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.
Sunlight of late summer maneuvers through the Seattle skyline, and I can’t help but enjoy the way reflections and the impossible geometry (one of my favorite clichés) of Rainier Tower’s slender base stand out among the more “traditional” shapes of the surroundings buildings.
The odd angles and extended shapes of the Seattle Public Library make a lot more sense when they interlock with the silhouettes of adjacent buildings. The more I learn about the structure, the more I want to know.
The year has nearly come to an end, and winter has finally arrived in the North Country, but before I look to the future, I wanted to take another look back at my summer travels to the West Coast, and particularly to Seattle.
An early morning stroll brought almost-empty streets and golden hues.
The standard trappings of city life are a little surprising after a year spent in rural New York. Even this mild-mannered cab (particularly a Crown Victoria) looked like it had been placed by the crew of an about-to-begin film set.
The cheek-to-cheek connection of port and industry with everyday life surprised me the most. Ferris wheels and giant cranes share the water.
The odd second-floor lobby of the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle, Washington (it’s actually a challenge to find it) reminds me of nothing so much as the Grand Staircase of the Titanic—equally classy, but evidently not equally doomed.
The longer I spend in small-town life, the more alien a view down the tree-lined streets of Seattle becomes. If the warm towers are a rare sight, the man crossing the street with his dog is a more normal image for me to concentrate on.
The VW Bus is an icon of mid-twentieth-century America, and the surviving examples dotting the West Coast (like this one in Seattle) recall those times. (Given their current emissions issues, that’s perhaps a time for which Volkswagen is a bit nostalgic themselves.)
So much of this interior—the wheel, the gauges, the radio—look to be stock that the subtle additions stand out. The nav/cell holder suction-cupped to the windshield is pretty subtle, but the plastic demon/ghost/goober on the dash is an ethereal addition.
The HDR technique brings out all of the subtle textures of brick and roofing where comic book heroes dwell: on the roofs of fancy hotels. When a supervillain takes the (imaginary) party below hostage, a skylight makes a perfect entrance. Also, a great way to end The Game.
The early-Saturday-morning light stabs down, under the metal bridge, to the precast concrete façade of the new and the ornate brick façade of the old. Overlooked in this corner of Seattle is a small metal door to an underground garage. I’m sure it’s perfectly mundane, but my imagination can’t cease telling me that some caped crusader’s high-tech ride is waiting on the other side. This is definitely where I’d hide my batmobile.
This image of the flank of the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle, Washington is imposing for a variety of reasons, but none more than the number of bricks, each of which must have been carefully laid into place, necessary to construct the façade.
Waking up early at the Fairmont Olympic means peaking out the window to a contrast: the blue sky says day has begun, but the sodium-lamp-lit streets say night continues. The tan brick and window frame provide a logical grounding point for the viewer, placing you directly into the otherwise-fantastical scene.
This street scene from my trip to Seattle jumped out at me because of the shift in tone: As the cars drive around the corner, they drive from the last dark, street-lit parts of the dawn into the full light of day. The passage of time is mapped onto the transition of light.
The streets of Seattle are almost empty, early on a Saturday morning in August. The retro lettering and style of the Louis Vuitton display and the science-fictional curve of Rainier Tower above it make me think of 1970s-era film. A car chase must be just around the corner. (I suspect I’ve thought this about a post before, but as this is apparently my 600th Decaseconds post, that should be forgivable.)
Continuing my Seattle street photography trend from my last post, todays photo is a similarly odd vignette of West Coast life, from the punk/patriotic dirt bike to the painted brick to the elegant Jameson label.