(This post is not about Jeff Wall.)
I walked nine miles in the city of Atlanta this weekend and didn’t encounter a single pedestrian on my side of the street.
While walking, I listened to a radio show about how Los Angeles is actually a greener city than a place like Atlanta. Your sprawl isn’t my sprawl, apparently. Here, there’s been no political will to create (or recreate) a place that makes sense from the perspective of the pedestrian. A lack of urban planning, when coupled with a rush of development for development’s sake and demolition of affordable housing, yields a city that has an imperceptible civic pulse, a city that’s entirely dependent on (while being strangled by) the almighty automobile. The number of gated condo-communities within a half-mile of Atlanta’s downtown skyscrapers is astounding!
Photographically, this means I’m shifting to more access-oriented projects. There’s these unpeopled scenes I’ve found below, and I can head for the hills. But still; I thought that in order to call yourself a city you were required to have a diversity of people (economically and ethnically) living, working, eating, sleeping and thriving within your downtown core. Who needs ’em when you have conventions, conferences and the world’s busiest airport!
I was talking with a friend a few months ago about the difficulty of making street pictures here, and even then, I felt like I could persevere and crack that nut. Wide-eyed optimism. Now, it’s time to shift gears, uncover new visual interests (getting there) and do something different.
Nothing like putting it into words as a way of making it real. Onward!