Contradictory Utopia

In preparation for my upcoming travels to the West Coast next month, I was looking back at the images of Portland, Oregon’s Pearl District. It seems representative of some of the common features of West Coast cities: newer architecture that incorporates a mixture of scales (human vs. superhuman), modern interpretations of some more traditional forms (like the bridge, which resembles a traditional Japanese zig-zag bridge), and a generally utopian, “city of the future!” vibe.

Utopia: Portland

Perhaps no scene better emphasized the sometimes-contradictory nature of a growing city than this one: a yoga class in a sunny park on a summer afternoon, across the street from a shadowed construction site. Juxtapositions are rarely so literal.

Yoga and Construction

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