Sunday, January 21, 2007


It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon and I can hear the regret in my friend's voice as I ask him about downtown parking. His tone to be discovered later was a direct result of his requirement to stay "behind a wall of glass" on such a lovely day. After parking with my friend's advice and finding the moonlight tower at the corner of Guadalupe and 9th, I discover a secluded gazeebo populated by a few fortunate men who are able to enjoy the fine weather this day brought us. The two you see closest to the camera are a little roughly dressed and perhaps are construction workers enjoying a break. On the other side, there are two others and a jacket abandoned by its owner.
I sat at the top of a set of steps, subconciously just as each of the men in the photo, to observe their interaction with the man-made gazeebo pretending to resemble something worthy of a designated park area. The weather was warm with the help of some light sleeves, and, even though the men were bundled in apropriate attire, they all chose to sit at the corners where the shadow from the arbor above least intruded on the seating area. As i watched the two men closest to me in conversation, I noticed their constant change in position and reaction to one another. If you watch the video, this will be aparent. For example, there is a point at which the man on the left moves his legs, and, seconds later, the other pulls a copycat move and does the same.
I wondered about the use of the interior of the gazeebo. Would someone use this space? Surely, a band could put it to good use, but what about anyone else? The gazeebo was surrounded by plenty of grass, so anyone so choosing to sit on level ground for say a picnic would almost prefer the grass still, for the grass is the essence of the park-like feeling of this submerged corner of the urban environment. Besides, the trees prove shadier than the gazeebo.
Surely, as these men have decided, the steps are the most comfortable part of the structure. I had to make sure the railing failed to prove useful, so I sat against it, but not on it, for it was too tall to sit on directly and the vertical posts proved themselves quite pesky for my feet to utilize the bottom of the rail that was purposely raised above floor level. It seemed as if the rail wanted to be as uncomfortable for use in order to keep potential abusers away.
Whether the men felt sorry for the structure and felt the need to utilize it or they rather enjoyed being a part of its splendor, they never the less were found sitting this Sunday afternoon, escaping for a moment the busy city streets.

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