There’s a peculiar visual sense that living in a large city gives you. Everything is foreshortened. The buildings loom over you. The constant presence of cars, cyclists, other people leaves a cramped sense of space, an eternal end-of-your-nose vigilance. Perhaps more so in London, home now for a decade, with its high density of low-level housing, its crumbling infrastructure, its ancient alleyways and winding streets. You get a different sense of space again new, or planned cities. New York with it criss-crossing avenues, the giant building all seeming to reflect our own image back to us. Paris has its wide…

John Merrick

John Merrick is a writer living in London, and an editor at Verso Books.

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