Now dwindling in number, water tanks used to dot the skyline of the city. These amazing rooftop cisterns came into use in the late-nineteenth century, when on-site water storage was recognized as a necessary fire-fighting measure.
Water tanks continue to be built in New York City for the ordinary purpose of maintaining the water pressure inside tall buildings with the aid of gravity. In Chicago, however, water tanks are viewed as an anachronism. It’s likely that these visually charming relics will disappear over time. For now, I relish the contrast between our sleek but bland skyscrapers and these sturdy rooftop monuments.
The annual gardens below the conservatory are growing in. They are always beautiful, always different each year. On this day, it was delightfully cool. More people were in the garden than I’ve ever seen. There isn’t much to say about this beautiful place, except that there peace and happiness usually reign.
This is just a funny self-portrait that I took one day at the office when I was goofing off. I can’t even remember now how I did it. All I know is it entailed using a mouse, a point-and-shoot, and Photo Booth.
So much for professionalism, on so many scores.
Nonetheless, looking at this picture kindles in me a feeling of proud kinship with those clever Renaissance painters who enjoyed finding ways to paint themselves into a scene.
There was a joyful moment of discovery when I found that I could use Photo Booth to take a picture of my office, with me in it, using the mouse at a distance. Then, I think, I took a picture of that.
Commuters on the bus regard others enjoying the unfettered pleasures of being at the beach at the end of the day. I look out at the passing scene through the bus window. Being liberated from work is itself a pleasure, compounded by the pleasure of watching other people enjoying the day.
I think of how only the glass of the window separates me from the bathers, as we fly by on the bus, looking at the seascape just beyond the concrete median. Yes, only the glass—our attire—the median—the speeding bus—and the destinations we travel toward—separate us from the joy of being at the beach at the end of the day, a humid weekday that’s perfectly draining, that’s made for wasting and whiling away.