Sidewalk Vignettes

 You could start at a path leading nowhere more fantastic than from your own
front steps to the sidewalk, and from there you could go… well, anywhere at all.
– Stephen King


Kabul, Afghanistan

The ballet of the good city sidewalk never repeats itself from place to place,
and in any one place is always replete with improvisations.

– Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Yangon, Myanmar
Sicily, Italy
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  The screech and mechanical uproar of the
big city turns the citified head,  fills citified ears –
as the song of birds, wind in the trees, animal cries,
or as the voices and songs of his loved ones once filled his heart.
He is sidewalk-happy.
–  Frank Lloyd Wright

New York, NY

The first sidewalks made their appearance around 2000 BCE in what is now Turkey, 
and there is evidence that both the ancient Greeks and Romans incorporated
roadside pedestrian footpaths in their cities.
– Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris

Paris, France

The sidewalk as an integral feature of urban life
can be attributed largely to the career of Georges-Eugene Haussmann,
the man behind the massive rebuilding of Paris in the 1850’s and 1860’s.
– Divya Subramanian

Shanghai, China
Lowly, unpurposeful and random as they may appear,
sidewalk contacts are the small change from which a
city’s wealth of public life may grow.
– Jane Jacobs
Nogales, Arizona

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.
–  Shel Silverstein

Kabul, Afghanistan
There is no end to the beauty for the person who is aware.
Even the cracks between the sidewalk contain
geometric patterns of amazing beauty.

– Matthew Fox


A sidewalk must have users on it fairly continuously …
Large numbers of people entertain themselves, off and on,
by watching street activity.”  
–  Jane Jacobs

Oaxaca, Mexico
Lourdes, France
The sidewalks were long where I grew up.
They were as veined as the backs
Of my Grandma’s hands…
– Colleen J. McElroy

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By Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry has been one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than thirty years, with scores of magazine and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name.

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24 replies on “Sidewalk Vignettes”

Really amazing series, Steve. As always!! It inspires me to take my camera and cross my doorway steps to the sidewalk!!

Beautiful pictures. They led me to reminisce about the side walks of New York, where I grew up. Also, the subjects often made me think of the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi, which focuses on appreciation of beauty within the imperfect.

Beautiful, captivating, special images . I loved them all, especially the litle boy with the tyre in
Yemen and the barber in the street in Kabul with the old taxis in the background.
Thank you Stevebhai

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