Friday, June 22, 2007

Apartment Stoop

This photo of an urban (or apartment) stoop was taken yesterday when I was in the Village to catch a documentary movie about Canadian photographer, Edward Burtynsky at the Film Forum. Because of my perfect train connections, I arrived at the movie theater super early so I decided to walk around the neighborhood and take some pictures.

According to Wikipedia, an urban stoop is a short stairwell leading up to the entrance of a townhouse or an apartment building. The architecture was originally brought to New York City by Dutch settlers during the colonial times. Even the word, stoop comes from the Dutch word stoep, which meaning "small porch".

Socially, the stoop played an important part in New York City life. Residents used to hang out here to enjoy the fresh air and socialize with the neighbors and friends. But due to gentrification, increasing busy life styles and air-conditioning & heating in the apartments, such activities have diminished to a minimum. Most people now prefer to meet at restaurants and cafes instead.

So where do you usually meet your friends or non-immediate families for social interactions?

18 comments:

zannnie said...

definitely not at 'panic places' ;)
do check back my reloaded photo

Belinda said...

Great photo Ming. Isn't it funny how architectural styles can come to be some of the clearest representations of cities, towns, countries etc.

The stoop is so New York. I immediately think of countless movies where kids are "hanging out" on the stoop in summer. For some reason, I also think fire hydrants and skipping ropes....hehehehe :oP

Catching up with family is usually at a gathering in someone's home (usually my parents) and with friends, it's done in cafes or bars.

And you?

Gail's Man said...

Looks very much like a typical street in West London.
Schools friends always seem to hang about on street corners. When I was younger, we always went to our local park for a chat etc.

Per Stromsjo said...

The stoop reminds me about Amsterdam so your walk-through of its history makes sense to me. Being the modern, boring type I could grumble a bit about the fact that any visitor in a wheel-chair might find himself somewhat unwelcome even before being able to enter the house... The stoop doesn't seem very practical, does it?

The Cooking Ninja said...

I love those stoop. They remind me of so many places that I have been to that have these.

Catching up with friends or family are usually at their house or my house. For acquaintance, it is usually at café.

Beetle said...

We will meet in restaurant or cafe or pub but not on the street although some do that but not the most or in family occasion such as birthday or wedding party...I found the way you socialize in there is much more fun,well how can I say the German also famous with their individual and I consider myself a bit less individual

Abraham Lincoln said...

I like your photo and question. Nowadays most people come to see us. At our age we don't get very far very often.

I am back from my self-imposed vacation.

Abraham Lincoln
Brookville Daily Photo

missy said...

Wow so sex and the city! I so want a stoop if I ever move to New York!
I meet my friends at the Forum in Norwich. A great place with a wondeful Libary, Pizza Express, coffee shop as well as the local BBC TV and Radio offices.

GrooveTheory said...

I love those "stoops". It's very typical downtown brownstone. And sorry I ruined your day. But no gay man should ever shop at Eddie Bauer :) LOL

Chris in Madison said...

This is a classic NY scene - shame they're not the gathering places they used to be. We live in a neighborhood where we actually know our neighbors - I think that's becoming a rarity too.

Silly Billy said...

I love stoops like this. So quintessentially Northeast. NY really.

You take great pictures. Thank you for sharing.

Oh for the love of food! said...

Hey Ming, here's a pretty pic! I entertain a lot at home during the weekends and meet up with girlfriends over lunch in cafes or restaurants once or twice a week on weekdays.

Sonia A. Mascaro said...

Great picture, Ming. I love this architecture. Whe I think in New York City I imagine this classic NY scenery that I saw in many movies and photographs.

jeremy said...

nice photo. I agree with Belinda, it's New York, as the fire escape.
we meet in each others apartments or at the café.

Fabrizio ikol22 said...

As said many times I like your way to detail photos and way of life.

Where we meet friends? ... Oh Well, it depends. Years ago in villages people were used to sit out of the door socializing with the neighbors and friends more or less as in NYC.

Today and especially in cities people meet friends in pubs or at home but the question could be: where do we "make" (intead of "meet")friends? At school, at work, on the net.

tigerfish said...

I thought the railings or low fencing for the stoop "blend" in so well with the leaves. Looks like the star-shaped leaves and the design of the stoop side-railings.

Aigars Bruvelis said...

Yes, reminds me of England cities a bit;) Well we meet up ....when we go out or at each other's apartments or houses

Keropok Man said...

Reminds me of Sesame Street though. though missy says it so sex in the city. :-)

maybe i am juvenile. haha...


where else would people eat for interaction? over food!