I had another really vivid dream last night; I’ve been dreaming of big cities again lately (which probably means something itself), and this was another in the series. The city had really large buildings, like NY scale, but clearly not New York. It was someplace with wider, cleaner streets and much newer buildings, and stuff was generally spaced out a little more loosely. Maybe like pictures I’ve seen of Rotterdam, glass and steel type architecture, but colorful glass and steel.

I had to get to “49th street” for something, and someone suggested that I take the shortcut through The Ships, and since I wasn’t in a huge hurry that sounded like a fine idea. The Ships was a huge area comprising several blocks worth of big buildings that were similar to parking buildings, but not meant for parking. They all connected and meant to be kind of pedestrian areas with trails and bridges connecting them.

The buildings themselves had tall ceilings and open walls like a parking building, and suspended in the floors were all manner of wooden sea vessels. Some of them were very old and fragile, some of them were new and modern and clean, some were huge, some were tiny. The walking paths went right through all of them in attractive, curvy paths. No grids or anything, everything was connected and casual and inviting.

There were docents to help you figure out where to step if you were on a fragile vessel and to answer questions about specific histories or to give directions to tourists. Every floor had the ships in their own water, small openings in the floor just big enough to hold a specific ship, so they were all different sizes. The whole buildings shifted and rocked and had cool maritime breezes like it was all on a big ferry or shipping vessel. So it had a pleasant, nautical feelings, and each ship also rocked individually in its own little pool thing. But you could look over the all and see the street below, so it wasn’t actually nautical, just set up to feel that way. And the movement wasn’t obvious when you looked out.

People sought out The Ships as a kind of slower, more interesting way to get between two spots in the city. All the ships’ decks were always basically sunk down to ground level – you’d walk off the surrounding deck right onto the ship itself, and if you were close enough to the other side you could just hop off and take shortcuts. Sometimes a ship with a tall mast would poke through to the next floor through appropriate openings, so it was kind of an eccentric landscape. The floors where there weren’t ships were that padded black type of stuff that looks like asphalt but is actually soft rubbery stuff like they have at some playgrounds, so it was springy and pleasant to walk around on and to hop on or off as you left ships.

I woke up several times during the dream and uncharacteristically went right back to The Ships. (That usually doesn’t happen, I don’t go back to dreams in progress.)

It’s hard to explain exactly why, but it left a really big impression.