Sunday, December 02, 2007

Hazy alley in Shanghai

Every window has a story
Shanghai, China
May 2007
[Click to enlarge]

I've got a thing for alleys (see here, here and here), those quiet, dim places where so much seems to happen out of sight of the mainstream.

As I walked past this imposing sight on a smog-choked day, I wondered about the stories that go on behind each of these windows, the lives that play out in the shadows of a city whose size almost defies the imagination. Small and invisible in the midst of overwhelming and large.

I suspect many of these stories would be of no interest to the strangers who walk by and peer down this alley as they rush to wherever it is they're headed. But somewhere in the giant pile of existence, I'm sure there's a needle of a compelling story.

Imagine taking the time to dig in.

Your turn: Pick a window. What story does it tell?

One more thing: Caption This will be posted tomorrow. I'm not feeling particularly captionish today. Thanks for your patience.


Andi said...

I like alleys....cozy. I like when places are cozy. I don't go in that many alleys as I don't always feel safe.

Andi said...

Oh...and Michele sent me. I think that I forgot to say that. I got so excited about the fact that I am going to take some alley pictures at some point. You have inspired me. I always seem to find nice flowers and cute doggies in alleys.

gemma said...

Hey Carmi

Thanks for the visit...Michele is great...she gets us all out and about. Stay warm and safe.

Last Girl On Earth said...

Hey Carmi, how did I miss hearing about your trip to China!?! I'm a big fan of LOOKING at alley's from a distance, but NEVER NEVER walking down one by myself! (Scary stuff here in the city.)

I sent you an email a few days ago. Check your Gee Mail!

Glad to hear you are home safe and sound!


Anonymous said...

The first window in the lower left of the picture... the one where you can see a sliver of light from the window on the other side of the wall - the corner unit:

This is a family with only one child, a daughter. Not the son that every family wants to have. These parents have done everything to succeed and to give a show of prosperity, thus the new corner apartment that is bigger than the others.

In this apartment, their daughter will learn everything that she needs to know to be the most successful daughter, the most gracious daughter-in-law, the one who would be the best wife for the wealthiest family to choose.

They do not have a son - but they will ensure to do everything they can to secure the best possible son-in-law; when their three-year old-daughter comes of marrying age.

Michele sent me to say hi and tell you that story. I could have given you their names and occupations, but that would have taken research!

Speaking of research, I checked out the weather in your neck of the woods. Yuck! Not unlike what we had in Minnesota yesterday. It wasn't too bad here in the Twin Cities, but a bit farther south on 35W south, the news showed trucks with more than an inch of ice accumulated as they were driving. Needless to say, I stayed HOME yesterday! Glad you made it home safe, too.

Andi said... have another geekier blog. I will have to look at that. Michele sent me. :-)

Laurie said...

Tragedy, Joy, romance, a broken heart, delight, profound sorrow, love, anger. All these emotions can be found there on any given day. It's a compact universe.

Great thought provoking post.

Marla said...

I love alleys too. Maybe that is why we moved to the city area in our town. We still have alleys here!