Photo Hunt 54: Steps

by tracy on April 22, 2007

In Greenwich Village, where I live, many of the brownstones have these steep steps leading up to the front door. While a bit of a navigational challenge to old people, they do provide the icing on the architectural cake with their fanciful wrought iron railings, and are rather too tempting to passers-by who like to cool their heels, smoke a cigarette, or eat a slice of pizza.
Steps such as these are generally referred to as “stoops.”

Now, what’s interesting is how steps and stoops, which in this case are one in the same, can have not only such different connotations, but can actually refer to very different things.
For instance, the collective steps is generally positive: Baby’s first steps, taking steps, following in someone’s footsteps, the Twelve Steps of AA….etc etc.
Stoop, on the other hand, is about taking the low road. as in

She Stoops to Conquer. A “stoop” can be a stupid person. Stoop also means a dive toward prey by a bird of prey such as a raptor.
Ray (below) has a toy raptor, which doesn’t fly although it does waddle around making a weird noise.

Here at our building (the one below) neighbors used to sit on the stoop in nice weather and people watch. Recently, however, there has been a power struggle among the shareholders.
Some neighbors have accused other neighbors of stooping to…well, it doesn’t matter except to point out that these neighbors would like the Coop Board to take steps to have them punished.

Everyone knows the expression good fences make good neighbors. I have suggested that the building replace it’s rusty fence here at the foot of the stoop with a stockade. Maybe something in wrought iron that will fit in with the surroundings.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

YTSL April 28, 2007 at 12:54 pm

Came here looking for your “Rare” Photo Hunt entry. Didn’t find it but, hey, I found your lovely “Step” photographs instead. 🙂

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