In the rain, at night, this could surely be Gotham City

batman gotham city

I used to say that in the rain, especially in winter-time, that London felt like Gotham City. In retrospect it really doesn’t. And certainly not compared with New York – where it most certainly does.

Dark streets, looming high-rise buildings, tramps huddled in corners, inconspicuous subway entrances that descend into grimy subway stations, lots of rather wild-eyed people scurrying past you (especially at night), that sense of security within the buildings, beyond the door, beyond the gate-keeper – rather than being out on the street.

I believe that Chicago is often mooted as the city Gotham was modelled on, but New York must also have been an inspiration.

There is a darkness beneath the decadence. An underworld. You glimpse it now and again.

3 thoughts on “In the rain, at night, this could surely be Gotham City

  1. It’s difficult to imagine Chicago as the model for Gotham City, and not just because Gotham is an actual bona fide nickname of NYC going back to the early 1800s. Yes, 1920s prohibition-era gangland Chicago has some definite similarities to the early Batman comic strip Gotham, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Gotham City was always intended to be New York.

    New York has a kind of claustrophobic, canyon-like feel to it. Chicago just doesn’t (neither does London — I’d put New York at one end of the spectrum, Chicago in the middle, and London at the 180 degree polar opposite end of the “claustrophobia” spectrum from NYC). Chicago’s streets are too wide: yes it has some of the tallest skyscrapers in America but there’s just way more sky in Chicago than in New York. Even in the day time, there’s dark and shadow in New York that you just don’t have to the same extent elsewhere.

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