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2014 – Vancouver – Alaska Cruise – CBD
Image by Ted’s photos – For Me & You
A view off the Lido deck of the MS Zaandam parked at a Canada Place birth in downtown Vancouver BC.
The neat old art deco building framed by the newer erections is the beautiful 1930 Marine Building.
THE MARINE BUILDING:
From a 2010 Vancouver Sun Article.
Seventy-five years ago, the cornerstone was laid for the grandest and most opulent skyscraper Vancouver had ever seen. Built at the onset of the Great Depression, the Marine Building would prove to be a financial bust, driving its original owners broke. But artistically, it was a complete success, arguably the best building ever built in Vancouver, and one of the finest examples of art deco architecture in the world.
"The building suggests some great marine rock rising from the sea, clinging with sea flora and fauna, tinted in sea green, flashed with gold, at night a dim silhouette piercing the sea mists," wrote The Vancouver Sun in an opening day supplement on Oct. 7, 1930.
Great marine rock or not, the Marine Building looks impressive from any angle.
Looking west from Granville and Hastings, the elegant symmetry of the building’s central tower is simply breathtaking, its white terra cotta trim providing the perfect accent to its brown brick body.
Standing in front of the swinging doors at 355 Burrard, it’s hard to know what to highlight: the seahorses, crabs and assorted sea life carved into the bronze door frame, the eight historic ships etched in bas relief above the front arch, or the terra cotta zeppelins, biplanes and trains subtly placed amid the brick to signify state of the art transportation circa 1929.
The two-storey-high lobby is just as cool. The soft brown tiled walls give it a timeless air, as if you are entering some special, ancient place (supposedly, it was designed to evoke a Mayan temple). But there are also some classic deco futurist geometric designs, sunbursts, lightning bolts and zigzags.
Throw in the mind-blowing elevators (bronze doors a dazzling array of sea fauna and an exploding star, interior an intricate blend of exotic woods) and the unbelievable plasterwork on the ceiling (featuring even more sea life) and you’ve got a building that is utterly unique, and uniquely Vancouver.
Perched on the edge of the downtown bluff that was the original Coal Harbour shoreline, the Marine Building was designed to be the office building downtown, an architectural showpiece that would serve as the hub of the city’s thriving marine trade. For a short time, it was the tallest building in the British Empire.
"It really was designed to be the best building in Canada," said heritage expert John Atkin. "Which it pretty well comes close to being.
"There wasn’t anything that was off the shelf. It was all [specially] made for the building. That makes it very different from today, where you just go to a catalogue."
The building was the brainchild of Lt.-Cmdr. J.W. Hobbs, an enthusiastic English transplant who had become the vice-president of G.A. Stimson and Co. Ltd. of Toronto, which proudly called itself "Canada’s oldest bond house."
Hobbs contracted the local architecture firm of McCarter and Nairne to bring his vision to reality. Fresh off designing the deco Medical-Dental Building at Georgia and Howe, John McCarter and George Nairne let their imaginations run wild on the Marine Building.
Everything was designed in the deco style, and most everything has a marine theme. The second-storey wall sconces in the lobby are shaped like ships’ prows. The lobby clock has sea creatures instead of numbers (a starfish for 12, a lobster for six, etc.). Lobby tiles feature a smiling whale and a Viking ship.
Streamlined Canada geese soar above the front entrance, illuminated by rays of sunshine that were originally cloaked in gold leaf. An osprey looms above the swinging door with a fish in its claws, and an eagle stands guard at the top of the entrance. The signs of the zodiac are etched into the lobby floor.
The terra cotta trim on the upper wings is supposed to represent sea foam on the great marine rock. Terra cotta busts of King Neptune stand watch from the four corners of the 16th floor, and if you look closely, you can spot his trident and crown, as well.
"This is the height of art deco, the absolute height of it," says Don Luxton, president of the Canadian Art Deco Society.
"In the late ’20s, we’d absorbed all the stuff they were doing in Europe and kind of synthesized into a North American environment, and went crazy with it in terms of the amount of ornamentation."
