Monday, September 03, 2007


back court night1
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I was looking through flickr just now at Glasgow tenement photos (there are some lovely tiles on there btw) and what struck me was that 95% of the photos are of the fronts of tenements. I began to wonder if that means the photos were taken, for the most part, by people who were walking past these vertical villages, rather than the dwellers themselves. I mean I have always found the fronts extremely beautiful, and if I could afford a whole townhouse in sandstone in the West End I'd jump at it but I think real tenement dwellers love the backs equally, if in a different way. I haven't felt it quite so well in Rose Street because of the internal kitchen, but the nicest bit for me of tenement living, which I probably had best in Dowanhill, is that warm and cosy feeling you have, looking out your kitchen window at the backs of all the other tenements built around watching all those other people in their kitchens. I don't mean nosy, spy on your neighbour stuff. I just think that after dusk in a Glasgow tenement you feel almost like you belong to some extended family as you look across to all the other back closes and see everyone potter in their own kitchen. I think that is one of the great shames of converting tenements, the easiest way was always to turn the 2 huge bed recesses into and internal kitchen but you lose that vertical village feeling when you lose the window. I think deep down back closes make me warm and fuzzy :-)

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