Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Office Memo...

There is something about the old fashioned bricks and paned windows that make me linger and look at this building on Fair Oaks whenever I pass by. It's such a classic structure. And in an era of open space workplace design and cubicles, it's nice to see offices with actual windows.

Those windows make me think of a poem: The Instruction Manual, by John Ashbery. The first lines are these:

As I sit looking out of a window of the building
I wish I did not have to write the instruction manual on the uses of a new metal.
I look down into the street and see people, each walking with an inner peace,
And envy them—they are so far away from me!
Not one of them has to worry about getting out this manual on schedule...


You can read the rest of the poem here.

18 comments:

mademoiselle gramophone said...

It's sort of a strange kind of wonderful having a little insomnia and tripping through the South Passssssst.

I have an urge to dress up in my little vintage tweedy secretarial suit, throw away my laptop, and plunk away at my old Royal---getting ribbon stains on my flippant fingers.

Eki Qushay Akhwan said...

The black and white tone in this photo contrast very much with the full colors you had yesterday, Laurie. I like both. They have their own charms - the black and white with its simple lines and tones, and the color with their "blasting" screaming colors and geometry.

Irina said...

I like your captures. And the style you writting. It really cool when the person can be delighted with ordinary environment!

Judy Williams said...

I'm mad for old bricks too. I always say that sometime in my life I'd like to live in a loft, created from an old building that has exposed brick walls and industrial piping on the ceiling.

This is shot with a great angle and the depth of tone is great with no true white, but rather a bit of gray even in the highlights. :)

NICE ONE!!

Halcyon said...

It is a nice building. It looks especially good in black and white.

Cafe Pasadena said...

Is this on corner of de FOaks & Mission? (Actually, I'm not sure if it's Mission but awfully close to it, at least.) I think this was an office bldg I was thinking about moving to back at the turn of the century.

It looks well preserved from the outside. I wonder if there is an Arch in front of it...

Yakpate said...

It's fascinating to me that high ceilings and lots of light can transform interior space. Even small rooms feel spacious when the ceilings are high... and when any space is flooded with light, it automatically lifts the spirits.

I share Judy's loft space fantasy... I have always wanted a living room I can skate in!

As for John Ashbery's poem... he must have written it from the confines of a cubicle.

altadenahiker said...

Love Ashbery.

I've written instructional manuals, and it's pretty bleak business. At least these windows look like they might open. Modern buildings are the worst -- you're shrunk-wrapped inside.

Ken Mac said...

i like the homey feeing of old brick. That poem reminds me of something off of AMC's Mad Men

Margaret said...

I swear we are not living in the same South Pasadena.

San Diego Farmgirl said...

That building looks like a school.

Does that poem speak to writers or what? I'm currently avoiding an assignment that is almost as boring as an instruction manual. haha

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

I lived in this loft on the top floor. I kept that studio for 15 years. Notice the lack of trees? High ceilings are great but I much prefer having a house with a yard.

pasadenapio said...

If those windows could talk...

Petrea said...

It reminds me of Chicago. I suppose that's because of the brick. It seems almost everything in northern Illinois is brick, whereas here brick buildings are the exception and not the rule. Brick is nostalgic for me.

Laurie said...

Hi everybody,

Thanks for all the lovely thoughts and impressions, today. I'm going on several days with almost no sleep, so I don't have the proper brain function to adequately respond. I'll catch up with all of you after a good night's sleep. Until tomorrow!

Ms Baroque said...

Hi Laurie,

I work in an office building with real windows. You'd like it; it's sort of thirties and there are two little palm trees in pots outside the front doors.

I'm working on, not an instruction manual for a new metal, but a series of publications to help businesses work with a well-known business improvement standard...

Laurie said...

Well hello, Ms. B. You know, I thought of you when I recalled this poem. I think your work similarly speaks of poetic things hidden in the ordinary.

Andrew said...

Waaaw really amazing to see this..great photos..

This is pretty interesting...

Thanks for sharing..
___________________
Andrew
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