Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Winter's Bleakness Lost in Memories of a Japanese Garden

Freezing should be for microwave dinners, not people.  As it wears on, I'm sure I'll rediscover the satisfactions of winter, but as the first chill blasts descend, I find the prospect as depressing as the ever-earlier sunsets.   
click on images for larger view
It's the unexpected discovery that makes the unpalatable endurable.  Although there are good buildings, I find much of the Medical Center campus a fairly depressing environment.  And then there's the unexpected. . .
In a district where the architecture often seems to be in a style called 1984 bureaucratic, it's refreshing to discover this building on Polk Street - currently an outpost facility for corporate behemoth United Health Care - steeped in an amiable modernist eccentricity.  (Anyone have any information on the structure's history and architect?)
  What's really unexpected, however,  is coming across a serenely elegant Japanese garden.
To encounter the carefully sculpted foliage and lovingly tended flowers, humanizing the hard-edged architecture, is to be revitalized with delight.  To remember that it was there for the finding little more than a month ago, and will return again if we just hang in for a few months more, makes phrases like "highs in the single digits", "gale force winds", and "blinding icestorms" almost bearable.

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