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  • Writer's pictureWILLIAM A SLOAN


It’s Sunday morning and I’m sitting on the balcony, looking out at a beautifully peaceful sky, calm blue-green water in the distance, and windows – lots and lots of windows.

I live downtown – a small town, to be sure – but downtown, nonetheless. And downtowns come with windows. It’s that Hitchcock “Rear Window” thing that happens when you live so closely to so many people but so separated at the same time. All these little rectangles, all these portals into the private worlds of others. All these glimpses into the lives of people you’ll never know. Fascinating.

It’s always been one of my favorite things about city living. I mean, in the country, even in the spaced out suburbs, you can get a sense of privacy without walls, privacy with room to breathe. But in cities you create your own sense of privacy, with external and internal walls for security and mental well-being, but always exposed to the outside influences of others. You are one...among many.

And still, you probably will never know most of them. Doesn’t mean you can’t watch, though. Watch and observe and question and learn and grow as a result...or at the very least, be entertained.

We’ve become a race of Peeping Toms. What people ought to do is get outside their own house and look in for a change. Yes sir. How’s that for a bit of homespun philosophy? - Thelma Ritter as Stella in Rear Window

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