Then I opened Instagram, ran a filter over it, and posted it — to send it off into the world to be liked and viewed for its moment of glory, and to shortly after join the stream of other Instagrams disappearing into our Internet wasteland.
Somehow, I’ve entered a special dimension — that space only accessible in these sorts of moments — where time truly reveals itself. Where time is more than the past, present, and future; and more than here and there and the line that connects them.
Still, Granada lingers in my mind. I wish I could have spent a few months in this city, but had three days. Just three days. I wandered its narrow, white-walled alleyways and explored quiet parts of neighborhoods, stumbling upon vestiges of Al-Andalus at every corner. And the incredible hilltop palace, the Alhambra, is quite a sight.
I’m a sucker for street art. I’m not picky about what I’m drawn to—I love graffiti in general, from the fantastic pieces I’d seen through the window of my train in Switzerland 10 years ago, to tiny, stenciled images I’ve come upon in random bathroom stalls in cities like San Francisco or Montreal. In San Francisco, where I live, we’ve had a pretty ripe underground graf culture for a while—one interwoven into subcultures of which I’ve been part, like the underground dance and hip hop scenes. I adore it all—colorful murals in dodgy neighborhoods, graffiti mixed with rave flyers and concert posters plastered on tagged-up walls, and images of misplaced objects or familiar corporate brands appropriated in distinct ways. In Granada, it’s easy to lose your way and escape the crowds. I’m drawn to silence here—when faced with direction A (a lively corner of cafes in the Albayzin) and direction B (a narrow, empty alley of ascending steps leading somewhere), I choose B. While I enjoy interacting with strangers when traveling—especially bartenders, shop owners, and …
I wanted to give you a glimpse of this ancient, intriguing, and gorgeous city.