CITYSCAPE: A PHOTO A WEEK – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: Cityscape/Townscape

I love shooting in town. We used to get into town a lot more often than we do now. Admittedly, we get into Uxbridge often, but there isn’t a lot of Uxbridge to shoot. It’s a very small town and all the towns in the area a small. Boston has a lot to offer, but it’s a long drive with terrible traffic, bad roads, and incredibly expensive parking and we go there only rarely these days.

Schubert Theater, Boston, 2014
Fenway Park 2018

The city has spent literally billions of dollars to redesign the roads. They look better, but the traffic is even worse. They made the roads straighter and one of the worst ones now runs underground so you don’t have to see what a terrible mess it is. But the mess is there and for me, the idea of bumper-to-bumper traffic in an endless tunnel is not an improvement. Just breathing would be traumatic.

Brookline
Parking on the street!

So we stay here in the country. Our city pictures all date from 2016 or earlier. That’s how it will remain. I don’t see the traffic, parking, or distance getting easier, cheaper, or shorter.

On the street
Symphony Hall, Boston

PEEING IN THE STREETS – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I’ve been reading about an urban problem that I thought was solved with the invention of the indoor toilet. Apparently, Paris is so plagued by men peeing in the streets, that they have taken action to mitigate the worst effects of this phenomenon.

In the Middle Ages in Europe, people emptied bedpans out their windows onto the streets below. Then indoor plumbing made this practice obsolete. So walking on the street became less dangerous and unpredictable, But it seems that even today, men don’t accept the concept of exclusively indoor, bathroom urinating. They still want to relieve themselves wherever and whenever they want. Including on public streets.

This public peeing creates two separate problems, affecting two of the senses. First, there’s the problem of odors permeating public streets, often in upscale and tourist neighborhoods. Then there’s the visual assault of people having to watch men peeing in public.

The City Council of Paris has addressed the problem. Their solution was to install urinals around Paris to discourage pedestrians from relieving themselves randomly on the streets of the city.

Enter the ‘Uritrottoir’, or sidewalk urinal. It’s bright red, is free-standing and open on all sides. It’s filled with straw and uses the nitrogen and other chemicals in the urine to produce organic compounds. This supposedly eliminates odors. That may at least solve the smell problem.

But Parisians are complaining that the open design of the urinals does not prevent passersby, including tourists on Seine cruises, from having to watch men relieving themselves. Sensitive Parisians also dislike the bold design and color of the urinals. They are considered an eyesore, particularly in historic and quaint areas.

Apparently, public urination has always been a problem, around the world. Some cities in Germany have come up with more creative ways to discourage public peeing. In Munich, there’s a walkway between the soccer stadium and the subway which suffers from a disproportionate amount of drunken peeing. So the city is looking to install a long strip of un-planted flower beds that would go over a giant tank. It would have bark chips in it to reduce odor so men could pee in it at will.

I like Hamburg’s solution better. Some locals in Hamburg have been coating the walls of buildings in ‘splash creating, urine retardant’ paint. This paint is used in ship hulls. What it does is coat the urinater in his own pee.

Poetic justice!

I don’t understand the psychology of men who do this. Women don’t have the option and they manage to hold it in until they find a bathroom. What is wrong with men? Do they feel entitled? Do they have no modesty or shame? Are parents remiss when they toilet train their sons? WTF!

I’m also appalled that this is a universal problem in 2018. I guess we are not as evolved as I hoped.

I didn’t need another reason to be grateful that I left the city and moved to the country. I guess the universe wanted me to feel particularly good about abandoning urban life.

I have to watch my dogs pee in the backyard, but that’s not an affront to civilization.

Men peeing on city streets is.

STREETLIGHTS: A PHOTO A WEEK CHALLENGE – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: Street Lights


Streetlights. I love them! Especially in a city when the streets are a little wet from recent rain. The street light reflects in rainbow colors and the neon signs make a night in the city glow in a million colors.

Night near Symphony Hall
Strangers in the night?
Home. Downtown
Theater district
Night near the theaters

THE LIGHTS OF NIGHT – A PHOTO A WEEK CHALLENGE – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: Light the Night

I love shooting at night. I don’t do it as often as I used to, probably because we don’t get out at night nearly as much as we used to. I still have a few pictures saved. Being on vacation, there are a lot of pictures I can’t access because they are on the other computer or external drives.

However, I think these will do.

The theater district, before the show
Downtown, night
Uxbridge, winter, night
Gibbous moon at night

CROWDS ON BOSTON’S WHARF – GARRY ARMSTRONG

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge:
A Face in the Crowd


This week’s challenge are faces “in the crowd.” These are the people you never meet. Crowds of tourists. The folks lined up to buy tickets at the game. Happy faces, worried faces.

Ready for the big kayak
Tourists
More tourists

This is a favorite subject. I’m less interested in landscape and more interested in the people, their dogs, and the stories I’ll never know. They give a human shape to Boston, a story different than just the sidewalks and walls.

Waiting in line

This is Boston’s Wharf. Tourists. Visiting us while we visit them.

NAMELESS FACES: ON THE STREETS IN BOSTON

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge:
A Face in the Crowd


This week’s challenge are faces “in the crowd,” or what we used to call in the newspaper biz, nameless faces. There are two really great things about it. The first is that it’s a way to make a statement about “people” without talking about a specific “person.”

Boston, Night
Downtown, night
Strangers in a night

The other is that unidentifiable people don’t need to give you a release to use the pictures. I often intentionally shoot from slightly behind or sideways so faces are harder to identify.

Another stranger

Of course, if you know that person — really know them — you could probably pick them out anyway, but you would have to be that person or know him or her pretty well.

Downtown, late afternoon
Theater district, before the show

I also like this theme very well in black and white. It give a shape to, for example, city streets to have humans on it. You can gauge the size of the sidewalks and the height of building and trees and steps by the relative size of people walking by.

FENWAY FLAGS – THURSDAY’S SPECIAL ON A SUNDAY MORNING

THURSDAY’S SPECIAL: SEQUENCE

 

Stadiums are, by design, sequential. Pillar after pillar, flag after flag. Layers of seating up and across. This is Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox baseball team. It is the oldest baseball stadium in the United States, the only antique park still standing.

NOTE: Evil Squirrel corrected me. Only one of TWO antique stadiums still standing. The other one is the lovely Wrigley Field in Chicago. It is two or three years newer than Fenway (built in 1912), so it’s practically “the new kid in town.”

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