Saturday, October 18, 2008

Friday's Adventure: Getting a Utah Drivers License

Good Citizen Bernie has already gone and gotten his State of Utah drivers license, and he has urged me to get on the stick and take care of doing so for myself. If I want to vote here, I need to change my official residence, and getting a new driver's license will be necessary.

The trouble is...I happen to like the picture on my Texas driver's licenses. Of course that picture was taken ten years ago, before I went through all that hideous work that was involved in getting a Master's degree, and the "change of life", becoming 50, and a host of other environmental hardships due to global warming and the UN.

(Everyone else blames global warming and the UN for everything bad, why shouldn't I?)

My Grandmother once said that any picture of oneself will eventually start looking pretty darn good, given enough years. Boy was she ever right.

Well, what must be done, must be done. There was no time like the present to get on with this project.

B. printed me out a map, telling me that yes, the Department of Motor Vehicles actually is right on the Utah State Fair Grounds.

I was very suspicious of this...and drove right by this entrance:

Seriously...does that look like where you should go to get a driver's licence?
Plus they had NO street signs that said "Motor Ave." anywhere!
Eventually I circled back and drove in, rather annoyed at this point, and found this building in the middle of basically a huge parking lot.

All righty then...this must be the place.

Now this was on Friday, my day off from work, and I was not really in the mood to put on make up and do anything with my hair. Thank heaven my well worn brain managed to remind me that not only would I be taking a test (an open book test Bernie informed me) but I would be having my picture taken.

The picture that I would be flashing multiple times over the next decade or so.

Hmmmph. Rats, I should have headed to the department store for a free make over before I came here.

So I sat in the car for awhile, trying to decide if more blusher would help, and more eye liners, or did it just make me look like I had had too much wine, and was trying for an early Halloween horror look.

Knowing that the best way to prepare for a picture is to take several test shots, I decided I would get going on that.

The usual "heading to prison soon" mug shot look.

The "I didn't think you were going to shoot NOW...." look.

The "Prozac is working well today" look.

The "I don't believe you are old enough to ask me those kinds of questions...does your mother know where you are?" look.

The "I've waited here for two hours, just take the dang picture wouldja?" look.

And I decided this was the right expression. I practiced it a few times, and then got out of my car to go take the test.

As I walked up the steps to the building I saw a sign on the door.

Oh NOW I remember...the State of Utah has an official four day work week, just like me!

Apparently I wasn't the only one who had forgotten this little detail.

A steady stream of cars had pulled up, and parked, and then driven off.

All this fuss and bother for nothing!

Well, there is always next Thursday, my half work day.

This time I think I will have my hair professionally done and have my make up done as well. what other time will my picture be so important?

Oh I know it sounds a little crazy. Sort of like Norma Desmond.

Can't you just hear it now...

State of Utah...I'm ready for my close up now!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Columbus Day City Walk/The statues are everywhere III

While we celebrated Columbus sailing the ocean blue with a day off from work last Monday, I decided to sail myself around another place, where the air was brisk,yet the sky was sunny.

Just perfect weather for a nice walk, and to go exploring around downtown Salt Lake City.

Dad, I thought of you and wished we could go hear this guy speak together. By the time 7 pm was near, B. had gotten home late from work (no holiday for him!) and he wasn't up for heading out the door again. Neat to consider this is a regular event; I will have to gear up for it the next 2nd Monday.

Jeff warned us that Halloween was a HUGE event in SLC.

I guess so if that is how they dress up the front of a regular bar for the Spook Season.

I'll admit that the dangling spiders were an inspired touch of creepy detailing.

Now I had seen these wind mill like structures on the side of the Convention center, but always thought they were just rather odd bits of art.

It is always important to read interpretive material. These windmills are part of an art design to create sound as well.
Hmmm....I just had to go inside to see what that was all about.

So I stepped inside the side door of the Convention Center. The Convention Center is also known as "The Salt Palace", the original pre 1900's building was sprayed with high pressure salt to make a glistening surface; now glass serves for shiny effect.

Inside was a multi storied circular room made of glass and supports.

Inside it was like THIS. Isn't that wild?
This is what is making those peculiar sounds!

B. actually attended a convention here once, and had step out of a meeting to take a call, and kept hearing this weird sound pattern. Imagine trying to figure out what it is if all you can do is just hear the random percussive sounds.

Further inside the building were these supports with golden lights overhead.

A closer look at what is making that sound.

Half a block up from the CC: A funky bit of metal sculpture that probably needs a new coat of red paint. No, I have no idea what it is all about; it is just a series of fluid dynamic shapes designed to engage one's eyes.

Then this bit of whimsy. I think the cranes in the background add to the structural interest.

Cow, with jato (jet assist take off) heading over moon.
Sure, why not.
Kids would love it.

A red flying anvil, being held aloft by I don't know what...
And this.
Dunno. You tell me.
Maybe the discs spin if there is wind.
Fish with feathers. Actually I like this one the best of the four. Be sure to enlarge this one!

The Art Center with fountains pressing up, and the sky line reflected in the glass behind. Enlarge this one too, the reflections are cool.
Note the reddish column in the glass...more about that later.

The fountains seemed to get higher and higher as I watched.
And yes I had made sure I "went" before I went, if you get my drift...

The reddish column: A Dale Chihuly blown glass sculpture.
Two stories high!

