“…Originally everything about a Greek or Christian building meant something, and in reference to a higher order of things. This atmosphere of inexhaustible meaningfulness hung about the building like a magic veil. Beauty entered the system only secondarily, impairing the basic feeling of uncanny sublimity, of sanctification by magic or the gods’ nearness. At the most, beauty tempered the dread – but this dread was the prerequisite everywhere. What does the beauty of a building mean to us now? The same as the beautiful face of a mindless woman: something masklike.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits
“The Earth is God’s pinball machine and each quake, tidal wave, flash flood and volcanic eruption is the result of a TILT that occurs when God, cheating, tries to win free games.”
― Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
I left my son’s apartment on Poydras Street, downtown New Orleans, and walked to Canal Street on Rampart Street (don’t ask me what direction – the compass is all screwed up in New Orleans – for example the West Bank is actually East of downtown – although it is connected to the Western Half of the United States) I walked up on to the ruins of the Hard Rock Hotel collapse.
It happened over a year ago – a disaster that took the lives of three construction workers – two bodies remained in the wreckage for ten months. It is a giant eyesore right in the heart of the city – a terrible reminder of the fragility of life. I didn’t realize when I read about it that the actual collapse of the steel superstructure was so high up in the air – sitting on top of eight stories or so of concrete floors.
The Google Maps Street View from Canal still shows it pre-collapse.
I walked past on my way to the French Quarter. The locals ignored the now-all-too-familiar sight while tourists gestured and offered up theories and speculation.
“America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans.
Everywhere else is Cleveland.”
― Tennessee Williams
After a lot of driving through Texas and Louisiana I’m home again. Working on some writing and some photography.
New Orleans was odd – because of the pandemic – down in the quarter the ratio of crazy street people to visitors was a lot higher than usual. A lot of places are closed. A lot of places that I have loved over the years are no more.
But it is still New Orleans.
A line of paddlewheelers and other tourist transport ships are lined up, empty, unused, along the Mississippi riverfront. It’s sad to see.
I hope they are all moving and crowded again, soon.
“Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.”
“Perforation! Shout it out! The deliberate punctuated weakening of paper and cardboard so that it will tear along an intended path, leaving a row of fine-haired pills or tuftlets on each new edge! It is a staggering conception, showing an age-transforming feel for the unique properties of pulped wood fiber.”
The centerpiece of the new Pacific Plaza park in downtown Dallas is the Pavilion. Designed by HKS it is an elliptical metal ring suspended in the air – giving much needed shade. I wondered what the story behind all the holes was.
From a D Magazine article:
The design team punctured 58,290 holes in the pavilion canopy, a subtle, morse code tip of the cap denoting the names of 337 stops along the Texas and Pacific Railroad.
“Here, are the stiffening hills, here, the rich cargo
Congealed in the dark arteries,
That hold Glamorgan’s blood.
The midnight miner in the secret seams,
Limb, life, and bread.
– Rhondda Valley”
“We pray for one last landing
On the globe that gave us birth;
Let us rest our eyes on fleecy skies
And the cool, green hills of Earth.”
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
One of my favorite bicycle rides is the Full Moon Ride – put on most months by the fine folks at Bike Friendly Downtown Dallas. The idea is for a group to meet downtown and to ride down into the Trinity River Bottoms and watch the full moon rise over the buildings of downtown. here and here It’s a lot of fun – especially since the trails in the river bottoms are a blast to ride at night – but it’s not exactly a place where most folks feel safe riding alone in the dark.
I struggle with a desire to take photos of the moon rising over the city – or of the folks riding their bikes. It’s a struggle – the lighting conditions are not good (it’s dark) and I still have not figured out a good way to carry a decent tripod on my bicycle.
There was a ride last month, on Friday the 13th, and thinking about it – I went out and bought an inexpensive portable tripod. Unfortunately you get what you pay for and the thing was not sturdy enough for timed exposures with my heavy DSLR. Only one shot – taken before the sun had completely disappeared (and before the moon appeared) was even good enough to stave off deletion.
I see there is another full moon this weekend. Here are the details via MoonCalc. I might skip taking my camera this time and simply try to enjoy myself. That is always the problem with carrying a camera – you can get so caught up in taking a photo you miss the fun of life itself.
On the other hand, I need to take my good tripod out and practice night photography. Once I get the bugs worked out and some skills developed maybe I’ll give it a go again.
“Stop worrying about missed opportunities and start looking for new ones.”
“He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars.”
― Jack London, The Call of the Wild
I saw this waiting for the streetcar to Bishop Arts district. What really sucks is that tree didn’t fall by accident, it looked like it was cut down (though it was dead and probably going to fall anyway). I guess once it fell on the meter, they were scared to move it. Somebody is not very happy.