"In that district the pavements are clean and dry, there is neither mud nor water in the gutters, grass grows in the chinks of the walls. The most heedless passer-by feels the depressing influences of a place where the sound of wheels creates a sensation; there is a grim look about the houses, a suggestion of a jail in those high garden walls. A Parisian straying into a suburb apparently composed of lodging-houses and public institutions would see poverty and dullness, old age lying down to die, and joyous youth condemned to drudgery. It is the ugliest quarter of Paris, and the least known." -Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot (1835)
This quote accompanied this map when it was commissioned to me, and I think it's brilliant. Beloved places and memories aren't synonymous with perfect architecture and manicured gardens. How many of our greatest experiences are hidden in unglamorous coordinates? How many of those coordinates have transformed from centuries past?
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