Live Blogging at the Design with Nature Conference- Photography

from Rick Darke, first conference speaker:
*taking photos of specific places for a year, places that are visited/crossed in the normal necessary journey
*look at the layers in one landscape
*if the whole thing is narrowed down to one view one is ignoring diversity
*landscape is light, depth, mood, natural frame, change, place, layering, seasonality
*things have to thrive in the conditions that exist now, not some imagined future, not some nostalgic past
*palimpsest
*color, form, and order is there in wild landscaping

I’ve been wanting to take pictures, not because I think myself any sort of true photographer (I’ll leave that to several friends that take marvelous photos), but because I constantly crave documentation of the beautiful world I inhabit- the bridges across the Mississippi River, the freeze and thaw of late winter, the hearty citizens of my fair city that venture out regardless of weather.  While photographs can contain one specific moment at one specific place, I want my photographs to show change in a place I love over time.  It’s fitting, serendipitous even, that I just discovered this amazing time lapse photograph via a friend today.

So Twin Citians, any ideas of where I might take photos for a month or year?

The big question: this conference is generally about the landscape of nature; how does that fit into/over/with the human landscape?

EDIT: Rick ended his talk with “how many people are happy to be alive today?”.  I raised my hand with glee.  Glorious.

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Places I Love: Fireroast Mountain Cafe

I have found quite the plethora of wonderful moments and places since my move into the Longfellow neighborhood in South Minneapolis.  From quiet biking routes lined with trees blissfully bursting into the fire-inspired hues of autumn, to the pizza place down the block with 2 for 1s local beers every day after 8pm, to walking four blocks to the grandiose Minnehaha Falls, I believe I am quite the lucky lady.  But discovering new neighborhood coffeeshops for reading, working and people watching provides a particularly unique joy, and Fireroast Mountain Cafe has quickly emerged as my favorite in the bunch.

Located just a few blocks West and North of my home, traveling to Fireroast is either a bike ride so rapid I almost don’t need to wear my helmet (but don’t worry, dear friends, I do nonetheless), or a walk just long enough to leave behind the cares of the day and just breathe for a bit.
One can gather from the exterior of the shop that quirkiness is immanent at Fireroast, and their eclectic menu does not fail todelight.  I usually limit myself to a cup of coffee or tea (presently I’m enjoying the Ginger Green, and will likely be going back for a refill) and a pastry- the fudgy oatmeal bars are reminiscent of my mother’s. However they also feature a tasty mexican inspired breakfast/dinner menu if one is more meal-inclined.

With rotating works of local art covering the walls, jewelry and other artistic odds and ends on the shelves accompanied by a ‘take one, leave one’ bookshelf and a bulletin board in constant disarray, Fireroast successfully fills every niche that one would expect from a local coffeeshop.  But it’s not the food or the artwork that leads me to love it so.  It’s the ambiance, a certain comfy-ness that comes from silly signs behind the counter, scattered newspapers, christmas lights in the windows year round, and feeling as if I could settle in all day and not one person would look at me sideways.  Some coffeeshops have a carefully cultivated aesthetic of formality, a business-like decor that subtly indicates to clientel that they too should be busily on their way or they must be missing something important.  Fireroast is just the opposite, a colorful and cozy neighborhood corner shop that I find myself visiting nearly every Tuesday.  Perfect for catching up with an old friend or putting together a presentation, I’m certain all Twin Cities residents would find Fireroast a lovely local haunt.

~Lauren