|[Different shades of green on Saint Paul lampposts, c. 2004.]|
I don’t quite know why. I’d been intrigued by lampposts ever since I’d worked as a accounts receivable drone at a small film company in Hell’s Kitchen. Wandering over lunch hour, I found myself drawn to a particular lamppost in the Southwest corner of Central Park. I’d sit with my sandwich and sketch its curves. Central Park lampposts resemble a Venn diagram in black iron, a pattern like waves. The quietude of the lamppost, surrounded by trees surrounded by skyscrapers, was one of those closely guarded city secrets, an island of privacy in an ocean of people.
Returning to Saint Paul, the paint caught my eye. The city has a distinct style of lamppost, an old fashioned stamp, but the varieties of paint were a constantly surprise. Occasionally yellow, often faded olive green, a block or two of robin’s egg blue, drab grey or solid black, there seemed to be no real pattern to how the city’s lampposts were painted. Who was responsible for this subtle madness? What city crew repainted the posts, and did they simply use leftovers from the Public Works supply stores?
|[Some of the many lampposts of Minneapolis.]|
They surround us, the most ubiquitous sidewalk ornament, practical architecture. So look at lampposts as they light the way. Even when they don’t, they can cast beautiful shadows.
[See also: Why Sidewalk Closed Signs?]
|[A beautiful forest lamppost on Portland's Mount Tabor.]|