Truth be told, I really like Washington Heights. I had worked there at Presbyterian Hospital during the 90s and have a real affection for the area. At that time, crime rates were sky-high, but nearly 20 years later, much has changed and I am happy to see the area that I grew to love, come out of its shell and become the vibrant community that it is today.
It was a bright day in the early summer and I was driving along Riverside Drive when I saw some wonderful views of the Hudson River. I was able to find a parking spot along Riverside Drive and since my trusty DSLR was along for the ride, I decided to take some photos. The photos of the GW bridge, which dominate the landscape, were not the best on that day, the sun was simply too bright. But I did get some wonderful shots of the neighborhood and general landscape. I had to point my camera east, not west, to take advantage of the great light sans the glare!
Washington Heights has always been a place where graceful pre-war buildings meet up with the harsh reality of life that permeated the area for so many years. There is grace, but it is not without some grit.
This photo sort of summed up that contrast for me. You can see the beauty and grace of the architectural detail combined with the graffiti on the streets below. Both are beautiful in their own ways. Even though they clash, they seem to blend in together somehow. Perhaps because as long as I’ve known it, the area has been a place of stark contrasts. The haves and have nots living in the same space does this. It creates an energy all its own.
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