Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wired Quito




PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: Quito is a beautiful city choked by traffic. Our visit was brief, and much of what we saw of the cityscape came to us through car windows as we toured neighborhoods and rode between wonderful places where no photographs were permitted. In "the betweens," I snapped wildly in frustration while Diego, our driver, bumped us forward along clogged boulevards or elbowed us into honking intersections where only the fittest survived. We're grateful for his talents and thankful neither of us was behind the wheel. Diego knew shortcuts and sometimes we'd break free onto a side street, race around a corner, and we'd be winding up over the hillsides as if lifted above traffic up with the air and the clear mountain light and the city's bright colors and gleaming new apartment towers.  

Our hotel was a place of quiet amid the bustling city. A porter had to unlock stout, wood doors every time we left, and when we returned we had to buzz for the porter to let us in. On our first evening there, we found a spiral stair that led to a kind of loft-room above the third floor and offered a rooftop panorama. Other buildings had similar aeries with rooftop vistas so that even bottom feeders could grab some top air. Sitting in the aerie, we looked up at La Panecillo with its giant, white statue of La Virgin de Quito lit amid the night clouds, almost as if she were hovering just above the city.

However, this photograph was snapped out of the back window of the car as we were about to turn a corner between where we were and where we were going. It was the clothes line in the upper right that caught my eye.  To make the composition, however, most of the laundry got cropped away.


NOTE: Jane and I were especially awed and dazzled by the beauty of La Campaña de Jesús and thankful to be introduced to the work of Guayasamin whose soulful paintings touched us deeply, but this is a photo blog and no photography was permitted there.