Thursday, November 3, 2011

Texturous Cementaceousness: The Riddle Here

Here's the riddle remaining

The monolith near the tunnel project at 7th Ave I mentioned back in August. Now less mysterious, and standing alone without constructors around it, I judge it to be some manner of texture experimentation, akin to splotching various colors of paint on the wall to see which ones you like, or less likely but still possible, similar to the paint testing facilities I have seen out in countryside where the paint surface technology boffins mount paint samples out in the elements to measure their response to sun, rain, heat, cold, ice, insects, cosmic rays, Wi-fi, a.k.a. the elements. It's possible this monolith is a cement version of that, to be left next to the canal for decades, to assess the longevity of the various surface treatments. Which one do you like? And remember: this would be the surface of a tunnel for pedestrians and cyclists, and having contacted the walls of other tunnels on a few a occasions while riding and avoiding other tunnel goers, I favor smooth, polished, non-abrasive, non-knobbly. At least from face level down, at the level where my shoulder would smash into is as I jerk to the right to avoid oncoming pedestrian and cycle traffic, at the level where my thigh would glance off when I notice at the last possible moment the man in the black sleeping back sprawled in the darkest corner of the tunnel late at night, at the level where--you get it. Smooth, cool surface, please, polished like a lab table.

But: look at the choices! What a rich and varied time we live in, when we face such a bounty of concrete surface treatments to choose from for the surfaces of our cycle-pedestrian tunnels! What's up with that square indentation though? I am hoping for some manner of chemoluminescent lighting panel embedded there, such that the tunnel glows like ET's heartlight, a firefly, an ATP detector on the Viking Mars lander, when it detects life passing by. Do not I recall schoolchildren nationwide capturing and mailing in fireflies Photinus pyralis to NASA so that the Mars probe boffins could extract the luciferase for stoking the Adenosine Tri Phosphate (ATP) detection aparatus on the probe? Oh to have been a janitor at the central post office sweeping up during those weeks when the mail glowed. Twenty-five cents a dozen they paid. Or perhaps that one never flew. Perhaps it was like the knobbly and abrasive surfaces proposed for a pedestrian and cycle underpass which were vetoed after consideration of the generally easily abraded qualities of skin. But, man: those are some interesting cementaceous texturizations, no? We will see, soon as that tunnel opens wide up.


  1. it's nice to finally have a choice! i'd like that wall bundled up and shipped here where i'll put it on the wall my bike trainer faces. that'd be far better than the super-smooth drywall i'll spend december to march staring at as i ride on the rollers!! steven

  2. Workmen on lunch break:

    Hey Frank, check this out.

    Whoa! That's pretty cool! You know if I use one of these things I bet it would make great-

    No way! That's awesome! I just picked this thing up at the hardware store, I was gonna use it to slice cheese, but if I did this-

    I like it! My wife got me this for Christmas last year and I don't know what to do with it. Maybe I could use it for this, and this.

    Wow! we should do the whole thing with that-

    Watch it! the supervisor is coming.

  3. steven perhaps your wall needs poster-sized enlargements of some of your great photos. Or, even better, a mosaic or a fresco, of same. Please let me know if you make a fresco.

    limom, I dream of how great our public constructions would be if the workers were given more latitude to express their creativity in surface treatments. We would live in a knobbly world then, for sure.


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