Soy Panday est Parisien

I spend the bulk of my time on the coast surrounded by (or at least, with easy access to) the ocean, sand, sun, clouds, storms, tides, experiences and rhythms that make me feel at home. That make me feel like I belong. I can move with and through them in ways that make sense. As a child, in fact up until I was 19, I rarely left the coast, and when I did it was to go to other spaces that were defined by mountains, meadows, forests and wilderness. Eventually, I made my way to The City, a world that took me some time to find my feet in.

But now I love it.

When I visit cities I feel at home. I know how to walk in ways that get me around and move me along and allow me to negotiate the buildings, cars, people and general business. I know how to duck and weave and wend and wheel, avoid, obstruct and slip in-between. I have found ways to discover and understand cities by getting about on foot and by using my senses and intuition to make the place fit me. I know how to do this. And I like it. But I can only do it on foot.

Not like this dude, Soy Panday.

I love how he can flow and move with the city, not just negotiate his way around it. His movements become a part of the landscape and architecture and fabric of the place – not just another person on foot, like me!

The way he moves… it’s something to do with self-assurance and a lack of hesitation. It’s something to do with confidence, experience, experiment and an inherent sense of confidence. It’s something to do with his perspective, the ways he knows, understands and sees the city and its possibilities.

Because cities aren’t one thing. Dense and complex and beyond definition, they’re individual, potential, interpretive and dynamic. As I explore and discover cities I get to know them as my own. I map them out in my head and with my feet. I know them by train lines, bus routes, buildings, museums, bars, cafes, houses, streets, parks, beaches… the place where I lie with my eyes closed in the sun, the places where I walk with my keys stuck between my fingers.

But I can’t draw these maps the ways that Soy Panday can. I can’t draw such beautiful lines across the asphalt surface.  I really wish I could. But if you know me then you will know how hurt I can get on a normal day, simply leaving the house, so skating is a no-go zone for me.