Today’s Flaneuring post comes from Dubai. Cynthia Bressoud takes us from her skyscraper apartment to the oceanside. There are about four more posts on the flaneuring schedule and if you are interested in contributing, I’d love to hear from you.
The light frame around the blackout curtains begins to go from artificial to natural soft foggy light. The dull fan like sound, the traffic, begins to rachet up the volume. I live 30 floors up above the 12 lane highway that cuts a vertical seam through the heart of Dubai. I peer down on this seam watching the smaller than matchbox cars whizz, zoom, and dart. Seems an unusual percentage of white cars… makes sense, in the desert.
The rising sun is now reflecting on the glass of the buildings across the road. The bits of sea, visible from my window begin to color up, from steel gray to deep blue, reflecting the always blue sky…always. A cloud is an occasion for a picture post on instagram!
My neighborhood is a collection of glass and steel skyscrapers set in clusters of three. These clusters huddle around man-made lakes. The sight of water in the desert is refreshing, but, don’t look too close.
One of the lakes has been filled in and turned into a park, offering green grass and some shade trees. On my early morning walk, it is quiet. The grounds keepers are up, clipping bushes, watering plants, cleaning the scum from the “lakes”. The security guy on his segway, looks bored. A few dog walkers, runners. It is relatively quiet, as much as can be so close to 12 lanes of whizzing traffic. The lower two levels of each building house the retail space. Grocery stores, hair “saloons”, cafes, restaurants with names like Canadian 2 for 1 pizza (no 2 for 1 pizzas, it is just a name), Four Guys, and Pizza Delice, no, that is not a typo. From Italian, to Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, Indian, Lebanese. Hundreds of places for dining and takeout pleasure!!
A multicultural neighborhood, filled with colorful faces, colorful clothing, colorful languages. I love that.
When the sun goes down, everyone comes out. Runners, walkers, kids on bikes, grown-ups on bikes. Crowds at the cafes. Kids at the playgrounds. More dog walkers. The evening is cooler, no scorching sun to drive you indoors. The lights from the towers reflects on the lakes, sparkling pretty.