Friday, January 29, 2010

Some grafitti, some ranting

There is a building near the Brooklyn Bridge park that I can see when I am crossing the bridge.  There has been construction work going on near it and it is on a sort of lonely road which is most unusual in New York.  I wanted to take a picture of it.  To remind myself, I made this sketch.  I decided to go take the picture the other day after wrestling with a new hanging sculpture.  (I have been using thin metal labeled 'piano wire' and now I realize that it truly is piano wire which explains why everything bounces around on it at the slightest  vibration)  Following a frustrating morning, I grabbed my camera and headed downtown.

Unfortunately, I had waited too long and the building was covered in scaffolding.
I was annoyed, perhaps unreasonably.  The city has been chewing on the land around the building for months, it was just a matter of time before it turned its attention to the building itself. Still, it seems that I am often moving too slowly for a city intent on shedding anything that is not fresh and clean. The problem is that refinished brick and newly painted shutters make for boring photographs.

In something of a snit, I photographed a nearby graffiti tag.
The young son and I were playing around with light graffiti before the weather became disagreable.  This tag would make a good light pattern, I want to see if we can do something like it when spring settles in.
I liked this tag too.  I quickly returned to my funk because down the road, more old buildings are under scaffolding about to be scrubbed of their character.
 
I contemplated the newly re-opened arched passage under the Manhattan Bridge with its limp Christmas decorations.  I suppose it could be worse, at least the lights are modern instead of the faux antique lamps that usually appear after renovations.

My ire was soon drawn to the ugly building across the way.
 
So out of place, it would be more at home near a suburban commuter train station.  The building it replaced was small and rather nondescript, but it had a wonderful door: 
 
 I headed back, despairing the future of spontaneous beauty in unusual places.  Then some torn paper and old glue on a utility box caught my eye.
 It reminded me of an old daguerrotype photo, or maybe one from Talbot's method with the paper negatives.  I can almost see a landscape; a city or maybe a canyon leading to a wooded ravine.  So it helped to restore my faith in random beauty.

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