Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pt. Mann Bridge Update - Vancouver Views

Vancouver Views will feature posts on Architecture-Buildings, Bridges, Special Locations, Communities, Interesting Places, Restaurants, and so on. . . Hope you enjoy the photos!

The Port Mann Bridge

A new bridge that replaces the old bridge across the Fraser River, and connects the Fraser Valley with Vancouver's Lower Mainland. Since the Fraser is a working river, the bridge height requirements guarantee a wide-angle view of the river and the coastal mountains of the west coast.

Pt. Mann Bridge old and new, Vancouver, by DG Hudson

The old Pt. Mann (orange girders) is seen to the right in the photo above. The elegant design of the new bridge dominates the image and is less daunting now that the falling giant icicle problems have been addressed.

The old bridge is destined to be dismantled, forcing use of the new TOLL bridge.  There are discounts for drivers, at least for 2013. The discounted price is fair, but will it remain for registered users?  We'll see what happens at the end of the year.

Pt. Mann Bridge Cable Patterns, Vancouver, by DG Hudson

The cable pattern photo, above, was taken on a grey winter day, which emphasizes the patterns of the lines and the monotone colour.  Notice the way the camera captures the effect of the overlapping cables on the right. The vertical lines emphasize the height.

Bridge Tower Cables, Pt. Mann Bridge, Vancouver, by DG Hudson

Dizzying heights and patterns always intrigue me; the photo above is taken looking up at the tower. I haven't rotated the image. Clouds behind the tower enhance the silhouette effect.

Pt. Mann Bridge, Vancouver, in the Fog, by DG Hudson

The disappearing act that occurs when the fog rolls in (photo above); too bad there isn't more lighting on this bridge to highlight the cable design. It would be useful at night when the bridge is dark, and only the lower cables can be seen. Wouldn't this help visibility and safety?

Pt. Mann Bridge HOV lane, old bridge on right, by DG Hudson

Life is good in the HOV lane, and this works really well.  Too bad the HOV has to be monitored.  Some drivers don't seem to get it (the math has to be 1+1=2 minimum).  We've seen what I call 'lane jumpers' dipping into this lane when it suits them.  Rules, what rules?

A final comment, I don't see the usefulness of the HUGE billboard sign as you approach the Pt. Mann Bridge from the Fraser Valley side. It's BIG, it's colourful and it's distracting. I have yet to see anything but ADS on it, where I would have expected to see news about road conditions due to weather. This is one of the uglier aspects of the new bridge, IMO of course.


Do you like bridges?  How about patterns, do you look for those in images? Let me know if you have a favourite bridge.  (anywhere in the world or in your own country) Please share in the comments, and thanks for taking the time to stop by.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

PARIS - Odd Shots and Angles

A few of the Paris out-takes*. . .

Tour Montparnasse

Tour Montparnasse, the dark tower, Paris by DG Hudson

The Montparnasse Tower is a 210 meter (689 ft) tower, with 59 floors; the 56th floor has a restaurant and viewing. Two years after its completion, the construction of skyscrapers in the city centre of Paris was banned. The dark look comes from a lack of modern style windows, having been built before the 'every-office-has-a-window' trend.  Montparnasse Tower


Saint-Jacques Tower in the Marais. . .

Saint-Jacques Tower, Paris by Green Eye, Prop. DGH

Saint-Jacques Tower, the Tour Saint-Jacques, is in the 4th arrondisement of Paris, on the rue de Rivoli.  It stands 52 meters tall (171 ft) and is all that remains of the former 16th century Church of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie (Saint James of the butchery).

Recent findings date the stone and ornamentation from the late medieval era, and confirm that this was NOT added by 19th century restorers.  Saint-Jacques Tower


A residential inner courtyard in Paris

Taken in one of the buildings from the mid-1800s in the Marais area, this photo from the 4th floor shows an intriguing view of the charming habits of the residents - ceramics (on top of venting unit, right side), or the fresh flowers or herbs in two windowboxes.  Under the cover, are the garbage disposal containers where tenants deposit their trash once a week for pickup.  This area was very tidy and clean. 

Parisian Residential Courtyard, by DG Hudson

It's the little touches that tell you something about the person living within the residence.  Depending on what we see, we can guess that perhaps that person is a gourmand wanting fresh herbs of their own, or a romantic that loves flowers, or a ceramic artist drying a few samples of their wares.  This type of 'imagining' helps feed my writing.


How do you get those little details into your writing?  Do you use images, observation, or other things to stimulate the imagination? Can you imagine being stuck in that tower from medieval times?  Please share in the comments. 

Happy Valentines Day!
To all the romantics, lovers, and those who just like chocolate and candy.


*Out-takes, shown in Oxford Dictionary as outtakes, meaning film that was rejected in the editing stages (I'm using it for images in this instance).


Friday, February 1, 2013

A Fine Romance - Sartre and Simone

When two highly intelligent people meet, and neither spirit extinguishes the other, what happens? A romance of the mind.

Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir met their friends at the Cafe de Flore or the Les Deux Magots in Paris to discuss the world events of their times. The warm cafes provided a forum to discuss literature, to form and test opinions with other writers and philosophers.  These locations became a regular gathering spot for the literary crowd.

Sartre and Simone, c.1920s at Balzac Memorial-PD,WC

For Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, their lives as teachers and philosophers at the Sorbonne in Paris gave them the credibility to launch new ideas, in support of the Existentialist philosophy. They  maintained separate living quarters, for each to work on their own writing. In retrospect, it seems that Simone generally deferred to Sartre, either from love for the man or love of his intellect.

Their relationship endured all others which came and went, but with no formal arrangement like marriage, affairs were indulged. Perhaps this arrangement worked for Sartre, but Simone had trouble accepting some of the affairs and was dismayed at her own jealousy. Sartre, who was known to consider himself a ladies' man, saw the jealousy as an emotion that Simone could learn to control. Perhaps she did.

Their relationship lasted 51 years under the pact that Sartre proposed (see link below).  Juliette Greco was one of those 'other' women that Sartre noticed and invited to join the group.  Juliette, however, considered Sartre and de Beauvoir the mentors she had admired from the fringes.

Simone de Beauvoir, PD, WC

A 'fine' romance, as the old song goes, this was a bittersweet lifelong affair for Simone.  At the end of his life, Simone cared for Jean-Paul and tried to get his last writings in order, at the expense of ignoring her own. They always edited each other's writing.

Simone never apologized for her way of thinking, saying she lived to please herself.  Sartre and Simone are buried together in the Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris.


Do you think a writer's love life should be exposed for the world to see?  Are those authors who have numerous fans required to fulfill this desire?  Is it interacting with your fans or is it an invasion of privacy?

Do you think Simone paid too high a price to be with the man she loved?

Please share in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!



Inspiration for the title: A Fine Romance; shows many photos of Billie Holiday. - Billie Holiday singing 'A Fine Romance'


Strong Women in Culture (blogpost mentioning Simone de Beauvoir) Simone de Beauvoir. Sartre's background  A New Yorker article link, Stand by Your Man, The Strange Liaison of Sartre and de Beauvoir, with a bit about 'the pact' that tied Simone to Sartre.


1 - Photo of Sartre and Simone:
This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired

2 - Photo of Simone, smiling.
This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired