Fort Point

Jun. 24th, 2012 07:08 pm
danalwyn: (Default)
One of the more interesting sites in the Bay Area is Fort Point, a preserved coastal fortress from the days of brick masonry fortifications that defended the coast of California. Surprisingly, despite the fact that Fort Point is well preserved and absolutely beautiful, not many tourists go there. Very few locals even go there.

Of course very few people go to Fort Point to see the walls or the living quarters. They go for the view from the roof. And if you don't believe me, here are some pictures of it that I took myself:

Fort Point )
danalwyn: (Default)
I went into Chicago yesterday, more as some way to get me out of the apartment then for any real reason, but the city was a madhouse. It was reasonably warm, about 90 degrees out, but not too hot and not terribly humid, but foot traffic was horrible. A good portion of Michigan Avenue was blocked off and liberally covered with a smattering of wrecked automobiles, shattered pieces of brick wall, the remains of some pretty good pyrotechnics, and even an upside-down bus, presumably as part of the Transformers 3 shoot. They'll have to do a lot of editing in post, because the backgrounds are going to be filled with people gawking instead of running in terror, and taking pictures of the camera crews.

Anyway, I've now seen the underside of a CTA bus. I think that might have been the highlight of my day. It's not a very exciting life that I lead.
danalwyn: (Default)
I live in suburban Chicago. This means I live in the middle of a sea of towns that are distinct only for their indistinctness, a sprawling quilt of unicolor patches, each one blending into the next one, and each one just about as inaccessible as the last (which I will write about some day). There's no way to tell them apart; the act of crossing a street takes you from one to another without even the remotest piece of observational evidence to tell you that you've just gone from one to another.

It amuses me that even their distinctiveness is the same. Whereas a lot of people barely know what their city hall looks like, each of these towns does have one distinct and individualized piece of architecture, that just happens to look the same as all the others. That is to say, each town has one (and apparently only one) water tower, usually decorated with a fancy version of the town's name. Since most of Illinois is flat, and since most modern housing developments look alike (the area has grown in population by factors of ten or more since the 1970s), this really is sometimes the most distinctive, and visible, signal that the place you're in actually has a name, and is not just the suburban version of flyover country (trainover country?)

I've been a lot of places in the year I've been here, so I'm compiling a list of all the towns I've visited or been near, along with the water towers that I've found, for my own knowledge, so I know just how much of the area I've covered. It also gives me an idea of just how many towns there are within "driving distance"

Water towers visited )

Keep in mind that some of these towns might be too small or too new to even have a water tower, but this gives you some idea of just how far I've traveled...and how many of these little towns there are out here to make traffic confusing.


ETA: I know that there are many towns with more then one water tower, so why did I write that?
danalwyn: (Default)
I don't understand this whole "Midwest winter" thing. Imagine it. It's December. It's starting to snow fairly regularly, in fact there'll probably be at least some snow on the ground from here until March. The winds are getting bitter and cold, the roads are getting icy, and it's crowded everywhere because the Christmas season is in full swing.

Is this weather perfect for:

a) Building snowmen or snow forts with kids?
b) Curling up in a heated room with a blanket and your hot drink of choice?
c) Starting road construction on as many vital major roads as possible?


If you answered c), you probably live in Illinois. Although the term "live" may not be biologically accurate once the rest of us catch up to you.

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