About this photo: Thematic Photographic celebrates all things vertical this week. You can, too, by clicking here and adding your own pic to the fray. It won't hurt. Much.As I stare at some ornate old building, I often find myself subconsciously musing that something like this just wouldn't get built today. Inevitably, some bean counter would seek out the gargoyles, flourishes, cornices and columns and deem them absolute wastes of money. Said bean boy would probably be right, as the world can easily live without another stone replica of a cherubic angel keeping guard over pedestrians too bored to ever look up.
Eventually, the trim-the-fat movement efficiently excises every last cherub from our midst, leaving us with flat surfaces like the one you see here. They're often completely devoid of variation, ruthlessly repetitive themes that hardly seem human at all.
But are they ugly? I'm not entirely sure they are. Just because it's easy to find something to love when you're staring at a cherub doesn't mean a less feature-filled sight - like this glass curtain building envelope - is any less capable of delivering optical joy.
Modern architecture that's seemingly devoid of extraneous features isn't worse, nor is is better. It's just different, and it's up to us to find that joy no matter what we're looking at.
While we're all chewing on this literary-photographic piece of obtuseness, I'll be zoom-zooming my rented Mazda Mazda3 (the car so nice they named it twice) through the hills of New York State on my way home. I like this direction much better than the other one precisely because of what awaits on the other side. And when I get there? Not a gargoyle in sight.
Your turn: What do you see in the glass above? Look closely. Maybe even squint a little.