Quote Originally Posted by Diapositivo View Post
As Mark says, inevitably you will have both blocked shadows and some burned highlights, but the scene will be rendered as a night scene with a well described subject matter. If one wants to nail the exposure better the only* possibility is a spot light meter.
Actually my point is that pushing is a choice (one of last resort for me), not a given. Detail need not be lost without thought and mid-tones need not be gritty unless you want them that way.

Street scenes at night, can be photographed quite nicely when film is used at it's ISO speed and developed normally.

That choice just means that we may need to adjust how we shoot, that we may need to carry a little extra gear, and even break the stereotype. Adding a touch of fill flash is a helpful thing used by pros, as are: bean bags, posts, walls, monopods and other camera supports.

Also spot metering isn't the only choice either. Yes for many shots, like your clock, it may be quite practical but where ever you can get into the scene, incident metering works just fine. The Jiffy Calc oneANT and Sirius talked about above works well too, the Ultimate Exposure Computer works nicely too.