In my own version of an Italo Calvino vignette, I wrote about Lincoln’s ways into the city: Inspired by ‘Cities and Desires 3’:
Lincoln is a place reached by many forms of transport; by car, train, bus or boat if you so wish. Transport uplifts the senses and brings forth a journey of exploration, of sights never seen and of images which turn from distant to up close.
If the traveller drifted in by boat, he would see food and finery, shops every city in the country withholds, buildings with significant height, shoppers tripping over their heavy bags, leaves wandering aimlessly, a crossing stopping those who wish to pass, a window obscuring a view, the city is graspable but the journey is the undoing, a chug chug and the reality is returned, where flyers and billboards tell the latest fads, he searches for the place where he is meant to be, the unseen coffee shop with the marble cake, the cobbles in the distance.
On the railway line, the traveller drifts on a steady stream, vivid colours painted on wooden walls, a vessel named Gypsy, moving but there or thereabouts floating, the city is within reach, the jingle-jangle of the hanging baskets become more fascinating, the lever which drives direction, the bed which is too small, the sink full of empty packets, washing hanging from a make-shift line, strong wind, and yet he looks for the tracks which take him into the city, away from the murky waters and nearer to the tiled floors, warm bodies, working people with uniforms, and those on a leisurely stroll, walking but not watching, or observing from a stand-still.
Lincoln can be looked upon both at distance and at close observation; so the traveller voyages into the unknown and finds the city of Lincoln, a city with many interpretations.
I wrote this in a way that focuses on the journey, just like in ‘Cities and Desires 3’. As a group we are focusing on the train station, a place where many journeys occur.