Exploring Portland’s Cathedral Park
In the northernmost part of Portland, Oregon, the iconic St. John’s Bridge extends across the Willamette River. Though the bridge has become known for its green hue and distinctly pointed towers, the park underneath has also come to enjoy a fame of its own.
The bridge’s stylized architecture continues even into its soaring concrete supports, which resemble the arches of a Gothic cathedral. Taking its name from the supports, Cathedral Park opened in 1980—a stark change from what had nearly been a junkyard beneath the bridge a decade earlier.
Now, the park’s lush meadow spaces, proximity to the river and dramatic backdrops create a special draw for local and visiting Instagrammers, making the space a favorite for creative outings and InstaMeets.
No Surface Without a Seat
Berlin isn’t the warmest of places, so I was continually surprised by the amount of outdoor seating around the city. In some neighborhoods, sidewalk cafes, public benches, beer gardens, or terraces seemed to be at every turn. But what surprised me even more than the sheer amount of seating, was the seemingly ad-hoc, improvised, or innovative nature of many of the options. Anywhere there was a surface or some extra space, you were bound to find a cushion, a folding chair, a crate, or some recycled materials inviting you to sit down and take a break. It wasn’t limited to restaurants and bars either - cushions and chairs could be found on the steps, ledges, sidewalks, and street corners outside of clothing stores, gift shops, and all sorts of other random places.
My visit was in April, presumably the time of year when these chairs and cushions first emerge from winter storage. I’d be curious to take walk through the city in summertime to see them in greater use, and to see if even more sprout up. It must create an impressively vibrant street life.
Photos taken April, 2014
Take a seat!
Highways Project Print Sample!
I got my first test print back from the printers today: a sample of the Texas map. Basically, I’m ecstatic with the way things are looking – all the research and effort I’ve put into this over the last one-and-a-half years is so, so worth it. Just a few more little behind the scenes things to put into place and I’ll be ready to share this project with you all.
Have I mentioned that I’m excited?
For comparison purposes, here’s some original concept work that shows the same area around San Antonio from way back in June 2012 – things have come a long way since then!
New-York based artist Ian Davis paints scenes where human beings are reduced to minimal multiplied figures gathering around a monumental presence. The main focus of a sacral contemplation by the anonymous crowd is sometimes a technological artifact, sometimes an infrastructure or a building . It’s the dramatic depiction of a world where man-made artifacts overcome the society of people who produced them, painted in an ironic, almost cartoon-like style.
Historical Maps: Railroad Spiral Tunnels of the Gotthardbahn, 1914
In my previous post, I mentioned that the map of the Gotthardbahn showed the spiral tunnels that the track uses to quickly change elevation in areas with limited space. Here are some fantastic maps of those spirals, taken from a 1914 German encyclopaedia and found on Wikipedia.
The maps show the spirals from north to south, with the distance in kilometres from the northern end of the line clearly shown along the route. The Gotthard Tunnel lies between the first and second map. The spirals are superb examples of late 19th-century ingenuity and engineering skill, still in use on the line today. The double loop around Wassen is considered one of the most photogenic spots along the route, offering three different views of the town’s lovely church as the line loops around the town.