Cardigans & Pullover

-| November 2019 |-










Samuel Johnson Samuel Johnson




Francisco Mattos

  LEFT COAST ART






| Nathan Cordero

Nathan Cordero

|  Trumpsticks, Verge Gallery in Sacramento. |




| Reece Metzger

Reece Metzger

| “The six seasons of the Nyoongar calendar of Western Australia,” photo-on-bamboo constructions. See more. |





| Eric Bradner

Eric Bradner

|  Paining is only one of the many artistic hats worn by Eric Bradner. | See more. |





| Lori Schafer

Paintings
Lori Schafer
Lori Schafer

|  Larry Beyer + William Lanier





| Judy Sisneros

Judy Sisneros
Judy Sisneros

| Judy Ornelas Sisneros is a native Californian. She loves photography, film and playing punk/ambient on the bass. |





| Laszlo Zauberer

Laszlo Zauberer

|  Laszlo Zauberer is a self-taught painter. "I don't take my art too seriously. I just have fun painting." | See more. |




| Angela Oates
+
| Isabel Melo


Ghosts of Route 66
||||||

Angela Oates Doozey Doris Angela Oates Looney Lucille Angela Oates Mad Marge Angela Oates Nosedive Norma Angela Oates Ranting Rosie Angela Oates Sugar-sweet Stella


Prints by Angela Oates. Photography by Isabel Melo |





| Ruth Asawa

Ruth Asawa

|  01.24.26 – 08.05.13 | More. |





| Carina Mui

Carina Mui

|  Poet Carina Mui’s winning couplet etched in glass by calligrapher Terry Luk, for the Chinatown Plaza. "In the past, cross the ocean, to find a gold mine. At present, open up the grounds, to cast a silver dragon." (SF Arts Commission Central Subway Public Art Program)|




| Kota Ezawa

Kota Ezawa

| Kota Ezawa covered a 150-foot long overhead stretch of walkway w/ a temporary mural featuring a series of clever paintings featuring diverse landscapes and having a common horizon. (SF Arts Commission Central Subway Public Art Program)| See more. |





| Randy Colosky

Randy Colosky

| Randy Colosky covered the Folsom side of a construction barricade w/ a temporary mural, Ellipses in the Key of Blue, marking a formal moment in the construction of the Central Subway, according to the artist’s statement. (SF Arts Commission Central Subway Public Art Program)| | See more. |





| Ruth Guston

Ruth Guston

| … Untitled |





| Kevin Leung

Kevin Leung

| Drawing (detail)|





|Seward Johnson

Seward Johnson

| Seward Johnson's street sculptures made it to the Fillmore District in 2016, including these two – perpetual commuters to the golden west. | See more. |





| Satyajit Ray

Satyajit Ray

 |  Satyajit Ray is also a graphic artist and designed his movie posters. Aranyer Din Ratri Days and Nights in the Forest (1970), city folks marooned in nature.  |  Devi The Goddess (1960), Sharmila Tagore as a 19th Century woman w/ a mistaken identity.  |  Sonar Kella The Golden Fortress (1975), is an adaption of a story by Ray. | More movie posters. |




| back |






Nicolas Roeg



Francisco Mattos

  RETOX  



The detectable planets orbit, generally speaking, across our night sky, for instance, from west to east, in a prograde motion. Sometimes though they will move from east to west, in what is known as a retrograde transit. When this feature is present in a natal chart, generally speaking, it has come to denote, for instance, someone harmless, an oddball. In the scheme of things, across the heavens, it has come to pass that the offspring of Chaos and Gaia was the Titan Uranus, who begat Cronus, who begat brothers Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus. And Zeus in turn begat siblings Aphrodite, Ares, and Hermes. All capable of showing their reverse qualities.

| retro-Uranus
Francisco Mattos

Descending come the month of August, this primordial god of the sky chooses a horned ram for his guide and guard to confer w/ a recalcitrant moneyman.
Magic Mocked Expect the expected, expect an eyewash. Time is granted to sit down, w/ one's tested thoughts, for a tête-à-tête, and over tea is best. Time enough to adapt, and embrace astonishment. Uranus's parting gift can be a realization that less is, really, more. In a natal chart, it might manifest as eccentric behaviors privately practised, at the same time endlessly shunning new technologies in favor of the tried and true.




| retro-Cronus
Francisco Mattos

From mid-spring into end of summer, this Titan god of the harvest could, would, should bring an end to rigid beliefs, on both sides of the divide, and might just bring about a fall from power.
Time Thwarted Playing mind games now won't turn out to have been useful or even a happy pastime; the sad too go on dates. Time is granted to sort and assess current responsibilities. Time enough to sort out negativity from positivity. The departure of Cronus, Father Time himself, allows his gift of decluttering closets some time to settle in. In a natal chart, this feature connotes a natural depressive having no father figure. No discipline. No inner peace. No self-esteem. No lightheartedness. No boundaries. No respect for the elderly. A moody self-nag.




| retro-Hades
Francisco Mattos

Sluggish from mid-spring through the begining of fall in 2019, the god of the dead tosses and turns while dreaming of new forms of governments.
Death Denied Be prepared to let go. Be prepared to be picked on. Be prepared to pay up for IOUs. Time is granted to take a swim in one's subconscious, submerged for a luxuriant soak. Time enough to prune the past, face the future. The return to his nether realms signals Hades' parting gift, restoring situations, things and people, to the way they were. In a natal chart it can cause constant application of the brakes: Inability to change and unable to express intensity. Inability to go w/ the flow and unable to recognize what just took place. Inability to trust and unable to guard from predation. Inability to lead while unable to forgive manipulation and betrayal.




Ψ retro-Poseidon
Francisco Mattos

The god of water starts to swim backwards by the end of June, bringing on a bout of moral imbecility, which starts ebbing around Thanksgiving.
Soul Slammed An absence of self-delusion confronts Poseidon, where the ocean is still and very clear in 201. If found in one's natal chart, there will be a diffuse unawareness of beginnings and ends, as well as a diffuse awareness of the ego and its extent.




| retro-Zeus
Francisco Mattos

From mid-spring to late summer, the god of lightning and thunder is noticeably tusseling w/ religious wars, and brings a farsighted outlook to bear on an abiding interest for all parties to arrive at an understanding.
Diamond Dusted Time enough to detach from jollity. A disbelief in the future sets in, overlaid w/ a general lassitude for warning signs of optimism. Time is granted to set up, and run, endeavors both personal and collective. When he returns to Mt Olympus, Zeus will have left a gift of gain – through pain. In a natal chart it can denote stunted growth, and a practitioner of the seven vices. A show-off; broke to boot.




| retro-Ares
Francisco Mattos

The god of war is a mystery during 2019. He is busy gathering up a posse of consisting of a goat, bull, lion, and eagle.
Libido Lost Trivial and transient frustrations make for an accident-prone period. After Ares leaves this battlefield, no gift is forthcoming, instead there is a scar that needs to heal. In a natal chart, the frustrations will multiply: Unresponsive father. Undefined face. Unfulfilled focus. Unsettled fights. Unassured fucks.




| retro-Aphrodite
Francisco Mattos

The goddess of love flirts not during 2019. Instead, she spends her time gathering up a glittering court. As the gates are opened, the first arrivals are a snake, scorpion, and eagle.
Royalty Ruined Ruminate for all it's worth, then try to renovate. Aphrodite leaves a golden gift of hindsight, both helpful and not helpful. In a natal chart it can manifest in strained affections; desires lurk when they shouldn't. Self-defeating; attracted to the unattractive.




| retro-Hermes
Francisco Mattos

The messenger of the gods has to rely on his smartphone during springtime in order to keep track of all his appointments. Beginning in summer and for a month he is to ride roughshod over chauvinists one and all. Come November and for three weeks he will have to resist an urge to turn into a preening prig.
Augury Ambushed The most frequent, therefore the most worrisome of visitations, and all happening inside one's brain. Mistakes now can cost; re-dos do recur. Breakups then breakdowns; logic takes a break. Time is granted to adopt thought-out words in order to throttle miscommunication, misdirection and mistakes. Time enough to be a listener. Even time to work out private connundrums. As a parting gift, Hermes restores garden-variety sanity. In a natal chart it can signify someone born w/ a spoon in its mouth, hence uttering inarticulate talk, and leading to untidy thoughts. Exhibits good rapport w/ the word No.


| back |






Superman

Francisco Mattos

 C O S F 



| Forest Hill
Francisco Mattos
Forest Hill Stairs There are eleven: Alton, Alton Backstairs, Magellan, Merced, Montalvo, Oriole, San Carlos, Sola, and the Grand Staircase, which drops down to Dewey Avenue. The last photo shows the very first steps.



