I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Sunday, December 11, 2016

What the light is good for

I took this one yesterday, on West 39th Street.

I've always been fascinated by what remains of the Garment District, West Manhattan in the Thirties, just south of where I live in Hell's Kitchen. There are still manufacturers there, mostly high-end designers, and back when I cared more about how I dressed I went to the occasional sample sale, riding up scary elevators in warehouse buildings on a Saturday afternoon and leaving with a designer coat for $150 cash.

At street level there are the suppliers, fabric stores and trimming shops and sellers of sequins and jewelry supplies and sewing machines. I used to buy colorful odds and ends there to make jewelry, and I still have some beautiful brown cashmere fabric I bought for pennies at a going out of business sale that I will turn into a jacket someday.

I've been taking pictures there recently because it's an easy walk on even raw blustery December days, and I'm attracted by the bright colors of the bolts of fabric and racks of thread in window displays that appear not to have changed in the past fifty years. But this picture -- which I love -- makes me think that focusing on colors isn't the best way to capture this place.

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