Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Photo: Chuck Wolfe
Seattle’s Madrona neighborhood. Photographic urban diaries can help residents absorb what there are seeing and can ultimately influence city planning.

Cities are organic, changing, blossoming, decaying amalgams of individuals, buildings, dumps, businesses, trees, animals — so many elements that it is impossible to put your finger on what makes a great city great. It is even hard to get agreement on whether or not a particular city is great.

Seattle is a city that is very conscious of its idealistic character. And it’s one that keeps reaching higher.

Knute Berger at Crosscut writes, “No one wants a ‘better city’ more than Seattleites. … If anything is in our civic DNA, it is the drive of commerce and the determination to build not just a better city, but the ideal one: prosperous, just, beautiful.

“Tall order, and one around which there is much dispute. Charles Wolfe, a local land-use lawyer, author and urban observer has a suggestion to help us sort through some of our conflicts. He touts the personal documentation of the city we live in, urging us to create urban ‘diaries.’

“This isn’t self-indulgent ‘journaling’ but a thoughtful process of observing and recording a city — what works, where human activities thrive and what evokes our emotional responses.

“Wolfe’s latest book is Seeing the Better City (Island Press, $30), which is described as a tool kit for ‘how to explore, observe, and improve urban space.’ Wolfe — who has written for Crosscut and who is a friend — says the answer to a better city doesn’t start with a white board, an attitude or a bushel of land-use ordinances; it begins at the level of human experience and how we train ourselves to see it and understand it.

“Wolfe’s main medium is photography, aided by technology — geo-mapping, social media — to record his impressions and observations, which might range from how bikes, trains and pedestrians share space in Nice, France, to a homeless person’s tent with a grand view of Elliott Bay. …

“Why is keeping an urban diary worthwhile? Wolfe argues that it trains us to be better citizens, to care more and understand more about where we live. Therefore, we might be more motivated to attend meetings or offer insights and solutions into the planning process. …

“Wolfe’s book tells us urban diarists can also be useful to planners and policymakers. An urban diary ‘walk and talk’ workshop in Redmond created diaries of the town’s historic core — and that then informed the planning process. … When we all act like flâneurs, ‘trickle up’ urban planning can result. …

We don’t need to travel the world to be an urban diarist. Our own stomping grounds offer an infinite opportunity to feel and observe.”

More here.

Read Full Post »

Back in the day, a regular on the kids’ television show Howdy Doody was a putative Indian called Princess Summer Fall Winter Spring. The last two seasons in her name were run together as if they were one word.

Lately, “WinterSpring” seems to be the right name for what we’re experiencing in New England. Here are a few pictures from my confused season.

There are four photos of the beautiful Boston Public Library. The hardest shot to get was a lion not surrounded by photographers and visitors posing for their picture. While I was at the library, I was delighted to hear the retired Massachusetts chief justice being interviewed by Boston Public Radio, which sometimes broadcasts from there. Margaret Marshall is perhaps best known for her reasoning in the case to make gay marriage legal in Massachusetts. My photo of her friendly wave did not come out.

The ornate clock suddenly appeared on Washington Street. I don’t recall seeing it in all the years I took walks in that neighborhood.

The 5-lb coffee bag will get us through any kind of WinterSpring.

Finally, I include a couple indoor shots of my living room in a welcome shower of sunlight and a couple pictures of grandchildren managing just fine in WinterSpring.

Caroline is fine and let me know what flavor you want there is vanilla, chocolate, coffee, pineapple, and I expect your response many thanks Caroline

031717-library-courtyard-shadows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

031717-rare-view-of-BPL-lion-sans-tourists

031017-snow-writing-ConcordMA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

032017-thinking-beach-time-in-the-snow

031717-pastoral-reminder-re-love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

031717-outdoor-clock-washington-st-boston

032317-coffee-in-5-lb-bag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

032317-sunlight-thru-lattice

032317-rugs-on-wood-floor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

032317-two-young-artists-sunny-day

 

 

Read Full Post »

090716-blackstone-valley-visitor-center

Pat Zacks at the Camera Werks in Providence feels compassion for inner-city kids whose schools can’t offer many enrichment activities. That’s why she volunteers every year to mount and hang 500+ juried photos by Pawtucket, Rhode Island, fifth graders (and a few grownups).

On Wednesday I stopped off at the gallery where the “Calling All Cameras” photos are on display until the end of September. The theme this year,  submitted by Linda C. Dugas, is “Pawtucket’s Color Palette.” Winners of this, the 18th, annual photo contest also get their work featured in the city calendar.

An impressive slate of judges are responsible for choosing this year’s winning photos (Butch Adams, Richard Benjamin, Christy Christopoulos, Jesse Nemerofsky, and Aaron Usher). Winners will be announced September 25.

I wish my photo of a child’s box turtle entry had turned out well enough to post, but I’m sharing a couple other favorites here.

Stop by the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor visitor center, just off Interstate 95 in downtown Pawtucket, to find the box turtle. The visitor center is opposite the historic Slater Mill, birthplace of America’s Industrial Revolution.

