On April 13, 1949, a huge 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit the Seattle area. Buildings in the downtown areas of Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia were badly damaged. The owner of this car probably wasn’t able to drive it home that day!
Structures in areas of the cities built on fill were totally destroyed, and streets crumbled when the ground shifted under them.
This has meaning for me, because on that day, my mother was 9 months pregnant with me, and overdue by two weeks. She got in the car and drove downtown to go shopping, and my dad was frantic, since she didn’t tell him she was going. Well, when that earthquake hit, she was standing on Third Avenue, looking in the window of the Bon Marche Department Store. The plate-glass window fell…inward, away from her, and she was unhurt. Three days later…Ta Dah!! I made my appearance.
I always like to say that it took a 7.1-magnitude earthquake to shake me loose!
Where I live, in a small city, the housing is mostly single-family homes with yards. Even the downtown area isn’t very dense.
Then, there’s New York City, which has to be the epitome of “dense”. In Manhattan, the buildings are built cheek-by-jowl, and many buildings are very high. The majority of residents of Manhattan live in multi-story apartment buildings, with elevators and doormen. Here are a couple of views of New York City, showing all the tall buildings, built right next to one another. Dense, indeed!
Daffodil field in the Skagit Valley, around Mount Vernon, Washington. Note the gray skies-it was raining, and we found many flooded fields. The Tulip Festival runs through April, and if Sunday was any indication, the tulips will be late this year. The Skagit Valley has some of the most fertile soil in our state, and is the second-largest supplier of flower bulbs in the world, after Holland.
I hate green. Green is my least favorite color, at least in clothing and accessories and household goods. I don’t wear green on Saint Patrick’s Day, or any other day, for that matter. And I’m the opposite of an “environmental wacko”, since I don’t believe that humans are a blot on the landscape, or destroying the planet, or any of that stuff; “green energy”, “green buildings”, of no importance to me.
However, I’m quite fond of green landscapes. When I visited Britain in 1984 for the first time, I was totally blown away by the green fields demarcated by hedgerows and low stone walls. I was fascinated by the beautiful landscapes in the Highlands of Scotland. My readers will have seen dozens of the pictures I took of the area around Cambridge, which is the most beautiful place in the world. I’m a rotten gardener, but I have visited many beautiful gardens in my travels. Here are some.
Mount Rose is the highest point in the Washoe Range in Nevada, and the highest year-round pass in the Sierra Nevada mountains. On the highway at the summit of Mount Rose, here are the trees and rocks at the very tippy-top.
On the way down the other side, when you feel like you’re really on top, you can see Lake Tahoe below.
Ever since I returned from Cambridge, England in 1991, I have wished I could go back. There’s just no other place on Earth like it. If I was told I only had a year to live, I’d pull up stakes and spend my last days in Cambridge.
King’s College Chapel, back side, from the River Cam
What is a window? It’s an opening in a wall or a door, normally contains glass, and lets light into the room or building. As an opening, it is often said that the human eye is a “window into the soul”. And a book, or a treatise, can be said to “open a window” into history. Sort of like this one:
People first began putting glass in the openings of their dwellings and other buildings in Roman times. Glass wasn’t very pure back then, and often had inclusions and impurities, making it cloudy. But it literally enlightened peoples’ lives. Windows can also be openings in castle walls, for the defenders to shoot their arrows through. Like this.
Sometimes, new windows are inserted into very old walls, like these.
Here is an early American window. At Fort Ticonderoga, in New York.
Windows can be sad, as in when they are broken, and the building abandoned.
This is Camden, New Jersey.
And windows can be joyous, as when they are the stained-glass windows of churches. These windows take an enormous amount of labor in design and installation, and they give much joy. There are stained-glass windows surviving today, that were installed in ancient times.
Modern buildings can have entire walls of windows. Human ingenuity creates them all.