Monday, February 10, 2014

Tête à Tête à Tête

In SE Portland's Brooklyn Park, a trio of rounded boulders sit at the top of a hill overlooking the park's baseball diamond. On closer inspection, you'll note the boulders have faces carved into them, like lazy slacker moai, and they're positioned as if watching a baseball game from the cheap seats. This is Tête à Tête à Tête, a sculpture installed in 1996, just after I moved out of the Brooklyn neighborhood. Its RACC page has this to say about it:

The solid granite stones (each weighing 2-3 tons) for Tête à Tête à Tête were hand-picked by artist Marcia Donahue in Bakersfield, CA and sculpted in her Oakland studio. The pieces were intended as an “audience” for the baseball diamond in the park and Mt. St. Helens beyond it. Meant to be touched, Donahue designed the pieces to provide an invitation to focus inwardly on the immediate surroundings as well as towards the mountain beyond. The sculptures were inspired by the stone’s natural shape and by the long human tradition of sculpting human faces in stone.

A fun thing about living in the Brooklyn neighborhood was the sense you were in a small town inside the big city, without all the downsides of being in a real small town (nosy neighbors, xenophobia, lack of shopping options, etc.) Brooklyn is surrounded by industry and railroads on three sides, and the Willamette River on the fourth. You soon realize it's a lot more convenient to shop at local businesses and go to the neighborhood park rather than trek to some other part of town. I'm just going on my own very subjective observations here, but it seems like the Brooklyn Park baseball diamond gets used more often than those in other city parks. And used for baseball or softball, not just hipster pastimes like adult kickball. The park hosts neighborhood picnics in the summer, and the hill's good for sledding when it snows. It's probably more of a beginner sledding hill, but in this city, where it only snows every few years, just about everyone counts as a beginner, I think.

The requisite tangent for today: Ran across an animated short film from Canada, also titled "Tête à Tête à Tête", about three cartoon heads sharing a body. I'm trying to embed this from the National Film Board of Canada website, which I've never had occasion to do before, so we'll see if that really works or not. If not, the link below takes you to the film on their site instead.

Tête à Tête à Tête by Marv Newland, National Film Board of Canada

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