Faces of New York Copyright 2013 Walter Judy Photography

The Devils in the Details: FoNY Weeks 23-24

In a city of millions with thousands of buildings, new and old, there are a lot, lot of faces around this town. Lots of random lions, Athenas, gargoyles, bankers, street delivery men, students, etc. But my favorites, architecturally speaking, are the Devils on the buildings. I’ve already covered one or two places with faces of harsh, angry representations of the supposed demon lord of the dark. Perhaps we keep him around in a bid to convince evil spirits that:

  1. “Hey, dark souls and bad guys, Devil here. Yeah, don’t worry about possessing this building, already got it covered!”; or perhaps:
  2. “Yeah, so, all you lesser wights and ghouls, there is a badder bad guy in residence here so why don’t ya’ll recognize when you’re the lessor lions in the pride. Mmm hmm, you heard me, just move along now.”

Whatever their purpose, the supremely evil face must have some sort of grotesque irony in warding off ill will from a given structure. I found a few sightings of Big Red around Manhattan and Brooklyn, my favorites carved into an appropriate crimson sandstone on two buildings in the latter’s Greenpoint and Williamsburg neighborhoods. This group is from all over the place, with a few links to the past posts here, and here, and I plan on adding a whole separate category just for Devils in a future post.

On a side note, it was a hot very day when I shot these, unseasonably warm for September. How hot? You might say it was as hot as Hel.


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