The world out my front door

I post a lot about the world out my front door: what can be seen and appreciated within a few blocks of my house on Ramona St.: buildings, businesses, public art, parks, food, and (especially) plants.

“The world out my front door” is an allusion to the wonderful 1978 book of photography by Ruth Orkin: The World Through My Window:

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What’s out my front door is downtown Palo Alto, and at somewhat greater distance, Menlo Park, Stanford, and the Professorville, Old Palo Alto, College Terrace, and California Ave. neighborhoods of Palo Alto. What was out of Ruth Orkin’s window (on Central Park West in NYC) was Central Park, which she captured in photographic images (mostly in color) that have become iconic. Central Park in mist and haze, Central Park in the snow.

Central Park as above and (with a hot-air balloon in the haze) here:

(#2)

At the same time, Orkin was capturing life on New York City streets in b&w photographs, like these:

(#3)

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From Wikipedia:

Ruth Orkin (September 3, 1921 – January 16, 1985) was a self-taught award-winning American photographer, photojournalist, and filmmaker, with ties to New York City and Hollywood. Best known for her photograph An American Girl in Italy (1951), she photographed many celebrities and personalities including Lauren Bacall, Doris Day, Ava Gardner, Tennessee Williams, Marlon Brando, and Alfred Hitchcock.

… Orkin’s most celebrated image is An American Girl in Italy (1951). The subject of the now-iconic photograph was the 23-year-old Ninalee Craig (known at that time as Jinx Allen). The photograph was part of a series originally titled “Don’t Be Afraid to Travel Alone.” The image depicted Craig as a young woman confidently walking past a group of ogling Italian men in Florence. In recent articles written about the pair, Craig claims that the image was not staged, and was one of many taken throughout the day, aiming to show the fun of traveling alone.

(#5)

In 1952 Orkin married photographer, filmmaker and fellow Photo League member Morris Engel. Orkin and Engel collaborated on two major independent feature films, “Little Fugitive” (1953) and “Lovers and Lollipops” (1955). After the success of the two films, Orkin returned to photography, taking color shots of Central Park as seen through her apartment window. The resulting photographs were collected in two books, “A World Through My Window” (1978) and “More Pictures from My Window” (1983).

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