Posts Tagged ‘wash’

Montreal Pothole Art (Ficca & Luciano via Montreal Gazette)

Friday, November 6th, 2009


[Editor’s note: “Montreal couple’s photo exhibition – which includes a shot of a scuba diver ready to take the plunge – is a fun and fulfilling way of looking at our urban curse.”]

Republished from the Montreal Gazette.

They’re as Montreal as smoked meat, street hockey and the two-cheek kiss. They sprout like mushrooms in the spring thaw. They wreck car suspensions, wreak havoc on cyclists and give our city a Third World veneer: potholes.

Spring had just sprung this year when Davide Luciano and Claudia Ficca were cruising through Outremont in their 1997 Jetta and they hit a big one, “really hard.” “Six hundred dollars later, we came up with the idea of using potholes in a positive light,” explained Toronto-born filmmaker Luciano, 31.

“We started thinking, ‘What’s useful about these craters, what good can we bring to our city?’ ” said Ficca, 27, a recent Concordia University graduate in Italian language and literature. As both are photographers, they began imagining scenarios for a series that might be called Theme and Variations on the Pothole. They recruited family and friends, and got started.

“They were game enough to put themselves out there, in the middle of the street, dress up like fools – and be laughed at by drivers,” Ficca said of their subjects. They started shooting a few weeks after replacing the rear suspension on the Jetta. The photo sessions were mainly done during the evening rush hour, when subjects and natural light were available.

Drivers stopped in amazement and passersby laughed, the couple said. Most understood that this was about having fun with our urban curse. “We rented or borrowed props, called our friends, and took it from there,” Luciano remarked. It was a team effort for the couple, who took turns shooting with a Nikon D 80.

The first shot was of clothes being washed in a pothole. The next was a diver set to plunge. Then came a scuba diver, with flippers, ready for “the deep.”

A gardener was shot planting flowers in potholes. And Luciano posed as a “wine maker” squashing grapes barefoot in a nice hole.

Each photo is named for the street on which it was shot, and the series will be on exhibit Wednesday night.

View photos . . .

Washington’s Systemic Streets (GGDC, Track29)

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

[Editor’s note: Since moving to Washington, DC, neigh on 7 years ago, I have been fascinated by the system of street names used in the nation’s capital. There’s your normal east-west, north-south grid sectioned into cardinal quadrants in the NW, NE, SW, and SE directions, and then all the state streets, often large Avenues, named after the 50 first-order administrative units that form these United States. The above map shows where these are (some are tiny!), and the entire post, from GreaterGreaterWashington and 29Tracks, has more maps and dialog including a tidbit about the 1st thru 3rd rings being based on number of syllables and the 4th ring based on plants. Thanks Laris!]

Republished from GreaterGreaterWashington and Track Twenty-Nine.
Aug 7, 2009. By Matt Johnson.

Visitors and residents of Washington, DC know, to one degree or another, about the city’s street naming conventions. Most tourists know that we have lettered and numbered streets. And to some degree, they know there is a system, but it doesn’t stop them asking us directions. But most out-of-towners and even many residents don’t understand the full ingenuity of the District’s naming system.

Washington is partially a planned city. The area north of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and south of Florida Avenue (originally Boundary Street) is known as the L’Enfant City. This area of Washington was the original city of Washington, laid out by Pierre L’Enfant and Andrew Ellicott. It is comprised of a rectilinear grid with a set of transverse diagonal avenues superimposed. Avenues frequently intersect in circles or squares, and the diagonals create many triangular or bow tie-shaped parks.

Washington is the seat of government of a nation. Believing that the structure of the government should inform the structure of the city, L’Enfant centered the nascent city on the Capitol, home of the Legislative (and at the time, the Judicial) branch of the government, the one the framers held in highest esteem. From this great building radiate the axes of Washington. North and South Capitol Streets form the north-south axis; East Capitol Street and the National Mall form the east-west axis. These axes divide the quadrants.

The axes also provide the basis for the naming and numbering systems. Lettered streets increase alphabetically as they increase in distance both north and south of the Mall and East Capitol Street. Numbered streets increase in number as they increase in distance both east and west of North and South Capitol Streets.

Continue reading at Greater Greater Washington . . .