These photos attempt an impression of the play as opposed to a document of it. I had a wide lens on my camera when I came up out of the subway and rather than over-jockey for a better view, I opted to use the fence as a kind of screen to mediate the action.
I’m not sure when the W4th courts got sponsorship but the Nike banners don’t look new and so much of the village has gone through similar changes that conspicuous branding seems more a cosmetic than a practical shift. That is, there was plenty of basketball on these courts before Nike got there.
The meeting of renovation, refuse, and reflexivity is as historically common an event in Lower Manhattan as the hailing of a taxi cab. The condition pictured above simply would not do in most cities, the open façade looking out over not much at all. In Manhattan, however, while we enjoy our fried halloumi or the like over brunch, I sense that this kind of juxtaposition is tolerated because we always have each other to look at.
It was odd to see a condemned building on an avenue in Chelsea. My usual expectation in Manhattan below 42nd Street and west of 1st Avenue is that any condemned properties have been resolved into new buildings already, that the remaining sites for development are not-condemned and look more or less fine. But there it was, in an expensive and still-fashionable stretch of Manhattan, awaiting a neighboring evacuation of some kind, fated for all to see to be reborn, no doubt, under the ever-rising star of contemporary luxury.