Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lost Time and Density

A few weeks ago, I walked past the Joshua Green Building and saw some workers toiling with the Carroll's Jewelers clock out front.

As one would suspect by looking at this photo, the clock has since been moved. According to this blurb on the DJC site, the shop closed in the spring and the clock was donated to the MOHAI.

I always liked this clock because it reminds me of the cover of The Adventures of Augie March, and the famous clock on Marshall Fields in Chicago.

At times I'm a sucker for nostalgia. Obviously, the need for public clocks has long since evaporated but the patina on the Chicago clock, as well as the dense crowds occupying the sidewalk on the Bellow cover, transport me to a time when city life seemed to be bustling rather than emptying out after standard working hours. And, true, the photo on the Bellow cover was taken a few years in to the Great Depression -- a time to which I'd rather not return -- when the density was about 25% greater than it is now. I can't say what Seattle would look like with a 25% increase in density but I suspect that it would probably be a good thing.

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