Sections of Chicago’s hinterlands that were once stockyards and meatpacking facilities have long since been converted to serve as industrial parks, but the sense of an endless grid remains.
I’ve developed some odd tradition for epic landscape photography at the end of major holidays (as in this Christmas image)—perhaps it’s something about wanting the day to last forever.
On this bright Sunday morning, I finally photographed the mighty Manhattan skyline from high above its (mostly) rectilinear grid. This is my favorite kind of photograph: The expanse of cloud-dappled space stretches all the way to tree-covered hills at the horizon and the cityscape seems to offer infinite detail down at the level of individual windows.
My favorite cities are those with borders artificially constrained by water (like San Francisco, Hong Kong, or Manhattan), usually leading to towering structures and high density. San Francisco’s situation was different for a long time; a subset of NIMBY residents (alongside an array of other economic factors) meant that this grid of smaller buildings persists, in spite of housing shortages and corresponding high housing prices. As this slowly changes and the city begins to warm to the idea of new development, this uniform grid of little buildings might someday shift.
I was told to go to the Seattle Public Library, and gaze into the eldritch angles of its geometry. I rather like the reflections on glass and water in this image, and I think the gridwork is quite cool; still, the idea of sneaking some kind of Lovecraftian building into the architectural melange of a city sounds like the plot of Ghostbusters. Excellent.