Architecture of Cities: Just a Dream

Lost and Found: New York City.

Imagine fifteen thousand blinks per day: 15000 moments in which I have missed a photograph, 15000 snaps I think about. Each day, every day I ask: so now what? So now what must I do? How do I recapture time and imagery that has been lost in my mind or absconded by thieves in the night, thieves in the day? Fifteen thousand amounts to almost four hundred million images I have not made in my life: Where have they all gone?

Imagine one thousand planetariums: Each punctured with with one million little star-like holes. Now imagine tossing the planetarium atop one hundred bilboquets: Your eyes freeze frame: your mind steadies; your dreams electrified. Imagine my naked retinas gathering stories: I cannot miss a single moment with all of those stars pointing me in one and every direction. I do not crave to capture; I crave to consider what I will capture. Time and ideas unfold: The aperture opens and shuts like light blinding darkness into light. This is the simple life of a couple of eyes examining what lives before you. Now imagine the joys of dreams.

The Glimmer that caught my eyes: Madison Square Park, KPF Architects and  Related Developers.

My little big secret: I love the life of a visual storyteller who chicken pecks with an abundance of ideas. Most ideas that will never see the light of day. The ideas live in my every visual moment: Those moments becomes a photograph. I must pause. Time hurries along my side: hurry I must.

There is the cinema’s spools of film making a clippety-clap-clap. There is a constant whirr with silence.

Black and white sprockets splayed like abstractions on the screen. They disappear before I can count one. The movie might have just completed. The movie is about to begin. All of my influences are imaginary: memories in real time either vanish or are stolen; fragments of visual tenses are immersed in cinema’s history. My secret is that my visual life is a constant reminder of what I wanted to be. A reminder of the shapes of things I have always wanted to be and see.

Architect: Odile Decq, Paris 8th Arrondissement.

In no particular order, I remember I am a disciple of many: I wanted my pictures to howl like Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo atop the bow along the Amazon: I wanted be the disciple of Orson Welles cinematographer Gregg Toland: I wanted like Toland to invent techniques that were not seen but were seen with awe across hours of screen time: I wanted to be a disciple of Charlie Chaplin’s cinematographer Rollie Totheroh: I wanted Rollie to share the best perspectives for filming people while exposing the audiences to moments of laughter and passion: I wanted to be so many people: I wanted to insert my eyes into their film cameras: I wanted to be part of one hundred or one million masterpieces: I wanted to understand the consequences and pleasures of being brilliant and the consequences of being brilliant and failing. I just wanted to be part of moments that made me feel.

No matter the moment: No matter the architecture: No matter the design: There is no process: There is possibly a discovery of the seen and unseen. My eyes live in a constant investigation of a city’s, a planet’s behavior: My camera enjoys the discovery my eyes see and what my eyes may see. The ideas in my eyes change as my mind changes: My mind changes with every glimpse of something I have never seen before.

A Fragile or even a sacred moments lost is never heartbreaking: My eyes’ memory blinks 15,000 per day: quantify that in terms of not merely a day but a lifetime capturing what was, is, and will be.

Los Angeles Carthay Circle Building.


Richard Schulman is a photographer and writer. His books include Portraits of the New Architecture and Oxymoron & Pleonasmus. He lives in New York City.