A city is a center plus the sum of its neighborhoods, a collage created by juxtaposing apples and oranges.
Lucy Lippard, Lure of the Local
In Baltimore, Charles Street is a prominent artery running north and south through the city. Charles Street has it all – a club and restaurant scene, a capitalist playground, a blighted urban area slated for gentrification, stately residential neighborhoods, and the quintessential suburbia. The street takes you through a number of distinct Baltimore neighborhoods – Federal Hill, Inner Harbor, the downtown business district, Mount Vernon, Station North Arts District, Charles Village, Guilford, Homeland, and Towson. Some of these neighborhoods have deep roots, going back over two hundred years. Others have developed new identities. As you travel up and down the length of the street, the striking differences between the neighborhoods becomes apparent, and your impressions of them are shaped on whether you are resident or visitor, or what stage you are in your life.
Charles Street is a series of reflections of a transplanted city resident who has lived in two of these neighborhoods, worked in another, and frequented the rest. After living here for over ten years, I find myself an involuntary tourist. As a subset of the Baltimore series, Charles Street represents photographs taken throughout the year, and collaged to chart the passing seasons, urban development and demolition, and stasis. Passing impressions become studied observations of a city in flux.
Charles Street, from the series, Poems: Public Places (Baltimore). Collage installation, 2006-2007 (featured here 32 of the 128 panels)