Saturday, July 16, 2011

A place

Geneva of 1877

Geneva was a truly international city. Quite possibly the only city in the world that could make such a claim. Heads of state and industry called this city home and the arts and sciences thrive. Geneva was indeed a melting pot of the best, and consequently, the worst Victorian man had to offer in terms of hopes, dreams and ambitions. Theologies from theosophy to kabbalah were debated openly while some, darker and older are the stuff of whispers in secret halls and hidden temples. The origins of man were hotly debated in cafes by anthropologists while men of wealth and science design, and make designs upon, his future. Or lack thereof.

Overhead airships of all shapes and sizes ferried, mostly those of privilege or position about the city and points beyond. A labyrinthine cobweb of concrete and elevated roads connected all parts of the city allowing stunning views of the city lights from above. At street level the older cobblestone streets squeezed their way between the buildings and at times were hidden altogether where newer construction was built atop the old bones of the original Geneva. Deeper still in perpetual twilight the seedier parts of the city in effect formed another city still. One of gangs and crime but with rules of conduct of its own and not the place for the well healed.

Geneva of 1877 was a city teaming with hope and wonder lit by gaslight and electricity as well. Coaches rattled along past beautiful people on their way to opera houses and fine dining. Men of ill repute and questionable motives looked up as clockwork monorails passed overhead. Secret societies gathered behind benign-looking doors plotting and practicing ancient rituals. Heads of nations and captains of industry looked down on the city through leaded glass and decided the fate of millions. For better or worse, and most likely both, Geneva was the harbinger of the future.

1 comment:

Sean said...

Very cool! One thought: try using fewer familiar phrases for some things, try to find new ways of making us visualize "beautiful people" or "secret societies" or "ancient rituals" - express the same thought with different words to make the reader really think about what you're talking about!