Friday, May 11, 2018

Day one out on the Ice Land

I hope we'll have two more days out driving. The land reminds me of the Yukon & Northwest Territories. 
Except. Except it's wet & volcanic.

It's been a late Spring here. On the mountains there's still lots of snow & the trees are just starting to leaf out.

We drove what's known as the Golden Circle. The main stopping places are a big waterfall which so far has been saved from hydro-electric-harnessing (but it was a big battle), a geyser site, & a tectonic rift zone that has 1000 year old history attached.

The look of the mountains here vary. Some are glacier-scored, some are very snowy, some seem sculpted.

The waterfalls, & there are many, this one is Gullfoss. It was really cold & windy there. Numbing.

Here's George being very cold.
Volcanic fields of rocks over time have been mossed over with lichen too. I kept on thinking of caribou food, but there were no mammals here at the beginning of settlement in the 800s. Now there are Icelandic ponies, lambs & cattle. We saw ponies & only a few sheep.
 This farmland is on the south coast of Iceland. This is the bread basket of the island. The farther east you go on that coast the more huge greenhouses are there,  all heated by volcanic steam heat. We are not going to go to that part of the island. We have had fresh lettuce every day from those greenhouses.
 Geologically I'm not sure what to call these holes, but I'm sure there's iron in that soil!

 We got lost this outing, & while we wrestled (George wrestled) with the g.p.s I got to see this marvelous collapsed greenhouse & thermal vents. Some places vents are harnessed & the steam is piped where it is needed! Heating is not a problem here.

Below volcanic rocks covered with what I liked to call moss pillows. Later these will turn jewel-green as summer comes.
 Grasses may envelop the whole thing!
I didn't take any exciting photos at the geyser site.

So on to the rift zone. Two continental plates are separating at the rate of 2 cm. a year. The gap is quite wide and has a river, lake, & had an old settlement in it.

Every summer in the old days for 2 weeks the clan leaders & their cohorts would gather for dispute resolutions & punishment decisions. Punishments  could be banishment, fines, condemnation. The early Icelanders were very litigious.

A waterfall plunges over the west wall of the rift from a river above.

I felt this space to be awe-inspiring.
These rocks are from the west wall of the rift.

And then The Law Rock, mentioned in the sagas. 
The rock-in-question was not put there.
Looking down, the look of ancient lava flow.
Basalt rock delightfully fractured below.
 The water from the falls here settles out into a gentle river in the rift valley.
As we drove away I caught this gap in the rocks. I have no idea what this gap 'means'.
That's it for now.

Walls in Reykjavik

The sign at the airport said EXIT TO ICELAND. 
I chuckled. We had already walked on the tarmac to a large-bus-with-no-windows & been driven to the terminal. There we tried several times to eat breakfast, but such was not to happen satisfactorily-- you needed an outbound boarding pass to get non-Dunkin-Donuts food!!

This is what it's like to be a traveler. You are/I am constantly in groping mode.

But the walls are a gift. They are immediate & more or less understandable. No need to figure anything out.
Chaos!! well, maybe not so understandable....

I love the tucked away one above. This was a construction site where a gallery we wanted to see wasn't! The graffiti is a goner mostly.

Below a black & white collection.

Then some tags?

And the rest so far... 

This below is a mosaic.
That's it for now.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Rising of Vancouver House

In August of 2013 a development permit had gone up on Pacific Avenue regarding the intended development of Vancouver House.
I started documenting the neighborhood.
I had a front seat on a radical change process.
By September of 2015 all the buildings had been removed, the businesses relocated, & the site was ready for excavation.
Even these workers understood the historic moment at hand.
So here is the building & the site growing in time-lapsed images.
Most are taken from the north end of the building, the pointy end.

The first is just before the Big Pour. The excavation was complete, going 7 floors down.

The day of the Big Pour (500 cement trucks to empty into the ground in one day: March 19, 2016.

Built: 7 floors of parking spaces & getting up to street grade.
Floor by floor it grows.
Below:the building taken from the south side.
Now the slanted roof of one of 4 triangular buildings is shaping up. The tower is going up behind it.
...& then more of the exterior goes on..
& you can see the north pointy end of the building flattening out as well.
The BIG picture! That's an inside joke. Bjarke Ingels is the architect and his firm is Bjarke Ingels Group: BIG

These aren't totally in time order, but this is where things stand more or less right now. The other triangular sites are in various stages of excavation.
The specialized trades are here too: surveyors, quality control man for concrete, the hearing testers keeping tabs on workers, the ProTech surveys who document the whole process & the Putzmeister, who pushes stuff around [I think].

The workers, ah, my romance with the workers.

 The small story of the Vancouver House signs.
 The house shape, made for the Telling Stories show 2 years ago,  hung on the south side site banner
& a few weeks later I saw it again, for the last time. It was moved!
Then this little sticker appeared....on the banner.
This summer: the last large street home I've seen.
The building gets the last word.
I'm not yet sure if I 'like' it, but I have enormous respect for the complexity & enormity of the project.
That's it for now.