¦ The Mission
Old-world film and independent cinema experience.
Roxie Theatre One of the last movie theaters featuring repertory and other film-fan fare, the Roxie Theater opened in 1909 and has been operating ever since. When this photo of the marquee was taken, it was a month wherein programming began w/ an indie film fest then moved to w/ Oscar-related films, concluding w/ a live-broadcast of the awards ceremony.




| Mission Bay
Construction of Mission Bay towers over the houseboats on Mission Creek. Corner of 5th and Berry.
Mission Creek There is a feeder creek beginning at the Mission Dolores that finds its way to Mission Bay. The final portion of this journey is the Mission Creek Channel, surfacing at 7th Street and, after passing under two bridges, joins the Bay at McCovey Cove. Mission Creek hosts a community of houseboats, late of nearby Islais Creek when circumstances in the 1960s compelled an en masse relocation. Nearby development has altered the original; turned on the lights. Where once two Indian villages, Chutchui and Sitlintac, were situated on Mission Creek, there now is a climate-change study to create some kind of a large levee or else build a robust tidal barrier to protect this precious local resource, where egrets, herons and ducks hang.



| Alcatraz
A sliver of Alcatraz island + Hyde Street climbing to the stars.
47 acres This small island is the largest plot of land in San Francisco Bay. From 1934 until 1963 it was fortified and served as a federal prison. It was also set up to hold military prisoners. No women were allowed.



| Angel Island
Thatch of trees on Angel Island looking back at the San Francisco.
1.2 sq mile Now designated a state park, this island in San Francisco Bay was once used by the U.S. government as an immigration station, for travelers choosing San Francisco as their port of call. In 1940 a fire destroyed the orginal administration building, and because of this operations moved back onshore. It is the second largest island in the Bay.



| Nihonmachi
Pedestrian block of shops in Japantown.
Japantown One of the earliest pedestrian-only streets in San Francisco, is found where Buchanan btw. Post and Sutter becomes an outdoor mall. It can be found in a compact historic enclave, 23 acres, in the Western Addition, known as Nihonmachi but generally referred to as Japantown. Considered one of the largest and oldest ethnic neighborhoods in the United States. A stream of cobblestones runs down Buchanan Mall, pooling around two origami fountains by Ruth Asawa.



| Union Square
Four neon signs from 1940s San Francisco, still lighting up every night.
Neon Night The shopping, hotel, and theater district of San Francisco has long been a fan of neon.


| Rincon Hill
Midnight at the Rincon Hill on-ramp to the Bay Bridge.
Clock Tower What remains of Rincon Hill is used as the western support of the Bay Bridge, and provide an onramp to it. It was once a navigation guide for ships entering the Golden Gate, and had some of the last cobble-stone streets in San Francisco; bits of it still show through on Rincon and Federal streets. The industrial-era Clock Tower building is now a condominium.



| Mount Tamalpais
Muir Woods Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge is an old growth coastal redwood forest, protected as a national monument.



| SoMA
Another shade of blue seen on 6th St as a heavy presence for opening of a police substation.
Sheriff of Sixth Street By noon on March 8 2013, as a small crowd gathered outside the new substation, an unassuming Mayor Ed Lee strolled down the sidewalk, shaking hands until reaching the podium and announcing the arrival of a police presence on the first stretch of Sixth Street, the most San Francisco block south of Market, decked out in all its Dickensian duds. After a speech, the mayor handed the mic to District Attorney George Gascon, Police Chief Greg Suhr, District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim, a local resident, and finally to Zack Stender, co-owner of nearby Huckleberry Bicycles, a new business which had moved into a neighborhood renowned for its flatness among the surrounding topography. Within the first week, surveillance footage was released showing a wrestle-to-the-ground arrest on the block by law enforcement, with broadcast and favorable commentary on the evening news.



| back |






Bill Cunningham




 CABLE CAR



Cable Car

THE FINISHED PROTOTYPE, w/ a driver’s cab at either end, appeared on the California Street Line in 1899.

Cable Car How San Francisco’s cable car came to be built will require more than one stop on its telling, wending this way and that, and passing landmarks of wealth and waste.

Cable Car Before the cable car, the task for getting to Nob Hill was relegated to paying for a ride in a horse-drawn cab. On October 11, 1869, this necessary yet wanton civic cruelty of using animals as beasts of burden changed for the good. The San Francisco Chronicle had a front page article on the death of a wretch. It took place when a horse finally lost it on California Street and, throttled by the harness, dragged down to its death. Cable Car When Andrew Hallidie read this, he paused and paced his inner office, reflecting on what if anything he could learn from this. Hallidie was already prosperous, although not yet famous. He had inherited a company from his father. The senior Hallidie had invented and then patented a steel cable: strands of wire lined up and braided into a rope that was super strong, and proved indispensable in the gold fields and gold mines.

Cable Car Cable Car Accordingly, access from the gold mines to San Francisco were surveyed. Roads, bridges and tracks were built wherever gold was found, w/ waystations established for respite and recreation. The mining methods these men brought w/ them quickly evolved to meet the challenges posed by the Comstock Lode and its tributaries.
Cable Car Cable Car

Cable Car Hallidie then took on someone's failed enterprise: build a conveyance capable of conquering the city‘s hills, relying on his cable rope. He bought the Clay Street Hill Railway Company and by May 1873 had built tracks and a cable assembly up Clay from Kearny to Leavenworth, a punishing climb of seven blocks.
Cable Car
Early on August 2 1873, a prototype tram was in place and, lantern-lit, Hallidie stepped on board. Activating a grip lever onto to a moving cable, he went up to Nob Hill on that peril-prone maiden voyage. Few were awake to witness a milestone, yet by opening day on September 1, the Clay Street Line was in demand. In 1880 over one million tickets were sold.

Cable Car The original cable cars were tiny trams powered by a patented grip that alternately holds, and releases, a continuously moving steel cable running under the street. Power is supplied by huge drums housed at nearby power stations along the route.

Cable Car The tram operator is stationed forward of the tram. When he employs the grip to grab and hold on to the moving cable, the tram also moves. When the grip is released, the tram stops moving, even on a hill, using an invention of gear technology preventing slippage. Each car is manned by two operators: the tram operator or gripman, and the conductor.

Cable Car Cable Car Cable Car Andrew Smith Hallidie was born on March 17, 1837 in London, to Andrew Smith (b.1798 Dumfrieshire, Scotland) and Julia Johnstone (Lockerbie). He died April 24 1900, in San Francisco. Six years later his cable car system would survive the 1906 Earthquake. Cable Car

Cable Car Cable cars then sprouted worldwide, from New York to Hong Kong. Naples crowned its opening by commissioning a song, “Funiculi, Funicula.”

Cable Car When news of the discovery of gold in California traveled back east, the brawn and brains of a young nation came westward, where notions of Freedom waltzed hand-in-glove w/ greatness as well as greed.

Cable Car The Industrial Revolution created tools used in scientific precisioning, allowing innovated models to be tested and profitably manufactured. Among these ideas was the ingenuous “square set” created by German engineer Philipp Deidesheimer. Grey Brechin picks up the umbilical cord:
Cable Car The square set introduced methods of construction. Deidesheimer's gift went from constructing safety zones to conduct the backbreaking business of mining into other uses, including the ability of a grid of steel beams and columns to allow support for more height.

Cable Car The term skyscraper came into usage in the 1880s, when enough tall buildings were built in the United States (15), to warrant a designation. These new structures usually came w/ modern plumbing, electrical outlets in every room, a telephone line in every unit, central heating, and elevator(s). Cable Car Cable Car
In 1917, Andrew Smith Hallidie had an innovative building named for him. The Hallidie Building (by Willis Polk) has a facade rising eight stories and sheathed in glass. Cable Car Cable Car “ …In the 1990s, NASA took a fresh look at the steel cable in light of a super material, carbon nanotube. This new field of nanotechnology promises a material that is uber-strong, light and flexible. Space Elevators: An Advanced Earth-Space Infrastructure for the New Millenium is the feasibility paper of this new science,to erect a track running on cables, from here to the Moon, a journey of some 62,000 miles.”



