Thursday, March 31, 2016

Chatelet - Les Halles, Paris

Another modernistic bit of Paris: the looping glassy edges of a metro/train/shopping-mall complex.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Centre Pompidou, Paris

The Centre Pompidou is a massive arts complex in the middle of Paris, created as part of a sort of French national strategic program for artistic dominance in the 1970s.  Its avant garde architecture includes a sort of "inside-out" design in which its staircases run along the outside in glassed-in tubes suspended from the bare girders of its frame.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Fontaine Stravinsky, Paris

In the middle of the Place Igor Stravinsky is this rather bizarre fountain, filled with whirling, water-spraying statue-things.  Apparently, each represents a different famous musical piece by the composer, but the relationship are not particularly obvious to me, particularly when it comes to things like the giant water-spraying lips.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Place Igor Stravinsky, Paris

I'm not sure this is, who glances mischievously toward the onlooker over the whimsical fountains of the Place Igor Stravinsky, but it feels perhaps like Marcel Marceau.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Slidewalks in the Paris Metro

Another quintessentially urban image: crowds passing along the fast-moving slidewalks between interconnected stations in the Paris Metro.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Chicago in Mist

Sometimes I think about putting together a collection entitled "the many moods of Chicago," to try to document all of the different feelings that are given off by America's third biggest city at different times of day, weather, and season.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Fish in a hotel lobby, Princeton, NJ

These colorful fish came racing toward anyone who approached their little pool in a hotel lobby, boiling at the surface and jostling against on another in apparent expectation that they would soon be fed.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Christmas bonfire through ice, Porter, Maine

From a bonfire my family had at Christmas a few years ago, peering through the patterns made in a sheet of ice cracked out of where it had frozen and stood up on its side into the snow.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Overheads on the Riverside T, Boston

A complex tangle of lines, managing the overhead electrical power (and possibly other things as well, for all I know) for the Green Line trains heading out the Riverside "D" branch.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tufts Library roof, Medford, MA

The Tufts University library is built along the side of a hill looking out over Boston, and from its upper side a passerby can stroll amongst its pyramidal sky-lights and take in the view.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Eastbound before dawn, somewhere on Interstate 80

One year after we moved to Iowa, we returned to Boston for the summer, helping ease my transition in an experiment with two-location living that ultimately proved too disruptive and unsuccessful. At the beginning of that time, though, I started out alone in my car well before dawn in Iowa, with a brand new audiobook and a taste for the open road, to be followed one day later by my wife and daughter in our other car.  The cool clean morning air drew me Eastward in a glide past clusters of sleeping trucks, bunched up in droves on the side of the road.  Somewhere in Illinois the dawn broke out in front of me, and by lunch-time I had almost finished with Ohio.  After dinner near Albany, New York with a dear old friend, I glided through the darkening night to finally touch down in Somerville.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Bridge under construction, North of Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Just North of Cedar Rapids, a new highway bridge under construction across the Cedar River.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

RV city in the campground, Iowa State Fair

Adjoining the main grounds of the Iowa State Fair is a massive campground on which park RVs populated by enough people to fill a mid-sized city.  Exhibitors or fanatical attendees, many are there for the entire week-and-a-half run of the fair, their travels to and from the main grounds assisted by the constantly circulating tractor-busses.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Southwest Minnesota corn

Perfectly straight and parallel rows of corn, all the way to the horizon in the open fields of Southwestern Minnesota.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Watershed grooves in corn field, West Branch, Iowa

For whatever reason, this is something that I never saw before I came to Iowa: in the fields here, during growing season, you can always tell exactly where the watersheds are, because the grooves along which they run, no matter how small and flat, always have a wide bare corridor of mown-down lawn.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Kewash Nature Trail bridge, Iowa

The Kewash Nature Trail is another of my favorites in the rail-to-trail conversions that are near us.  Unfortunately, it's still about an hour away, so I do not get to go there often, but walking down along it in the aftermath of a warm summer rain is one of my favorite Iowa nature memories.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

