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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Peeping in, on the Upper West Side

Peeping in
Photo by myself around 72nd Street and Central Park West on the Upper West Side.

It's hard to resist peeping into people's apartments. It's a very human reflex.

A man was preparing dinner in a small galley kitchen, to the left. To the right, the lights were on in the Living Room. You can see the beams in the ceiling, which are typical in pre-war buildings.

The building above is a little unusual. Many of the apartments are duplex units, that is, apartments that have an upstairs and downstairs, connected by an internal stair. There are triplexes, too, apartments with three floors. The room above the Living Room is probably the Master Bedroom.

The benefit of owning a duplex is that they feel more like a regular house than an apartment building. The drawback is that the internal stair takes up precious square footage. Each level also seems small in comparison to an apartment on a single level.

There is a bit going on in the photo above. The large window on the right is metal. The windows on the far left are old, wooden windows, located in a fire stair. They look in need of a good cleaning.

There are a couple through-wall air conditioners above, where the air conditioning units penetrate the exterior wall. The air conditioner in the man's kitchen is within a window, which is not too nice looking and blocks some daylight from coming in.

Related posts: On New York Buildings, High and Low, Trumped, on the Upper West Side and How the Other Half Lives.


Marcia said...


Remember what happened in Rear Window? You never do now what you may see. And thanks for clarifying what a duplex is in NYC, here it's two residences next to each other.

Upper Cesc said...

Fantastic...like Rear Window!


Upper C

Zazzu said...

What a lovely building. The windows are fantastic.

I'd be too self-conscious to leave my windows uncovered like that all the time, though. I love when other people do it so I can look at their places.

RedPat said...

One advantage of walking a dog is that you have a reason to be walking slowly down a street and at the same time peeking into uncovered windows. Great shots!

Kitty said...

Hi Marcia
Ah, Rear Window is one of my favorite movies. Thanks for reminding me of it. I forgot that it took place in New York.

Thanks Cesc
You know where I'm coming from ;-)

Hi and welcome, Zazzu
Ha, I'd be very self-conscious, too!

Hi RedPat
Yes! Especially when the apartments have basements and you can look down into their front rooms!

Terry B, Blue Kitchen said...

A fascinating shot, Kitty! And I love all the details you've pointed out. I think New Yorkers in general are less self-conscious about leaving their windows uncovered and their lives exposed. Maybe in part, it's because apartments tend to be small, and when windows are covered, spaces feel even smaller. I love looking into people's apartments too, not only to catch glimpses of lives, but to see how people have decorated and organized their living spaces.

Andrea said...

You know, there's a latin term for that, the 'condition' of wanting to always look into people's homes through the window... I do it all the time. I like imagining lives behind windows and walls..
When I was growing up we lived in a 10 storey apartment block that faced another block. We were on the 9th floor, so looking over I could see into almost every apartment o the other side if the curtains weren't drawn. My favourite time was Christmas Eve. In our part of the world it is tradition for everyone to decorate the tree on Christmas Eve. So if you looked in through windows on that afternoon, all you could see is families standing around trees, putting lights and sweets on it. Super magical.