Visitors presume that the life of Crestium centers on its main square, where the pomp of military marches and soapbox rhetoric prevails. But the square is plain, empty, and dust ridden with few rewards and no distractions.
Crestium lives in the slight kinks of curling streets where men make markets; places where the streets narrow and traffic slows to a trickle. The congestion breeds intimacy, which breeds commerce. Here the marriage markets spring to life on Sunday mornings and the spice traders come to delight in their hazy, smoke-filled debauchery. The facades are an afterthought, while the signs and the pushcart purveyors clamor in competition.
The center of the city is seldom where it ought to be. For the city in plan is only a fiction, and the real city, seen by the congregation of lights and storefronts and messy, spontaneous conversations, sounds and smells cast, flaunts the logic imposed on it from above.