Sunday, March 9, 2008

desert wildflowers...architecture

This afternoon--a walk in Sabino canyon,
where the spring wildflowers are just beginning...
(no carpet of poppies like up at Picacho peak, like in the posting from two week's ago, where it's been the best wildflower display in a decade...)
...a few areas of color are popping up among the cacti--mainly yellow, like these brittlebush:

...and a few purple things--I think this is wild heliotrope?
(It's our first spring here--all new names to learn...)

...and some fairydusters atracting bees...

...and in the midst of all this spring renewal--a skeletal reminder of mortality:
When saguaros die, after a lifespan of up to 200 years, their internal architecture sticks (ahem) around for a while longer...

My wife and I love the architectural nature of the vegetation here.

This particular saguaro--among the tallest I've seen, caught my eye.
--a multi-armed conductor, directing the symphony of wind in the foothills.
(How's that for bad poetry?...)

I do wonder what makes certain arms turn down in their growth...


The other day I came across an article about the new crop of
next-generation-high-rises being built, almost exclusively in Asia.
and this depiction of a projected skyscraper in South Korea captured my attention,
since it reminded me of a giant stylized cactus:

(link to more information about the Pusan Millenium Tower)

When finished, it will be the tallest building in East Asia, over 1400 feet tall.
Pusan, which has always played 'second fiddle' to Seoul, will have it's definitive landmark,
rising above its hills and harbors...

In neighboring China, a post-modern building-boom is taking place as well,
in preparation for this summer's Olympics...
and one of its most audacious buildings is the future headquarters for China Central Television:
(link to CCTV building information)

Pretty heady stuff, no!?
..and the architect who designed it is Rem Koolhaas, the same guy who designed the
Seattle Public Library a few years ago:

I took this photo when I went in the library the first time a couple of summers ago, after our year in Nicaragua--from colonial Baroque Spanish architecture, in picturesque decreptitude, to THIS--a postmodern shock of a 'public space.' It is the asymetrical jewel of Seattle's downtown--a fitting landmark for what is ostensibly "America's most literate city"...

No such imaginative modern architecture here in Tucson...

but we do have a few international storefronts on strip-malls, such as this trilingual sign on a Middle-Eastern restaurant on Speedway Boulevard:


We're more than just cactus and chimichangas, then.

Hummous and tabbouleh are here for the taking as well.


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