Below are the posts that made up the original View From Your Window project, which Andrew launched in May 2006. Of course what began as a one-week experiment eventually turned into a daily feature on the Dish. As of April 2013, the Dish has published over 2,700 window views.
The View From Your Window
One of the strange things about having a blog, especially a one-man outfit like this one, is that, over time, you get to find out more about me, but not much about each other. Yes, you get to read some of the smartest emails on the web, but you don’t get to know who your fellow-readers are, where they live, what they do, what they see as they look out their window each morning. I get a little sense of it from the roughly 500 emails I get a day. But it’s still opaque.
Hence this idea, which may be nuts or inspired. We’ll find out. This week, get out your digital cameras, and take a picture of the view from your window. It can be your living room window, bathroom window, car-window or office view. If you’re serving in the military, or traveling, it can be just the view from where you’re standing or sitting. Email it to me, put “View From My Window” in the contents line, and I’ll post as diverse and as interesting an array of reader photos as I can all week. Just send it via the email option on the right, include the place and the time of day. By place, I mean town, state or county, and country. If you live outside America, I’d love to capture some of the exotic places I often get email from. Special treatment for those of you in the military, wherever you are. No names will be given: this blog’s rule of reader anonymity will remain. And by sending it, you give me the right to publish it. So show me – and every other reader – your world. Don’t pretty it up; just show it as it is – a glimpse through the looking glass of a blog, at the world its readers live in.
An early entry – from Los Angeles, at dawn this morning. Send in digital pics from your own window – to give your fellow readers an idea of where you all live and what you see each day. Details of the idea can be read here. I’ll be posting glimpses of the places where all of you live and/or work all week. You know enough about me. It’s time to find out more about you. Remember to provide the place and time of day.
Here’s the view from a reader of this blog who lives in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, in the afternoon. The photo is taken just after a massive hailstorm, which usually presages the spring. Details of the week-long project of reader photography can be read here. A reader comments:
Incidentally, Pietermaritzburg is where a young, UK-trained lawyer named Mohandas Gandhi was thrown off a train for sitting in First Class, where non-whites were not allowed to sit. This is widely considered to be the event that precipitated the political career of arguably the most amazing, significant, and praiseworthy political figure in the world’s history. (I’m admittedly biased, being South Asian.)
Toronto, Canada. Mid-morning. Details of the window-project can be read here.
Bern, Switzerland, dusk, today.
Hollywood Hills, California, 10 am PST. Details of this reader blog-project can be read here.
Durham, North Carolina, afternoon. If you’re a reader and want to participate in this project, all the details can be read here.
Lisbon, Portugal, 7 pm local time. This blog’s readers truly are everywhere. Details on how to participate here.
Midtown Manhattan, afternoon.
I’ve now received scores of photos from across the country and planet for the “View From Your Window” project. I’ll be posting a selection throughout the week, through the days and nights. Keep ’em coming, although the volume is a little heavier than I anticipated, and I may not be able to scan and sort them all. My apologies for that. But they are eye-opening to me, at least. In the last words of M. de Cinq-Mars: “Mon Dieu! qu’est-ce monde.”
A daughter’s bedroom window, Yokohama, Japan, 7 am.
Seattle, Washington, from the Amazon.com offices, 5 pm.
Email of the Day
A reader writes:
More with those window views! – maybe a weekly feature? There’s something about having the worldwide anonymous online world get placed – can’t put it into words, but it makes me happy.
Certainly not a weekly feature. But I agree. This online world can get pretty abstract. It’s good to add some sense of somewhere. I should apologize for the fact that, simply because of the hundreds of photos I’ve received, I can only publish a fraction unless I surrender the whole site to the slide-show. My aim is to post five a day through the weekend.
Sunnyvale, California, 6:52 pm.
Phoenix, Arizona, afternoon, during a dust storm. Keep ’em coming.
Bogota, Colombia, 10 am.
Guanajuato, Mexico, afternoon.
New York City, sunset.
Brooklyn, New York, 8 pm.
Bay View neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, noon.
Route 27, New Brunswick, NJ – from the rear-view mirror of a reader’s truck, 8 pm.
The Window Project
A reader writes:
I am a (very) infrequent reader of any blogs, but yours is one of the few I have bookmarked. I came across the “The View From Your Window” series today and found it capivating. The sense of immediacy and even intimacy – made possible by the instantaneous transmission of digital photographs over high-speed fiber optic cable networks – is the best thing about it. The photos would have nowhere near the same effect if they had been taken, say, a few months ago; it’s the sense of “here’s how things look where I am, halfway around the world or maybe only ninety miles south, a few hours ago” that demands the viewer’s attention and ensures success.
I understand you have other claims on your time than sorting through and posting photos – but still, this is brilliant.
