Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Poverty and Luxury in Tacoma, WA

In the top left corner, I took two pictures of buildings just down the road from each other. The one on the left is very nice, painted gold and a deep red. There were nice cars parked out front. The one to the right has broken windows and is in need of a paint job. There were no cars parked outside. These two buildings were on the same strip, so I found it very interesting. In the area of downtown Tacoma that I photographed, the areas of poverty and luxury were separated by only a few streets, and in this instance, only a couple store fronts.
The picture to the right of the two building is of an old door frame. There was graffiti and trash all around that area. I found it very interesting that the words written on the door say “We don’t hate”. This could be taken in many different ways, but it caught my eye that in the middle of all of this dirtiness, there was a reassuring, almost calming, message like this. To the bottom left of this picture is a picture of a garage that is completely covered in graffiti. There were almost no cars parked in there and the ground was in need of repair.
In the top right corner, I took a picture of the Metropolitan Development Council building. In Sidewalk, we read about the different BID’s in New York. They are in charge of keeping areas clean, with sanitizing teams, and keeping the homeless “under control”, in a way. I was amazed to see this after reading about it in a place so near home.
In the bottom right corner is a photo of a BMW, a very nice, designer car, with a high rise building in the background. I thought that this picture was a great representation of luxury because it displays these expensive things, cars and buildings, together. The area that this was taken was a very nice, clean area in Tacoma, right next to the water. The car was parked in front of an apartment building that actually overlooks the water.
Next to the BMW picture is a picture of a sandwich board for a wine shop in front of a graffiti covered garbage can. I thought that this represented a combination of luxury and poverty because it shows a very luxurious thing, a wine shop, right next to a thing associated with poverty, graffiti. All around the wine shop were other nice shops, like flower shops and antiques, but this garbage can sat there in the middle like a sore thumb. Just down the road was the graffiti covered garage, and I’m sure that this was somehow related to that artist. This shows how close poverty and luxury can to be to each other, when they seem so far away.
Further into the “bad” part of town, I found a chair sitting by the side of the road. It was covered in leaves from the trees around it, showing that it had been out there for quite some time. No one had removed it. When we started discussing in class what we think of when we hear the word poverty, an answer was furniture outside. This clearly represented that interpretation of poverty, and I thought it was interesting that even though they have the Metropolitan Development Council, which should be helping to clean up the city, this recliner was never taken away. It made me wonder if they even visit that part of town.
The last picture, in the bottom right corner, is of a business space for rent. I first started taking pictures of it because it was trashed inside, but then I noticed the sign on the front door. The store used to be Countrywide Home Loans. I thought it represented poverty because even a home loan business couldn’t stay in business in this economy and in a part of town where both luxurious and poverty stricken people were so close together.

1 comment:

  1. These are interesting photos. The graffiti almost seems artistic because they add color.