al·ley [al-ee] noun, plural al·leys.
1. a passage, as through a continuous row of houses, permitting access from the street to backyards, garages, etc.
2. a narrow back street.–

Back before fire engines achieved the leadership role in urban design, back when streets were a part of the public commons, there were alleys. In Charlottesville several neighborhoods established before the apotheosis of the Automobile have alleys. The alley above is in Belmont, parallel to and north of Hinton Avenue.

Dear Charlottesville Planning Commission. Please consider the reintroduction of the alley into the urban form.

transmute? transmogrify?

JABA will break ground on Tuesday, May 8, 2012, from 10 to 11 AM for its affordable senior housing development, Timberlake Place, 1512 East Market Street, in the historic Woolen Mills neighborhood of Charlottesville.

trans·mute–verb (used with object), verb (used without object), trans·mut·ed, trans·mut·ing.
to change from one nature, substance, form, or condition into another; transform.

trans·mog·ri·fy–verb (used with object), trans·mog·ri·fied, trans·mog·ri·fy·ing.
to change in appearance or form, especially strangely or grotesquely; transform. —


protestors being arrested

verb (used without object)
1. to depart from a camp; to pack up equipment and leave a camping ground: We decamped before the rain

We are supposed to inhabit the present. It is something I don’t do well. I don’t understand opportunity when it is in front of me. There you go. Don’t understand the visual when it is in front of me. End up wondering after the fact. Was that love? Was that a gift? End up wondering about details too. Was that thing significant? Was that thing mundane?
This photo is a 0.1666th of a second from the last day in November, 2338 hours. The Charlottesville Virginia Occupiers being removed from a City park for violating its 11p.m. curfew.
Were the ball-caps significant? They were a florescent green. Did they have a printed message? Seven people in the frame are wearing the caps.
The items on a pole on the left and the words “occupy for justice”. Looks like a standard, a repurposed 21st Century Aquila
In profile this staff and standard resembles a bird with a heron-like beak. In profile it looks like a kill stick. What is it intended to convey? How is it used?
There are police or firemen on the right, blurred. They are moving… to arrest the naked lady? Who are the actors? Who is that female illuminated enface in the foreground? Does her video include commentary? What is she saying? Is this what democracy looks like? Is this what Kabuki theater looks like? Who is that man on that horse?
O Lost!


corrugated pipe
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function.
The term typically refers to the technical structures that support a society, such as roads, water supply, sewers, electrical grids, telecommunications, and so forth, and can be defined as “the physical components of interrelated systems providing commodities and services essential to enable, sustain, or enhance societal living conditions.”–Wikipedia

Infrastructure can inspire. Carefully engineered, lasting projects are beautiful and cost effective. The Aqua Virgo, an aqueduct supplying Rome with drinking water, was constructed in 19BC, and renovated in 1453.
The large diameter galvanized pipes above are shopping center infrastructure. Presumably, they’ll be buried beneath the ground and deal with storm water unable to penetrate the acres of impervious surface that are part of this new consumer Shangri-La. Could the rainwater be kept on top of the ground in a series of streams, meadows and lakes and allowed to infiltrate? The landscaping could be beautiful and functional. Maybe that is part of the plan? UVA, locally, leads in daylighting piped streams and dealing with stormwater intelligently.
corrugated pipe
One thing for sure. This is short term infrastructure. No one will be renovating this installation in a millennium. The useful life of corrugated pipe is measured in decades.