I’m delighted by the response – I’ve now had several hundred entries. I’ve tried to select for variety and for specificity. Purely subjective criteria, of course – so please don’t feel bad if you didn’t make the cut. I find the digital glimpse into the worlds of the readers of this blog oddly moving. All those pageviews are actually human beings, with lives and homes and windows. Every time I get exhausted by the blogosphere, something like this happens, and I’m in love with it all over again.
New Orleans, Louisiana, 9.40 am.
New Haven, CT, 7:11 pm.
U.S. forward operating base…somewhere in southern Afghanistan, a few miles from the Pakistan border, late afternoon.
Richards, Grimes County, Texas, 2 pm.
Pune, India, 8 am, from a reader visiting relatives.
Spokane, Washington, 3.30 pm. There goes the neighborhood.
Email of the Day
A reader writes:
When I saw your Marijuana and Cancer picture I first assumed it was another The View From Your Window entry. I thought, now here’s a great place to live! Haha.
Actually it’s from a busted underground pot-greenhouse in Tennessee. There’s a lot of green outside my window, but none of it smokable, I’d wager.
Guangzhou, China, 8.37 pm.
Moshi, Tanzania, late afternoon.
Honolulu, Hawaii, afternoon.
Damn you Andrew! Damn you!!!!
A reader explains:
Every time I look at one of your wonderful window view postings, I think of Melissa Etheridge’s song, Come to My Window. The tune has been stuck in my head since yesterday, and nothing it seems, will get it out.
Damn you! Now, I hope you think of the song as well every time you blog.
Come to my window
Crawl inside, wait by the light
Of the moon
Come to my window
Ill be home soon
Blawnox, Pennsylvania, (6 miles up the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh), 10:45 am.
From a reader in a cottage in the northern part of the Czech Republic, looking toward the Russian and Polish borders. Wow.
[Readers have noted that the Czech Republic doesn’t have a Russian border. My bad. I checked the email and he says toward the Polish border and Russia.]
Harlem, New York City, 10.30 am.
Bangkok, 6am, yesterday.
Baku, Azerbaijan, mid-morning.
Gillingham, Kent, England, 3.10 pm.
Accra, Ghana, mid-morning.
Clarke County, Virginia, Blue Ridge Hunt Spring Trail Ride, 8.50 am.
Oakland (CA) Bay Bridge 7:15 am, westbound.
A Rose By Any Other Name
The blogger, Ali Eteraz, recently posted a reminiscence from a female American soldier in Iraq. She’s back home now and has a blog at LiveJournal. This posting about a small moment in Iraq affected me, because it reminded me of the hope we still have a duty to aspire to, and the nobility of the cause now compromised. It was an ordinary, stiflingly hot afternoon, and four American soldiers were given tea by an Iraqi family, headed by a mother with small girls. Over to the soldier:
“[W]e had to get moving anyway, so we started to get ready to go. And then Rania came running up to me, waving her hand to show me she had something for me.
It was a rose. It was at that perfect moment, bloomed and fresh, and so fragrant it filled the Humvee. (There’s another sentence I’ll never be able to use again.) I was touched beyond measure.
What this little girl could see from her doorstep was a bunch of sweaty probably irritable Americans – and shell casings, torn branches, and debris from the battles. She wasn’t touched by any of it, even though her house had been. It was us she saw, and she saw us as potential friends. The little girl trusted adults to do the right thing. Her parents must be the most amazing people in the world.
I got out of the Hummer and saw her mother standing at the gate, waving good bye. There are some gestures that are universal – putting your hand on your heart ought to say something. She held her hand over her heart and said her name, which I simply cannot reproduce. But then she took my hand and kissed my cheek, and I remembered other days, in France, where cheek kissing seems charming rather than affected. She could not know that I had only just lost my mother, and that her caress made me feel whole for just one second. I could know nothing more about her than her kindness and her gentle eyes. I kissed her cheek and we stood there and smiled at each other, and then we had to go.
When you think of Iraq, don’t think of terrorists or Saddam Hussein. Think of Rania and her mother’s hospitality, of the American soldiers sweating on her doorstep and sipping tea from little glasses on a ninety-degree day. Muktada Sadr does not represent Iraq and no matter how many people he kills or attacks, he never will.
Another small window into another world. Know hope.
Promontory, Utah, from a work window, this morning.
Green Valley, Arizona, today.
Cape Town, South Africa, sundown.
This one has a back-story, which is worth – just this time – recounting:
I’m visiting my partner outside of his native country of India for the first time ever. I’m a US citizen, he’s Indian, and like so many foreigners, he can’t get a visitor’s visa, never mind a green card, for the US. And of course I can’t sponsor him since we’re a same-sex couple. Even getting a visa for South Africa was a difficult undertaking for him. But he got it, finally, just six hours before his flight from Bombay was departing. We’re vacationing together in Cape Town, South Africa, and these are the views from the place we’re staying. Sundown on our first day here.
