This write up on Calvino reminded me of when my favorite professor, Frances Bronet (back when I was an architecture student) passed me a novella called The Baron in the Trees. I fell in love with Cosimo, who climbed an oak to escape having to finish his meal (as I recall, snails) and spends the rest of his life in a network of branches (first the oak, then an elm, a carob, a mulberry, a magnolia) that interlink above the entire city. It was the beginning of my interest in the connections made beyond the streets and sidewalks of cities, and it was probably the beginning of my journey out of architecture and into urban sociology. Invisible Cities (and some pushing from a friend), led me to thinking about stories of cities and, eventually, tour guides.
I read this essay about ‘biomapping’ with similar interest. Christian Nold (biomapping.net) measures emotional states (arousal, stress) of people as they walk through cities via a GPS device attached to a galvanic skin responce system. View his emotion map of Greenwich here, and San Francisco here. This could well connect with the essay I’m mulling over on Synecdoche, New York.