Construction began March 13, 1929, and the building officially opened Oct. 8, 1930. Impresario Hugh Pickett was among the hundreds of Vancouverites who attended the gala opening. Mayor William Malkin opened the doors with a golden key and Lt.-Gov. R. Randolph Bruce opened the Vancouver Merchants Exchange in the northern wing of the main floor.
"It was quite a gala event, because it was the biggest building in the city," Pickett recalls.
"There was a big mob of citizens, ladies, gentlemen. Everybody that was interested in the city was there … it was an important moment in the history of the city."
Alas, the elaborate decoration was expensive, and came in way over budget. The Marine Building was projected to cost .5 million, but wound up costing .3 million, which proved disastrous for Hobbs and the Stinson company.
Hobbs somehow managed to get the money together to complete the skyscraper after the stock market collapse set off a worldwide economic depression Oct. 17, 1929, but by 1931, mortgage holder James Richardson of Winnipeg was suing (and winning) for non-payment of 0,000.
Desperate to raise cash, Hobbs offered the building to the City of Vancouver for million. Vancouver was considering building a new city hall at the time, but turned him down. British Pacific Building Co. wound up purchasing the Marine Building for 0,000 in July, 1933.
The driving force behind British Pacific was Victoria-born international financier A.J.T. (Fred) Taylor, who later convinced Britain’s Guinness beer family to invest in the company. With Guinness money, British Pacific built the Lion’s Gate Bridge and developed British Properties in West Vancouver.
Taylor ran British Pacific from offices on the 19th floor. Above his office was a two-storey, three-level penthouse with a wraparound terrace, which was supposed to be the Marine Building’s observation tower.
Nobody could afford the 25-cent admission price in the Depression, so it was empty until Taylor had it converted into his personal mansion.
The Marine Building penthouse is the stuff of legend, a masterpiece outfitted in the latest 1930s decor. It had a 17-foot-high ceiling in the living room, a spiral staircase leading to two bedrooms on the mezzanine level, a marble fireplace, wood-panelled walls, teak floors and elaborately tiled bathrooms.
There are all sorts of stories attached to the penthouse. One is that Taylor never actually lived in it because his wife didn’t like living so high in the sky. The Taylors did in fact live in a house in West Vancouver, but Luxton says the real reason Mrs. Taylor didn’t want to live there was because as an office building the Marine Building shut down at night, leaving the Taylors marooned 300 feet above the city.
"They shut the elevators down at night," he says. "They couldn’t get down unless they walked down."
Another story is that Taylor once took a pony up to the penthouse terrace to entertain his kids. Atkin says this is true, but it’s been spun into another yarn that is a little more far-fetched.
"There is a tourism publication that says businessmen in downtown Vancouver used to meet up there for horse races, and that they had a horse-racing track on the roof," says Atkin. "Which is probably one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read."
Taylor moved to New York at the start of the Second World War, and in 1941 the penthouse was rented to a Mrs. Mary Fisher. Not much is known about her, but local theatre legend Norman Young recalls that her son had some wicked "Shaughnessy bathtub parties" at the penthouse in the early 1940s.
"They were social parties in the ’40s," explains Young with a laugh. "Everybody would get drunk at the party and you’d cram into the bathtub as many people as you could, and then move on to the next bathroom. It was a way of mixing singles.
"But it could only take place in the mansions in Shaughnessy [because they had several bathrooms]. I think [the penthouse] had three bathrooms, but they weren’t enough for a good party."
The Fishers moved out in 1944 and the penthouse was converted to an office by the Spencer department store family in 1947. It’s now occupied by Sun Gold Mining company.
The Marine Building retained its prominence on the downtown waterfront for decades, but was finally eclipsed as the tallest building in the city in 1967 by the Guinness Tower next door, which is seven feet taller (328 feet to 321).
The Guinness family sold the Marine Building, the Guinness Tower and Oceanic Plaza to Campeau Corp. and Confederation Life for .8 million in 1985. Princeton Developments bought out Campeau’s half in 1990 for 0 million, then sold one-third of the buildings to the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) for million.
OMERS eventually bought out its partners and now operates the building by itself as Marine Building Holdings Ltd. The building’s 2004 property assessment is ,086,000.
