Summer Holiday – day 13

29 08 2015

Day 13, third born was invited to join his girlfriend’s family for an hour of motorised fun in the dunes. We’d arranged to pick him up in the early afternoon in Florence.

Mrs E and I decided to go early to Florence and amble around to see what it offered. The river was very similar in feel to Steveston along BC’s Fraser River. I assume it had had a similar salmon-oriented industry a few decades ago.

The derelict industrial scenery was quite pleasing I thought, with river pilings telling tales of times now gone.

Piling it on

Piling it on

There were still a number of boats – both leisure and working boats – moored at the river’s side. Florence seemed to have avoided the general malaise we’d felt coming up the Oregon coast.

Fishing still pays the bills for some

Fishing still pays the bills for some

The road bridge over the Siuslaw was completed in March 1936. It is a “bascule” bridge, meaning it is a drawbridge with counter-weights (in its solid-looking supports). It was designed by Conde McCullough and was funded by the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works… i.e. part of the infrastructure projects that were intended to pull the US from the recession of the 30’s. The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 5, 2005, and has since seen some TLC and much-needed restoration.

Siuslaw River Bridge, opened 1936

Siuslaw River Bridge, opened 1936

We found a most excellent lunch at the Bridgwater FishHouse and Zebra Bar housed in the Kyle Building, named for one of the early settlers in the area. After lunch we headed of to the small local museum and found an amusing signpost reminding us of the North American tendency to recycle place-names from other locales.

Florence - one of many

Florence – one of many

The small museum was in the old school-house, just off the main drag. It was stuffed with the usual ephemera of local museums. Family photos that mean little to outsiders, old pianos once loved in log cabin parlours. It had interesting sections on the early industries of logging and fishing, but these are repeated in most similar museums along the Pacific North-west and had little of new interest. Upstairs there was a collection of local school items including what seemed like arbitrary rules for turn of the century teachers. (Male teachers would be thought errant if they used a public barber!) There was a rather random collection of glass artefacts including telephone insulators and several coloured glass bottles. I thought the ambiguous colours in these were most intriguing.

Translucent blue

Translucent blue

Not green bottles

Not green bottles

We ambled back to the Bay Street area to recover our son and had a pleasant hanging-out with his girlfriend’s family on a café patio overlooking the river. Here I was surprised to see a sack from l’Herault area of southern France, an area we loved very much. It just seemed out of place in the PNW, but on reflection, no more than us!

A sack from southern France, in Florence, in Oregon

A sack from southern France, in Florence, in Oregon


1 04 2013

I know it’s April 1st, but this was posted middle of last year, so I think it’s legit!

Walk of Faith: Glass Pavement for Tourists Built on 4,690ft Mountain in China | Bored Panda.

Friday Mystery Photo

1 02 2013

A lovely photo of Dale Chihuly’s Fiori di Como at The Bellagio, Vegas. Check out other less good Vegas photos here.

Places Unknown

This one got to be easy one for you guys. But I have to ask two questions about this photo, first is the usual – where I took this photo? The second – who is the artist behind this incredible installation?

There is so much detail in it, I think I’m going to create a few more photos from it by zooming into different parts of this image and giving you only a few flowers at a time. They look really awesome when you zoom into them.

Click me!!!

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Super Punch: Steel and blown glass rocketships by Rik Allen

19 08 2012

So this is where Flash Gordon gets his rocketships…

Super Punch: Steel and blown glass rocketships by Rik Allen.

More of Rik Allen’s work can be found here.

2 06 2012

Can’t beat a nice bit of Chihuly!
Found this over on Global Art Junkie – thanks for posting!

Chihuly… again!

9 03 2012

Bless you!

Frequent readers might recall a recent piece on Dale Chihuly. No? Try “Gesundheit“.

So imagine my surprise, on our fourth and final day in Phoenix, when I came across the unmistakeable style of Chihuly right there in the desert. The organic style merged very well with the real plants it represented and echoed there in the Desert Botanical Garden.


29 01 2012

… Which at least one reader will know literally means something close to “have healthiness” in German, and is offered in North America (potentially accompanied by a tissue) to someone who has just sneezed, as an alternative to the more common elsewhere “bless you”. Probably something to do with the separating of church and state. 😉

And if you can tell our next stop is Tacoma, near Seattle, “You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!”

We have friends in Tacoma, Washington. On our first trip to visit them, they were kind enough to take us to the old union railway station, which is an impressive public space. It has its own web site too. Tacoma Union Station Tacoma Union Station

According to the usually reliable Wikipedia, it opened for business in 1911. Now then, if you look closely at the photo above, you’ll notice some organic looking colourful shapes and forms. Hard to tell at this resolution, but they’re actually glass. Some of the other features can be seen in this shot. Tacoma Union Station Tacoma Union Station

Needless to say, they catch the eye. There are several other items too, on the outside of the building in glass cases. Some half-hearted research (it’s on placards everywhere!) educated me as to the creator of such surreal, organic, mesmerising beauty. It’s one Dale Chihuly. <Gesundheit!>

A local boy, born right there in Tacoma, he studied glass art in Venice, which James Bond fans will know has a bit of a reputation for such things. Probably why most consider him “quite good really”, or at the very least “not half bad”. A bit accident prone, losing his eye in a car accident and later dislocating a shoulder, he now has others implement his designs, which are all hand-blown in glass. With a bit of a thing for rotundas it seems, the Vic’n’Bert rotunda in London (still not in Ontario) also has one of his pieces:

Wikipedia: Victoria & Albert museum

Wikipedia: Victoria & Albert museum

There has been one of his installations right here in Vancouver since 1998, at 1200 Georgia. Actually on Bute. It’s visible from the road, and worth a better photo than the only one I could find. "Dale Chihuly Art" "Dale Chihuly Art"

He also does smaller pieces which are more readily accessible for the general populace.

Dale Chihuly: Cadmium Yellow Seaform set with Red Lip Wraps

Dale Chihuly: Cadmium Yellow Seaform set with Red Lip Wraps

Quite distinctive, and so rich and vibrant. More than once I would have sworn they moved.

Cornets, 2007 Missouri Botanical Garden

Cornets, 2007 Missouri Botanical Garden