Monday, February 18, 2008

Personal Landmark


burnout.jpg
Originally uploaded by oferchrissake
We all have personal landmarks, the things we use when we're navigating. I believe you can tell a lot about someone by their personal landmarks. If you get directions from someone like, "Go straight at the Wendy's, turn left after Burger King, if you pass Sonic you've gone too far..." then you know they eat fast food a lot. (Or wish they did.)

People who get around on foot a lot tend to have landmarks that are a little more subtle. I know many of my landmarks are graffiti, some of them quite small. In fact, if I tried to give directions based on the things I notice, probably no one would ever get where they wanted to go, even if they did notice a lot of neato stuff on the way.

This picture shows one of my personal landmarks. It's a vacant lot, which obviously used to be filled up with building. All three non-street-front sides of the lot show where a large structure formerly was attached to the remaining structures. It's been gone long enough that there is a 40' tree growing there. Or, that was the hinterhof (backyard) and the tree somehow survived the removal of the building. I'd guess it was a fire, but I don't really have any proof.

Anyway, almost every time I go out, I pass this, and every time I Notice it. It just captures my interest for some reason. Even other pedestrians probably don't take much notice of it.

The two roundy things in the top of the tree are not nests, but growths of the parasitic plant mistletoe, which has remained lush all winter. It'd probably be the perfect topiary accent plant, because the growth habit is a really nice sphere, that is apparently evergreen.

But, I digress. The important thing to remember: If You Pass Sonic, You Have Gone Too Far. Words to live by.

1 comment:

drk said...

Interesting--I can relate to this idea of personal landmarks. Whenever I visited DC, I stayed with some friends and walked everywhere. On my way to the Metro each day I would pass the Benin embassy. It was off the beaten path for an embassy and very simple compared to the other embassies. Even my friends who lived there couldn't quite place the exact location of the Benin embassy.