Philipp Deidesheimer
 Philipp and Mrs Deidesheimer   Making mining feasible, also skyscrapers.
• CABLE CAR FOOTNOTES
 |  Based on San Francisco’s Golden Era by Lucius Beebe and Charles Clego (1060); Cable Car Days in San Francisco by Edgar Myron Kahn (1940); The Headlight, March 1947, published by the Western Pacific Club; Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin by Gray Brechin (1999); and on online articles by Mary Bellis (“The History of Skyscrapers”), Karen Barss (“Manhattan’s Golden Age of Skyscrapers”), and Meghan Neal (“Space Elevators Are Totally Possible”)  |  NASA ART - A space cable to the moon.  |  BONANZA — There is a 1959 episode of the TV series featuring a Philipp Deidesheimer storyline.  |  THANKS — Taryn Edwards, MLIS, Mechanics’ Institute.  |  THANKS — Penelope Houston, SF Public Library.


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Cardigans & Pullover

 




-¦  November 2019  ¦-




  WALT WHITMAN



Walt Whitman

Shapes of democracy total, result of centuries, shapes ever projecting other shapes, shapes of turbulent manly cities, shapes of the friends and home-givers of the whole earth, shapes bracing the earth and braced with the whole earth.

In some unused lagoon, some nameless bay, on sluggish, lonesome waters, anchor’d near the shore, an old, dismasted, gray and batter’d ship, disabled, done. After free voyages to all the seas of earth, haul’d up at last and hawser’d tight, lies rusting, mouldering.







 CABLE CAR



Cable Car

THE FINISHED PROTOTYPE, w/ a driver’s cab at either end, appeared on the California Street Line in 1899.

Cable Car

 

How San Francisco’s cable car came to be built will require more than one stop on its telling, wending this way and that, and passing landmarks of wealth and waste.

Cable Car Before the cable car, the task for getting to Nob Hill was relegated to paying for a ride in a horse-drawn cab. On October 11, 1869, this necessary yet wanton civic cruelty of using animals as beasts of burden changed for the good. The San Francisco Chronicle had a front page article on the death of a wretch. It took place when a horse finally lost it on California Street and, throttled by the harness, dragged down to its death.

Cable Car When Andrew Hallidie read this, he paused and paced his inner office, reflecting on what if anything he could learn from this. Hallidie was already prosperous, although not yet famous. He had inherited a company from his father. The senior Hallidie had invented and then patented a steel cable: strands of wire lined up and braided into a rope that was super strong, and proved indispensable in the gold fields and gold mines.

Cable Car

 

Cable Car

Cable Car Hallidie then took on someone's failed enterprise: build a conveyance capable of conquering the city‘s hills, relying on his cable rope. He bought the Clay Street Hill Railway Company and by May 1873 had built tracks and a cable assembly up Clay from Kearny to Leavenworth, a punishing climb of seven blocks.
Cable Car
Early on August 2 1873, a prototype tram was in place and, lantern-lit, Hallidie stepped on board. Activating a grip lever onto to a moving cable, he went up to Nob Hill on that peril-prone maiden voyage. Few were awake to witness a milestone, yet by opening day on September 1, the Clay Street Line was in demand. In 1880 over one million tickets were sold.

Cable Car

The original cable cars were tiny trams powered by a patented grip that alternately holds, and releases, a continuously moving steel cable running under the street. Power is supplied by huge drums housed at nearby power stations along the route.

Cable Car The tram operator is stationed forward of the tram. When he employs the grip to grab and hold on to the moving cable, the tram also moves. When the grip is released, the tram stops moving, even on a hill, using an invention of gear technology preventing slippage. Each car is manned by two operators: the tram operator or gripman, and the conductor.

Cable Car Cable Car Cable Car Andrew Smith Hallidie was born on March 17, 1837 in London, to Andrew Smith (b.1798 Dumfrieshire, Scotland) and Julia Johnstone (Lockerbie). He died April 24 1900, in San Francisco. Six years later his cable car system would survive the 1906 Earthquake.

Cable Car Cable cars then sprouted worldwide, from New York to Hong Kong. Naples crowned its opening by commissioning a song, “Funiculi, Funicula.”
Cable Car
In 1917, Andrew Smith Hallidie had an innovative building named for him. The Hallidie Building (by Willis Polk) has a facade rising eight stories and sheathed in glass. Cable Car

Cable Car

When news of the discovery of gold in California traveled back east, the brawn and brains of a young nation came westward, where notions of Freedom waltzed hand-in-glove w/ greatness as well as greed.

Cable Car Accordingly, access from the gold mines to San Francisco were surveyed. Roads, bridges and tracks were built wherever gold was found, w/ waystations established for respite and recreation. The mining methods these men brought w/ them quickly evolved to meet the challenges posed by the Comstock Lode and its tributaries.
Cable Car Cable Car

Cable Car The Industrial Revolution created tools used in scientific precisioning, allowing innovated models to be tested and profitably manufactured. Among these ideas was the ingenuous “square set” created by German engineer Philipp Deidesheimer. Grey Brechin picks up the umbilical cord:
Cable Car The square set introduced methods of construction. Deidesheimer's gift went from constructing safety zones to conduct the backbreaking business of mining into other uses, including the ability of a grid of steel beams and columns to allow support for more height.

Cable Car The term skyscraper came into usage in the 1880s, when enough tall buildings were built in the United States (15), to warrant a designation. These new structures usually came w/ modern plumbing, electrical outlets in every room, a telephone line in every unit, central heating, and elevator(s). Cable Car Cable Car “ …In the 1990s, NASA took a fresh look at the steel cable in light of a super material, carbon nanotube. This new field of nanotechnology promises a material that is uber-strong, light and flexible. Space Elevators: An Advanced Earth-Space Infrastructure for the New Millenium is the feasibility paper of this new science,to erect a track running on cables, from here to the Moon, a journey of some 62,000 miles.”



Philipp Deidesheimer
 Philipp and Mrs Deidesheimer   Making mining feasible, also skyscrapers.
• CABLE CAR NOTES:

 |  Based on San Francisco’s Golden Era by Lucius Beebe and Charles Clego (1060); Cable Car Days in San Francisco by Edgar Myron Kahn (1940); The Headlight, March 1947, published by the Western Pacific Club; Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin by Gray Brechin (1999); and on online articles by Mary Bellis (“The History of Skyscrapers”), Karen Barss (“Manhattan’s Golden Age of Skyscrapers”), and Meghan Neal (“Space Elevators Are Totally Possible”)  |  NASA ART - A space cable to the moon.  |  BONANZA — There is a 1959 episode of the TV series featuring a Philipp Deidesheimer storyline.  |  THANKS — Taryn Edwards, MLIS, Mechanics’ Institute.  |  THANKS — Penelope Houston, SF Public Library.


| back |






 WHAT HE SAID

Gary Hurstwit

Gary Hurstwit


Invisible Typeface A documentary by filmmaker Gary Hurstwit, Helvetica the Documentary (2007) posits this “unseen” naming-convention as the most user-friendly of fonts.







  UNIVERSITY TOWN



Coimbra


⇞  CITY OF STUDENTS

Coimbra, a city in northern Portugal, is the see of a bishop, the capital of a province, and a center of learning. In 2013, UNESCO designated the University of Comibra as a University Town Recipient for its World Heritage Sites, “… an integrated university city, w/ a specific urban typology, as well as its own ceremonial and cultural traditions.”


The property consists of two areas: a hilltop complex of buildings, University Hill , and a series of scattered structures which all played a part in the university’s history. There is a 12th century Augustinian monastery which was the first school, and the original library.

The Inquisition swept into Portugal in 1567, and Coimbra was one of the three local centers tasked to conduct it. Outlasting these strictures, the university bounced back, w/ strengthened statutes, a reorganized syllabus of studies, greater emphasis on education in the vernacular, and the re-establishment of freedom of research. The old castle on the hilltop was finally pulled down to make way for new buildings.

A seal was then struck, a praxe, consisting of a spoon (symbol of punishment), scissors (symbol of unruliness), and a stick (symbol of self-defense).



University of Coimbra

University of Coimbra

Founded in 1290, the University of Coimbra is the second oldest continuous institution of higher learning in Europe (the University of Paris is older), and the first university town in the world. In this northern Portuguese city, a world treasure become sited inside a national treasure, the school moved into a former royal palace on the summit of the hill, and grew to become a gathering spot for academics, writers, artists, who nicknamed this the Lusitanian Athens, ‘Lusa Atenas’.



