“When you take a photo, always look behind you. The best photo is often there…”  Francis Zera, Photographer

The same can be said for city wandering. The 7th Street stop on the Blue Line in Charlotte is where the public market is. It draws you in and is a gateway to walk the city core. 

One day I turned the other direction, seeing an iconic building in the distance. Small city gifts awaited the exploring of this place “Behind You.” 

As I walked toward the building, a lovely park stretched before me, 1st Ward Park. Expansive and new, it provided a frame for the building I saw in the distance. A modern building with floors jutting out in different directions and an iconic silence about it.

I found it was the UNC graduate building. Perhaps the architect thought of great ideas springing in every direction from the quiet studies there. In the lobby, the Projection Gallery displayed work from the art students at UNC. The sun flowed into the windowed building, warming me from my chilly walk. There I enjoyed a wonderful bagel shop, letting the brightness bath me.

Across the street was a small coffee shop, in an non descript block building, called Layers. It held many small treasures and good coffee. The owner Caleb pushed open one of the shelves to expose his design studio in the adjoining room. Turns out he designed clothing and media. It was great to see this found difference in a city of same.

Walking back to the Blue Line, I spotted an old building with artful texture that captured my camera’s eye. It always pays to look behind…