Not many straight couples understand the way in which bi-national gay couples are kept apart, hounded and isolated by immigration laws, especially in the U.S. where gay couples are deemed non-existent under federal law.
Fairbanks, Alaska, 6 pm, yesterday.
Portland, Oregon, 5.10 pm yesterday.
Larkspur, Colorado, dawn, this morning.
Boston, noon, in front of a soup kitchen.
Lakewood, Ohio, last night, in a thunder-storm.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, 10.30 pm.
The Windows Project
It’s been such a hit with readers that Time.com’s photo editor is creating an online slide-show of some of the photos for next week. She’ll make the selection – so check in next week to see what made the cut. I’m continuing it through the weekend, to make a total of seven days, as promised. Several hundred photos so far. It’s a full time job downloading, selecting, editing and posting them. But worth every minute. There’s still time to send yours in – and maybe the holiday weekend will offer some more opportunities. So keep ’em coming. (As I said at the start, by sending them to me, you grant me full rights to publish and edit them as I see fit. If you want to retain any rights, don’t send ’em.)
The View From Your Window
Atlanta, Georgia, midnight.
Manhattan, from a work office window, 3.30 pm today.
Los Angeles, CA, 10.35 am today.
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Africa, 3.30 pm. The readers of this blog are everywhere.
Email of the Day
A reader writes:
I’ve found your window picture project pretty interesting, particularly because you have a knack of including pictures of most of the places I’ve lived in 23 years. So far you’ve gotten every place I’ve lived since I was 8, including Atlanta GA, Durham NC, Moshi Tanzania, Accra Ghana, and Brooklyn NY. Add in Chicago and Pittsburgh, and you’ve got me covered.
Do I believe him? But why would he make this up?
Cambridge, England, 3 pm.
Topeka, Kansas, 5.45 pm today. It’s from the press room at Heartland Park during the NHRA Summer Nationals.
Washington, DC, 7.30 am.
Charlottesville, Virginia, 5.45 pm.
Through the Looking Glass
There’s now a slide-show of some of the Window photos up on Time.com. Congrats to those who made the photo editor’s cut. A million thanks to those who didn’t. I’m thinking about what to do with the dozens of worthy photos I downloaded but didn’t post. A book, maybe? The project ends tomorrow.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 3.40 pm.
Canberra, Australia, sunset.
Tel Aviv, Israel, 11.30 am.
Edinburgh, Scotland, 10.30 am.
Ypsilanti, Michigan, dawn.
Clapham Common, London, 11am.
Jersey City, New Jersey, 6 pm.
Brezovo, Bulgaria, 12.30 pm.
Sydney, Australia, 8 am.
Richford, Vermont, 1.20 pm.
From where I blog, yesterday, 2.06 pm, Washington DC. Only fair. Thanks for all of them.
South Union, Kentucky, dusk.
This feature is officially over, but I had so many sublime or touching submissions that I didn’t post I’m going to publish a few of the remainders over the coming weeks, every now and again. Please don’t send me any more. It took most of my weekend to download and organize just the hundreds I received. I now have one week’s worth of images from around the world – an astonishing display of the web’s power and diversity. When I get a minute, I’m going to find a way to gather them all together and publish them somehow – either on the web or on paper. So stay tuned.
Manhattan, West Side, sunset.
Lincoln, Nebraska, 8.30 am.
Columbus, Ohio, noon.
Cambridge, Massachusetts, students packing up before leaving.
Holt, Missouri, 7 pm.
Bellingham, Washington State, 4 pm.
Albuquerque, New Mexico, dusk.
Tashkent, Uzbekistan, 3.30 pm.
As you’re aware, I’ve been running more window views from readers on an occasional basis. Why? Well, people keep sending them, and they retain their fascination for me. They are often quite moving in a strange, intimate way, and help make this blog the interaction it should be. It brings our worlds together somehow. That is not to say that I’m inviting them the way I did in the first week. I cannot cope with hundreds on a daily basis. But it seems foolish to end something which you, the readers, don’t want to end. So I’ll keep posting them from time to time, as a visual form of punctuation. When my own schedule calms down a bit, I’m going to figure out a way to bring them all together in one place – probably a coffee-table book. Until then, enjoy the views. And for legal reasons, I just want to reiterate that by sending them to me, you give me permission to use them and to retain all rights over them. And please no photography class exhibits; and no bragging. You’re anonymous anyway. The concept fails unless it really is your window, in a real place and time. It doesn’t have to be Ansel Adams or some stunning vista. In fact, the best ones aren’t. They’re real and human. And of the moment. And you.