(Roughly) Daily

“Bus stop, bus goes”*…

 

The Soviet Union was a nation of bus stops. Cars were hard to come by, so a vast public transport network took up the slack. Buses not only bore workers to their labors, but also breathed life into the ‘union’ itself by taking travelers from town to taiga to desert to seaside. In remoter parts of the country, bus shelters mattered even more than buses, providing convenient places for people to gather, drink and socialize. They were caravanserai for the motor age, and while the empire they served no longer exists, most of them stand right where it left them…

If they are in various stages of ruin now, they are all the more attractive for it. ‘Bus pavilions’, as they were known, were the experimental territory, and ultimately the legacy, of architects who might otherwise have been thwarted by central planning. Many reflect local cultures, and make memorable landmarks. Christopher Herwig [bio here], a Canadian photographer, started documenting them when he cycled through the Baltic states in 2002, and kept going after he moved to Almaty a year later. He has since shot varying numbers of them in all the former Soviet republics except (to judge by this book) Russia and Azerbaijan, a labour of 12 years and more than 18,000 miles.

Read more at “The caravanserai of the motor age,” and see more (and larger) photos from the series at Herwig’s site.

* The Hollies, “Bus Stop”

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As we quietly queue, we might recall that it was on this date in 1908 that Orville Wright demonstrated the Wright Flyer for the US Army Signal Corps division at Fort Myer, Virginia.  Wright circled the base at 150 feet; on his fourth circuit, his propeller broke.  The plane crashed.  Orville suffered a broken left thigh, several broken ribs, and a damaged hip, and was hospitalized for seven weeks. His passenger, Lt. Thomas Selfridge, suffered a fractured skull, and died– the first person to die in a crash of a powered airplane.

Fatal crash of Wright Flyer at Fort Myer, Virginia

source

 

Written by LW

September 17, 2015 at 1:01 am

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