Out for a walk one afternoon, and this building just grabbed me. The way it filled the entire frame with faceless identical units, the way it towers over the block despite being set back quite a bit, overwhelming you with its sheer scope. I guess that’s why they call this style brutalist*.
*Apparently it’s not–it has something to do with the French for concrete–but fuck it. This building is brutish.
Turns out this is an I. M. Pei building, Kips Bay Towers, which house more than 4,000 residents on three blocks of the East Side and which were part of the condo frenzy in the early 1980’s.
A friend remarked that, “behind each of those windows are people who will likely never meet each other.” That seems to me like a pretty good symbol of life in New York City, or any really big city.
It’s like a human honeycomb, and in each cell is a family or an individual with a whole universe that revolves around them, a complex web of relationships and goals, desires and failures that feel overwhelming even though they’re surrounded on all sides by people who couldn’t care less. Each cell bears the decor that is the physical accumulation of a lifetime lived, but when somebody dies that will all will be moved out, and the space cleared so the next person can fill that blank space with their life and their mementos.
The longer I look at this photo, the less important I feel. I begin to understand why this was the chosen architectural style of fascist governments.
“From the outside I am thinking / I’m a number, not a man
From the outside I am thinking / What were they thinking?”
– They Might Be Giants, “Albany (The Egg)“
at home sick on Wednesday and going pretty stir crazy, when I happened to notice the sunset had turned the sky a beautiful shade of yellow gold. I grabbed the camera to try and capture it–I’ve been trying to practice working with longer exposures recently–and while I didn’t quite capture the perfect yellow, I did get a few other photos of Manhattan and Long Island City that I’m pretty happy about.
As a note: I don’t make my photography (or any of my other original work) available under Creative Commons, but if you’d like to use it ask me and I will likely give you permission.
This is what I woke up to today. I took a quick photo out the window before heading to work.
Sure am looking forward to spring.
Liz and I generally take Halloween way too seriously, but we’ve been absurdly busy this year and wanted to keep things simple. This was me the weekend before Halloween, at a friend’s party outside Philadelphia. Note the ghostly girlfriend in the background with her perfect teeth:
In the end I didn’t love my Applause costume, so when real Halloween came around and we were heading to the West Village I gave it a little thought and realized I could put together a pretty decent Saul Goodman costume. My only investment were the gaudy mismatched tie and pocket square.
My first West Village Halloween was pretty great, actually. Sure, you can’t get close enough to the parade to see it, but with everyone in the neighborhood decked out in crazy costumes, the whole area is a parade. We spent most of the night at the Slaughtered Lamb, either inside or in the street just outside which wasn’t ludicrously crowded. As usual, some of my friends went as “mostly naked.”
…and that was Halloween 2013. Next year we hope go go back to something a little more over-the-top. We’ve already booked a room at the Sheraton in Philadelphia for Henri David Ball, but we haven’t decided for sure whether we’ll do that or stick around the Village again.