Monday, July 16
Balcony Seats to the City
A newly arrived immigrant eats noodles on the fire escape in New York City.
"Even in quickly evolving New York City, there’s something romantic about slowing down, stepping out of the fast currents of foot traffic, and looking up. Few neighborhoods will disappoint. Look up high, especially in Manhattan, and you can see the built history of the big city play out in the architectural details and ornamental facades of buildings, awnings and balconies standing out like grooves in record, ready to reveal the story of each block. Within the skyscraper canyons of Midtown, you can spot the pinnacles of great towers, and the cranes of greater towers in the making. But look a little lower, around the corners and in the alleyways, and you’ll see a structure with a romantic connection to an older New York City, zig-zagging down towards the streets. Fire escapes have a fairly straightforward purpose, designed for the noble role their name implies. But for much of their history, in cities across the world, they’ve served altogether different roles. ..."
Tintin Mural, Brussels. By Chris Brearly