Thursday, July 13, 2006

Echo Gate

Echo Gate

A photo of, or at least at the Echo Gate sculpture on the esplanade right under the Morrison Bridge. Despite the view of downtown, it's not the most tranquil location you could dream up. There's a huge amount of noise from the bridge overhead, and even more noise from I-5 just a few feet away, directly behind where this photo was taken. Maybe that's where the "Echo" part comes from. The sculpture is the curvy bit on the left. If you'd like to see what the thing as a whole looks like, instead of scratching your head over this in-vain attempt to be "artistic", you might try: here, here, here, and here. Here's a profile of the artist.

This large pdf from the city says of the sculpture:

Echo Gate: Located underneath the Morrison Bridge, the Echo Gate gives human scale to this immense site. The sculpture echoes the erased pier buildings and Shanghai tunnels of Portland’s past.

The city parks department elaborates:

The Echo Gate, located beneath the Morrison Bridge, is a sculpture that echoes erased pier buildings and the myths of Shanghai tunnels. It is made of copper plate that was heat-formed, fitted, and welded. Two pieces of art sit on a concrete wall that is a remnant from the bulkhead of the Port of Portland's Terminal 2 and serves as a reminder of early maritime commerce along Portland’s eastside.

As a confirmed "Shanghai tunnel" skeptic (see this earlier post for a couple of good links), I'm kind of disappointed to see the city itself buying in to the stories. And even if the legends are more than fairy tales and wishful thinking, is it really a good idea for the city to celebrate a very serious (if picturesque) crime, something the city was supposed to try to stop, something that (allegedly) thrived here because the police force was extremely corrupt and incompetent? What'll they do for an encore, put up gold statues of all those "faces of meth" tweakers? Sheesh. But I digress.

Anyway, I like this sculpture. So new, and already so obscure. By all means, go and track it down, just don't stay for long or you'll go deaf, unless you're run down by speeding bicyclists first. Or people jogging with those giant SUV-style assault strollers. Yikes!


Further afield, here's a new Cassini photo of Saturn's dinky moon Polydeuces. Don't tell me you don't think this is exciting stuff. In previous photos the moon was just a faint dot moving against a starry background, but now we've gotten a slightly closer look. See, it's oval-shaped!

(Ok, I'll admit that I didn't think this quite merited a post of its own, but I still devoted precious blog space to it.)


It's a sickness. It's an addiction. It's a cheap and easy way to generate blog content without actually writing anything. It generates a few page hits from Technorati, mostly confused bloggers wondering why the hell I linked to them. Yes, it's time for another modest batch of referrer pages. People are on some other Blogger blog, and then somehow they then end up here, and I see where they arrived from, and I post it here, because I've apparently got nothing better to do with my limited time here on this planet. At least I didn't devote a separate post to it this time around.

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