Running through Flatbush, Crown Heights, and Bed-Stuy, I pass through neighborhoods brimming with histories both uplifting and depressing. They are communities whose collective stories include opulence and crushing poverty; the violence of race-riots and self-affirming acts of artistry; architectural landmarks and crumbling monuments of urban decay.
Sometimes what I pass is ugly, sometimes it is beautiful — but quite often it is both. There can be beauty amidst the decay, beauty shining out despite the decay, beauty formed from the day, and the beauty of decay. Guerrilla murals on an abandoned hospital, an empty lot at dusk, the vintage sign of a shuttered auto-shop, a burned-out house, the stained glass of a historic church.
These are just a few of the things over the last week that have made me stop a moment to contemplate in silence — the art, the day — before taking a picture and running on.