Years ago, I was a nanny in a picturesque village and vineyard-dotted valley in Germany. It was overpowering, all that loveliness. But the awe it inspired didn't last. After only a few months I was back to photographing rust, peeling paint, garbage.
I'm fascinated by the unexpected beauty of these abject things. This facade in Clemenceau for example:
Those worn-through layers of paint! It's like a modernist canvas. Situated on this background is a grid of windows, each one unique. The glass is broken or not, shutters open or closed. Their mismatched colors punctuate the grid, breaking up the image and giving it greater interest. All this variation is complemented by the uniform darkness framed by each window opening.
I know (because it has happened before) that I'll eventually get sick of this aesthetic. I'll get to a point where I've had my fill of peeling paint and broken shutters. I'll wish for the crisp, freshly painted and clean-swept vistas that were quite unavoidable in Germany. I won't have to go to Germany to get it though. Beirut's got that kind of pretty too, and when I'm ready for it, it'll be there waiting for me.