Tuesday, October 17, 2017

South Boston Waterfront

The South Boston waterfront is a curious zone of old harbor activities and frothy new development. The incredibly long dingy old military warehouse, sandwiched between the cruise ship terminal and one of the largest dry-docks on the East Coast, is now a high-tech hub filled with startups like Ginkgo Bioworks.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Logan Airport, Boston, MA

Logan Airport from above, at this moment every terminal jam-packed with airplanes.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Tobin Bridge, Boston, MA

The Tobin Bridge, carrying Route 1 over one of the many tendrils of Boston Harbor, a particularly industrial zone. In the upper left, you can see a bulge where the toll-booths (and nastiest traffic jams) used to be before everything was converted to electronic payments.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Middlesex Fells Exit, Boston, MA

The exit off Interstate 93 near the Middlesex Fells is an unusual perfect circle over the highway. On the bottom right of the highway, the rugged parkland of the Fells begins, and if you look closely, you can see the concrete tower that marks its first hill, site of a number of my fond memories. My mother knew it as a girl as well, and told me they called it "the monkey tower," as people apparently weren't any more respectful of its hygienic state then either.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Bahá'í House of Worship, Wilmette, Illinois

Just North of Chicago, along the edge of the lake, stands a great gleaming temple: this is apparently one of only ten Bahá'í Houses of Worship in the world, serving as a focus for this obscure syncretic faith across all of North America.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Land of cul-de-sacs, near Chicago

Only one line snakes all the way through this development, while all the rest peel off into a fractal structure of cul-de-sacs.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Budding development near Chicago

New developments throwing out their loops and cul-de-sacs, in advance of the houses that are to come.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Suburban Chicago Water-Park

A small octagonal splash-pad near Chicago O'Hare Airport, its surrounding trees forming a little protected pocket of semi-seclusion in the middle of the great city.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Chicago Beach

A beach on the North side of Chicago, packed with people beating the summer heat.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Dubuque, Iowa

The city of Dubuque, Iowa wraps itself around a curve in the Mississippi. The surprisingly crisp visual edges of the city are actually a feature of its terrain: around Dubuque the hills and valleys become much steeper and the whole lighter area of city is on a low portion of plain by the river.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Watercourse, Iowa

The mown green line of a watercourse snakes a smooth organic line between fields outside of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Small farm near Cedar Rapids, Iowa

This farm looks very "classical" to me, with a small hour and a big red barn.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Cornhusks on the fence, Iowa

Fencing filled with cornhusks, blown around on the fields after the harvest.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Wooden pumpkin, Iowa City

A Halloween pumpkin carved of wood instead of the familiar gourd. Good idea given the ravenous squirrels around our neighborhood, who usually make short work of any pumpkin we put out.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Northwestern at Dawn, Chicago

Northwestern University in Chicago, glowing in the dawn light below my descending red-eye flight.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Luminous rowing, SeaTac Airport

Hanging high in the Seattle airport, an artwork of some form of long rowing shell with luminous sea-life and an improbably high number of oars.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Snoqualmie Falls, Washington

Another iconic image of the Seattle area: Snoqualmie Falls plunges loudly down near the edge of the Cascades.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Leavenworth, WA

Despite any cheesiness, however, Leavenworth really does have a beautiful skyline in a beautiful location in the mountains, and I recommend a visit if you are in the area.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

McDonalds Bavarian-Style, Leavenworth, WA

Even McDonalds cannot escape Bavarian styling in Leavenworth: this rather baroque wall-painting stands in place of the traditional soaring golden arches.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Starbucks Bavarian-Style, Leavenworth, WA

Leavenworth's stylistic requirements are clearly quite rigorously enforced: here, for example, is part of the drive-through for the town's Starbucks.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Mural, Leavenworth, WA

Many of the buildings in Leavenworth have murals on their sides, expounding on various Bavarian cultural themes.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Tourist Monks, Leavenworth, WA

The tourists of Leavenworth are a rather diverse mix, including a fair mix of international travelers and even these probably-Buddhist monks wandering the streets.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Fat German Bear, Leavenworth, WA

