East vs West: Dear Seattle, I don’t like your buildings

A few years ago, a coworker and I found common ground in photography, and talked about it a number of times. He would do things like get up very early and use his huge telephoto lens to take beautiful pictures of birds at sunrise. One thing he said really struck me was this – he said he didn’t like taking pictures of buildings or looking at pictures of buildings. He said they were boring. Pictures of animals or flowers or other organic things were much more interesting to him. In that moment, I realized something. I loved architecture, and pictures of architecture.

I should have known that architecture was one of my great loves. Wherever I go, one of the first things I look at is architecture. I scan the houses or buildings or highrises and look for telltale signs of what style a building is, which will tell me around what year it was built. Then I file that information away. I have favorite building styles and periods, and of course have negative opinions of some architecture. For example, I don’t particulary enjoy brutalist, but I don’t dislike brutalist buildings nearly as much as I hate Jetsons style Googie. Something about Googie just ugh gets to me. On the flip side, 1880-1920 brick buildings are almost always beautiful and wonderful, in my eye.

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