Architecture of Cities: Birds of Prey

A glance at Raphael Vinoly’s 432 Park Avenue New York, New York.

Based on a true story: I once chased after a red tail hawk: I ran down a mountain: the sloping valley appeared near:

I was a photographer about to make a capture: nearly out of breath, I abruptly stopped: I reached two more steps.

I looked down: the abyss reigned.

I roamed inclusive in the sky’s currents: I sailed at maybe five to seven-thousand feet: The altitude allowed me to see my New York: The parachute lofted: The twilight paused: A flourishing of dew blanketed a feathered black bird accompaniment: The exact breed escaped my mind: My irises were layered with unsullied passions. I am drawn to nature

The flights I have imagined are about a bundle of dreams: They are akin to the many perches I have utilized to see how I need to see:

Natural History Museum, London.

How the camera alighted for adventures and captures is what I fondly remember:

I have landed in cities that I sadly must have forgotten: Years of decades, decades of years have filled my life with moments that I am still dreaming about:

Overtime I have been invited to cities: I have been engaged to make visual diaries: Diaries that somewhere live with words: Diaries are captures of imagery that needed to be recorded: Recorded to merely discourse about: Recorded for a memory ala “Proust’s” or others: A history of diarists have filled my life with passions: Passions don’t always make the best photographs: Passions drive me.

I have landed among the fifty: Fifty cities and fifty examples of alluring, angular architectural treatments: The fifties are a mere fraction of what my eyes have captured per day per city: One, ten or fifty buildings: My eyes trace the land, mine the future captures: My eyes keep pace as I crisscross the city’s grids. I am always finding my point of engagements: More importantly I am absorbing the shapes and sounds of an entire life in a city;

Hudson Yards, New York.

The wide range of voices who expressed interest in how I would or might see their cities are treasures: How else can I appreciate my “fifties” in London, Dubai, Barcelona, Berlin, Tokyo, Miami, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and a blinding number more: The experiences and the people amount to what Mark Twain wrote in Letters from the Earth: “…a fountain-spray of fire, a million stupendous suns…”. If I cannot be enthralled with such passion and fire, what is the point of capturing a life in images.

What if for a day, I was cast in Casper David Friedrich’s “Wanderer above the Sea of FogThe Wanderer…”: more importantly, what if I was his listener: what if I was frozen in his time: What if for a mere collective of ideas I was his disciple: What if I was tutored by other’s eyes: what if the moment was about living and listening.

I must stand with someone: Why not with a romantic like myself who sees the world captured as a series of lessons: To see: How do you measure the value of one visual hero versus another:

I am alone in, of course my own personal wilderness: I am never really alone: I lean on other’s for  inspiration: I lean on other’s for perspective: I assume the eyes of other’s for a mere single capture.

Which Casper David Friedrich’s titles become mine: Is it’s “The Wanderer…” or might it be “Chalk Cliffs of Rügen”. I am alone, and those things matter: I clutch whatever I may grasp from other’s: It is only to empty their imagery woven into mine until I find my own voice.

Then the hat is tossed: a confetti of ideas grasping at the wind like one hundred toy pinwheels display their purpose: I am nobody if I am not myself.

Barcelona selections of Jean Nouvels.

But what if I was a bit like Casper David Friedrich: The romantic wanderer: I would bear witness to transference of time in dreams: From Casper to now I would be setting the stage for the ghosts I have chased before me:

If I was a romantic I might never know it:

I think I have always been a romantic.

Red Tail Hawk nor a black bird afloat in my skies: so many breeds of prey attend to my life and perspectives: Where is there a wrong turn or idea.

Welcome to my dreams: the day that never ends.

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