An extensive, -million renovation was carried out from 1982-89 to update the electrical, mechanical and air-conditioning systems. Heritage activists were not pleased with some of the renovations, such as replacing with marble the lobby’s original multi-coloured "battleship linoleum," which had been imported from Scotland.
The former Merchant Exchange was also gutted and changed into the Imperial restaurant, a high-end Chinese restaurant favoured by an elite clientele (the Rolling Stones like to eat there when they’re in town). But the Merchant Exchange’s signature mural of the world was destroyed in the conversion, and its beautiful floor covered up when it was raised so diners could take advantage of the room’s huge windows.
The biggest change, though, has been on the public views of the landmark building. As downtown has filled up with highrise towers, the Marine Building has lost its prominence on the waterfront.
For decades, it was the Coal Harbour skyline, a beacon to people arriving by water. Now it is hemmed in by Shaw Tower to the northwest, the Guinness Tower to the west, a federal office building to the south, the CIBC tower to the southeast, and the Daon building to the east. A planned hotel/residential tower by Marathon directly to the north will take away its last connection to the waterfront.
"It’s a real pity," says Atkin. "If it gets swallowed up in amongst the city, it loses something that’s made it special over the years, being able to view it from the water."
Luxton agrees, and thinks the city should have paid more attention to the prominence of the Marine Building when it was planning the Coal Harbour development. After all, it isn’t likely that we’ll ever see a building like it built again.
"The attention to detail, the workmanship, is absolutely astonishing," he says.
"Can you imagine somebody doing something like that today, even thinking of making their building a public gesture like that? ‘This is for the public. Come see our building, look how gorgeous this is.’ "
2014 – Copper Canyon – Chihuahua – Farm to You
Image by Ted’s photos – For Me & You
After the Mennonite lunch our tour continued on toward Chihuahua City. We stopped at a major highway intersection service e station for a bathroom break. We could also purchase snacks. One of the items offered were dried apples in various formats. The state of Chihuahua is known as the Apple Basket of Mexico. Most of the apples in the country are grown in the farming area south of Chihuahua City.
This street vendor was set up outside the service station selling apples and other fresh produce..
However, all is not well in the basket!
Salem Oregon News:
Chihuahua News: NAFTA’s Bad Apples
Historically an important crop in Chihuahua, locally-grown apples confront a deluge of U.S. imports, which reached 237,000 tons in 2012.
(LAS CRUCES, NM) – Facing ruin, apple producers in the Mexican border state of Chihuahua are mulling an anti-dumping complaint against U.S. imports. Ricardo Marquez Prieto, president of the Chihuahua Regional Union of Fruit Growers, charged that unfair competition from Mexico’s partner in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) threatens the viability of the local apple industry, which could see tens of thousands of tons of warehoused apples valued in the neighborhood of million go to rot.
"We are going to file a suit against dumping if (Mexican) federal authorities don’t get on the ball and move to our side," Marquez vowed late last week, after meeting with federal officials.
Historically an important crop in Chihuahua, locally-grown apples confront a deluge of U.S. imports, which reached 237,000 tons in 2012. Hammered by unusual freezes, Chihuahua’s orchards chalked up a 55 percent production decline in the same year.
Contending their troubles go beyond climate issues, the apple producers say production costs are higher in Mexico than in the U.S. According to Marquez, electricity costs incurred by Chihuahua producers are more than three times the prices paid by their U.S. counterparts, or .72 per kilowatt hour versus 50 cents per kilowatt hour. Simultaneously, U.S. producers enjoy 0 million in government marketing support, he added.
Although Chihuahua growers have recovered from the deep freeze of 2012, meeting 1992’s record harvest of 440,000 tons during last fall’s harvest cycle, as many as 80,000 tons of fruit could now spoil because of a Mexican market oversaturation from U.S. imports. Moreover, producers claim they stand to lose money, since national juice processors only pay 86 centavos for each kilo of apples that costs more than 3 pesos to refrigerate.
On February 26, an estimated 4,000 apple producers, processors and industry workers staged an unprecedented demonstration in the state capital of Chihuahua City. The protestors demanded that the federal government put a brake on U.S. imports, provide a two-peso subsidy for each kilogram of apples, and apply a compensatory fee of ten cents on the dollar on purchases of fruit imported before and during the local harvest.
