The Mysterious Land of Toronto, Canada

I still refer to Canada as “our neighbor to the north,” but Toronto (and indeed the majority of Canadians) live south of America’s North Country.

The Mysterious Land of Toronto, Canada

Advertisements

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

Big Science Moon

This was the scene over the Berkeley hills last week, as a massive full moon rose over Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. You could practically hear scientists howling, but I suspect that was more because their experiments weren’t working than because they were werewolves.

Given all of the processing that goes into producing an HDR image, I can’t exactly say that this image “hasn’t been Photoshopped.” When you get right down to it, every single image receives some sort of post-processing, even if it’s just to bump up the contrast. What I can say, however, is that the size of the Moon has not been artificially enhanced. Our celestial cousin really was that gorgeous and enormous on this particular evening.

Big Science Moon

Our Own Gold

The water practically glows with reflected light. The buildings tower over the scene. The long exposure captures the trails of aircraft in the night sky. San Francisco’s waterfront along the Embarcadero may not have the most enormous and prestigious structures, but nights like this make that irrelevant. The scene makes “enigmatic” and “cyberpunky” into something almost friendly. (Or at least inviting.)

High atop it all is that fascinating golden penthouse structure. The visual similarity to a treasure chest must be more than coincidence.

Our Own Gold

Civic San Diego

I’ve already posted a few shots from inside the Westgate Hotel, but very few of the view outside. The civic center area of downtown San Diego has a strange claustrophobia to it that I’ve not felt in cities like Chicago or New York, despite their narrower streets. As the morning light first started to battle past the towers, I was feeling this constriction most poignantly.

Civic San Diego