Sunday, January 17, 2010

Gateway

I have no idea how long it takes me to walk a mile because it's impossible not to stop every few feet and take a picture. If I ever want to time myself I'll have to either go without a camera or take a friend who finds my photo habit annoying. So far I don't know if I have any friends like that. Nobody's had to ask me to stop shooting yet except security guards.

Yesterday I had my camera, my solitude and my walking shoes. I walked north on Lake Avenue from Walnut Street to Belvidere Street taking pictures. I'll mine the results here on the ol' blog for a few days, in no particular order.

Let's start with Gateway Plaza at Lake and Locust, just south of the 210 Freeway. If you have an office job, Gateway looks like a decent place to work. It's convenient to the Lake Avenue Metro stop, and at least from the upper floors you have good views of the mountains, the San Gabriel Valley and the city of Pasadena. Plus, a little over a block away there's the Walnut St. branch of Lovebird's Cafe and Bakery and you can't beat that.

I think Gateway is attractive, as modern buildings go. The outdoor plaza's well done. At the lower right of the picture (you can't see it here very well) there's a little patio where employees can have their coffee (and a taste of sin from Lovebirds) with a view across the Freeway to the mountains. I was taking photos there once when the security guard asked me to stop. He said they had a policy...yadda. But he asked nicely, and I was on Gateway property. Asking nicely makes all the difference.

22 comments:

Hilda said...

Your angle gives it a very interesting pattern.

I've taken to taking photos from across the street. Security guards can't stop me then because I'm not even near their building. :)

Dina said...

I just learned over at Cloudia's Comfort Spiral http://comfortspiral.blogspot.com/2010/01/je-suis-flaneur.html
that we might have a sophisticated name for such as you (and us):
flaneur.
You are a picture-taking flaneur, and a good one.

Randy Fuller said...

Nice, Petrea! Sort of reminds me of an M.C. Escher work.

Greg Sweet said...

Well, you do fit the terrorist profile.

Chuck Pefley said...

The color contrast, as well as the irregular surface give it more interest than many of today's boxes.

Building security guards ... yech!

Petrea said...

Hilda, we have one notorious local building (not as attractive as this one) where the guards think they can stop you from taking pictures no matter where you are. They can't, of course; they have no concept of the laws. And they're jerks about it.

Some days I'm a flâneur, Dina. Yesterday I was. I wish I had the time to do it every day. The book (which I loved) that taught me the word is by Edmund White: http://www.edmundwhite.com/html/flaneur.htm

Hi Randy! I never noticed that 'til I stopped and took photos. I was always driving by.

Greg, my gray hair and Nikes give me away.

Oh, I know, Chuck. I know they're doing what they've been told to do. I figure if they're nice about it, I can work with them. I just wish their bosses would study the law instead of making it up.

Cafe Observer said...

I know this area very well.

So that was you, PDP! Who was that woman with the baseball cap carrying your purse??

It's good to still sea blue skies in your shot.

AmyR said...

Asking nicely makes all the difference when you're behind the camera too. Most of the time anyways. :)

At this angle, the building is a bit of an optical illusion.

Bellis said...

I think the architect of this unpopular building would be thrilled that you've captured the effect he probably spent many hours trying to achieve with his Build-a-building software. It's a great shot! How many contortions did you go through till you found the right angle?

J+P said...

"Build-a-building software"—! Ouch! Bellis! Never mind that you're right—this thing is an eyesore, but … mee-ow

Petrea said...

Ha ha, Cafe!

Asking nicely usually works, Amy, but Ben and I know of one security guard (not at Gateway) who has fun being rude no matter how nice you are.

Okay, I'm an architectural ninny. But as I said, as modern buildings go, I like this one. When you go into the plaza you see why. Is it unpopular because of what it replaced? I don't know what that was. I do think most of the other highrises we have are--uh--less attractive, to be kind.

Oh--and I contorted on the corner across Locust Street. It wasn't quite far enough away for the effect I wanted. I don't know why I can't just stop traffic and stand in the street to get the shots I want.

Bellis said...

I wasn't trying to insult the architect(s), I just couldn't remember the name of the design software they use - is it Cad/cam? Purr.

Shell Sherree said...

Something called 'Lovebird's Cafe and Bakery' will always grab my attention!

J+P said...

It's not your photo; the photo's an improvement on the original. And since you weren't trying to deride, Bellis, allow me …

In a world which contains the cathedral at Reims, La Defense in Paris and the Standard Oil building in Chicago, design such as this only qualifies as architecture by dint of sharing the three dimensions. This is worse than the "fence-post" label pinned onto midcentury towers by Mies; this is Slapdash Legoland. It's an oppressive neo-Soviet container for primates who've come so far from their origins they've forgotten what's good. It is capitalist wattle-&-daub. It is postmodern dreck. It is to avert the eye.

There. I said it. (Now I just hope I never meet the designer at a party.)

Lori Lynn said...

Me too. Sometimes Wilson gets annoyed.
LL

altadenahiker said...

Especially if cocktails are served.

Petrea said...

Okay! I guess "we have worse" isn't exactly a compliment.

Thal Armathura said...

If memory serves, this building replaced a used car lot, so no great loss at this site. Now just to the south, the Northlake Market was a gem (defunct Christian bookstore at this point), the Art Deco masterpiece I hope to see restored.
http://avenuetotheskylakeavenuepasadena.blogspot.com/2009/07/northlake-market-250-north-lake-avenue.html

Petrea said...

Thal, that is some picture! I got a couple of shots of the place but nothing that shows a trace of this grandeur.

Louis la Vache said...

Very nice geometry in this shot, Petrea. «Louis» likes shots like this, but very rarely can get one given his normal subject matter.

Skrip said...

I worked here for 8 years before being laid off 1 1/2 years ago. The view is awesome from the top floor. Unfortunately, there is alot of empty office space on many floors.

Petrea said...

I guess that shouldn't surprise me, Skrip, seeing all those empty storefronts as I was heading up Lake. I look forward to when all that space is filled again.