Wednesday, October 5, 2011

People in Glass Houses...

need a heck of a lot of shoji screens.

Maybe building a glass house on an urban street like Marlborough wasn't such a great idea. Most of the windows in this 1959 townhouse between Gloucester and Hereford are fully covered with shoji screens, shades, and curtains. And those residents have the right idea. People in cities need privacy; over the years, while sitting in my bay window, I've seen far too much of various neighbors who lived across the street and didn't have curtains.

The plate-glass walls of the stairwell on the left are uncovered. I was in there a few years ago on a summer day, and it felt like an oven.

The front

More shoji screens cover the back.

I suppose it's different if you live in a huge glass skyscraper in a city like Manhattan— it's easier to imagine that your neighbors in adjoining skyscrapers can't see you, or are respecting your privacy despite your glass walls. At least you aren't as likely to run into each other on the street or at Trader's Joe's.

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