⇞   CAMPUS

An early champion of the new science of circumnavigation, an observatory was built to make spatial sense of the stars.

Investitures and major events take place in the ‘Sala Grande dos Actos,‘ below portraits of kings and queens. A cathedral, already there when the university arrived, was gifted by Jesuits. The throne room is now used for PhD candidate examinations, and nothing else.

The four rooms of the ‘Museu de Arte Sacra’ contain, among holy habits and chalices, books of early sacred music. There is a museum of natural history. A colonnaded walkway by the grand patio was added in the 18th century, the ‘Via Latina.’ The campus chapel, ‘Capela de Sao Miguel’, means that no student need run downhill to another one.

A Botanical Garden blossomed in 1772, that delightful Victorian experiment of Eden on earth, sprouting wherever colonialism circled.


  Patio das Escolas     Main gathering spot on campus, w/ its unparalleled vista view, the Great Courtyard, makes of the patio paving a virtual flying carpet, attitude mostly due to altitude.
Coimbra

Coimbra
The Bell Tower allows for vista views under cramped quarters, and can be seen from most anywhere in the city. The best known of its three bells is the goat (‘a cabra’), summoning generations to their studies since 1733.


There are five faculties (‘theologia’, ‘direito’, ‘medicina’, ‘mathematica’, ‘philosophia’) w/ disciplines in judicial and European court systems, interdisciplinary nuclear science, and the arts. (The university had begun by teaching law, rhetoric, mathematics, theology, medicine, grammar and Greek.) The teaching staff consisits of some 70 professors and lecturers. Semester is from autumn to the start of summer, when two months of exams take place. The ordinary degree resulting in the title ‘licenciado’ lasts five years. The degree of ‘doutor’ takes another year and another examination. Medical students study eight years.

The university has a digital repositorium inside a tech park involved in research and incubation. There is a repository for the project April 25, documenting the toppling of a dictatorship. Auxiliaries of the city-wide university system take on citizen practices such as sports, theater, and botany and preservation; there are several kindergartens and nurseries under its wing.





⇞   LIBRARY

When the university outgrew the original city library, a second one was built in the 18th century, on University Hill, the ‘Biblioteca Joanina’, the oldest university library in continuous use in the world, and housed in three large and resplendent Baroque rooms w/ painted ceilings.


The first room has a light green palette, the second a darker green, and the third room has a “… shade like that of orange Niger leather”; rich in gilt and exotic wood, lined w/ 300,000 volumes in galleries runing around the walls, incl. arguably the most valuable collection of Bibles in the world.


Main library on campus also acts as a zoo: in the wings there live a colony of bats, eating the grubs that eat its pages.
Coimbra


There are unpublished manuscripts of Domenico Scarlatti, thought lost but rediscovered in the 20th century, because they were incorrectly catalogued. By the front door, a passageway can take one down to the river, the ‘Palacios Confusos’, by a series of steps posing as alleys, past houses of different styles and years.





⇞   STUDENT BODY

The student body numbers about 25,000, and the dress code is a black Prince Albert coat, worn w/ black trousers, black cape batina, black dress tie; generally students go bareheaded. A military hospital happens to be located nearby, because.


Freshmen may not be on the street after the bell has rung at 6pm, on penalty of being shaved bald, if caught. Another form of punishment is to measure the long bridge over the Modego w/ a match, and it must be done w/ meticulous accuracy. Even a good and sinless freshman must be prepared to run errands whenever required to do so by a sophomore or junior, but he may be “protected,” and the errand countermanded, by a friendly senior (‘quartanista’). In turn a sophomore and a junior are known as a semi-harlot (‘mejo prostituo / prostituta’) and a total harlot (‘total prostituo / prostituta’) respectively.

These ‘estudantes’ make up about a third of the town’s inhabitants. Their graduation ceremonies take place in May. It’s then that a localized form of ‘fado’ is sung, by male students only, and only on the steps of the old cathedral when 10pm comes around, w/ lyrics more intellectual and romantic than the genre asks for, love songs tuned to the passions and sentiments of the students, who perfume the air w/ their lamentations until dawn.



 Fado   ‘Ali, o lirio do scelestes vales, tendosen fim, terão a seu começo, para não mais findar, nossos amores.’ (Yonder, lily of celestial valleys, your end shall be their beginning, our loves ne’er more to perish.)   — Antero de Quental
Antero de Quental




⇞   STUDENT REPUBLICS

In the mid-1950s there were eleven “republics” or student organizations, active in the university.


One of them is ‘Pra-kys-tao‘ (Here We Are), a fraternity of ten students for the mutual benefit of themselves and their always-slender budgets, and to satisfy wants such as traditional evenings of wine and shrimps in town. Membership was open, upon unanimous favorable vote, to students of any race, color, religion or political creed except, during that period, communism. In the most pratical way, the student who had been a member longest is automatically president. Using a rotation system, two students, followed by two more then two more, serve as executive officers for fifteen days. They run the republic and must explain and justify all outlays of money, and a debate on this topic may be opened at any time, all decisions being made by majority vote, and to be taken at the dinner table. Freshmen may not vote on money matters but on anything else. This particular republic had only 13 electric light bulbs for 15 rooms, incl. the dining room, kitchen and hallway. Pin-up girls papered over every wallspace, the harem of the eye (‘Harem do Olho’). One wall had graffiti: “Artillery Exported to Pra-kys-tao for the Protection of the Marshall Plan.”


Certain campus traditions take place to mark the academic seasons, involving parades through the city, each rife w/ its own occult rituals. The noisy Latada - Festa das Latas (celebration of end of class), and the older Queima das Fitas (burning of the ribbons), which goes on for eight days, involving light blue ribbons for the Sciences, dark blue for Letters, yellow for Medicine and purple for Pharmacy.


  Rua de Quebra-Costas     Arguably the steepest route to the academic world in the world, aka Backbreak Street.
Coimbra




⇞  CITY OF CULTURE

The original footprint of Coimbra has spilled downhil, and locals distinguish between the older Upper Town and the Lower Town.


  Coimbra    Upper Town surrounded by Lower Town and the banks of the Mondego.
Coimbra


The area bordering the Modego River is Cicade Baixa, downtown, where commerce happens amid Romanesque, early Baroque, Rococco, and Gothic structures, sporting Moorish shadows and sucumbing to the nautical notions of the Manueline style.

A Portuguese queen is buried downtown, in a silver tomb housed in the convent of ‘Santa Ciara-a-Nova’. The Fountain of Life, waiting for you since the 14th century, is behind this church.

Unto the 1920s Coimbra was all but inaccessible by road to travellers, not to mention damp beds and dangerous foods. Sacheverell Sitwell visited in the 1950s:

“… At Coimbra not only has there been wanton and appalling destruction of what was old and beautiful, but new University buildings have been erected which are really shaming in their blatant ugliness. The sculptures, particularly, are of an insulting hideousness. … Not that there is anything in the least Portuguese about these abominable buildings of Coimbra. But it is sad, too, because, Coimbra being the university town of Portugal, so many Portuguese retain memories of Coimbra and an affection for it all through their lives, and those memories will now forever more be tinged and coloured by the ugly buildings. There is no possible excuse for hideousness upon this scale; but it might, at least, be practised elsewhere and not in Coimbra.”

Luis de Camões
⇞   The Lusiads


Arguably the most famous student of the University of Coimbra is Luis de Camões, who (might have been) born in Coimbra in 1524 but known to have passed age 56 in Lisbon. His fame is partly based on supreme mastery of the Portuguese language and is its lyric poet, and his most famous work is a tour de force recounting the tragedy of Indes de Castro of Spain and her love Prince Pedro of Portugal, and her murder by jealous courtiers. She was killed by a fountain in the Garden of Tears (‘Quinta das Lagrimas’) in the convent of Santa Clara; where pond lilies are have been known to flower red.

A stone slab by the fountain bears the following verse by Luís Vaz de Camões (Lusiads, Ill, 135), here in a translation by Lord Byron:


Lusiads of Cameos
Tomb of Luis de Camões in Lisbon.


Mondego’s Daughter-Nymphs the death obscure Wept many a year, with wails of woe exceeding; And for long memory changed to fountain pure, The floods of grief their eyes were ever feeding; The name they gave it, which doth still endure, Revived Ignez, whose murdered love lies bleeding. See yon fresh fountain flowing ‘mid the flowers, Tears are its water, and its name ‘Amores.’



