Saturday, March 26, 2011

Florida, day 1

My first day with Cardgrrl in Florida was spent wandering around downtown St. Petersburg. Photo album available here.

The first picture seems to show that somebody knew I was coming. The second is just a car covered in tree pollen, a fate that also struck our rental car. Must be an endemic problem there.

#3-#10 are shots of a pair of banyan trees that I thought were just glorious. What I didn't know at the time was that we would encounter even grander ones the next day.

My only kind of randomly artsy, non-documentary shot is #13, the lock and chain (found at the entrance to a public restroom), which I kind of like. There's something pleasing to me about the
steel and rust against the colors of the brick, the gate partially painted and partially stripped, and the glint of light off of the edge of the padlock.

There are a bunch of random shots of things seen around the downtown area that don't deserve special comment.

#19-#36 were taken in and around the Salvador Dali museum. We paid attention to all the comments you good people contributed about things we should see while in the area, and this place was mentioned more than any other. I've never known much about Dali, so it was interesting to see so much of his work concentrated in one place, almost all of it previously unfamiliar to me. I don't think I left any more of a fan than I had been before, but I certainly gained a broader view of how productive he was and how his style changed over the decades of works he put out. Unfortunately, no photography was allowed inside the galleries, so I couldn't record the handful of pieces that I liked best. I did enjoy seeing the famous "Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which at Twenty Meters Becomes a Portrait of Abraham Lincoln" in person, and looking at it from various distances and angles, with both direct and peripheral vision, to see how the prominence of the "Lincoln effect" changed.

From the Dali, we took a trolley* to a section of downtown with a concentration of little shops and restaurants and wandered there for a while. That would be a great place to live, with all sorts of interesting things to look at, buy, and eat. Sadly, it was largely devoid of visitors, and we got the sense that the shop owners are enthusiastic but hurting economically.

The last 14 pictures are all of a kapok tree in bloom at sunset, which may be the single most beautiful tree I've ever seen. Unfortunately, up close you can see how it has been marred by several hundred morons who thought that this magnificent living organism would be improved by having their initials carved into it. Were I a judge, I would mete out justice by carving my initials into their flesh with a penknife, and see how they liked it. (Eighth Amendment? What's that? Never heard of it.)

*On rereading, it occurs to me that taking a trolley from the Dali is kind of like taking a Chevy to the levee.

1 comment:

Scott said...

A little about #44. Open air Post Office. This buldling is on the National Register of Historic Places'