We start them young

Young boy at the Iowa City farmer's market, having a wonderful time playing with an inflatable assault rifle made for him by a nearby balloon vendor.  Moments later, his rifle popped, leaving him sad and me feeling rather allegorical.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Snowmaker hose winder, Sunday River, Maine

Another discovery that I enjoyed upon the slopes of sunny, summer Sunday River: this jauntily festive hose winder, that binds the snowmaker hoses into the tight bundles that you see in stacks behind it.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Snowmaker hoses, Sunday River, Maine

Last summer, I spent some time at the Sunday River ski resort in Maine, which I had never before seen out of season.  One of the intriguing things I came across in this out of usual time was a great sea of snowmaking hoses.  In the winter, these hoses run all the way up the mountain, carrying water to be sprayed out into fine mists by what are essentially giant sprinkler systems, supplementing the often inadequate snow of the lower Eastern mountain ranges.  When I came across them in the summer, though, they had all been laid out into mostly straight lines, apparently to dry or for maintenance, and to await their time to go back up and be returned to service.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Old Man of the Mountain Prosthetics, New Hampshire

Another view of the replacement prosthetics for the Old Man of the Mountain, in New Hampshire, this one from the side and showing the curious form of this arc of sort-of-memorial iron rods.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Memories of the Old Man, New Hampshire

Once upon a time, there was a rock outcrop along the sides of Franconia Notch that, when you looked at it from just the right angle, kind of looked like an old man's face.  Somehow, The Old Man of the Mountain became the symbol of New Hampshire, to the point that it is even the symbol of the signs for state highways.  And so, when it collapsed in 2003, apparently New Hampshire could just not let go.  Now, in the Old Man viewing area, there are a number of prosthetic metal bars that, when you look along them from just the perfect height and angle, allow you to see what the Old Man one had looked like.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Snowy runway terminus, Eastern Iowa Airport

I just like the lines in this one, and how the markings of the runway hit the snow and become buried underneath its ripples.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Golden Salt Lake City Sunset

This image, I think, quite well reflects my ambivalent feelings toward Salt Lake City.  On the one hand, we have the beauty of the natural surroundings; on the other hand, we have the rawness of the human presence in this bare land and the dense smog that is enhancing the sun and shadows.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Salt Lake City Construction

Another piece of Salt Lake City construction, creeping up into the hills and silhouetted against the sinking sun.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Reflective Hospital, Salt Lake City

Symmetry, asymmetry and lines in the reflective faces of this piece of University of Utah hospital.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Hospital Skyway, Salt Lake City

A skyway connects two pieces of the intricate medical complex that is the University of Utah Hospitals, rising high above the rest of the campus and snugged up against the hills.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Golden Brown Hills of the Wasatch Range, Salt Lake City

The vast majority of the population of Utah lives on the "Wasatch Front," a long and narrow band of settlement running along the western edge of Wasatch Mountains.  Anywhere you are in the city in Utah, you can look up and see mountains towering over you, and if you just walk East, eventually you will rise up into their foothills and the network of well-worn trails running along their edges and branching into the valleys.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Emerging from a canyon near dawn, Salt Lake City

Returning from an early morning hike, we stepped from the dark shadows of a narrow canyon toward mountains lit in the reddish morning light on the other side of the valley.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

High-desert nature, Salt Lake City

Dry blue-grey succulents on a dry brown hillside, high above Salt Lake City where the trails sneak deep into the canyons and runners and mountain bikers fly along them, exulting in the fresh clean air above the awful smog.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Small dam near Dallas, Texas

Brown and textured water amidst a brown landscape as the land winds down to winter, interrupted only by a perfect rectangle of a small dam.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A self-enclosed world: Chicago-area housing development

Massive houses, packed cheek by jowl and sealed off behind a guarded gate on its one entrance (the guard shack and gate are both visible in the lower left), I look down on this self-enclosed bubble of a housing development, and feel uncomfortable with the idea of the sterile luxury of homes with three garage doors and barely a hint of yard, huddled together fearfully on the outskirts of one of Americas most vibrant and diverse cities.