Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Cityscapes

Cities. Hm.

For a Nature Girl like me, this photo theme is a challenge. I often see cities as centers of human oppression on the landscape. While I agree that it makes sense to concentrate habitation and share resources, being in those places is a bit overwhelming for me. I often feel anxious in cities, on the alert, distracted by a trillion attention-grabbing bits of light, sound, and movement. I do feel it’s totally worth mustering my energy to visit a museum, hear an opera, dine at a fine restaurant, absorb some of a unique culture, meet a favorite person, or participate in a social event. I’ve been to some world-class cities — New York, London, Paris, and Rome — and enjoyed each trip. However, I’ve never lived in a city and really come to see one with the affection needed to photograph it really well.

I lived in Los Angeles County for about ten years, and I lived in the Chicago suburbs for 29 years of my life, but I haven’t a lot of photos to show of those cities. 

I guess I’m just not the city slicker type. 

Ancient New World cities fascinate me. The strategic use of resources and geographic advantages seems necessarily brilliant, the way of life deeply connected with the land. Hovenweep…

Mesa Verde…

… Cahokia, Aztalan, Chichen Itza, Tulum. 

The artistic and scientific innovations borne in the crucible of those civilizations are admirable…

And the abandonment of those places is humbling. 

Thinking of cities makes me consider issues of civilization and sustainability, our relationship with the land and our ways of living — what we use, what we use up, and what we leave behind.   All worthy things for continual contemplation.
Thank you, Patti, for hosting this Cityscape challenge. 

11 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Cityscapes

  1. We feel the same I believe. When I was younger I couldn’t visit high towers in cities, because the views made me think about all plants and animals smashed under all that tarmac, concrete and glass. I can still feel the same, but have somehow accepted the existence of cities – you mention some reasons…and I can even appreciate them and admire the architecture.
    “Thinking of cities makes me consider issues of civilization and sustainability, our relationship with the land and our ways of living — what we use, what we use up, and what we leave behind. “

    • I noted that when I read your post, too – we are kindred Nature Girls! I like cities like San Francisco and Santa Fe that support an opera house and also support an atmosphere of natural, outdoor influence. I wonder if Sydney would be like that, too, but I’ve never been there.

      • I have always wanted to see Sydney, but my fear of poisonous spiders and snakes has kept me away from Australia. There are some really nice bloggers in Australia I would love to meet up with though…but I am reluctant to go the long flight. And the pollution it causes.

  2. Hi, Scillagrace. I can understand your feeling about cities. They can be overwhelming for some of us and stimulating for others. I love your shot of Chicago in the distance. I’ve seen that view many times when we were approaching the city. Your point about ancient civilization is well worth pondering. I often see their rise and fall as cautionary tales for the present day.

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