A piece of Leavenworth's over-the-top street decor: this merchant has apparently decided to part a giant fat stuffed bear in Bavarian costume outside their shop. I just can't get over its wonderfully grumpy expression, and imagine it yelling incomprehensibly at passersby.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Leavenworth, WA

On the Eastern side of Stevens Pass, one descends into the delightful incongruity of Leavenworth, a town that has essentially turned itself into a Bavarian theme park. On a hot summer day, it is jam-packed with tourists there to soak up the spectacle: it is all so ridiculously fake and over the top that it all becomes actually rather delightful.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Rockfall netting, Washington

Steel netting covers the cliffs by the side of the highway in Stevens Pass in the Cascades, to trap and mitigate rockfalls.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Root structure, Cascades, Washington

Polished and moss-hung surfaces on the tipped up roots of a long-ago fallen tree near Deception Falls in the Cascades.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Mossy trees, Cascades, Washington

Heavy moss coats the towering trees around Deception Falls, where the spray helps create a rain-forest-like environment despite the high altitude and cool.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Log bridge, Cascades, Washington

A nifty angled log bridge over a small side-stream of Deception Falls.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Rainbow waterfall, Cascades, Washington

At a lower stage of Deception Falls, a rainbow floats above the spray and the clear pure waters of the river.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Deception Falls, Cascades, Washington

Deception Falls feels to me like nearly the Platonic ideal of a rushing mountain stream, foaming down a sequence of drops in a pocket of unusually ancient trees that have been protected from fire by its damp spray.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Cascades freight, Washington

Northeast of Seattle, massive freight trains pass continually through the towering peaks of the Cascades, plunging through an eight-mile tunnel on their way beneath the highest portions of the pass. On the other side of the road, an older tunnel has been turned into hiking and biking trails through the thick green forests.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Lost whale, Seattle

This plush blue whale sat sad and forlorn on the edge of a derelict lot.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Musical building, Seattle

I don't know what the significance is of this audio waveform on the side of a building near the University of Washington, but I certainly enjoy its form.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Angular apartments, Seattle

Apartments (I think) with sharply angular windows, near the University of Washington.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Cooling tower rain, Seattle

One more angle on the cooling tower rain, showing an access catwalk and some sort of sheltering panel whose function I am not entirely clear on.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Cooling tower rain, Seattle

Continual heavy rain inside this building, coming from a cooling tower at the UW power plant. I just love cooling tower rain: the strong shushing waterfall sound, the inward bend, the sheer improbability of heavy indoor rainstorms on a bright and sunny day.  For context, I offer this second photo:

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Staircase windows, University of Washington, Seattle

I think that this picture is vertically straight, but the conflicting textures of the building's surface and its stair windows make me feel like it is tilting over.

Friday, September 8, 2017

University of Washington Sundial, Seattle

A giant sundial of a peculiar design that I have never seen before stands across the Southern side of one of the buildings of the University of Washington.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

University of Washington Quad, Seattle

Looking down the green and pleasant channel of the main quad of the University of Washington, you might think this is some sort of wooded campus. Much of the rest of it, however, is blocky modern buildings shouldering each other in a solid crowd---much like most other world-class scientific universities.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Well-stapled telephone pole, Seattle

Another shot of the well-stapled telephone pole, bringing out more of the textures.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Well-stapled telephone pole, Seattle

Many layers of staples and repaintings give this telephone pole an intriguing visual texture.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Windmill mural, Iowa City

I enjoy the way my oblique angle of shot interacts with the roundness and illusory depth of this mural.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Mall skylight, Iowa City

Hexagonal skylight and an accompanying collection of complex wire structures, suspending decorations above a children's playspace.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Today?, Cambridge, MA

Waxed right into the floor, a rather fundamental question: TODAY?

Friday, September 1, 2017

Kitty, Salt Lake City, UT

I just have so many questions about this single, isolated footprint in the concrete.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Accident garden, Iowa City

Insofar as I can tell, this collection of plants growing in broken pottery is actually intentional, an artistic presentation of an accident that has failed to be prevented by the flattened "slow" sign.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Fairy garden, Iowa City

"Fairies gather here" says the sign on this fairy garden that someone has built in their front yard near our house.