Jen DuMars’s photo diary of Charles Village and surrounding neighborhoods was featured recently on The Atlantic Cities. The magazine found her beautiful, understated photographs “intimate” and felt they conveyed “an up-close and comfortable sense of what it’s like to actually be there.”
Commenters tended to disagree. One found it “a shame” that the collection of photographs — which did not shy from featuring less-than-stunning row homes and images of decay — failed to “capture the essence of the neighborhood.” Another felt impelled to informed readers that “Charles Village does not look like this, but quite the opposite.”
One issue is that The Atlantic Cities implied that every single photo in DuMars’s “Urban Diary” is from Charles Village, whereas several are actually from Station North or other neighborhoods.
But beyond that, it’s possible that Charles Village looks different to different people. If you live on a beautiful block of well-kept painted ladies and drive everywhere, you may very well miss views that a full-time pedestrian who lives in a plain-old row home sees every day.
But of course, DuMars isn’t constructing a tourism brochure; she freely admits that she is “drawn to things that strike me as peculiar or make me laugh,” so perhaps arguing whether these add up to an accurate representation of Charles Village is moot. They’re interesting photos, anyway.
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