Skip to main content

From the Shoebox, a Gallery of Details


The pictures in this gallery are mainly architectural details—rooflines, entrances, windows—noticed in years of walking in cities and having my eye caught by a strong line, an unexpected contrast, an extended shape...I don't even always know what catches me, and, as here, it's often not the most significant building. These are just a few of hundreds; I hope you'll enjoy them.


Above, Bellmangatan 1, Stockholm—fictional home of Mikael Blomkvist of the Millenium trilogy;
top picture, Lisbon's Rossio rail station

Title aside, of coursem in the digital age no one keeps the family photos in a shoebox anymore. Instead, we've got them all over the computer (maybe several), or stashed in Picasa, Dropbox, Shutterfly, wherever the cloud may be.


Massive entryway of Gellert Baths, Budapest

But one thing, at least, hasn't changed. Picking through the digital shoebox brings up reminders of favorite places, favorite moments, favorite people—and the things you've seen that leave you wondering "What the....?" or "That was cool, but where does it fit?" And you can get just lost in the memories.

IMG_2700 - Copy

      And the entrance to Berlin's "Rotes Rathaus"

I sat down recently to sort through my images to put together a blog on soup and bread (two of my favorite things); as I opened folders and hunted, I kept noticing photographs of the odd things you see as you travel: pigeons on the heads of dignified statues; a city street littered with oranges falling from street trees, an incongruous sign (sometimes the result of poor translation) and more.


Chicago's Harold Washington Library blends modern and classical forms. I love the roof.

So soup and bread will have to wait a while; I found that in a short time I had put aside over 150 photographs that seemed to warrant attention. I moved on to the idea of a gallery of the oddest...the pigeon-headed statues; a street named Inkognito and another named Via Malcontenti and squirrels surrounding a nut-vendor's cart. But my eye kept coming back to architectural details, and those are the ones you see here. The others will have their day, but this is not it.


Lisbon's Azores Bank building; solid and whimsical at the same time


A view from the bridge: Looking down at Porto rooftops, with stair street


Roof tiles at Budapest's Matyas Church


And a steeply steepled roof in Dresden


Different styles, but sharing a shape: Old Latin School, Ystad, Sweden and the Old-New Synagogue in Prague


Headquarters of the Port of Barcelona, at the foot of Las Ramblas. Note details at top


And a Prague rooftop full of stories


Above and below, two show-offs from Barcelona



And one from Seville, at right, and another below from Budapest.


DSCF0033 (2)

This one is home-grown, but with classical references. Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House, Chicago


Barcelona's Santa Caterina market. This is a fairly recent building, but notice not just the swooping roof but the modernist reminders in the support columns.



Sticking with Barcelona for a couple more: A modernist convent for wayward rich girls that's now a restaurant and the facade of Caixa Cosmo, the city's wonderful science museum.


Saint Peter's church, Copenhagen is home to a German-speaking congregation. It has wonderful woodwork inside. Below, the circus hall just outside the Tivoli.



Back to Prague for the medieval guardhouse, above, and a very old-fashioned hardware store



A pair of Prague doorways, early 20th century, and below, last in the gallery, a wonderful confection of a church in Vienna.



Images (28)
  • aDSCN0530
  • aDSCN0176
  • aDSCN0641
  • aP1010784
  • aP1010990
  • Budapest-18
  • Budapest-98
  • Budapest-101
  • DSC00074
  • DSCF0011
  • DSCF0033 (2)
  • IMG_2700 - Copy
  • IMG_2751
  • P1000191e
  • P1000200e
  • P1000212e
  • P1000364
  • P1000378
  • P1000434
  • P1010861-1
  • P1010866-1
  • Prague-10
  • Prague-22
  • Prague-23
  • Prague-35
  • Prague-41
  • Prague-42
  • Vienna-27

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Add Comment

Comments (0)

Link copied to your clipboard.