Manueline Style
⇞   Maritime Motif

Flush w/ wealth from the Spice Trade, Portugal experienced a brief period where money became as abundant as sea water, and lavished it on an indigenous artform.


The discoveries brought back by the sea voyages Pedro Alvares Cabral and Vasco da Gama aroused the already composite Portuguese style, toying w/ Flemish, Italian and Late Gothic elements. The newly rich gathered the bounties of the sea trade and repurposed them an architectural vocabulary in churches, monasteries, palaces and castles, and a maritime motif applied to furniture, sculpture and painting. The style was given a name in 1842 by the Viscount Francisco Adolfo de Varnhagen, in his description of the Jeronimos Monastery. The characteristics of this Manueline style, named for King Manuel I (1495-1521), resulted in ornate portals, bevelled crenellations, conical pinnacles, and eight-sided capitals.


There were semicircular arches on doors and windows, columns of carved rope, and a wanton disregard for symmetry. There were symbols of Christianity and latter-day Templars, botanical flourishes, artifacts found on ships, all garlanded by Islamic filigree work and Moorish traceries.


Manueline Style

  Davy Jones’s locker     Detail of the Triton Gate, standing guard in Sintra. Nautical wonders like seaweed and barnacles added to the dense ornamentation. More.


Aeminium
⇞   Roman Footprint

Machado de Castro Museum

The most important remains in Coimbra is an underground gallery of arches that once supported the Roman forum, and brimming w/ Visigothic artifacts, the Cryptoporticus da Anemium. For protection a tower, the Montemor, was built closer to the sea, allowing guarded access to estuary of the oxbow shape of the Mondego river, as well as nearby vineyards.

Coimbra
The original footprint of the city of Coimbra can be seen in map, top right. When Gaius Sevius Lupus was sent from Rome, he followed the common cruciform rule of Roman towns and cities, locating the cardo maximus where it crosses the decumanus maximus, and where this cruciform intersected he built the forum. This was a outpost fort, on the spurs of a hilly range, the Serra de Lavrao. An aqueduct was a standard feature, and it ruins can still be found.




Sources [ 1 ]  [1] California and the Portuguese by Celestino Soares, SPN Books Lisbon 1939.  [2] Eyewitness Travel Guides: Portugal w/ Madeira & the Azores, DK Publishing Inc London 1997.  [3] The Finest Castles in Portugal, text Julio Gil, photographs Augusto Cabrita, Verbo 1996.  [4] A History of Spain and Portugal in two volumes, by Stanley G. Payne, The University of Wisconsin Press 1973.  [5] The Nagel Travel Guide Series : Portugal, Nagel Publishers Geneva 1956.  [6] A New History of Portugal 2nd Edition by H.V. Livermore, Cambridge University Press London 1976.  [7] Portugal and Madeira by Sacheverell Sitwell, William Clowes and Sons London 1954.  [8] Portugal the Pathfinder: Journeys from the Medieval toward the Modern World 1300-ca.1600, edited by George D. Winius, The Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies Ltd, The University of Wisconsin Press 1995.  [9] Port and the Douro by Richard Mayson, Faber and Faber London 1999.  [10] Portuguese Concise Dictionary 2nd edition, Harper Collins 2001.  [11] Spain and Protugal, Handbook for Travellers by Karl Bedacker, fourth edition. Leipsic: Karl Baedeker, publisher. London: George Allen & Unwini Ltd., New York: Chas. Scribner’s Sons. 1913.  [12] A Traveller's History of Portugal by Ian C. Robertson, line drawings by John Hoste, Interlink Books New York 2002.  [13] World Food by Lynelle Scott-Aitken and Clara Vitorino, Lonely Planet 2002. CREDITS  Culled from reporting by Tim Pozzi,the University of Coimbra website, the Internet, and guide books. Photographers incl., among others, Francisco Antunes.
Street names [ 2 ] Some Coimbra street names include: Rua Anthero de Quental, Alameda do Jardin Bot, Estrada da Beira, Rua do Loureira, Couraca dos Apostolos, Rua das Padeiras, Rua das Solas, Rua da Moeda, Rua da Louca, Rua do Corvo, Rua do Joao Cabreira, Rua da Sophia, Rua de Mont’arroio, Rua do Corpo de Deus, Rua do Borralho, Rua dos Estudos, Rua Lourenco d’Almcida, Rua Venancio Rodriguez, Rua Garrett, Rua do Thomar, Rua de Alex Herculano, Rua Ferreira Borges, Rua do Visconde da Luz, Rua da Sophia, Rua de Castro Mattoso, Rua de Oliveira Mattos.

Street names [ 3 ] Complete list of 2013 UNESCO World Heritage Sites’ New Inscribed Properties.



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 WHAT HE SAID

Dr Mabuse








 HISTORIC CENTER RECIPIENT

Agadez, Niger

Starting point for a journey across the Sahara, taking in “ports of call” to Timbuktu, Ghat, then Ghadames, and finally Tripoli, on the shores of the Mediterranean.

Seat of a Tuareg sultanate which was established in 1449. Occupied by the French since the early 1900s, and known of rebellion ever since. The Tuareg people are the original Canaanites from the Bible, inhabiting ancient Palestine and Phoenicia, and its lingua franca is the Hausa language, a subgroup of the Chadic languages group, and therefore a part of the Afroasiatic language family.

Started in the 1400s to serve as the south gateway into the Sahara, the Historic Centre of Agadez in Niger is now a Historic Center Recipient and a 2013 UNESCO World Heritage Site. This desert town was founded to become a center of commerce for the trans-Saharan trade, and by the 1500s the populace was 30,000. 2013 UNESCO Historic Center Recipient In 1976, area mining for uranium allowed the local economy to established a school, the Ecole des Mines de l'Air.

The 2011 census counted a total of 124,324 people living in Agadez and the European language they speak is French. There is an international airport named after a Tuareg leader, Mano Dayak, but due to the ongoing Tuareg rebellion in the region, Agadez is unsafe for travel.


2013 UNESCO Historic Center Recipient
A mosque made of clay, built in 1515, still stands. It was restored in 1814 and is the world’s tallest mud minaret, at 88.5-ft. Chinese scroll depicting the first camel to enter Cathay.




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PIXELS Sponge and other cakes

Francisco Mattos




Francisco Mattos

  RETOX  



The detectable planets orbit, generally speaking, across our night sky, for instance, from west to east, in a prograde motion. Sometimes though they will move from east to west, in what is known as a retrograde transit. When this feature is present in a natal chart, generally speaking, it has come to denote, for instance, someone harmless, an oddball. In the scheme of things, across the heavens, it has come to pass that the offspring of Chaos and Gaia was the Titan Uranus, who begat Cronus, who begat brothers Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus. And Zeus in turn begat siblings Aphrodite, Ares, and Hermes. All capable of showing their reverse qualities.

| retro-Uranus
Francisco Mattos

Descending come the month of August, this primordial god of the sky chooses a horned ram for his guide and guard to confer w/ a recalcitrant moneyman.
Magic Mocked
Expect the expected, expect an eyewash. Time is granted to sit down, w/ one's tested thoughts, for a tête-à-tête, and over tea is best. Time enough to adapt, and embrace astonishment. Uranus's parting gift can be a realization that less is, really, more. In a natal chart, it might manifest as eccentric behaviors privately practised, at the same time endlessly shunning new technologies in favor of the tried and true.




| retro-Cronus
Francisco Mattos

From mid-spring into end of summer, this Titan god of the harvest could, would, should bring an end to rigid beliefs, on both sides of the divide, and might just bring about a fall from power.
Time Thwarted
Playing mind games now won't turn out to have been useful or even a happy pastime; the sad too go on dates. Time is granted to sort and assess current responsibilities. Time enough to sort out negativity from positivity. The departure of Cronus, Father Time himself, allows his gift of decluttering closets some time to settle in. In a natal chart, this feature connotes a natural depressive having no father figure. No discipline. No inner peace. No self-esteem. No lightheartedness. No boundaries. No respect for the elderly. A moody self-nag.




| retro-Hades
Francisco Mattos

Sluggish from mid-spring through the begining of fall in 2019, the god of the dead tosses and turns while dreaming of new forms of governments.
Death Denied
Be prepared to let go. Be prepared to be picked on. Be prepared to pay up for IOUs. Time is granted to take a swim in one's subconscious, submerged for a luxuriant soak. Time enough to prune the past, face the future. The return to his nether realms signals Hades' parting gift, restoring situations, things and people, to the way they were. In a natal chart it can cause constant application of the brakes: Inability to change and unable to express intensity. Inability to go w/ the flow and unable to recognize what just took place. Inability to trust and unable to guard from predation. Inability to lead while unable to forgive manipulation and betrayal.




