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Saturday, August 16, 2008

We Don't Do Windows

Soho reflection
Photo by myself in Soho, on Grand Street and Lafayette.

I love the sheer quantity of detail that is found on buildings in Soho. Each building seems decidedly different, with columns, moldings, generous old windows and elaborate cornices up top.

If you like architectural details at all, visit this neighborhood and look up. It's all too easy to be distracted by the hip boutiques, street vendors and cobblestones at street level.


It's hard to believe that people live in Soho. Many of the buildings have enormous double hung windows, like the ones shown above.

This morning, a friend and I were chit-chatting about windows. She was saying you might leave one open, only to return to a thin layer of grime on the sill.

Not much stays clean. At my old apartment on the Upper West Side, I'd leave the window open and find a layer of dirt mixed with the tiny fluff of pigeons (urgh!).

So yeah, when they call the city 'gritty', that be true.

Related posts: Behind The Curtain, The Apple Store, Continued, The Latest Thing, and Our Four-Legged Friends.


Anonymous said...

Soho's buildings are so detailed - is there a historical reason for it?

Most of the time when I'm in the city, it's for such a slap-dash trip that I just have a few precious hours to shop or meander... thanks for the reminder to take stock of the beauty above the first floor!

Eva said...

I think Soho is beautiful.
And I find the saying that "Windows are the eyes of a building" very true.

Mom Knows Everything said...

The reflection in the window of the building is so interesting!

dianasfaria.com said...

I forgot about cleaning the grime off of my window sills when I lived there years ago. It looked like black silt. I also remember hearing that living in NY and breathing its air was equal to smoking a pack a day. I bet that was an urban legend. I bet it is more like 1/2 a pack a day.
BTW, your photo is beautiful.

Louis la Vache said...

Great capture of the reflected building in the window.

Jane Hards Photography said...

Something very London about tis image. The reflection is quite marvellous.

Kitty said...

Hi Spandrel
I'm not sure why they are so detailed, I think it was just the time period when these things were built. Most of the buildings were originally for industrial use.

It's a cool neighborhood to walk through. I highly recommend it.

Hi Eva
Love that quote, and you're right.

Thanks Tammy!

Thanks Lily
The air is better out here in Brooklyn, I have to say. We don't have soot as much as we do dust, and even then, most of it is from our cat.
I have to wonder about the health effects from the pollution, though.

Thanks Louis!

Hi Babooshka
interesting comment. I have to say that I love London. It's grand and gorgeous

BrianC said...

One of my favorite features of this neighborhood is the fact that many of the more ornate details that look as if they've been carved from marble, are actually cast iron. This practice was particularly prevalent on some of the old Broadway department stores in this neighborhood.

Sarah A. said...

I love the architecture in NYC coming from AZ where its just not too interesting. After my last visit to NYC I remember getting back to my hotel room and looking in the mirror and realizing my face was covered in grime!