely non-
functional doorway carries the subtle message that one's passage into this new territory is conditional and may
It is also, perhaps, an encouragement to open one's eyes and look around a bit, because upon passing
through an invisible barrier, it behooves one to take note of what, precisely, has changed.
This week, we are seeking out the portals and gateways, finding the same old lands made new. In addition to
these ever-so-convenient passageways, we will be making use of those harder to negotiate. We know that you
would expect nothing less.
Not many hills.
Talk, talk, talk...
Check out our new web site!
(and join the mailing list!)
The hacienda must be built.