VISIBLE CITIES – INVISIBLE CITIES
AT HOME IN THE CITY
HARRY PYE’s POSTCARD FROM LONDON
Tarvo Hanno Varres
ROCK-MUSIC FROM BUDAPEST
AMSTERDAM IS A CITY
PERM. WHERE IS THIS PLACE? WHAT IS THIS PLACE?
A HAPPY MORNING
VILEN KÜNNAPU’s SHORT
INTERVIEW WITH THE POET
SCENES OF PAIDE
Jan Ping aka Brüggemeier
A HAPPY MORNING
One morning when Steiner wakes up he feels happy. Behind the window a comforting drizzle of rain falls gently from the dark grey Astoria sky, the smell of coffee wafts from the kitchen, his slippers lie under his bed.
Moving towards his office the architect notices various fascinating things: cast iron eagles above the entrance of a football field, a bit cracked redbrick water tower by the turning of the tramway, two men who look like chess players sitting behind the glass window of a huge café, a solitary woman nervously fiddling with her mobile phone. A passing taxi takes a swell curve at the crossroad. It is wonderful to watch the water splashing from the puddle. Steiner quickly jumps backwards and enjoys the spattering of water at his feet.
The capital of Astoria is quite sparse, nevertheless several remarkable buildings line architect Steiner’s way. The crown of the high street is the abandoned gravel factory, its slanting conveyor pipes form an interesting deconstructivist composition. A beggar is kneeling between heaps of gravel, with a kind-eyed dog lying beside him. For a moment, the sun peeps out from the clouds. The disproportionate bulks of the church by the main square are pleasantly distanced from the golden section and good taste. On the other side of the square, between two huge buildings stands a cute little theatre. The façade is ingenuously eclectic, exuding easygoing liberty, and Steiner smiles.
Collage with the Chapel of the Prison of Tallinn. 2004.
Suddenly he sees Sarapuu coming towards him, beard fiercely stretched out, piercing glance directed at the frameless window of the dilapidated police station. Noticing Steiner, he throws his arms around him. The two friends stand in their immobile embrace for a long time, right in the middle of the main square, surrounded by trams, trolley buses, taxis and rickshaws. Steiner asks Sarapuu whether he was alive. Alive, replies Sarapuu happily. Sarapuu asks Steiner whether he was alive. Alive, replies Steiner, also happy. They recall the last decade and try to calculate the kilometres they have revolved together in the universe. They admit that they are taking part in a sweeping undertaking, a huge adventure, an infinite secret. We are flying towards ourselves, says Steiner. We are flying far, replies Sarapuu thoughtfully. The shadow of the tall monument of freedom in Egyptian style draws an unexpected line between the friends. A snowy white seagull lands on Sarapuu’s shoulder, Steiner’s round glasses become pink, a violin shoots out of the music school window, King Salomon stands at the door of the church. A high plywood pyramid yellows at the end of the alley, a pretty red ketchup bottle catches the eye on a restaurant table, the sky has turned blue all over. Architect Steiner has reached his office. His slender finger punches in the code and the secret door opens. The morning journey has ended.
Vilen Künnapu is a Tallinn-based architect and professor. He is the author of “Across the Red River. Selected Texts 1972-2001”. See also: www.kassiopeia.ee, vilenkunnapu.pri.ee