Monday, March 26, 2012
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More tourist photos from Cleveland, this time from the historic West Side Market, a bustling public market that dates back to 1840 (and to 1912 in the current building). I regret taking only still photos and no video; you don't get the full effect without seeing the place bustling. And even then you wouldn't get the full experience without being able to smell it. It smells of sausages and paprika and garlic the way Seattle's Pike Place Market smells of salmon and oysters and roasting coffee, if that gives you some idea.
On the sage advice of @dlayphoto, I picked up some beef jerky and smokies at the Czuchraj Meats counter. You're probably thinking, "Beef jerky? Seriously?" at this point; as there's also no way to send flavors or textures over the net, you're just going to have to trust me on this. It's nothing like the stuff you're familiar with. My assumption is there's a Slavic term for exactly what this is, and "beef jerky" is just the rough translation. But whatever it is, it's delicious.
Not pictured here are the market's produce stands, which are in a separate building built in an L shape around the main building; nor do you see either of the brewpubs within brief walking distance. The well-known Great Lakes Brewing pub is basically across the street, while the smaller Market Garden Brewery is located right next to the market itself. I'd originally planned to visit the Great Lakes pub, but there was a 45 minute wait so I went to Market Garden instead & had several tasty beers and a delicious plate of pierogies. And it turns out that Great Lakes has a location at the Cleveland Airport, so the net day I was able to try a few of their beers for lunch, and have another plate of delicious pierogies. Mmmm, beer... Mmm... pierogies....
Sunday, March 25, 2012
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Some photos of the historic Cleveland Arcade, an 1890 shopping mall said to be modeled on Milan's Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Before my whirlwind trip to Cleveland a couple of weeks ago I had no idea this existed. So naturally I had to stop and take a bunch of photos and generally wander around dazzled for a bit.
I should point out that it's a working shopping center and not just an architectural marvel, although it's not that big by modern mall standards, and the upper floors are now a Hyatt Regency hotel. Plus it seems to be set up to cater to downtown office workers, and not a lot was open on the weekend when I dropped by.
If the Arcade existed in a trendier, more tourist-oriented city it would be full of people 24/7, all gawking at the architecture and buying Cleveland Arcade t-shirts and snowglobes and knicknacks and so forth. If this existed in a very trendy city, the Vegas casino based on that city would include a carbon-copy Arcade, but full of slot machines and frozen daiquiri stands. But it's in Cleveland, a city in the un-trendy upper Midwest that's gotten a bad rap in recent decades for reasons I'll never understand. "How did I not know this existed?" was the reaction I kept having while wandering around town. So I'm going to go out on a limb and predict Cleveland will be fashionable someday. I won't go so far as to predict exactly when, but sooner or later the mainstream (i.e bicoastal) media will catch on and freak out like they've just discovered Atlantis or something. By which I mean they'll do the same exact thing they've been doing about Portland in recent years. Mark my words, it's just a matter of time.
The ongoing Transit Mall art thing continues with a visit to one of the more recent arrivals, Winter Rider No. 2, a 2003 sculpture by James Lee Hansen, the same guy who created Talos No. 2. Despite a quarter century gap, the two are unmistakably cousins. And as with the local Talos, Winter Rider No. 2 has an older sibling. The original Winter Rider dates to 1989 and was featured in a 1999 retrospective of Hansen's work.
Winter Rider No. 2 is located on SW 6th near Taylor, a couple of blocks south of Pioneer Courthouse Square.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
The occasional tour of Transit Mall art continues, with a visit to Talos No. 2, a 1977 sculpture by James Lee Hansen, now located at SW 6th & Stark. This abstract figure has always reminded me of a being you might see on the cover of a 1950s or 1960s science fiction paperback. (Here are a few classic examples.) And I mean that in a good way. I think.
The Talos of Greek mythology was a giant bronze robo-man who patrolled the island of Crete, protecting it from invaders. You may be familiar with Ray Harryhausen's scary Talos in his classic film "Jason and the Argonauts".
In case you were wondering about the "No. 2" in the name of Portland's Talos, the mythological one isn't counted as "No. 1". Hansen's original Talos (1961) isn't in Crete, but in Fresno of all places. It once graced the downtown Fulton Mall, before being seriously vandalized a few years ago. It looks, or looked, a lot like ours, and you wouldn't suspect they were created 16 years apart. In any case, the public radio station at Cal State Fresno has an interesting interview with the sculptor that touches on their local Talos among other things.
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A few photos of NE Portland's Dawson Park, on Williams Ave. near Emmanuel Hospital. It's your basic small city park, with one unusual detail. The ornate cupola on the park's gazebo was salvaged from the nearby Hill Block Building, which was demolished in 1969 for an urban renewal project that was cancelled shortly thereafter.
Bulldozing ethnic neighborhoods in the name of urban renewal was standard practice here in the 1950s and 1960s, particularly the Jewish & Italian neighborhoods south of downtown Portland, and the African-American neighborhoods on the eastside, including the Russell St. business district near Dawson Park. The standard narrative is that the city became more enlightened over time and eventually decided this was a bad idea. And it's a pure, unrelated coincidence that the bulldozers stopped right when federal urban renewal money dried up during the Nixon Administration. Riiight.
Dawson Park had a bad reputation for crime and drugs during the 80s, 90s, and into the 2000s, and the city more or less neglected it right up until gentrification reached this part of town. Now that the area's become popular with young hip upscale homebuyers -- in what's surely a second amazing coincidence -- the city now has big plans to revitalize the park, starting later this year. Complete with an extra helping of super-noble liberal guilt about the whole urban renewal and neglect and gentrification thing. Sure is weird how that always takes the form of high-minded conceptual art features and avant-garde architectural concepts, and never involves improving the local schools or bringing more jobs to the area.
Posted by brx0 _ at 7:57 PM
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Some old photos from the Willamette Greenway Trail in the Johns Landing neighborhood. As I recall, it was a nice day and I was between projects at the office and I thought I'd wander of the office for a bit. It was a pleasant walk and I ended up at the Fulton Pub near Willamette Park; any walk that ends with tater tots is pleasant by definition if you ask me. Speaking of which, I'm not sure I've actually repeated this excursion since I took these photos, and it may be overdue. Mmm, tater tots...
A few photos of Cape Canaveral's Launch Complex 34, site of the Apollo 1 fire in 1967. Our tour guide described the place as "spooky" and "haunted" before we got there, so I realize was sort of primed to see it that way. But I think there's also something innately spooky, sort of Stonehenge-like, about the place even if you have no idea what it is or what happened here. Visiting at sunset probably helped. I keep thinking it was cold and windy at the time too, although I suspect it was actually around 70 degrees, this being Florida and all.