Category Archives: photography

Faded art

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Troy Williams Street Alley faded signage DSC_0538.jpgOnce, every sign was a handpainted sign. For a while in the ’80s, I worked in an office next to one of the last of the old signpainters, a gentleman artist who could make a “Please turn off the lights” sign look lovely. Technology had already taken over by then, and with the advent of desktop publishing more and more signage became computer-based. I’m afraid that the grand old signs that used to grace the sides of city buildings, making life a little more colorful and interesting, are things of the past, slowly disappearing.

At least some of them are being documented, such as in my Flickr group Faded Signage. Take a look through if you love these old relics.

Concrete grace

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Thankfully, it’s becoming more common that our highway design engineers give some thought to aesthetics. For too long, millions was spent for concrete and asphalt without a thought given to making it look even slightly appealing. Increasingly in recent years, we’ve had some local examples of highway designers thinking of aesthetics. This was most notable with the Lansingburgh bridge reconstruction, which was a faithful reproduction of its predecessor. And along the Route 85/Slingerlands Bypass corridor, some lovely touches have been included. This particularly nice tulip is in a spot where probably only folks who live in the neighborhood would ever see it, along Berkshire Boulevard. (And if you want to see what preceded it, you can see the old bridge under reconstruction on Google StreetView here.)

This gives me some hope that if the State ever gets around to reconstruction the badly crumbling 9/20 bridge in Rensselaer, it might recreate its graceful crossed appearance and maintain something that was lovely in its time. I’ve seen some recent repairs on another bridge that looks similar, which makes me hopeful that when the time comes aesthetics will be considered, rather than tearing down something lovely and replacing it with jersey barriers and guiderails.