Ψ retro-Poseidon
Francisco Mattos

The god of water starts to swim backwards by the end of June, bringing on a bout of moral imbecility, which starts ebbing around Thanksgiving.
Soul Slammed
An absence of self-delusion confronts Poseidon, where the ocean is still and very clear in 201. If found in one's natal chart, there will be a diffuse unawareness of beginnings and ends, as well as a diffuse awareness of the ego and its extent.




| retro-Zeus
Francisco Mattos

From mid-spring to late summer, the god of lightning and thunder is noticeably tusseling w/ religious wars, and brings a farsighted outlook to bear on an abiding interest for all parties to arrive at an understanding.
Diamond Dusted
Time enough to detach from jollity. A disbelief in the future sets in, overlaid w/ a general lassitude for warning signs of optimism. Time is granted to set up, and run, endeavors both personal and collective. When he returns to Mt Olympus, Zeus will have left a gift of gain – through pain. In a natal chart it can denote stunted growth, and a practitioner of the seven vices. A show-off; broke to boot.




| retro-Ares
Francisco Mattos

The god of war is a mystery during 2019. He is busy gathering up a posse of consisting of a goat, bull, lion, and eagle.
Libido Lost
Trivial and transient frustrations make for an accident-prone period. After Ares leaves this battlefield, no gift is forthcoming, instead there is a scar that needs to heal. In a natal chart, the frustrations will multiply: Unresponsive father. Undefined face. Unfulfilled focus. Unsettled fights. Unassured fucks.




| retro-Aphrodite
Francisco Mattos

The goddess of love flirts not during 2019. Instead, she spends her time gathering up a glittering court. As the gates are opened, the first arrivals are a snake, scorpion, and eagle.
Royalty Ruined
Ruminate for all it's worth, then try to renovate. Aphrodite leaves a golden gift of hindsight, both helpful and not helpful. In a natal chart it can manifest in strained affections; desires lurk when they shouldn't. Self-defeating; attracted to the unattractive.




| retro-Hermes
Francisco Mattos

The messenger of the gods has to rely on his smartphone during springtime in order to keep track of all his appointments. Beginning in summer and for a month he is to ride roughshod over chauvinists one and all. Come November and for three weeks he will have to resist an urge to turn into a preening prig.
Augury Ambushed
The most frequent, therefore the most worrisome of visitations, and all happening inside one's brain. Mistakes now can cost; re-dos do recur. Breakups then breakdowns; logic takes a break. Time is granted to adopt thought-out words in order to throttle miscommunication, misdirection and mistakes. Time enough to be a listener. Even time to work out private connundrums. As a parting gift, Hermes restores garden-variety sanity. In a natal chart it can signify someone born w/ a spoon in its mouth, hence uttering inarticulate talk, and leading to untidy thoughts. Exhibits good rapport w/ the word No.


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 PALIMPSEST



Climate Strike 2019 Students walk out of class in worldwide protest.

Francisco Mattos




Mural Day 2016 Sixteen panels from an anonymous wall mural, on Mission and 18th in San Francisco, May 1.

Francisco Mattos


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-|  November 2019  |-




  WALT WHITMAN



Walt Whitman

Shapes of democracy total, result of centuries, shapes ever projecting other shapes, shapes of turbulent manly cities, shapes of the friends and home-givers of the whole earth, shapes bracing the earth and braced with the whole earth.

In some unused lagoon, some nameless bay, on sluggish, lonesome waters, anchor’d near the shore, an old, dismasted, gray and batter’d ship, disabled, done. After free voyages to all the seas of earth, haul’d up at last and hawser’d tight, lies rusting, mouldering.







 CABLE CAR



Cable Car

THE FINISHED PROTOTYPE, w/ a driver’s cab at either end, appeared on the California Street Line in 1899.

Cable Car

 

How San Francisco’s cable car came to be built will require more than one stop on its telling, wending this way and that, and passing landmarks of wealth and waste.

Cable Car Before the cable car, the task for getting to Nob Hill was relegated to paying for a ride in a horse-drawn cab. On October 11, 1869, this necessary yet wanton civic cruelty of using animals as beasts of burden changed for the good. The San Francisco Chronicle had a front page article on the death of a wretch. It took place when a horse finally lost it on California Street and, throttled by the harness, dragged down to its death.

Cable Car When Andrew Hallidie read this, he paused and paced his inner office, reflecting on what if anything he could learn from this. Hallidie was already prosperous, although not yet famous. He had inherited a company from his father. The senior Hallidie had invented and then patented a steel cable: strands of wire lined up and braided into a rope that was super strong, and proved indispensable in the gold fields and gold mines.

Cable Car

 

Cable Car

Cable Car Hallidie then took on someone's failed enterprise: build a conveyance capable of conquering the city‘s hills, relying on his cable rope. He bought the Clay Street Hill Railway Company and by May 1873 had built tracks and a cable assembly up Clay from Kearny to Leavenworth, a punishing climb of seven blocks.
Cable Car
Early on August 2 1873, a prototype tram was in place and, lantern-lit, Hallidie stepped on board. Activating a grip lever onto to a moving cable, he went up to Nob Hill on that peril-prone maiden voyage. Few were awake to witness a milestone, yet by opening day on September 1, the Clay Street Line was in demand. In 1880 over one million tickets were sold.

Cable Car

The original cable cars were tiny trams powered by a patented grip that alternately holds, and releases, a continuously moving steel cable running under the street. Power is supplied by huge drums housed at nearby power stations along the route.

Cable Car The tram operator is stationed forward of the tram. When he employs the grip to grab and hold on to the moving cable, the tram also moves. When the grip is released, the tram stops moving, even on a hill, using an invention of gear technology preventing slippage. Each car is manned by two operators: the tram operator or gripman, and the conductor.

Cable Car Cable Car Cable Car Andrew Smith Hallidie was born on March 17, 1837 in London, to Andrew Smith (b.1798 Dumfrieshire, Scotland) and Julia Johnstone (Lockerbie). He died April 24 1900, in San Francisco. Six years later his cable car system would survive the 1906 Earthquake.

Cable Car Cable cars then sprouted worldwide, from New York to Hong Kong. Naples crowned its opening by commissioning a song, “Funiculi, Funicula.”
Cable Car
In 1917, Andrew Smith Hallidie had an innovative building named for him. The Hallidie Building (by Willis Polk) has a facade rising eight stories and sheathed in glass. Cable Car

Cable Car

When news of the discovery of gold in California traveled back east, the brawn and brains of a young nation came westward, where notions of Freedom waltzed hand-in-glove w/ greatness as well as greed.

Cable Car Accordingly, access from the gold mines to San Francisco were surveyed. Roads, bridges and tracks were built wherever gold was found, w/ waystations established for respite and recreation. The mining methods these men brought w/ them quickly evolved to meet the challenges posed by the Comstock Lode and its tributaries.
Cable Car Cable Car

Cable Car The Industrial Revolution created tools used in scientific precisioning, allowing innovated models to be tested and profitably manufactured. Among these ideas was the ingenuous “square set” created by German engineer Philipp Deidesheimer. Grey Brechin picks up the umbilical cord:
Cable Car The square set introduced methods of construction. Deidesheimer's gift went from constructing safety zones to conduct the backbreaking business of mining into other uses, including the ability of a grid of steel beams and columns to allow support for more height.

Cable Car The term skyscraper came into usage in the 1880s, when enough tall buildings were built in the United States (15), to warrant a designation. These new structures usually came w/ modern plumbing, electrical outlets in every room, a telephone line in every unit, central heating, and elevator(s). Cable Car Cable Car “ …In the 1990s, NASA took a fresh look at the steel cable in light of a super material, carbon nanotube. This new field of nanotechnology promises a material that is uber-strong, light and flexible. Space Elevators: An Advanced Earth-Space Infrastructure for the New Millenium is the feasibility paper of this new science,to erect a track running on cables, from here to the Moon, a journey of some 62,000 miles.”



