Saturday, April 23, 2011

City Seats

For this theme I decided to go take a walk around the city by my house, there is a set of city benches that have always fascinated and confused me.  I’ll get to those later, but I’ll start with some of the other sitting spots I found on my way.

The creek that runs through Sugarhouse Park, that I wrote about here, goes under 13th East and comes out to go through Hidden Hollow and a small shopping area before going under the city again.  Hidden Hollow is the victory of a group of kids from the elementary school nearby.  By now they are probably seniors in high school, but at the time they fought to get the city to purchase the property, they cleaned it up and helped plan it out and name it.  They also convinced the city to require the developer of the shopping area to keep the water flowing above ground, for the most part, as it weaves it’s way through.  As a result you can sit in the outdoor seats at several of the restaurants there and listen to the water flow.

This first bench is in Hidden Hollow itself.  A nice rustic bench to sit on and watch the water go by.

Another bench in hidden hollow, most of the benches in the park and shopping area are of this type.

A different view of the same bench.

Your basic, everyday bus bench.

In several places in Sugarhouse, those basic benches have been replaced by these cushy, comfy (looking) benches.

Unfortunately, they may look comfortable, but they are actually somewhat uncomfortable, in my opinion.

When I first saw one of them, while driving down 21st South, I imagined people falling asleep on them and missing their bus.  But when I went to sit on one to wait for a bus I realized they’re made of concrete.  Not fluffy.  Not comfy.  Instead, hard as rock.  And when I sat on it, I discovered that it was quite uncomfortable.  Talk about a let-down.

I had walked past these benches (there are two of them on opposite sides of this building) many times, and until this theme, I had never looked close enough at them to see that their purpose is not just for sitting.

It’s other purpose, probably the primarily one, is for covering the gas meters.  Pretty ingenious if you ask me.

Wanna see some more pictures of seats, or show off your own?  Click on the banner below for Carmi’s Thematic Photographic.


A Paperback Writer said...

LOVE photo #3!

Yeah, I've thought the same things about those concrete sofas along 21st.

Max said...

It wouldn't be so bad if they were at least as comfortable as the old ones. But to be less comfortable? Try again.

A Paperback Writer said...

I've never actually sat in one, but they sure look uncomfortable. Maybe their purpose is to discourage loitering.

Max said...

:) And be glad you never sat on one. Cold. Hard. Uncomfortable.

Karen S. said...

Oh such a great shot of a different view on the spiral bench but my favorite photo is the old building (is it a library?) in the first photo of the cement bench...I really enjoyed taking a tour with you around town....if I had to sit down I'd pick the first one...what a peaceful place! Happy Easter Max!

Max said...

Karen - I'm impressed that you recognized it as a Library. That's the Sprague Library. As for the bench to pause and think on, you've got it right. That first one, right on the edge of the creek, is a great place to just sit and think.
And a Happy Easter to you too!

The English Teacher said...

I was intrigued that Karen figured out it was a library, too -- until I clicked on the photo to enlarge it. There's a sign that says "Sprague Library" very clearly in the photo.
Thanks, my dear Watson, but I think we have this mystery wrapped up now. :)

Max said...

I don't know if I'd go with very clearly, but I will say that I posted that comment when I first woke up, and even though I enlarged the picture, I didn't even notice the sign. I guess I'm going to have to save my commenting until after my first cup of coffee, rather than during it.

me said...

Snaps to the kids in your area. I am glad you shared the "history" of the place. I am sad for you that the comfy benches are anything but (hahaha)

Karen S. said...

Thanks Max....That is so cool, (that I guessed it! and sorry English Teacher, I didn't click on it yet...but now I will...To get the full view!!!! It just has that pull me in look to it of buildings with so much to offer inside as well as outside! Very cool....!

Anonymous said...

I've heard of city planners doing that on purpose (placing benches constructed to be uncomfortable to the point where people won't linger), but I'm sure glad I've never sat on one.

Great shots, Max. You're right- these concrete benches are deceptive. I wonder how many people have accidentally sat down hard, thinking the seating would be soft? Yowwwwch.

Bob Scotney said...

I'd settle for sitting and watching the water flow by. Concrete seats are usually cheap and nasty; you photos are anything but.

Max said...

Bob - I agree with you, the wooden bench by the water is a lot more comfortable, and serene, than those concrete monstrosities right on the streets. And thanks for the compliment!

Buff said...

Concrete cushions - too funny!