Friday, November 27, 2009

An ordinary building on an extraordinary day.

491 11th Ave
New York, NY, November 2009

About this photo: Thematic Photographic explores buildings, of all shapes and sizes, all week long. Click here to share your own.
This isn't a particularly noteworthy or memorable building. I kept reminding myself of this as I stood under the entranceway and took the picture. Not everything, after all, is capable of standing out from the crowd, making the evening news or being the star.

But a neat thing happens when you scrunch your eyes just so, turn your body just a little or otherwise look at something ordinary through a wonky lens. You see the ordinary in a whole new light. Which, in this case, allowed the dueling voices on opposing shoulders to quiet down just long enough for me to capture the angles just so.

In doing so, I sealed, for myself, anyway, what it felt like to be walking back from Pier 88 on a cool, sunny autumn morning. I had just seen the U.S. Navy's newest ship, the USS New York, on the morning that she was to be commissioned. Between the extraordinary and the ordinary, it felt good to emerge from the pall of sadness that had been enveloping me and my family until that day.

The clouds are still pervasive, and they continue to coat my days in grey. But every once in a while, they break. And when they do, I hope there are lots of ordinary places like 491 11th Ave for me to hoover into my mind before the sky closes back in again.

Your turn: Finding joy in the ordinary. Please discuss.


invisible said...

Good thing you didn't take a picture of the new ship. Homeland Insecurity would have had yer arse in an interrogation room. Do not tell them you are a tourist. If you say it fast it sounds like terrorist.Plus with your Canadian accent they would wonder why you would keep telling them you were only taking pictures of a boot.

carmilevy said...

Too late. Here's what I got from a bazillion meters away - Navy security would not allow me to cross the street, but they didn't stop me from shooting with the long lens:

Ileana said...

That is a beautiful captured the beauty of an ordinary building in an extraordinary way!

Mojo said...

Isn't seeing the ordinary in extraordinary ways the whole purpose of photography? Many of my favorite shots -- especially of buildings -- are just like this. A nothing special building, just doing what buildings do. But with the right light, the right angle... suddenly it's a star. If only among a limited audience for a limited time.

And I frequently title building shots like this one simply by their address. I have a whole collection of 220 N. McDowell St (which as far as I know is home to nothing but rats).

In today's case though, I actually know the proper name of the place in question, though I've only recently learned anything about it other than its name.

Thematic Photographic 77: "Buildings" v.3.0 - Reservations Recommended

Calli said...

I love finding the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary. Great that you are able to see this too.

This was my first visit. I enjoyed your blog, Carmi!

the best to you~

David Edward said...