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KOLKATA / CALCUTTA by Marc Olivier Hatzfeld

As in most remote areas, life begins with the first birdsong in my neighbourhood. At six o’clock, the day is clear and some bicycles as well as a few cars drive up and down Raj Basanta Roy road. But the first visible economic activity starts at seven when the newspaper is being delivered. ‘Life begins with the reading of the news from the previous day in Bengal,’ says my friend Dipankar, ‘nothing can be done before that.’ ’ 


Seven and a half miles from the heart of São Paulo there is a gated community which houses 30,000 of the city’s richest and most security conscious residents, many of whom travel by helicopter to work among the 17 million other inhabitants of the world’s third largest city. According to the Washington Post, ‘at night, on “TV Alphaville,” residents can view their maids going home for the evening, when all exiting employees are patted down and searched in front of a live video feed.’ more>>>



London. Charing Cross Road. I must have walked up and down that road two or three thousand times. Perhaps ten thousand. Who knows? How to calculate a figure with any form of accuracy when it traces back forty years to my early teens? Can’t I make a stab in the dark, perhaps like Simenon when he purported to have had sex with ten thousand women since the age of thirteen and a half in his “need to communicate”? A figure later reduced to around one thousand two hundred by his second wife.  more>>>


JUBILEE SUMMER: LONDON 1887 by Bob Biderman

The old man with mutton-chop whiskers whose job it was to meticulously log the hourly readings in a stiff-backed journal marked "Greenwich Meteorological Bureau" almost had a heart attack. Rubbing his eyes in disbelief, he stared at the precision built Negretti & Rossi thermometer as if it had gone truly mad. Suddenly, in the past hour, the mercury had risen to a remarkable 139 degrees. Of course the thermometer had been basking outside in the ferocious sun - but 139? This was England, after all. Not India. more>>>


COMING OF AGE IN NEWARK by Sandra L. Westest

They would not let me march. Black people were being lynched, tarred, feathered, and maimed throughout the south. Duped out of jobs and left for economic dead. Insulted and degraded. While I did visit my ancestral home every summer vacation of my life, my parents would not allow me to return to march with the DownSouth, Greensboro, North Carolina college students during Freedom Summers or even to participate in civil rights rallies in the new UpSouth homeland of Newark, New Jersey. Their restrictions were the bane of my adolescent existence.  more>>>


Jerusalem by Helena Walsh

Lost, confused, bewildered, I walk around in a daze, overcome by the colours, the people, the smells, the heat. Will I ever find my way out of here, I wonder? I walk on trying to make markers so I can find my way out, but after a while everything seems the same. Images begin to repeat, as the stalls begin to merge.  more>>>


Down and Out in Paris by Marc Hatzfeld

Midway between the Gare du Nord and the Porte Saint Denis, built by Louis XIV, is a charming square called Place Alban Satragne. A sign informs the visitor that this tiny patch of greenery has been carved from the fields of the Saint Lazare farm which was once part of a huge convent of the same name - le Couvent Saint Lazare - in the 17th century. During the day, swings, seesaws and sandbackets attract kids and their moms for a bit of recreation. But why don’t you come at night? No kids, no young ladies, only men - plenty of them. Young men with dark complexion and dirty clothes. Why don’t you ask them what they are doing here at dusk? The answer is that they live here, that this is their home and their own private Paris. more>>>