This photo was sent to us by Beth Finke from Chicago. I wrote a comment to the post “Describing a photograph to someone who can’t see it” on Beth’s Safe & Sound blog and was invited to write a guest post about Photo Narrations: “I used to think that “blind Photographer” was an oxymoron”. Now Beth and her husband Mike sent us this photo. To describe it, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click on the picture for a larger version. We look forward to reading your description.
We live on the 7th floor of an apartment in Chicago’s “Printer’s Row” neighborhood. Printers Row is a tiny neighborhood in Chicago just south of the Loop. The buildings in our neighborhood were originally used by printing and publishing businesses.
Before electricity, printers used natural light to check their work, so the windows in neighborhood buildings are tall and wide. You know, to let light in. The ceilings are high, too, to accommodate old printing presses.
Most of the buildings in Printers Row have been converted into residential lofts, and we live in one. There’s always a lot of activity up and down the street, so I feel safe walking around.
This photo is of a park in our neighborhood called, appropriately, Printer’s Row Park. Not sure if it shows in the photo, but the cement blocks where people can sit are actually reverse type faces to simulate the printing presses that used to be in buildings here.
I’m sending this photo because I walk with my Seeing Eye dog past this park every day but rarely walk into it to find a seat. The layout of the park is too confusing to feel confident about where I am. I’m hoping the description your volunteer narrators come up with might help me navigate, plus I’m curious to hear what you all think of our view from the seventh floor.
I did not take this photo. My husband Mike Knezovich can see, and he took it outside the south-facing window in our kitchen.
Recipient of a writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts
Visit our blog: www.bethfinke.wordpress.com
what we see in your picture is a street with cars parking on both sides and not many people. It is a landscape format and the street is crossing the picture in a 45 degree angle from the lower left corner to the upper right. As you say we look down on it from the seventh floor, so everything is pretty small. There are young trees on the opposite sidewalk along the big brick house of at least six storeys, as far as we can see them. It is an old building with big windows with crossbars. The entrance is in the middle, forming a large brick arch of two storeys to walk under when you enter. But it is closed for practical reasons and opens only on the ground floor. The top is a window. The building takes all of the opposite side of the street. At its far end we look out on a small crossing with lower brick houses in the back. At our side of the street there is a big grey wall that must have once been covered by another building. Now we see the bare bricks that were not meant to be seen when the house was built. There are no windows. Where this other building used to be, there is now a big gap. It is taken by a small park. The line of trees along this side of the street opens up in a small clearing formed by a broken circle of trees. The circle repeats twice in the concrete blocks to sit on. They are arranged in two concentric circles in front of and behind the line of trees. In between there are plantations. There are broad and narrow blocks. Spaces between them vary from half meter to one and a half. Maybe that’s due to the sentences the type faces form. Those must be the type faces you were writing about. I cannot tell from far if they make sense or form a text. Some are very short. In the center of the circle, concrete blocks form an octagon. Could be a fountain, but I cannot see it, trees block my view. Those trees are planted in line with a second circle within the other, but this is just a quarter circle without concrete blocks. It is a nice geometrical composition indeed, that we observe from high above.
But if you are down in the street, to you it should be merely a small round square that opens up on the sidewalk. Yet, there is a big thing in the center that you need to walk around and a circle of conrete blocks to sit on on both sides. The diameter of the inner circle seems to be 10 meters. The opening to the sidewalk ist about six meters wide. On the right hand side of the picture, no more trees are visible. I cannot tell if the circle is continued or not.
I hope my description wil be helpful for your orientation. The day the picture is taken, there is some mysterious action going on. We see a large truck parked at the entrance with a wide open trunk. Alongside in the street there is a fire engin with a big ladder. Next to it, in the other lane, there is a single trailer with a lifting platform. Someone is putting up a screen of three by three meters at least. This screen is green. It is there, in the center of the picture, a vertical green screen floating next to a truck, facing a park. The three men in the park don’t give an explanation. Neiter do the two people walking in the middle of the street. There are three cars approaching, but everyone is cool. The street is not blocked by sign or anything. My standard explanation for things like this is TV, but who knows.