Philipp Deidesheimer
 Philipp and Mrs Deidesheimer   Making mining feasible, also skyscrapers.
• CABLE CAR NOTES:

 |  Based on San Francisco’s Golden Era by Lucius Beebe and Charles Clego (1060); Cable Car Days in San Francisco by Edgar Myron Kahn (1940); The Headlight, March 1947, published by the Western Pacific Club; Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin by Gray Brechin (1999); and on online articles by Mary Bellis (“The History of Skyscrapers”), Karen Barss (“Manhattan’s Golden Age of Skyscrapers”), and Meghan Neal (“Space Elevators Are Totally Possible”)  |  NASA ART - A space cable to the moon.  |  BONANZA — There is a 1959 episode of the TV series featuring a Philipp Deidesheimer storyline.  |  THANKS — Taryn Edwards, MLIS, Mechanics’ Institute.  |  THANKS — Penelope Houston, SF Public Library.


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 WHAT HE SAID

Dr Mabuse









  UNIVERSITY TOWN



Coimbra


⇞  CITY OF STUDENTS

Coimbra, a city in northern Portugal, is the see of a bishop, the capital of a province, and a center of learning. In 2013, UNESCO designated the University of Comibra as a University Town Recipient for its World Heritage Sites, “… an integrated university city, w/ a specific urban typology, as well as its own ceremonial and cultural traditions.”


The property consists of two areas: a hilltop complex of buildings, University Hill , and a series of scattered structures which all played a part in the university’s history. There is a 12th century Augustinian monastery which was the first school, and the original library.

The Inquisition swept into Portugal in 1567, and Coimbra was one of the three local centers tasked to conduct it. Outlasting these strictures, the university bounced back, w/ strengthened statutes, a reorganized syllabus of studies, greater emphasis on education in the vernacular, and the re-establishment of freedom of research. The old castle on the hilltop was finally pulled down to make way for new buildings.

A seal was then struck, a praxe, consisting of a spoon (symbol of punishment), scissors (symbol of unruliness), and a stick (symbol of self-defense).



University of Coimbra

University of Coimbra

Founded in 1290, the University of Coimbra is the second oldest continuous institution of higher learning in Europe (the University of Paris is older), and the first university town in the world. In this northern Portuguese city, a world treasure become sited inside a national treasure, the school moved into a former royal palace on the summit of the hill, and grew to become a gathering spot for academics, writers, artists, who nicknamed this the Lusitanian Athens, ‘Lusa Atenas’.



⇞   CAMPUS

An early champion of the new science of circumnavigation, an observatory was built to make spatial sense of the stars.

Investitures and major events take place in the ‘Sala Grande dos Actos,‘ below portraits of kings and queens. A cathedral, already there when the university arrived, was gifted by Jesuits. The throne room is now used for PhD candidate examinations, and nothing else.

The four rooms of the ‘Museu de Arte Sacra’ contain, among holy habits and chalices, books of early sacred music. There is a museum of natural history. A colonnaded walkway by the grand patio was added in the 18th century, the ‘Via Latina.’ The campus chapel, ‘Capela de Sao Miguel’, means that no student need run downhill to another one.

A Botanical Garden blossomed in 1772, that delightful Victorian experiment of Eden on earth, sprouting wherever colonialism circled.


  Patio das Escolas     Main gathering spot on campus, w/ its unparalleled vista view, the Great Courtyard, makes of the patio paving a virtual flying carpet, attitude mostly due to altitude.
Coimbra

Coimbra
The Bell Tower allows for vista views under cramped quarters, and can be seen from most anywhere in the city. The best known of its three bells is the goat (‘a cabra’), summoning generations to their studies since 1733.


There are five faculties (‘theologia’, ‘direito’, ‘medicina’, ‘mathematica’, ‘philosophia’) w/ disciplines in judicial and European court systems, interdisciplinary nuclear science, and the arts. (The university had begun by teaching law, rhetoric, mathematics, theology, medicine, grammar and Greek.) The teaching staff consisits of some 70 professors and lecturers. Semester is from autumn to the start of summer, when two months of exams take place. The ordinary degree resulting in the title ‘licenciado’ lasts five years. The degree of ‘doutor’ takes another year and another examination. Medical students study eight years.

The university has a digital repositorium inside a tech park involved in research and incubation. There is a repository for the project April 25, documenting the toppling of a dictatorship. Auxiliaries of the city-wide university system take on citizen practices such as sports, theater, and botany and preservation; there are several kindergartens and nurseries under its wing.





⇞   LIBRARY

When the university outgrew the original city library, a second one was built in the 18th century, on University Hill, the ‘Biblioteca Joanina’, the oldest university library in continuous use in the world, and housed in three large and resplendent Baroque rooms w/ painted ceilings.


The first room has a light green palette, the second a darker green, and the third room has a “… shade like that of orange Niger leather”; rich in gilt and exotic wood, lined w/ 300,000 volumes in galleries runing around the walls, incl. arguably the most valuable collection of Bibles in the world.


Main library on campus also acts as a zoo: in the wings there live a colony of bats, eating the grubs that eat its pages.
Coimbra


There are unpublished manuscripts of Domenico Scarlatti, thought lost but rediscovered in the 20th century, because they were incorrectly catalogued. By the front door, a passageway can take one down to the river, the ‘Palacios Confusos’, by a series of steps posing as alleys, past houses of different styles and years.





⇞   STUDENT BODY

The student body numbers about 25,000, and the dress code is a black Prince Albert coat, worn w/ black trousers, black cape batina, black dress tie; generally students go bareheaded. A military hospital happens to be located nearby, because.


Freshmen may not be on the street after the bell has rung at 6pm, on penalty of being shaved bald, if caught. Another form of punishment is to measure the long bridge over the Modego w/ a match, and it must be done w/ meticulous accuracy. Even a good and sinless freshman must be prepared to run errands whenever required to do so by a sophomore or junior, but he may be “protected,” and the errand countermanded, by a friendly senior (‘quartanista’). In turn a sophomore and a junior are known as a semi-harlot (‘mejo prostituo / prostituta’) and a total harlot (‘total prostituo / prostituta’) respectively.

These ‘estudantes’ make up about a third of the town’s inhabitants. Their graduation ceremonies take place in May. It’s then that a localized form of ‘fado’ is sung, by male students only, and only on the steps of the old cathedral when 10pm comes around, w/ lyrics more intellectual and romantic than the genre asks for, love songs tuned to the passions and sentiments of the students, who perfume the air w/ their lamentations until dawn.



 Fado   ‘Ali, o lirio do scelestes vales, tendosen fim, terão a seu começo, para não mais findar, nossos amores.’ (Yonder, lily of celestial valleys, your end shall be their beginning, our loves ne’er more to perish.)   — Antero de Quental
Antero de Quental




⇞   STUDENT REPUBLICS

In the mid-1950s there were eleven “republics” or student organizations, active in the university.


One of them is ‘Pra-kys-tao‘ (Here We Are), a fraternity of ten students for the mutual benefit of themselves and their always-slender budgets, and to satisfy wants such as traditional evenings of wine and shrimps in town. Membership was open, upon unanimous favorable vote, to students of any race, color, religion or political creed except, during that period, communism. In the most pratical way, the student who had been a member longest is automatically president. Using a rotation system, two students, followed by two more then two more, serve as executive officers for fifteen days. They run the republic and must explain and justify all outlays of money, and a debate on this topic may be opened at any time, all decisions being made by majority vote, and to be taken at the dinner table. Freshmen may not vote on money matters but on anything else. This particular republic had only 13 electric light bulbs for 15 rooms, incl. the dining room, kitchen and hallway. Pin-up girls papered over every wallspace, the harem of the eye (‘Harem do Olho’). One wall had graffiti: “Artillery Exported to Pra-kys-tao for the Protection of the Marshall Plan.”


Certain campus traditions take place to mark the academic seasons, involving parades through the city, each rife w/ its own occult rituals. The noisy Latada - Festa das Latas (celebration of end of class), and the older Queima das Fitas (burning of the ribbons), which goes on for eight days, involving light blue ribbons for the Sciences, dark blue for Letters, yellow for Medicine and purple for Pharmacy.


  Rua de Quebra-Costas     Arguably the steepest route to the academic world in the world, aka Backbreak Street.
Coimbra




⇞  CITY OF CULTURE

The original footprint of Coimbra has spilled downhil, and locals distinguish between the older Upper Town and the Lower Town.


  Coimbra    Upper Town surrounded by Lower Town and the banks of the Mondego.
Coimbra


The area bordering the Modego River is Cicade Baixa, downtown, where commerce happens amid Romanesque, early Baroque, Rococco, and Gothic structures, sporting Moorish shadows and sucumbing to the nautical notions of the Manueline style.

