Thursday, April 28, 2011


Henry Moore's Vertebrae
At the Foot of the Safeco Plaza Building
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

Having frequented the Seattle Public Library, Central Branch (in the background) many times during the last five years, I had often seen this interesting and provocative sculpture.

Last week, armed with digital camera and blogging mindset, I decided to get a closer look at this massive work of art.  It was a good deal larger than I had anticipated, standing perhaps 8 or 9 feet tall.  In doing a bit of research, I learned that the sculpture weighs an impressive eight tons.  (In other words, unless an art thief is from a planet with a red sun, this incredible creation won't be going anywhere soon.)

I'd always wondered what it was intended to depict.  My best guess had been "Seals on a Beach" because of the shape of the flanking pieces.  Just today, after reading several articles, I learned the name of this statue.  it's called VERTEBRAE, a creation of famed sculptor, Henry Moore.  It certainly makes sense to me now...indeed, the female protagonist of the TV series, Bones, would be ecstatic to suddenly come upon these gigantic fragments of backbone.

Just for fun, and because I love to live up to my billing of island hick, I played tourist and took a few pix of the immediate area.  I'm delighted to share these with you.

Safeco Plaza
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

This is a ground view of the building, Safeco Plaza, that hosts the sculpture.  You can see a reflection of the Seattle Public Library in the glass.

Looking Straight Up at the Safeco Plaza Building
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

The photo above was done in Batman mode.  

Let me explain.  

When I was a teenager (Wow!  How many centuries ago was that?), I was absolutely crazy about the Batman television series that starred Adam West and Burt Ward as the Dynamic Duo.  I was attending a private school for kids of Hawaiian ancestry, the Kamehameha Schools Preparatory Department.  Batman would air just about the time our dinner was ending.  There were only a few cushy chairs in front of the  dayroom television, so that meant a first come, first serve basis for getting the best seats in the house.

I was such a fanatic that I would attend dinner in my uniform of short-sleeved white shirt, khaki pants, black shoes, and brass buckle belt WITH MY PAJAMAS ON UNDERNEATH.  So, true to the Superman style of changing attire in a phone booth, I was stripping on a dead sprint from dining hall to dormitory day room just so I could get a plush front row seat.

Anyway, I'm wondering now where that nostalgic bit of silliness came from...ah, yes!  I was sharing with you about Batman mode.

For those of you who are old enough to recall (or for those young and resourceful enough to somehow acquire footage of that series), every now and then, there'd be a scene where Batman and Robin had to climb up the walls of a tall building.  

The show was so campy that even a young kid like me could tell that Adam and Burt were hunched over and walking while pulling on a rope as the camera filmed them at a 90 degree offset.  

So, as I stood at the foot of the Safeco Plaza building, I looked straight up and took this photo.  

Oh, my goodness!  I thought.  I'm actually feeling a bit of vertigo.  And then I realized that it was because I still had my backpack on and was in danger of falling over backwards while taking the shot.

The following are more photos of nearby buildings.

Neighboring Skycraper to the South
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

Like I shared in a previous blog post, I love buildings that have a lot of glass.

Neighboring Skyscrapers to the Northwest
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

/Enjoying the blue sky?  So was I.  Don't get used to it!  It certainly didn't last.  I can't believe how Old Man Winter just doesn't seem to want to let go this year.

Neighboring Skyscrapers to the Southeast
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

So that was my downtown excursion that day.  I gotta true I as I had once been to my hero, Batman, once upon a teenage time, I honestly thought about Spiderman webslinging his way through this "Valley of the Giants," Seattle's memorable and picturesque dedication to provocative artwork and super-architecture on 4th Avenue.


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