Posted on August 23, 2022
Behind the shining facade luring you in
there is always a back door,
sometimes hidden away in a quiet alley.
These unglamorous places near the heart of town
can offer surprises and food for the imagination,
often telling a different story about where you are.
Posted on September 23, 2013
The urban environment can be noisy, dirty, artless and unfriendly. But these images from Seattle suggest that there can also be whimsy and artfulness if you look for it.
Sometimes these qualities happen by accident and are fully in the eye of the beholder, as with the “Building Blocks” and “Waterfront Whimsy” below. In other cases creative people add whimsy on purpose, such as with the “Artful Fence” which stands in for chain link and barbed wire to make perimeter defense something more fanciful. And the installation of hanging laundry adds lightness to what might otherwise be a dull and confining alley.
Posted on April 24, 2012
Next to a modern glass office building on a busy street was a small patch of weeds about the size of an executive’s desk. In the center stood a shiny brass fire hydrant. It looked almost like it had been put there on display, as though this were some sort of zoo.
Urban details like this often provide visual clutter rather than interest. But this fireplug in the weeds became the inspiration for two very different reflections on an urban landscape.
Posted on April 4, 2010
The strong shadows from the morning sunlight highlighted the geometry of this cotton plantation greathouse that lay in ruins — windows missing, iron bars staining the walls with rust, and the roof open to the brilliant blue morning sky. These old stone relics are gradually disappearing as they crumble or are converted into modern greathouses for today’s wealthy.
On the “lighter” side is this second floor doorway in a historic Christiansted building, apparently still occupied. The stairway, green doors flung open, and delicate curves of the railing invites one in.
Posted on January 24, 2010
Different people, different lives. The image above was captured at dusk in a waterfront cafe, waiting for the Christmas boat parade to begin. A smiling older woman strolls through the crowds selling trinkets and candy from a bin in a baby stroller. Always ready with a smile, she is a fixture at the town’s events.
And below is a tall man, cigar and beer in one hand, cell phone in the other, apparently oblivious to the woman with her small basket of goods to sell, as the night’s energy swirls around them.
Posted on January 18, 2010
Every community has its empty places, faded and overgrown. Some of these, when there had been no design or charm to begin with, become a blight on the landscape. But others have personality and become a part of the character of a place, in their decline adding a patina of charm and history.
How do the well-intentioned and civic-minded learn to tell the difference, so they can carve away the decay and blight while leaving the history and charm in place?
Posted on January 12, 2010
This store display screams “Love! Buy me love!” and to avoid confusion the t-shirts on the mannequins say “my boyfriend” and “my girlfriend” with a big red heart. So come on, just buy me some clothes, buy me love!
Now here in the Caribbean — once you get away from the big stores — the style is a little different. On the gallery (porch for most of you) of a little house that serves as a store on a back street of Frederiksted hang some new lingerie swaying in the breeze, just whispering…
Posted on November 23, 2009
What is at this glass corridor’s end? Is it the door to the vault where the secrets are kept? Or is it a way out, and with the right spin of the red dial the door will swing open? Or, is it the secret red button that when pushed will launch next wave to resolve the crisis? Whatever it is, I am not sure this is a place meant for people.