Sidewalk Vignettes


 “You could start at a path leading nowhere more fantastic than from your own
front steps to the sidewalk, and from there you could go… well, anywhere at all.”
– Stephen King



The first sidewalks made their appearance around 2000 BCE in what is now Turkey, 
and there is evidence that both the ancient Greeks and Romans incorporated
roadside pedestrian footpaths in their cities.
– Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris

USA-10473Los Angeles, California, USA

INDIA-10727NF2Mumbai, India

FRANCE-10213NF2Paris, France

The sidewalk as an integral feature of urban life
can be attributed largely to the career of Georges-Eugene Haussmann,
the man behind the massive rebuilding of Paris in the 1850’s and 1860’s.
– Divya Subramanian


ITALY-10738NF2Umbria, Italy

02385_16, Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, USA, 07/1991, USA-11529. People paint mural on a wall outside. retouched_Ekaterina Savtsova 01/13/2016Los Angeles, California, United States

COLOMBIA-10001La Esperanza, Colombia

IRELAND-10001NF2Dublin, Ireland


“A sidewalk must have users on it fairly continuously …
Large numbers of people entertain themselves, off and on,
by watching street activity.”  
–  Jane Jacobs

_DSC2474New York City, New York, USA

  “The screech and mechanical uproar of the
big city turns the citified head,  
fills citified ears –
as the song of birds, wind in the trees, animal cries,
or as the voices and songs of his loved ones once filled his heart.
He is sidewalk-happy.”
–  Frank Lloyd Wright

THAILAND-10023Bangkok, Thailand

CHINA-10301Hong Kong, China

The sidewalks were long where I grew up.
They were as veined as the backs
Of my Grandma’s hands…
– Colleen J. McElroy


RUSSIA-10080Moscow, Russia

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.
–  Shel Silverstein

_DSC8532, Cuba. 7/17/2015, CUBA-10290. Man leans against a pillar on a street in Cuba. retouched_Ekaterina Savtsova 08/01/2015 SENDING TO MAGNUM

The ballet of the good city sidewalk never repeats itself from place to place,
and in any one place is always replete with improvisations.

– Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

02288_13.jpg, Capetown, South Africa, 03/1996, SOUTH_AFRICA-10005NF12. Retouched by Ekaterina Savtsova 02/19/2016
Cape Town, South Africa

About the author

Steve McCurry has been a one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than 30 years, with scores of magazine and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name.

Born in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; McCurry studied film at Pennsylvania State University, before going on to work for a local newspaper. After several years of freelance work, McCurry made his first of what would become many trips to India. Traveling with little more than a bag of clothes and another of film, he made his way across the subcontinent, exploring the country with his camera.

It was after several months of travel that he found himself crossing the border into Pakistan. There, he met a group of refugees from Afghanistan, who smuggled him across the border into their country, just as the Russian Invasion was closing the country to all western journalists. Emerging in traditional dress, with full beard and weather-worn features after weeks embedded with the Mujahideen, McCurry brought the world the first images of the conflict in Afghanistan, putting a human face to the issue on every masthead.

Since then, McCurry has gone on to create stunning images over six continents and countless countries. His work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike - yet always retains the human element that made his celebrated image of the Afghan Girl such a powerful image.

McCurry has been recognized with some of the most prestigious awards in the industry, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, National Press Photographers Award, and an unprecedented four first prize awards from the World Press Photo contest, to name a few.