The sun is beginning to set on the horizon, casting yet another unique palette of colour over the city. Water sparkles brightly below on the river as the last rays of sunshine dance along rippling waves. Boats cluster together at marinas. Miniature figures stroll or jog along the banks of the river while tiny cyclists flit past at speed.
The windows of one apartment block blaze with a fierce flickering light like the rooms are on fire. Only the shadows of people casually walking past a window convince the eye that it’s just an illusion from the reflection of the dying sun.
Cars continue to sweep to and fro along the bridge in never-ending movement as the streetlights flutter to life. The constant noise of traffic and people shouting drifts in from the balcony even when all the doors are windows are shut tight. Sirens wail periodically at an abnormally high volume designed to pierce the intense traffic noise.
It’s mesmerising – this constant movement outside the window against the backdrop of city, sea and sky. Your gaze is inevitably drawn to it. A low-tech distraction from whatever you’re supposed to doing. I constantly catch the kids zoned out while chewing on toast.
Vancouver is the first city where I’ve had the opportunity to really experience the allure of a cityscape. There’s a dissonance about looking down over the rest of the world, observing it from high up above. Removed from it all, yet also strangely comforted by the sight of all these little people and cars trundling along. All apart, yet still together.
Living a few weeks at this height gives you a perspective you can’t have when you’re walking the streets yourself. The ability to see so much all at once. The moving patterns. Densely packed humanity amongst pockets of natural beauty.
As the day draws to a close the sky is tinged with golden yellow on the horizon, and a hint of dusky red in the clouds above. Colours darken across the land, shadows grow. The horizon glows brightly in contrast where it peeks between concrete buildings.
Brooding black towers are lit with warm glowing windows. Flashes from tv screens flare like miniature lightning strikes. Traffic lights repeat themselves. The mood outside is calmer and quieter as movement slows. Even the steady rumble of traffic has changed tone. The pale moon hangs low in the sky as the sun disappears.
Time passes. More and more stars appear in the black sky. The city is reduced to tall dark blocks and glittering lights. Night falls faster now.
Another day is over. The city slumbers, never completely silent or still.