Friday, April 10, 2015

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Toes Of Spring

Photo courtesy Flickr
Walking through campus last week, I noticed a student wearing classic salt water sandals. They’re a pleasant synthesis of field shoe and dressy flat. It is not possible to better a wading shoe for a Seattle spring.

More after the jump.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Back In The Day

Photo courtesy Flickr user niiicedave

In his autobiography, Haight Ashbury mover and shaker Emmet Grogan mentions studying film in Rome. He observes that the architecture of the city is designed to be a backdrop for the interactions of the people who use the public spaces. I have read the same comment in a couple of other sources.

Grogan was active with the San Francisco Mime Troup and presumably participated in its street theater productions. Certainly, just walking down the street in that neighborhood was an exercise in improvisation. My last visit to the University District left me realizing that the camera phone has made street theater inescapable. 

Pedestrian life restores the human scale of early twentieth century urban design. Driving through an area obliterates visual detail.

More after the jump.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Brat-Stopper

Photo courtesy Flickr user Beedie's Photos
Ella E. Clark’s Indian Legends Of The Pacific Northwest was my secret weapon during a lucrative late Fifties baby-sitting career. None of the children I tended could realistically have been described as a brat, but none of them was especially interested in going to bed on their parents’ night out, no matter how long they’d been playing. Clark published her collection at a time when many children’s books anthropomorphized animal characters. The practice is bad science, apparently, although I haven’t kept up with the criticism.

Just as scripture has proved to be a reliable source for Middle Eastern archaeology, I suspect that tribal stories of animal character will enrich understanding of our interaction with other species. When my sitter’s deadline for starting my homework loomed, I found that Clark trumped television every time. I had grown up on the book myself, and it may be that reading a story in a voice that remembered hearing it years earlier communicated something valuable to my charges. It may also be that the oral tradition that generated the stories formed them in a way that left them more potent than the emerging audio/visual culture of televised narrative.

More after the jump.