A Portuguese queen is buried downtown, in a silver tomb housed in the convent of ‘Santa Ciara-a-Nova’. The Fountain of Life, waiting for you since the 14th century, is behind this church.

Unto the 1920s Coimbra was all but inaccessible by road to travellers, not to mention damp beds and dangerous foods. Sacheverell Sitwell visited in the 1950s:

“… At Coimbra not only has there been wanton and appalling destruction of what was old and beautiful, but new University buildings have been erected which are really shaming in their blatant ugliness. The sculptures, particularly, are of an insulting hideousness. … Not that there is anything in the least Portuguese about these abominable buildings of Coimbra. But it is sad, too, because, Coimbra being the university town of Portugal, so many Portuguese retain memories of Coimbra and an affection for it all through their lives, and those memories will now forever more be tinged and coloured by the ugly buildings. There is no possible excuse for hideousness upon this scale; but it might, at least, be practised elsewhere and not in Coimbra.”

Luis de Camões
⇞   The Lusiads


Arguably the most famous student of the University of Coimbra is Luis de Camões, who (might have been) born in Coimbra in 1524 but known to have passed age 56 in Lisbon. His fame is partly based on supreme mastery of the Portuguese language and is its lyric poet, and his most famous work is a tour de force recounting the tragedy of Indes de Castro of Spain and her love Prince Pedro of Portugal, and her murder by jealous courtiers. She was killed by a fountain in the Garden of Tears (‘Quinta das Lagrimas’) in the convent of Santa Clara; where pond lilies are have been known to flower red.

A stone slab by the fountain bears the following verse by Luís Vaz de Camões (Lusiads, Ill, 135), here in a translation by Lord Byron:


Lusiads of Cameos
Tomb of Luis de Camões in Lisbon.


Mondego’s Daughter-Nymphs the death obscure Wept many a year, with wails of woe exceeding; And for long memory changed to fountain pure, The floods of grief their eyes were ever feeding; The name they gave it, which doth still endure, Revived Ignez, whose murdered love lies bleeding. See yon fresh fountain flowing ‘mid the flowers, Tears are its water, and its name ‘Amores.’



Manueline Style
⇞   Maritime Motif

Flush w/ wealth from the Spice Trade, Portugal experienced a brief period where money became as abundant as sea water, and lavished it on an indigenous artform.


The discoveries brought back by the sea voyages Pedro Alvares Cabral and Vasco da Gama aroused the already composite Portuguese style, toying w/ Flemish, Italian and Late Gothic elements. The newly rich gathered the bounties of the sea trade and repurposed them an architectural vocabulary in churches, monasteries, palaces and castles, and a maritime motif applied to furniture, sculpture and painting. The style was given a name in 1842 by the Viscount Francisco Adolfo de Varnhagen, in his description of the Jeronimos Monastery. The characteristics of this Manueline style, named for King Manuel I (1495-1521), resulted in ornate portals, bevelled crenellations, conical pinnacles, and eight-sided capitals.


There were semicircular arches on doors and windows, columns of carved rope, and a wanton disregard for symmetry. There were symbols of Christianity and latter-day Templars, botanical flourishes, artifacts found on ships, all garlanded by Islamic filigree work and Moorish traceries.


Manueline Style

  Davy Jones’s locker     Detail of the Triton Gate, standing guard in Sintra. Nautical wonders like seaweed and barnacles added to the dense ornamentation. More.


Aeminium
⇞   Roman Footprint

Machado de Castro Museum

The most important remains in Coimbra is an underground gallery of arches that once supported the Roman forum, and brimming w/ Visigothic artifacts, the Cryptoporticus da Anemium. For protection a tower, the Montemor, was built closer to the sea, allowing guarded access to estuary of the oxbow shape of the Mondego river, as well as nearby vineyards.

Coimbra
The original footprint of the city of Coimbra can be seen in map, top right. When Gaius Sevius Lupus was sent from Rome, he followed the common cruciform rule of Roman towns and cities, locating the cardo maximus where it crosses the decumanus maximus, and where this cruciform intersected he built the forum. This was a outpost fort, on the spurs of a hilly range, the Serra de Lavrao. An aqueduct was a standard feature, and it ruins can still be found.




Sources [ 1 ]  [1] California and the Portuguese by Celestino Soares, SPN Books Lisbon 1939.  [2] Eyewitness Travel Guides: Portugal w/ Madeira & the Azores, DK Publishing Inc London 1997.  [3] The Finest Castles in Portugal, text Julio Gil, photographs Augusto Cabrita, Verbo 1996.  [4] A History of Spain and Portugal in two volumes, by Stanley G. Payne, The University of Wisconsin Press 1973.  [5] The Nagel Travel Guide Series : Portugal, Nagel Publishers Geneva 1956.  [6] A New History of Portugal 2nd Edition by H.V. Livermore, Cambridge University Press London 1976.  [7] Portugal and Madeira by Sacheverell Sitwell, William Clowes and Sons London 1954.  [8] Portugal the Pathfinder: Journeys from the Medieval toward the Modern World 1300-ca.1600, edited by George D. Winius, The Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies Ltd, The University of Wisconsin Press 1995.  [9] Port and the Douro by Richard Mayson, Faber and Faber London 1999.  [10] Portuguese Concise Dictionary 2nd edition, Harper Collins 2001.  [11] Spain and Protugal, Handbook for Travellers by Karl Bedacker, fourth edition. Leipsic: Karl Baedeker, publisher. London: George Allen & Unwini Ltd., New York: Chas. Scribner’s Sons. 1913.  [12] A Traveller's History of Portugal by Ian C. Robertson, line drawings by John Hoste, Interlink Books New York 2002.  [13] World Food by Lynelle Scott-Aitken and Clara Vitorino, Lonely Planet 2002. CREDITS  Culled from reporting by Tim Pozzi,the University of Coimbra website, the Internet, and guide books. Photographers incl., among others, Francisco Antunes.
Street names [ 2 ] Some Coimbra street names include: Rua Anthero de Quental, Alameda do Jardin Bot, Estrada da Beira, Rua do Loureira, Couraca dos Apostolos, Rua das Padeiras, Rua das Solas, Rua da Moeda, Rua da Louca, Rua do Corvo, Rua do Joao Cabreira, Rua da Sophia, Rua de Mont’arroio, Rua do Corpo de Deus, Rua do Borralho, Rua dos Estudos, Rua Lourenco d’Almcida, Rua Venancio Rodriguez, Rua Garrett, Rua do Thomar, Rua de Alex Herculano, Rua Ferreira Borges, Rua do Visconde da Luz, Rua da Sophia, Rua de Castro Mattoso, Rua de Oliveira Mattos.

Street names [ 3 ] Complete list of 2013 UNESCO World Heritage Sites’ New Inscribed Properties.



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 WHAT HE SAID

Nicolas Roeg









 HISTORIC CENTER RECIPIENT

Agadez, Niger

Starting point for a journey across the Sahara, taking in “ports of call” to Timbuktu, Ghat, then Ghadames, and finally Tripoli, on the shores of the Mediterranean.

Seat of a Tuareg sultanate which was established in 1449. Occupied by the French since the early 1900s, and known of rebellion ever since. The Tuareg people are the original Canaanites from the Bible, inhabiting ancient Palestine and Phoenicia, and its lingua franca is the Hausa language, a subgroup of the Chadic languages group, and therefore a part of the Afroasiatic language family.

Started in the 1400s to serve as the south gateway into the Sahara, the Historic Centre of Agadez in Niger is now a Historic Center Recipient and a 2013 UNESCO World Heritage Site. This desert town was founded to become a center of commerce for the trans-Saharan trade, and by the 1500s the populace was 30,000. 2013 UNESCO Historic Center Recipient In 1976, area mining for uranium allowed the local economy to established a school, the Ecole des Mines de l'Air.

The 2011 census counted a total of 124,324 people living in Agadez and the European language they speak is French. There is an international airport named after a Tuareg leader, Mano Dayak, but due to the ongoing Tuareg rebellion in the region, Agadez is unsafe for travel.


2013 UNESCO Historic Center Recipient
A mosque made of clay, built in 1515, still stands. It was restored in 1814 and is the world’s tallest mud minaret, at 88.5-ft. Chinese scroll depicting the first camel to enter Cathay.




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 TYPOGRAPHY

de Vera