Friday, July 28, 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017
Friday, April 1, 2016
To the regular followers of this irregularly-posted blog, I must offer one apology and one correction. The apology is offered for the severe breech of protocol in posting a photograph of Columbia in the daytime. That is not supposed to happen on this blog. Ever. But here it is. In my defense, it was late evening in the summer, so it just looks bright out. It really was more of an early dusk than a daylight. And the correction? In my last post I lamented the fact that Columbia's architecture seems hellbent on a course towards the bland, corporate, and unenjoyable. That much is true. However, in my short list of existing things that are still interesting to look at downtown, I believe I left this building out. And it should very much be in. This is the rear portion of the Cycle Extreme building, on Sixth Street. This building has an original beauty and style that stands in remarkable contrast to the blandness darkening the blocks to its east. It is difficult to get a photograph of this building by night, so here, I offer a daytime image. I promise, this will never happen again.
I was downtown to photograph for a couple reasons this week. It was spring break, so downtown Columbia was relatively unpopulated, and parking was easy to come by. I was also down there for another reason, that being the rumor that more buildings are going to disappear. I was hanging around this corner when I decided to make a few more photos of the Tiger Cleaners establishment. I have photographed this business off and on since 1997. I think when I first started photographing in Columbia they called themselves Sudden Service Cleaners, and there was an old neon sign on the corner that appeared to no longer work. That was one of the arcane secrets of Columbia in the 90s, I suppose...that neon sign did work if you waited until around 2:30 a.m., at which time a few of the letters mysteriously lit up and did their advertising duty to very few witnesses. Anyway, this dry cleaning complex seems to me to be one of the few remaining things that inspire visual interest downtown, along with Adams Books and maybe Booche's. This random assortment of buildings and doorways and vehicles and fonts and light sources reminds me of the set to a mid-century noir film; randomly assembled and yet beautiful in its randomness. I can't say the same for the manner in which the rest of downtown Columbia is developing.