All of us who practice the creative arts are voyeurs. As writers, we use our imaginative powers to conjure up insights into others’ lives. As photographers, we use lenses to aid our visionary powers to show possibilities. And cities are fertile proving grounds for creative voyeurs like us to practice our arts.
Cities offer so much room for our voyeuristic souls to look inside, literally, and imaginatively. To ask questions. And imagine the answers:
Peer through a café window from the street, and watch a couple at a table. Imagine: Are they arguing? Breaking up? Making up?
Observe a brightly lit hotel and its hundreds of rooms. The reflections upon reflections inspire questions: Who’s behind the glass facade, and why?
Look through the brightly-lit windows of an art gallery during an evening reception. Can the guests afford the art they’re admiring? Would you crash the opening?
Escape the heat into an indoor ice rink. Admire rows of well-used honey-colored leather ice skates, and wonder: Who’s worn these skates on first dates?
Stop by a coffee shop with an outdoor deck on a sunny day to people-watch, and ask: What is she so intent upon, sitting alone at a table?
Look at all of the room at the empty tables along the lakeside railing. Doesn’t it look delicious? Where is everyone?
Then look around. Ahhhh, everyone’s next door under bright umbrellas. Drinking icy fizzy cocktails? Relaxing with friends? Anxiously meeting blind dates?
Stumble across the tracks to what’s been abandoned, and become awed and curious. What was life like next to the railroad tracks? Why leave an air conditioner behind?
Look up at a new high-rise with hundreds of balconies, adjoining even more rooms, as it lies in wait for occupants. Think: Will any of them meet and marry? Or become enemies?
Study the reflection in one tower made by another, where balconies overlook more balconies. How do the residents find privacy? Or escape steel and glass?