Permission to use photo:
21 Apr 2015
Request for Image Permissions, Great Streets Video
I would like permission to use your photo in a non commercial video I am working on at the Project for Public Spaces, an educational non-profit in NYC that advocates for improving public spaces and urban design internationally.
The image in reference can be found here:
The short video is meant to promote the idea that streets are not just for transportation, but are public spaces for people and can feature a myriad of uses and activities. We loved your photo, because it beautifully shows people enjoying themselves on a street that functions as a special community place.
Our video is basically a slideshow of examples of great streets, that will be a couple minutes long. Your photo would be one of several dozen photos that would be featured appearing for several seconds. There will not be a voiceover, just background music and overlaid text. The video will begin by asking the question “What are streets for?” and then categorize sets of the images with answers in the form “Streets are for ____” with the blank filled in with an activity describing the category.
Examples of the categories are:
• Streets are for snowball fighting.
• Streets are for performing and spectating.
• Streets are for trick-or-treating.
• Streets are for falling in love.
• Streets are for protesting.
We will end with the emphasized “Streets are for PEOPLE.” and the hashtag #StreetsasPlaces.
The video would be distributed for free through Project for Public Spaces’ website, social media, and e-newsletter.
• Website: 2,028,972 annual pageviews
• Facebook: 42,649 likes
• Twitter: 36,472 followers
• Newsletter: 36,272 subscribers
Additionally, the highly qualified staff at the non-profit Street Films are assisting us with the production of the video, but PPS will be the owner of the video.
It will also be posted to our public Youtube and/or Vimeo channels. As well as, shown as background footage at our public workshops, Placemaking trainings, conferences, and other events. In may also be shared with citizens that contact PPS looking for information and materials to assist them in advocating for public spaces in their neighborhoods.
Our current plan is to give attribution to all contributors at the end in our credit reel. However, if you find that method of attribution to be unsatisfactory, we are more than willing to discuss alternative methods with you. We are enclosing a release form we would like you to sign and send back/ we would like to send you a release form that you could sign to give us permission to use your photo.
Please let us know as soon as possible if we have permission to use a high resolution version of your photo in our video.
David Leyzerovsky, Project Manager
Project for Public Spaces
419 Lafayette St, 7th Fl
New York, NY 10003
Psycho turns 50!
Image by klimari1 (JUST SHOOT IT! Photography)
Shower scene: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VP5jEAP3K4&feature=related
The film’s pivotal scene, and one of the most famous scenes in cinema history, is the murder of Janet Leigh’s character in the shower. As such, it spawned numerous myths and legends. It was shot from December 17 to December 23, 1959, and features 77 different camera angles. The scene "runs 3 minutes and includes 50 cuts." Most of the shots are extreme close-ups, except for medium shots in the shower directly before and directly after the murder. The combination of the close shots with the short duration between cuts makes the sequence feel longer, more subjective, more uncontrolled, and more violent than would the images if they presented alone or in a wider angle.
In order to capture the straight-on shot of the shower head, the camera had to be equipped with a long lens. The inner holes on the spout were blocked and the camera placed farther back, so that the water appears to be hitting the lens but actually went around and past it.
The soundtrack of screeching violins, violas, and cellos was an original all-strings piece by composer Bernard Herrmann entitled "The Murder." Hitchcock originally wanted the sequence (and all motel scenes) to play without music, but Herrmann begged him to try it with the cue he had composed. Afterwards, Hitchcock agreed that it vastly intensified the scene, and he nearly doubled Herrmann’s salary. The blood in the scene is in fact chocolate syrup, which shows up better on black-and-white film, and has more realistic density than stage blood. The sound of the knife entering flesh was created by plunging a knife into a melon.
It is sometimes claimed that Leigh was not in the shower the entire time, and that a body double was used. However, in an interview with Roger Ebert, and in the book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, Leigh stated that she was in the scene the entire time; Hitchcock used a live model as her stand-in only for the scenes in which Norman wraps up Marion’s body in a shower curtain and places her body in the trunk of her car.
Another popular myth is that in order for Leigh’s scream in the shower to sound realistic, Hitchcock used ice-cold water. Leigh denied this on numerous occasions, saying that he was very generous with a supply of hot water.Also, all of the screams are Leigh’s.
