Coming Apart

Coming Apart

It feels like many of the things

we depend on, believe in, or take for granted

are coming apart. And a few are crumbling.

These images are reminders that

disorder or even disaster may be lurking

amid the beauty one can still find.

Coming Apart
“Preserving” the Historic DeMarcay Hotel
Plastic Everywhere
Just a Reflection
Dolphin Tower Repair

Attack of the Blue Feather

A feather was lying along the path through the woods. It was large and beautiful, and had belonged to one of the birds that lived there in the trees.

When I brought it to the City I quickly learned it did not belong here.

You can see what happened and the message it left.

Attack of the Blue Feather
Attack of the Blue Feather
Millionaire Condos
Fiery Pillars of Wealth
Just Stop!
Just Stop… and Breathe

Inspiration in the Alley

Behind the shining facade luring you in

there is always a back door,

sometimes hidden away in a quiet alley.

These unglamorous places near the heart of town

can offer surprises and food for the imagination,

often telling a different story about where you are.

Blob Dylan
Two Ways In
Concrete Moth
Glass Door with a Message
Step Into the Light
Reflections from a Cadillac

Naturally Abstract

The veins in the leaves and the thicket of plants at the water’s edge.

The moss swaying in the wind, the curve of the roots and the space beneath them.

Even the lowly weed that like a tree camouflages the urban infrastructure.

These natural abstractions help me connect to the natural world in ways I might otherwise miss.

Veins and the Light
Seedpod

Thicket at the Water’s Edge
Spanish Moss Swaying in the Wind

Veins in the Leaves Like Branches in a Tree
Roots and the Spaces Between
Weed like a Tree

Savannah Georgia Ship Channel

Downtown Savannah cuddles up to the south shore of the Savannah River and is just downstream from a major container port. Ships are sometimes routed close to the shore, close enough that you can feel the thrum of the engine in your chest as the ship passes by.

It is sobering to know this huge ship piled high with truck-sized containers represents only a tiny fraction of what we consume each day, one small link in the supply chain.

Coming head-on
Bulbous Bow Passing By
On Its Way

Gulf Beach Dreams

Hazy dreams of a day at the beach. Blue skies, family and friends, wrapped in the warm Gulf air and waters.

But then comes the runoff after the rain, the oil, the dead fish and other Red Tide detritus, reminders of what else that warm water holds.

Gulf Beach Dream
Sunrise
Morning Footprints in the Freshly Raked Sand
Just a Ripple at the Shore
Keeping Watch
Bird-plosion
The Pier That Used To Be
After the Rain
A Colorful Death
Red Tide Detritus
Sunset

Mumbai

The morning air thick with the smoke of open fires, vehicle exhaust, and the smell of dense humanity.

Chaos in the streets, the poverty, a flash of wealth, millions of lives swirling around in plain sight.

Cars, trucks, phones, plastic, and more plastic, yet somehow a feeling that it has been this way for ages.

Mumbai.

Sunrise Over Mumbai
Sunrise Over Mumbai
Mumbai Slum -- How it Felt
Mumbai Slum — How it Felt
Off the Bus, Mumbai street scene
Off the Bus
Cathedral Stoplight
Cathedral Stoplight
A Good Job - Showcasing Beautiful Bathroom Designs
A Good Job – Showcasing Beautiful Bathroom Designs
Making Notes - Mumbai Street Scene
Making Notes

The Sultanate of Oman

The Sultanate of Oman is on the southeast tip of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and the war-torn Yemen. Despite Oman’s proximity to that war, there was very little evidence of the humanitarian catastrophe so nearby.

Oman’s oil wealth and use of imported labor is evident. Nevertheless, Oman does not exhibit the overwhelming urbanization and development of either Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Old Muscat, in particular was human-scaled with plenty of friendly pedestrian activity.

Oman’s coastline in the Muscat area is rugged and mountainous. The ocean-side outcroppings were ideal locations for the 16th century Portuguese forts, like the Al Jalali Fort that is the backdrop for the Palace. The mountains and stones they provide for construction gave Muscat some of it’s ambient color.

The images below are all from Muscat, the sprawling capital city. Click on one of the links above to see more work.

The Opera House, Muscat, Oman
The Royal Opera House
Dead Crab, Muscat, Oman
Dead Crab on the Beach
Police in the Harbor, Muscat, Oman
Police in the Harbor
Omani Taxi Driver
Omani Taxi Driver
Al Alam Palace, Muscat, Oman
Al Alam Palace
Al Alam Palace Gun and Fort, Muscat, Oman
Al Alam Palace Gun and Fort
Al Alam Palace Entrance
Palace Entrance
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Tower at Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman
Tower at Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Commerce in Mutrah Harbor, Muscat, Oman
Commerce in Mutrah Harbor

Burj Khalifa, a Symbol of Dubai

Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and a centerpiece of downtown Dubai, is also central to the Dubai government’s push to diversify its economy beyond oil. In pursuit of the dream of becoming a center for tourism, real estate and other investment, a new metropolis and collection of skyscrapers has sprung from the desert floor.

The Tallest Building - Dubai's Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa

Dozens of nearby buildings are under construction — including some that would dwarf the skylines of other cities. Construction labor is provided by South Asians and other foreigners at very low wages. The rules and legal rights of non-citizens, especially for those without wealth, remain unclear and subject to change. Dubai is one of the United Arab Emirates, and is ruled by its Emir, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

There is a gloss of modernity, consumerism, and openness to tourism and investment from around the world. But underneath — even for the casual visitor — there is also a tension caused by glimpses of exploitation of workers from other lands,  codes of behavior with invisible lines that must not be crossed, and a dispiriting effect from the lack of human-scaled spaces and structures in and around the downtown.

Many of these pictures were taken from the observation deck on the 124th floor of Burj Khalifa. There is a second, more expensive observation area on the 148th floor, 6 floors of corporate suites above that, and another 9 floors for mechanical, communication and broadcast equipment. 

The Giant's Fingers
The Giant’s Fingers
Dubai Mall
Dubai Shopping and Entertainment Mall
Looking Toward Dubai Creek
Looking Toward Dubai Creek
A False Clocktower in the Distance
A False Clocktower in the Distance
Observing the Observers, Dubai
Observing the Observers
Where Major Buildings Look Like Toys
Where Major Buildings Look Like Toys
The Next Hole is Dug
The Next Hole is Dug
The Emir's Dream
The Emir’s Dream

The Instant City

Camel's Nose

It isn’t exactly instant, but in the space of a few decades, Abu Dhabi has gone from a desert town to a metropolis. Skyscrapers are sprouting from the ground, and the camel’s nose of oil wealth is much more than just under the tent.

Development may be a strategy to diversify the economy and reduce dependence on oil, but it is hard to imagine who will occupy all these expensive new buildings coming onto the market all at once. On the other hand, just building them may be the more immediate goal right now.

Abu Dhabi harbor
Under Construction
Rising on the Shore
Rising on the Shore
New Apartments and More
New Apartments and More
Blue Wall reflections
Blue Wall
The Geometry of Money
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