I’ve always loved urban walks. By that I mean walks around urban environments and settings. I think it started when I was living in the City of London. At weekends, I could wander the financial heart of the city without seeing a single person. If I headed north, east or west, I could find myself anywhere from old East End derelict streets to domestic urban architecture experiments of the sixties, passing through early nineteenth century terraces.
Here in my area of Leeds, the urban walks are a little different but just as compelling. I can’t quite explain what it is about these small roads of houses I find so fascinating though. Sometimes it’s just a sense of dislocation, of dissonance. Some housing developments look as though they are in another time or another place altogether. I may have a sense of having walked into the past or a parallel universe. The variety of architecture is astounding even within this tiny urban area.
Then there are the moments when a corner is turned and a field appears from nowhere. In a second, grass and trees predominate and I might be in the middle of the countryside. Except I’m not. I’m still, amazingly, in Leeds 8.