Report from NYC: Love the neighbour

“I think every city has its own way that people connect to their neighbors. In LA it’s through the car window. In New York, I think it’s through the apartment window.”

These are the words of photographer Gail Albert Halaban, whose exhibit “Out My Window” showed last month at the Robert Mann Gallery in Chelsea.

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I love the grand scale and sense of intimacy of these photos, which couldn’t be a more perfect way of capturing the experience of living in New York.

What began as a fascination with the view from her own apartment window became a deeper exploration of how we New Yorkers like to spy on each other from the safety of our own apartments. (Get us on the subway though, and we won’t dare to meet each others’ gaze!)

1613 Out My Winow West Village Construction

Out My Window  Astoria, night bridges

Halaban talks about the stories behind some of the photos in a fantastic video on the website of local public radio station WNYC. I love how her voice brims with excitement for what she is doing.

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Some of the photos set up a “conversation” between the views from windows that look onto each other. Halaban took photos from her friends’ apartments, and then tracked down the neighbour upon whom they looked, in order to snap the reverse shot.

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1646 Out My window, chelsea, penn south, Lou

What results are some surprisingly personal stories and insights into people’s everyday lives.

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Halaban says the project exposed her to a lot of different people – some with views of a dreary supermarket and other with sweeping views of Central Park – but the mundane details of everday life “remind me we’re all kind of alike and have a way of connecting.”

Check our Gail Albert Halaban’s blog here.

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