Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Great Photograph...

...of the Ballymun where I grew up. (Click to enlarge.)

I am not a fan of brutalist architecture, but Ballymun certainly had a character of its own, especially since there were no other high-rise estates like it in Ireland.

Today the "flats" (seven-storey apartment blocks) and towers (fourteen storey apartment blocks) have been demolished and replaced with more humanly scaled buildings. 

People get very nostalgic about 'the old Ballymun', and of course I am the world's premier nostalgist so I do too.

But really, there was nothing good about the flats and towers in themselves. Vandalism, fires, broken lifts, dumping, accidents, drug-dealing and bullying were all endemic. The squalour was often spectacular, and had to be seen to be believed.

The amount of green space, on the other hand, was wonderful. I played untold happy hours of soccer games on the fields that lay between the buildings.

I love this picture in itself. In fact, I love pictures from the seventies in general. Well, I suppose this picture could be from the eighties, or even the nineties, although the clothes the girl is wearing suggest seventies to me-- then again, what do I know about clothes? Anyway, even if this isn't a seventies picture, it has the kind of chiarascuro and strange sense of rawness that seems typical of pictures from that time.

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