Another myth was that Leigh was only told by Hitchcock to stand in the shower, and had no idea that her character was actually going to be murdered the way it was, causing an authentic reaction. The most notorious urban legend arising from the production of Psycho began when Saul Bass, the graphic designer who created many of the title sequences of Hitchcock’s films and storyboarded some of his scenes, claimed that he had actually directed the shower scene. This claim was refuted by several people associated with the film. Leigh, who is the focus of the scene, stated, "…absolutely not! I have emphatically said this in any interview I’ve ever given. I’ve said it to his face in front of other people… I was in that shower for seven days, and, believe me, Alfred Hitchcock was right next to his camera for every one of those seventy-odd shots." Hilton Green, the assistant director and cameraman, also denies Bass’ claim: "There is not a shot in that movie that I didn’t roll the camera for. And I can tell you I never rolled the camera for Mr. Bass." Roger Ebert, a longtime admirer of Hitchcock’s work, was also amused by the rumor, stating, "It seems unlikely that a perfectionist with an ego like Hitchcock’s would let someone else direct such a scene."
However, commentators such as Stephen Rebello and Bill Krohn have established that Saul Bass did contribute to the creation of that scene in his capacity as a graphic artist. Bass is credited for the design of the opening credits, and also as "Pictorial Consultant" in the credits. When interviewing Hitchcock, François Truffaut asked about the extent of Bass’ contribution to the film, to which Hitchcock said that Bass designed the titles as well as provided storyboards for the Arbogast murder (which he claimed to have rejected), but made no mention of Bass providing storyboards for the shower scene. According to Bill Krohn’s Hitchcock At Work, Bass’s first claim to have directed the scene was in 1970, when he provided a magazine with 48 drawings used as storyboards as proof that he directed the scene.
Krohn’s analysis of the production of Psycho in his book Hitchcock at Work, while refuting Bass’ claims for directing the scene, notes that these storyboards did introduce key aspects of the final scene—most notably, the fact that the killer appears as a silhouette, and details such as the shower curtain being torn down, the curtain rod being used as a barrier, and the transition from the hole of the drainage pipe to Marion Crane’s dead eyes which (as Krohn notes) is highly reminiscent of the iris titles for Vertigo.
Krohn’s research also notes that Hitchcock shot the scene with two cameras: one a BNC Mitchell, the other a handheld camera called an Éclair which Orson Welles had used in Touch of Evil (1958). In order to create an ideal montage for the greatest emotional impact on the audience, Hitchcock shot a lot of footage of this scene which he trimmed down in the editing room. He even brought a Moviola on the set to gauge the footage required. The final sequence, which his editor George Tomasini worked on with Hitchcock’s advice, went far beyond the basic paradigms set up by Bass’ storyboards.
According to Donald Spoto in The Dark Side of Genius, Hitchcock’s wife, Alma Reville, spotted a blooper in one of the last screenings of Psycho before its official release: after Marion was supposedly dead, one could see her blink. According to Patricia Hitchcock, talking in Laurent Bouzereau’s "making of" documentary, Alma spotted that Leigh’s character appeared to take a breath. In either case, the postmortem activity was edited out and was never seen by audiences. Although Marion’s eyes should be dilated after her death, the contacts necessary for this effect would have required six weeks of acclimatization in order to wear them, so Hitchcock decided to forgo them.
It is often claimed that, despite its graphic nature, the "shower scene" never once shows a knife puncturing flesh. Leigh herself was so affected by this scene when she saw it, that she no longer took showers unless she absolutely had to; she would lock all the doors and windows and would leave the bathroom and shower door open. She never realized until she first watched the film "how vulnerable and defenseless one is".
Leigh and Hitchcock fully discussed what the scene meant:
Marion had decided to go back to Phoenix, come clean, and take the consequence, so when she stepped into the bathtub it was as if she were stepping into the baptismal waters. The spray beating down on her was purifying the corruption from her mind, purging the evil from her soul. She was like a virgin again, tranquil, at peace.
Film theorist Robin Wood also discusses how the shower washes "away her guilt". He comments upon the "alienation effect" of killing off the "apparent center of the film" with which spectators had identified.