When we talk about the allure of Greenwich Village, we’re often referring to it in past tense, reminiscing about the good old days of folk music, ridiculously cheap apartments for artists, and the free-spirited bohemians that transformed the enclave into a cultural hub. And when we do talk about the Village in present tense, it’s often because we’re examining gentrification, whining about those pesky NYU students, or looking at the ever-rising rents.
But if we stop feeling bitter about the fact that we can’t get a $600/month studio there anymore, the Village still has plenty of charming and quirky storefronts, buildings, and characters. Photographer Bob Estremera captured this essence of the neighborhood in an impromptu rainy-day photo shoot that reminds us to take the time to look around and appreciate the small things.
We asked Bob Estremera how he got into architectural photography, and he told us, “I have always been attracted to architecture as the ‘art we live in.’ Architecture is really the canvas in which our lives, and our neighborhoods, are framed. Architecture is the vessel of the places in which we live, work, shop or seek refuge for a little while.”
When it comes to the Village, Bob feels that it’s an architectural canvas as unique as the people who call it home. “The newer residents are detached and oblivious to the storied and distinctive character of the Village. They just know it’s hip without knowing why or how it became that way. The old timers; these are the people who are the true fabric of the Village and mesh so beautifully with the gruff and unpolished textures that still cling to life here. In Greenwich Village, the relationship between architecture and people is symbiotic and organic if not fleeting and endangered.”
“One of my favorite couple of photos from this small collection is the little dress shop next to the pillared entryway. It reminds me of the movie The Time Machine from 1960. In that movie, Rod Taylor observes the changing styles in a little dress shop window across the street as a visual reference to the times through which he travels. And that’s what Greenwich Village is to me — a living, breathing time machine of architecture and humanity, if you just pause long enough to look and feel for it.”
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Tags : Bob Estremera
Neighborhoods : Greenwich Village