Nighttime is a foreign place to us as humans. We did not evolve to exist in the night but as an adaptive species we have learned to take over the night as we have with every inhospitable environment on earth. The light of day makes space finite and understandable. The dark of night is endless making us more aware of our human limitations. There is a deep divide between a 'place by day' versus a 'place by night'. Daylight exposes everything to clarity of view while night brings mystery, danger, intrigue, and glamour. We live in the day and live it up at night. Day is routine. Night is deviant. Nighttime is made of stark contrasts between dark shadows hiding danger just inches from bright concentrations of light waiting to expose the underworld. Everything is seen differently at night. Edges are fuzzy and obscure and shadows are cast from multiple directions. Color is experienced in a whole new way at night. Gone are the multitudes of daylight colors reflecting off every surface. At night, surface color fades to gray. Color at night burns with intensity emanating from signs and windows or sources unknown.
A few years ago I was at a lighting conference where I attended a presentation by one of the country's leading lighting designers. He lamented that his client architects rarely thought of their buildings as nighttime objects and spaces. This is true for the most part. In general architecture is designed for daytime with nighttime being an afterthought. But architects miss many architectural opportunities when they ignore the night. The slide show tours I have put together for BRO over the years have been exclusively day lit. With this in mind I thought it was time to highlight the dark side of Buffalo. The slide show included here is made up of a collection of night images I had taken recently. This tour is just a start and is certainly not comprehensive. Look for more in the future. I supplemented my images with a few gorgeous pictures by BRO friend John Carroci (Albright, City Hall, Niagara Square). For sure Buffalo is no Times Square or Las Vegas. But, it is has its charms in the night and its nightlife gets kudos around the country from those in the know.