(If you have never heard about Dale Chihuly before, read up and enjoy. I've had the pleasure of seeing a documentary about his life and works, and am a huge fan of his creativity. I've seen his work on cruise ships and at the Dallas Museum of Art. Addictive stuff!)

I was shooting the picture through the glass window, and wanted to be sure I got the top of the sculpture, which was in a glare, so I shielded the glass to take the picture. That is a shadow of my gloved hand in the shot. Oh so artsy, don't you think? I can't wait to get INSIDE the building and see this thing up close.

Looking back at the water feature, and at the SLC Temple, just to orient you to where I am.

All over the city are these poles with what looks like bike wheels attached, and cupped shapes that cause them to spin in the wind like pinwheels.

Each one is a little different; but they all spin in the wind, and I keep wondering if they are some kind of place marker, like where to get a cab, or stop on a tour or something.

I haven't found any clues about them yet....

All the cranes in the backgrounds of so many of my pictures are part of the city center development called Downtown Rising. It will be about six acres in size, and have condo, business, hospitality, green belts, retail and grocery buildings. It is really going to be something when it is all done; and the "gateway" to this city inside of a city will guessed it...the Temple Square.

The City Creek city center development won't be done for another couple of years, but it is fun to "flirt" with the idea of living in the City Center world.

A pigeon sitting on an eagle.
Wonder if the eagle minds?

I do so appreciate that the city actually does have a walking tour that you can follow, with signs to read along as you go along.
The pigeon was hanging out on the Eagle Emporium Building. You can read about it if you want. A water powered clock was involved with this stop. It wasn't as much fun as the Vancouver Steam powered clock, although I think they were about the same age.

Another "dunno" sculpture. There were four pieces to this public art installment. I thought they might be benches at first, but...

Then I thought maybe they are supposed to be like confetti? Above is a second piece.

They didn't really look like you could sit on them comfortably. They were rather fun just being there in the middle of the side walk, under the trees.

This building brought me memories of St. Gallen in Switzerland, where the buildings all seemed to have lovely motifs and embellishments. Salt Lake Mormon emigration pulled a lot of people in from Switzerland; perhaps that accounts for some of the similarities.

I like the two faces on this building, one up high on white granite or marble (another dunno) and the lower one on gray. Both faces were quite charming. Were they modeled from actual people or a re-mix of Grecian art?

Yes, this one WAS a real bench. The branches looked like rose canes, without the thorns. Even so, the person seated on the bench looked in danger of being enveloped by the web like growth.
I do like glass high rises, and the one pointing at you here is the Wells Fargo building. It plays a trick on you: from some angles it appears to be a building only as wide as the front tiny edge.

When I first saw it, I kept wondering why anyone would build a building that tall and have it only be one office wide. Then we went around a curve and the rest of the building came into view.

Very geometrically clever!

A German deli/restaurant drew me in. Doesn't it look very European? How fun it would be to sit on those stools and people watch?

(That is exactly what B. and I did tonight. I had goulash and spaezle, he had corn beef Ruben and spaezle. Then we sat at the window and watched the people go by. It was quite interesting, and I'll post about that another day...)

If you enlarge this and read the menu, be prepared to become very hungry for German food.
Very, very hungry.
If you could smell the food too, you would likely go crazy with wanting a nice German dinner. Good luck with finding one! There seems to be so few German restaurants around.

I wonder why that is. Million of Chinese and Mexican restaurants, but German restaurants and Canadian restaurants are few and far between.

Think about it. When was the last time you were able to find a good German or Canadian food restaurant in America?
Yes, I think something should be done about this sad state of affairs.
I'll bet there are at least a hundred people every day all across America who wish they could eat German or Canadian food, if only they could find a restaurant specializing in that cuisine.
It's such a pity, isn't it.

Just up the street from the restaurant is a performance art center. While we ate tonight we watched musicians walking down the street carrying their instruments, and teenage girls in prom dresses, clearly dressed up because they were going to "the theater"! Along the side of the theater are these painted replicas of thank you letters from school children who had had a chance to visit the theater on a field trip.

Isn't that a great way to celebrate the wonder of children?

The theater caught my attention because the date it was built was while my grandfather still lived here in SLC. It is kind of funny; I go around noting dates of building, and reflect on whether or not my grandfather would have been likely to have seen or visited it. My great grandparents also lived here, and so did my great great grandmother, but I only knew my grandfather, so I tend to want to picture him here, and not the other ancestors.

Isn't it a pretty building?

I'm so glad they kept this theater up! They have all kinds of theater preformance troupes too...surely I will eventually get to go there to see some kind of live performance.

Next to the theater was a vacant lot with late season hollyhocks shivering in the late day breeze.

An old historic hotel was next.

The doorman held the door for me to enter and explore. It was so tempting to flop down on a couch in the lobby and join the other guest reading in front of the invitingly warm fire.

But instead I kept on walking for another half a block, crossed the street and went up the elevator to our apartment to make dinner.
My walk was two blocks up, two blocks over, two blocks down and back to home...about two hours of poking around, and reading restaurant menus, getting ideas of where we might want to dine, seeing lists of documentaries that are scheduled to be shown, gallery installations that will open much to do and see!
But on Columbus Day evening, I was happy enough to be simply dining with my darlin' Mr. B, right at our own little table at home.