Tiny snapshots of people’s lives

Admit it. You’ve done it…briefly look into other people’s apartments. You do that too, right? Right?

Before you think I’m a huge perv, I want to clarify that I’m not a Peeping Tom. And I don’t study neighbors like I’m Jimmy Stewart in a scene from Rear Window.

I’m talking about those tiny moments, when walking down the street,  you catch a glimpse into someone’s apartment. You might notice a bold wall color, painting or other item that gives you a snapshot of someone’s personality or style. Or you may catch a flash of action that you wouldn’t be privy to otherwise. In these moments, you’re not meaning to be nosy, but it’s hard not to notice since it’s in plain view.

I attended a dinner party last night. The host lives across the street from one of the high-rise apartment buildings that trickle down Lake Shore Drive.

The view from the balcony

The view from the balcony

Standing on the balcony, which faces this building, a few other guests and I couldn’t help but notice a woman doing aerobics across the way. Directly to the right, a couple was eating dinner. As someone pointed these neighbors out, the host explained that he often reads on the balcony and has observed some strange behavior patterns as a result.  Some of which should never be seen by others.

We probably don’t have as much privacy in our apartments as we think. This is especially true for  my friend who recently bought a fantastic loft space that’s parallel with an El platform. She can see the commuters, so that probably means they can see her. My situation is not exactly the same, but I can see my neighbors across the street when their blinds are open, which means they can probably see us.

Um bye. I have to go and shut my blinds.



Filed under Chicago, neighborhoods, strangers, Uncategorized, urban behavior

2 responses to “Tiny snapshots of people’s lives

  1. Anne

    I am the el platform’s entertainment. And they are mine. But thank goodness I have curtains to close the show sometimes!

  2. Sarah Ruark

    There is a photographer from Chicago named Michael Wolf who did a show called “Transparent City”. He shot all these high rise buildings and then did close ups of certain windows. It reminds me of what you are talking about. http://www.photomichealwolf.com

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