And if you are ever in Providence, please check out the Camera Werks on Hope Street. Pat’s Facebook page, here, has more information on the photo exhibit.

090716-pawtucket-calling-all-cameras

090716-pawtucket-photo-show-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

090716-pawtucket-photo-show-2

 

Read Full Post »

080716-steep-slippery-bluffs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In order to get down to the beach for a good shot of the structures I’ll call “War of the Worlds,” I had to negotiate a very steep, very slippery path that reminded me of my age at every step.

 

You are old, Father William,” the young man said,
“And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head —
Do you think, at your age, it is right?”

“In my youth,” Father William replied to his son,
“I feared it might injure the brain;
But now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.” …

I thought of The War of the Worlds when I took the photo of this, the first, deep-water windmill in America and its giant parent, which is assembling the next four windmills.

080716-war-of-the-worlds

080716-tower-of-beach-stones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

080716-tide-pools

080716-marine-mobile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The beach on the south side of the island is beautiful, and since I don’t often scramble down there, I took photos of the tide pools and one of the many towers people build with smooth beach stones.

Moving right along, there’s a mobile of sea creatures that I made in an art class with my oldest grandchild. He made one, too: a jellyfish, a shark, a whale (he chose to make an orca) and a sea turtle.

I also have shots of a quiet “tug hole” (a peat bog), reflections of houses on the far side of Fresh Pond, a lotus, flowers against a stone wall, a box of pink impatiens by the outdoor shower, a monster crane getting delivered to Paradise, and magnificent city shadows.

080616-John-E-tughole

080416-open-gate-Lakeside

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

080416-lotus-on-Lakeside

080416-Fresh-Pond-reflections

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

080416-outdoor-shower-impatiens

080316-giant-crane-sails-in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

080316-building-shadows-Providence

Read Full Post »

There’s just one thing you probably can’t figure out from this picture story: what the guys are singing …

“All my exes live in Texas/ It’s why I hang my hat in Tennessee.”

160803_-Blues-on-Block

080316-Truck-Stop-Troubadors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

080316-crowd-at-beach-concert

080316-beach-picnic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

080316-dancing-on-beach

Read Full Post »

Providence has to be the New England capital of playful graffiti. After PVD Fest a week ago, I caught three new bits of cheerful vandalism around town — new to me anyway.

Pasted on a wall near my office was a duck in a suit, which a younger friend informs me should be understood as “ducktales” because the suit has tails.

I especially love graffiti sayings, like the one about being blessed where you stand and the one about explaining to a friend that you are not a Virgo.

Artistic adventurism is not new for Providence. Take a look at the exotic Fleur-de-lis Studio, for example, on Angell Street.

In other Rhode Island photos, we have the playhouse that Farmor gave her Providence grandchildren. Erik put it together, with help from Suzanne and the kids. The 18-month-old now thinks she’s in charge of screwdrivers.

The picture of berries has a robin eating them. You may have to take my word on that. And if you walk around looking up all the time, you’re sure to see interesting tops of buildings.

I’m winding up this photographic array in Massachusetts, with the herb garden behind the church, the sexton’s bonsai trees, and another tree that reminds me of a line from a hymn: “roots, hold me close.”

060616-ducktales-Provience

060716-a-blessing-where-I-stand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

060716-I-am-not-vrigo

060616-fleur-de-lys-studio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

060816-adorable-playhouse

060816-robin-and-berries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

060816-enjoy-Prov-by-looking-up.

060916-Doug-Baker-bonsai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

060916-1st-Parish-herb-garden

060916-roots-hold-me-close

Read Full Post »

Here are some recent Rhode Island and Massachusetts photos. (Connecticut is also considered Southern New England, but I haven’t been there in ages.)

I wonder if other people have preferences for seeing certain kinds of photos on certain kinds of social media. For example, unless it’s a picture of one of my grandchildren, I really don’t like seeing people pictures on Instagram, but on Facebook, people pictures are the only kinds of photos I want to see. I’m still figuring out Ello, which is more likely to have art or gifs. I like almost any kind of photo on twitter or on blogs.

My own pictures are mostly from my walks. I’m starting off here with the plant sale at the New Shoreham library fundraiser and a typically short-lived scene on the island’s famed painted rock. Also in Rhode Island, an intensely serious heavy-equipment operator in a sandbox, the alley beside the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, fancy church architecture, and a plaque commemorating H.P. Lovecraft, a popular Providence-based horror writer with some regrettable character flaws.

From Massachusetts, yellow iris in a meadow that is more often than not under water — or ice. Also a clematis, a remnant of a once-spectacular garden at a house that got sold. (Too spectacular for the new owners to live up to. Kind of like the garden in Woolf’s To the Lighthouse.)

052816-plant-sale-benefiting-library

052716-painted-rock-BI-scene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

060116-operating-the-scooper-at-Humboldt

053116-RISD-art-museum-wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

060216-church-architecture-Providence

060216-Lovecraft-marker-Providence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

060416-yellow-iris-in-wetland

060416-clematis-Massachusetts

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »