The intersection of Hearst and Euclid was an everyday sight (and site for lunch) during graduate school. Just as daytime settings become otherworldly by night, chronological distance from those days have made the setting alien and exciting. How could this place ever have seemed normal?
There are three ways to interpret the title:
- Seattle is a city known (deservedly or not) for its hipsters. This is Central Library of the Seattle Public Library system, and could thus earn the title based on location alone.
- The building was designed by Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus in part a celebration of printed books: “Despite the arrival of the 21st century and the ‘digital age,’ people still respond to books printed on paper.” The appreciation for classic technology could be accused of being hip.
- I found the gold and cyan colors of the early-morning shot reminded me of archecture more vintage (i.e. 1970’s) than morning, and went “full Instagram” in processing it. Perhaps I’m the hipster?
I’ve posted shots of the intense geometry of the Seattle Public Library before, but I thought this shot captured a new facet of its oddness: an ordinary if elegant entrance and ground floor that suddenly shifts to an impossible angle as the building rises.
Can a building hide? Or surprise? Or sneak?
The Empire State Building, hiding at the other end of 34th St. in Manhattan, seems to support the possibility. The canonical modern New York street scene, one of luxury cars stuck in traffic and smoke from cooking street meat and old industrial buildings being converted into high-end condos, can still surprise. One step away is another scene built of different buildings and people in view.
Traveling back to California for the first time since I left in 2013, I realized I had forgotten the little but important differences: the streets are crowded with cars instead of trucks and the air is saturated with a different set of volatile organic compounds.
From another perspective and at another time, this photograph captures the same Omni hotel and Petco Park from one of my earliest Decaseconds posts, almost four years ago. How odd to be back again.