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27 December 2007 @ 12:30 pm
Second City  
I have a mad love for second cities.

What is a Second City?

It's the underground tunnel city in the TV show Beauty & the Beast. It's Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and King Rat by China Mieville. It's the cyber realm in William Gibson novels. It's the network of rooftops in Amsterdam, the network of churches, convents and monasteries in Brugge, Belgium. It's the canals of Venice. It's the London Underground. The ruins of an ancient city in the center of a modern one. A different world or city inside of a city.

Tell me about second cities you've found while traveling, or reading, or in movies, or watching TV. I want to make a pseudo-collection of Second Cities, because experiencing them brings me great immersive joy.
Current Mood: lovedromantic
nplusmnplusm on December 27th, 2007 09:50 pm (UTC)
I liked the "hidden traces" of the world as listed by the secret society in the Planetary comics (also Opek Re).

I also liked the underground cities on the Counter Earth.

Also, the mutant society in Total Recall.
Sharon Combshollyqueen on December 27th, 2007 10:33 pm (UTC)
The Nightside books by Simon R Green. The Nightside is more horrible than magical in my view, but it is very vivid.
Ryan Forsytheflamingweasel on December 28th, 2007 12:55 am (UTC)
There used to be something amazing here, but the fools cut it out.

Instead, I'll suggest this:
In Olinda, if you go out with a magnifying glass and hunt carefully, you may find somewhere a point no bigger than the head of a pin which, if you look at it slightly enlarged, reveals within itself the roofs, the antennas, the skylights, the gardens, the pools, the streamers across the streets, the kiosks in the squares, the horse racing track. That point does no remain there: a year later you will find it the size of half a lemon, then as large as a mushroom, then a soup plate. And thin it becomes a full-size city, enclosed within the earlier city: a new city that forces its way ahead in the earlier city and presses it toward the outside.

Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino

You should borrow this book from me.

And just to show I'm not super pretentious, I'm guessing the magic world within the world of normals in the Harry Potter books fits this pretty well too.
Yes I'm T♥ny!king_amygdala on December 28th, 2007 08:18 am (UTC)
That's crazy. I was doing some research for a project I'm working on involving postal codes in the UK (Cork, Ireland to be exact), and read this article about second cities on wikipedia. I had never heard the term before. Granted, your definition is a bit different than the one I read today. Just wanted to comment on the odd coincidence.