Time has transformed a random sunset shot out the window of my sabbatical apartment in Berkeley’s Normandy Village into a nostalgia-inducing pixel arrangement. Even the wood patterns in the window frames now stand out to me.
In the woods of Hermon, New York, Uprooted played a show to celebrate the release of their new CD. The band’s name stems from its origins: all of its members are transplants to the North Country from across the US. Fitting, then, that the show took place in a home with many handcrafted wood details and structures. The audience stretched far back under the balcony where I hid to take this shot.
Photographing landscapes and structures (and being the son of civil engineers), I’ve become a bit of an architecture fanboy. The trend towards building with shipping containers, whether a do-it-yourself effort or a pre-fab corporate approach, seems particularly exciting. This weekend, I encountered this in-construction house built from three forty-foot intermodal containers. The owners added sloped roof, a permanent foundation, and windows and doors outside, but they liked the shipping container aesthetic and plan to keep all of the original paint and labeling outside. I find that look charmingly authentic.
Inside, however, there’s little hint of the structure’s more exotic origins. Though, like the exterior, the interior is still under construction, there’s a straightforward home inside the three long shipping containers worth of space.
Snow was falling last night. The small houses with highly peaked roofs and additions out back are a characteristic of this part of town, where the mill workers once lived. The wood sheds are another notable characteristic of an area where many people use only wood stoves to heat their homes in the winter.
Visiting Ottawa often means a visit to the surreal and somewhat overwhelming Château Laurier. The outside of the hotel, I’ve noted previously, is pretty impressive; the interior doesn’t disappoint, either. For all the polished-floor touches and deep wood paneling, I find the most charming (and perhaps old-school Canadian) feature of the scene is the portrait of Winston Churchill.
During our time in Zulu Nyala (in eastern South Africa), we visited the set where the film “I Dreamed of Africa” was shot. Since the movie was finished, the area has been used for some other purposes, but it’s largely intact (if abandoned) in the state it was when it was last used. The benches and chairs are welcoming, even amid the overgrown grass, but in places you find the strange artifacts of the set’s true purpose. One-way mirrors and weird hiding-places for cameras are all over the place.
Running through the core of Oregon’s Timberline Lodge (last seen on Decaseconds Monday) is a chimney. The hexagonal and redwood-girthy chimney feeds multiple communal fireplaces at person-level, but up in the vaulted ceilings it takes on a wholly different Harry Potter charm. Wrought iron hardware and enormous beams bond the core to the rest of the lodge structure.
At the end of a long day on Oregon’s Mt. Hood, returning in the evening to Timberline Lodge and its gorgeous/unique internal geometry is at once (slightly) alienating and welcoming. This quiet reading corner meets all of my criteria: not far from a fireplace and with the perfect chairs for curling up with hot chocolate. The blue fabric of these chairs, and their combination of rustic wood and steel, put me in mind of the This End Up furniture of the 1980s. The childhood associations only make the place more mentally comfortable.
In the quiet of Nitobe Memorial Garden, I was struck by the craftsmanship of this teahouse. Even the roof had such gorgeous structure, with the wood lit by ambient light reflected from the water and the foliage.