Monday, May 31, 2010

Looking Up

I lived near here for four years; I came to this park frequently, for a break from the work, a breath of green space, a bit of an escape. I walked under and around this arch…how many times?

Washington Square Park

And while it is certainly possible that I’ve forgotten, not once do I remember looking up and marveling.

Why does it take half a lifetime to learn to look around and really see? Why does it take the marvel of a much more famous arch to prompt the curiosity of the origin of a work of art, a tribute, a wonder?

How many times have I stood beneath this famous underside of the Arc de Triomphe, and taken this exact same picture, fascinated and delighted each time?

Arc de Triomphe
And so the parallel was drawn as I stood beneath the arch in Washington Square, looked up and snapped this very similar photo.

Washington Square Park

Perhaps it takes half a lifetime to develop the vision to appreciate the world around us, perhaps it is the wonder of technology and digital photography…whatever the reason, today I was able to look up, remember fondly my time in Washington Square some thirty odd years ago, my more recent times in Paris, and to be glad to be able to look up and feel the satisfaction of having experienced.

And yes, according to Wikipedia, the 1892 Washington Square Arch was indeed modeled after the 1806 Arc de Triomphe of Paris.

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