Saturday was a blur of cold mists, puddles, and soggy shoes. It was a feeble attempt at observing urban life in
Saturday, all in all, proved fruitless.
Sunday, was the first day of sunshine
At first I felt kind of silly circling the area and taking pictures. It felt like an invasion of their privacy, so I was trying my best to be subtle. I’d even point my camera in the complete opposite direction of my subjects a few times and took useless pictures so I could keep from attracting too much attention. I snapped the necessary shots and began to walk back to my car when I heard one of them ask what I was doing. The call out took me a bit by surprise, primarily because I had only heard Spanish conversation from the three. I turned back to the men and introduced myself. I told them that I was a student at UT and gave them a quick schpeil about the project. They introduced themselves as Frank, Alberto, and Pedro. We exchanged some small talk about the weather and I asked them if they “came here often” instantly realizing what a blatant pick-up line I’d just accidentally delivered. They didn’t seem to notice so I just let it pass. Pedro told me that “on days like today it’s a good place to just let the time pass.” Alberto nodded in agreement; Frank offered a grunt, which I guessed as an affirmative response. After a short delay I told them I should get going. I thanked them for the chat and waved as I walked away.
Sunday was a successful day.
It seemed a shame that the majority of the structure was not even being used. The gazebo has at least 100 square feet of open space under its latticework roof that was left empty. Based on the space that was actually in use, it seems that whoever put the gazebo there should have either (a) simply constructed a few sets of stairs for people to perch and abandon the rest of the idea or (b) put a couple of picnic tables or benches under the roof for people to relax; without these the platform is just wasted space. By definition, a gazebo is “a freestanding, roofed, usually open-sided structure providing a shady resting place.” Freestanding? Check. Open-sided? Check. However, this particular gazebo does not provide much shade or many favorable places to rest (proportionally speaking). Nonetheless, the gazebo is essentially used and presumably loved by those users.