Monday, April 30, 2012

XXX J-Town

The view here is not typical of Japantown, and obviously not pornographic, but this building's window bracing caught my eye. The elements present on the back of buildings aren't usually meant for decoration, rather for utility. Still, it so often works as design; a practical pattern of pipes, bolts, plates, cables and sash windows, marked three times with an X.
XXX J-Town by deanv41
XXX J-Town, a photo by deanv41 on Flickr.
The symmetry of the city's posterior aspect is utilitarian, designed in a sense but in an efficient, practical style. San Francisco facades on the other hand are justly famous as both proud individual home fronts and whole districts shaped in a unified character. Visitors only really see anterior views, the fronts presented to the street. Inside the blocks though, behind our Victorian faces, the jumble of lines, curious cats, Rear View dramas, and divvied gardens is one of the secret pleasures of living here. You may think you know a block and then, by chance or purpose, get access to the courtyard and find another city, a tattier sibling growing up behind the public, more accomplished one. It helps endear a person to a place that can seem at first a candy-coated idea of itself. When you take the whole-block view and consider the mysteries of these semi-private realms in the back, San Francisco's charm deepens and sweetness becomes flecked by homeliness like sea salt in caramel.

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