I’ve shown many parts of Berkeley’s Normandy Village, but perhaps not these square homes (that look like cubes with roofs jauntily capping them).
To produce this 24-hour auto-changing desktop, I took pictures on our Lexington, Kentucky cottage’s front porch over the course of a day. Though some changes, like the clouds and sky, I expected, I was more surprised to see the variation in light reflected from the white roof of the porch over the course of the day.
When I’m out in nature with my camera, I’m reminded of a quotation from Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s “Wind, Sand and Stars”, regarding his time as a pilot:
“Precisely because it is perfect the machine dissembles its own existence instead of forcing itself upon our notice.
And thus, also, the realities of nature resume their pride of place. It is not with metal that the pilot is in contact. Contrary to the vulgar illusion, it is thanks to the metal, and by virtue of it, that the pilot rediscovers nature. As I have already said, the machine does not isolate man from the great problems of nature but plunges him more deeply into them.“
In the Normandy Village, even the back door to the fire escape and laundry room is weird and wonderfully overdesigned.
Brittany Village is, perhaps unsurprisingly, just around the corner from Berkeley’s Normandy Village where I last lived in California. It has plenty of quaint eurocharm, but I think the “original” copy of a European village in Berkeley remains the best.
Each Sunday morning during my 2017 sabbatical, I would start a load of wash in the apartment building’s single shared washing machine and head to Philz Coffee on Shattuck (don’t look for it—it’s not there anymore). I’d stand on this sunny corner in the perfect weather with an enormous coffee and watch the world for a minute… Before heading back to change over the laundry.