Evan Fleischer
2 min readSep 12, 2020

The fulsomeness of New York. Buildings rising into verdancy in Medellin. A sunset as seen from Twin Peaks in San Francisco, the sun gently filling up the bay in the distance. The suburban quiet of Rowville, Australia. Bavarian hills maintaining their exact sense of self as someone drops some silverware in the background. The hanging plants and fairy lights in Brooklyn. A city in a foreign land we won’t name looks like it’s on the verge of becoming an overgrown beach town, even with there being no known beach for miles. The surprising swallowing-you-up feeling of trees in Stockholm and Hong Kong. The rain in Gurgaon. The heart leaping at seeing Glasgow again. Another home in San Francisco looking up in the direction of Twin Peaks, which leaves you wondering how a place that looks like this — this confection of hardwood, candy-like colors, plentiful greenery, and light — could be rendered so emphatically unaffordable to so many.

In Japan, there is talk of “an overcrowded circuit board with its dense clusters of houses.” In Rome, there is talk of “the beauty, the warmth, [and] the un-ambitiousness.” “I wish I could offer green mossy lava,” Andri Snær Magnason writes from Reykjavik. “The place is constant,” Mike McCormack writes from Galway City. In Toronto, Sheila Heiti spots a man staring at a shrub. “As the rest of the neighborhood is dominated by high-rises and townhouses that have sacrificed yards for concrete parking spaces,” Emma Larkin writes, “all remaining wildlife seems to gravitate to our garden.” John Jeremiah Sullivan opens the door to a magnolia tree.

The world contracts. The world expands. Dust from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon while people spend their days looking out the window. Twitter sometimes becomes 1–800-Dial-an-Expert — the socialization around information so keen — while the current White House occupant tells the same story about a memory test he took three times in a row without seeming to realize it. Goethe thinks through the economic lessons about the possibilities of world literatures in a letter to Johann Peter Eckermann while some of us wonder what we might be able to find in our local library. Some people prefer ending essays with definitive statements. Some of us don’t.

(Window photos taken from Window Swap.)