The Lennox Street marker featured in the photograph above is embedded in an iron fence around a 19th century building in Edinburgh, Scotland. That photo was taken on my first visit to that beautiful city–Athens of the North–in 1987, while I was in Great Britain as a fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge. I’ve been back a number of times since, and each time it seems I’m visiting an entirely different city. It has, apparently, many facets. My father’s side of my family is, on his father’s side, from Southern Scotland, so I was not surprised to find a street in Edinburgh bearing my family name. What struck me about this street sign was the straightforward, no frills assertiveness of the letters combined with the artfully decorative way in which the surrounding vinery had been handled–trimmed back enough that there could be no doubt about the name, yet with tendrils creeping over it here and there, leaves casting dappling shadows all over it. Like the artfully managed ‘naturalness’ of an English garden, you are left wondering whether those tendrils not quite hiding the letters of the street name had escaped the gardner’s trimmer, or were carefully left untrimmed to given the impression of naturalness.
I’ve chosen that sign as the name of this blog. I’m inviting you to enjoy Lennox Street. But it is my street! I look forward to people reading and responding to what they find on this street, and I may, or may not, interact with those who respond–after all, its a blog. My first actual blog post will include the rules that will govern interactions on Lennox Street. But for now, welcome!