Monthly Archives: April 2012


Kennedy Center before an evening performance, Washington, DC

Anybody notice anything unusual about this picture (larger version is here)?

A Year Ago: Public Display

Couple kissing at the Dupont Circle fountainWhen I was eleven years old, I travelled briefly through Iran…
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Brief Hiatus

I’m going to take a break from daily posting for a short while. I’m working on a couple of demanding projects that have near-term deadlines, so it’ll probably be a week or so while I get that sorted.

Unless, you know, I can’t help myself.

Dr. Seuss Plant

Plant with white polka dots and bright red leaf back.

I actually laughed when I saw this plant. The big polka dots and the outrageous red backside of these leaves are just ridiculously over-the-top. It really looks like a children’s book idea of a tropical plant. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the straight photographic version, I felt that simplifying and making it more abstract would better convey the sheer silliness of this botanical goofball.

A Year Ago: Decay, Two Kinds

Metal plates, concrete, twigsHusks, metallic and organic.…
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Chicken Alley

Wall mural, Asheville, NC

Make no mistake, Asheville is a very small city. Nevertheless, it displays urban qualities that many larger cities lack. It has the remnants of an old manufacturing base: the brick and steel bones of industrial production. It has train tracks running through it, with active freight (if not passenger) traffic. This gives it a little bit of extra visual grit, which I like.

A Year Ago: Onward

Wooden boardwalk, Roosevelt Island, Washington, DCThere have been times when it felt like my life was on rails…
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Sea Box

Small pillbox by Mullanium.

I bought this small pillbox at the Smithsonian Craft Show last weekend. Like virtually everything in that exhibition, it is beautifully made. The appeal for me of this item is its Cornell-Smith-like shadow box construction. The sea-horse, shell, and grains of “sand” are mobile under the glass window. And the little parade of turtles at the corner makes me smile. The inside, which I’m not going to show you, has its secret charm as well.

You can find the work of Jim and Tori Mullan at Mullanium.

A Year Ago: Hallelujah

Flowering dogwoodFor reasons that I have yet to fully address to my own satisfaction…
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Buried Fist

Rock embedded in ground.

In the version of T’ai Chi I’m studying, there’s a posture in the final third, not far from the end, called “Step Forward to Seven Stars” (why, I have no idea). In any case, it involves winding up with your forearms crossed in front of you, your hands held as fists and the “eyes” of the fists pointed toward you. In other words, you’re looking at your fists end-on, with the thumb and index finger showing curled up.

When I first moved to DC, a rather kitschy but fun statue called “The Awakening” was installed at the end of Hains Point. It consisted of various giant body parts (no, not THOSE parts) emerging as if from slumber in the ground. I remember visiting it one weirdly romantic but surreal evening—actually the wee hours of the morning—and climbing onto a giant hand. The sculpture was subsequently moved to National Harbor in Prince George’s County.

So this photograph—while admittedly nothing particularly striking, visually—creates a curious and entertaining mash-up of unrelated experiences in my head. It has the flavor of a pun for me, somehow. It also makes me wonder how other things could be made abstract by burying them or presenting them at an unusual angle.

I like the idea of a buried fist (much like a buried hatchet): a visible renunciation of violence.

A Year Ago: Abandoned

Empty house in afternoon light.You don’t have to go to Detroit to find abandoned properties…
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The Green Life

Parsley sprig in glass bottle.

In the middle of one of my treks around the River Arts District and vicinity, I stopped at a juice bar and had a drink composed mostly of green leafy items. It was delicious and refreshing, and reminded me how much I enjoy using my own juicer—when I can actually be bothered to acquire the vast amount of fresh produce needed to fuel the beast.

Asheville markets and restaurants loudly tout the localness (locality? localiciousness?) of their offerings. While it may sometimes become excessively crunchy-granola-more-environmentally-sound-than-thou, I will say I’d rather live somewhere that’s paying attention to where its resources are coming from and where they’re going… than not.

Happy Earth Day!

A Year Ago: Rain Chain

Rusty yellow chain against pavementWe are who we are. Life experiences can change us…
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Mountain Overcast

View, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

I chose to take the slow road at the beginning of my drive home, following the Blue Ridge Parkway out of Asheville. The weather was not particularly cooperative; it was gray, overcast, misty, and sometimes downright foggy. The scenic detour added about four hours to my trip, which was in fact too much.

I was exhausted, had a massive case of butt-ache, and was quite cranky with hunger by the time I got home. None of which changed the fact that, even at its least attractive, the landscape of Western North Carolina is gob-smackingly gorgeous.

A Year Ago: No Branch Required

Cherry blossoms grow out of trunkIt’s been a fickle spring…
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Basilica of St. Lawrence, Asheville, NC

My last day in Asheville was a mixed bag. I found a couple of great neighborhoods, I saw a lovely rental property that will be long gone before I come to any conclusions, and I had one of the worst “nice restaurant” meals of my life.

Now nursing an iffy tummy and trying to get psyched for the long drive home.

A Year Ago: Pine Bud

Pine BudThere are aliens among us!…
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Drop by Drop

Pack Square Fountain, Asheville, NC

I’ve never been anywhere where the level of support and engagement with the arts, artists, and artisans/craftspeople was so ubiquitous, enthusiastic, and egalitarian. This small city is absolute steeped in art-love.


A Year Ago: Grains of Gold

Flower stamens.Today is Tax Day in the U.S…
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