Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Eyes on the Street, Literally

Jane Jacobs is known for the phrase "eyes on the street" (among many other things). Those eyes are one of the three main qualities of a city street that's equipped to handle strangers, because the presence of strangers in public places is what makes it safe.

Jacobs wrote that the eyes belong to the "natural proprietors of the street. The buildings...must be oriented to the street. They cannot turn their backs or blank sides on it and leave it blind."

 These aren't the type of eyes she was thinking of:

But I thought of her, nonetheless, when I saw them.

I'm not sure what these broken bits of something were supposed to be, what function they are no longer fulfilling in the city of Saint Paul. But there they were, staring up at me on a rainy day.