Monday, June 17, 2013

As Is

The area of Hell's Kitchen has transformed itself from a dangerous and seedy place into a slick, trendy neighborhood.  Now referred to as "Clinton,"  the streets of Hell's Kitchen (West of Times Square in midtown Manhattan) are lined with chic restaurants, upscale boutiques and pricy vintage shops.  I walk here frequently.  I have seen the many changes wrought over the last decade in Hell's Kitchen.  Occasionally I see something that smacks of the neighborhood's past life.  This iron grate is on the side courtyard of a brownstone close to 9th Avenue.  The building is slightly run-down, like a tired chorus dancer from the near-by theaters.  The grate is artfully fashioned from a time when craftsmanship was lavished on so many structures and their accoutrements throughout the City.  I love the design of the metal grate: swirls, spokes, ribbon-like flowers.  I thought to "clean it up" in post production.  Give it a polished look.  But I realized that some things are best left As Is.  Flaws, chunks of plaster, cracks and all bespeak of survival, age and the struggle to preserve the beauty and history that is New York City's heritage.


  1. It is a beautiful design. Something this seemingly delicate made from iron and still intact is pretty incredible. You've really captured the various aspects: strength, fragility, functionality, decorative, decomposing.

  2. Thank you! I love ironwork and slowly it is disappearing from NYC. To me it is jewelry!