jolie laide: Beckett on East Broadway

jolie laide

I started this when I lived in Brooklyn and struggled for grace in a city that grants moments of beauty and ugliness breathtakingly close to one another. Now I live in a place where things are a different kind of ugly and the beauty is pedestrian. I struggle with that.

5.12.2006

Beckett on East Broadway



Standing at the corner, waiting for the light to change, the Corner of Perpetual Road Deconstruction near my office. I am always peeking into the work site, curious to see the stripped layers of City revealed and so I am watching the construction worker standing waist deep in a trench in the middle of the street.

He catches my eye and smiles and I can't help it, I smile back. He yells something to me but over the noise of traffic all I can hear is something about lightning. The roar of trucks down-shifting, the sudden pop of the welders sparking up and this shouting man rooted in a hole is trying to give me a metaphor.

6 Comments:

Blogger remue-menage said...

o baby white light - no I said white heat

sparks fly when you arrive

-better known as luxveritas-
(or the boy with the perpetual nervousness)

6:51 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

yeah, that's what he meant!

hello and welcome from the girl with Persistant Dork Syndrome.

8:11 PM  
Blogger four inches of ego said...

I love watching the peeling away of layers of cities. There was an artist working in Paris -- I think -- in the early 90s -- I think -- who peeled away layers of posters in subways creating amazing subtractive collages or images and text and debris and whatever. They were really quite wonderful, and I can never find them online.

I also love finding bits of brick or cobblestone road in a pothole.

I also love the wallpaper under the wallpaper under the paint under the wallpaper -- especially when it is flocked.

8:32 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

dude! you would have loved what I called The Linoleum Museum at my last house. It was awesome! Ugly 70's faux parquet gave way to an over-cheery 60's print, then a 50's and kept going to the first layer from the 30's, a stripped-down graphic print. So cool, but so not salvagable, what with the mold and wear n all.

I have tried shooting some of the wonderfully layered and peeling posters in the subway, but the lighting is just not good enough for my cel-phone camera. (I know, I could graduate to a better camera. I actually own one. But I'm just not, well, DONE, with what I can do with my 21st C version of a pin-hole camera.)

The streets I walk to and from work are pretty layered themselves, with grafitti, rust, detritus, intentional signage. Most of my photos here (more on Flickr, tagged ttractor) are from the same less than 10 blocks. It's pretty amazing. Well, at least I am amazed.

BTW, I am afraid to arm wrestle your ego. I wimped out and slunk away with my girl-tail between my legs like a marmosette.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Nakamova said...

I recommend " Nowhere in Particular", Jonathan Miller, for peeled-away poster images and otherwise complementary aesthetic.

1:42 AM  
Blogger Dr. S said...

My parents were preparing to demolish the downstairs bathroom in our first Indiana house and stripped away the top wallpaper...only to find poodles underneath.

12:36 AM  

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