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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's a jumble out there

Astoria, Oregon I took several elegant photos yesterday, and this is not one of them. But I think it's a fun photo, so I'm using it. It's a little like a collage artist's rendering of some of the things we've already seen.

In the downtown area, each block you walk away from the river takes you up to yet another "viewing platform" level. There are no platforms, only sidewalks, but it's like climbing any mountain where you keep turning around to see the view below. I took this photo from Duane Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets. All day long we had drenching rain punctuated by sun breaks. I especially love looking at the bright orange ships in this weather. Still, the color hasn't come out right; getting the orange to appear as it does in real life has been a big challenge. I'm still working on it! It's simply a joy to look at them in the changing light.

The distance in this photo is extremely truncated due to the long zoom. The river is about four miles wide here, and yet the hills in Washington look so close. So does the ship, although it's quite far out in the river.

Most of the cars you see are parked on Marine Drive. Beyond the hedge and invisible in this photo, is the River Walk, which passes in front of the red and gray buildings. The red building is the old radio tower building, built in the 1950s, and re-sided and re-windowed in 2007. I lease the downstairs for my shop, while the landlord keeps the apartment above. Online, the store is called Tapir and Friends Wildlife World, but the more accessible local name is The Animal Store. (I thought it would be easier for people to remember who had no association to tapirs.) In the cyberworld, it doesn't matter so much. They look up "toy aardvark" or whatever on Google, and they find us (often at the top of the page). Most of our business is done online and the post office picks up from us every day. We like the locals and tourists dropping in, but if I'd been planning on making a living from local traffic I'd have had to locate on Commercial Avenue. The gray building the right of us is Englund Marine, now vacant because they moved into a huge new building in the harbor area at the west end of town. Eventually, their building will make way for condos. It will probably be a nice building, but nobody with a view over the top of that area is looking forward to the day. Local ordinances going back to the 1800s give the property owners (actually 99-year lessees) the right to build far out into the water, so local committees are working with the owners to create as much visual and functional quality along the river as possible for the public, even when new buildings are put in.

In this photo, Commercial Avenue is represented on the left by a gray building (The Garment Gallery) and on the far right by the very front edge of Area Properties. In the middle is a parking lot, which is why I was able to get this view straight through to the water.

. My World Tuesday

8 comments:

Jacob said...

Fascinating shot. It reminds me of those movies where something big and alien is moving across the landscape, between the buildings, etc., but no one is aware of it...and it goes stealthily on its way until it's appointed time when it will wreak its havoc upon the unsuspecting...

Lee Spangler said...

Somehow I've seen this shot before, but am not tired of it. I hope everyone goes on line and sees the nice things you have for sale.

Don and Krise said...

Man, you fit a lot into a small space didn't you? There's much more going on in this photo than you would think. Great informative post.

In Three Rivers, Michigan said...

It does look like a collage! Interesting idea. Thanks for the tour, too.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

This is a nice shot !! Beautiful !!Unseen Rajasthan

Vogon Poet said...

I obviously love this photo, as any 'compressed' view from an extreme zoom. These view are very good when you have room, like here and a bit more difficult for me at home, no such vast expanses there.

B SQUARED said...

Nice capture.

cieldequimper said...

The zoomed in effect is very cool, it does make it look like a jungle, you're right!

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