A hint of Miami / by Christian Webb


I must have passed this building a million times.  Each time I'm uptown in Washington Heights for a haircut, I drive by and see it.  Yesterday,  I had some time on my hands while waiting for my barber.   So, camera in hand, I walked the streets a bit.  I ended up strolling St. Nicholas Ave and found myself on 179th St. standing right in front of this monster of a housing project.  I believe it's called St. Nicholas Tower.  I've also heard Gateway Towers.  Whatever the name,  it's a hard building not to take notice of.  It stands alone there on the block and looms over all.  Thing is, as many times as I've passed it,  I've never really stopped to actually LOOK at it.  Taking the time yesterday, standing there beneath it,  it struck me that this building seems fit to be in Miami.  As I pointed my camera up and looked at the pastel colors painted on the balconies I saw a chic coolness never imagined all the other times.  The irony of course is that it's clearly far removed from the glitzy, overpriced, super pretentious glam of Miami.   It's a low income housing project on the gritty streets of NY.    I'd like to think that perhaps those colored balconies help those in the neighborhood and the residents who live there think of the beauty of life and provide some smiles and joy at times despite their circumstances.   If of course,  they just take the time to stop and look.

This is the b&w version which I definitely like because of the pattern and contrast.  But of course,  the colors are what makes the building.    (Nikon d800- 50mm lens)