Ever since the closing ceremonies concluded the weekend before last, I’ve had an Olympic-shaped hole in my heart. I remember getting really excited about the Olympics as a kid, but these Games were the first that I’ve invested time in watching as an adult, and truth be told, it was a little magical. Everything is so big! And Olympians are so impressive! For the first time, I understand what a simultaneous honor and struggle it is to be an Olympic athlete, to represent your country on a world stage and perform at a consistent level of near-perfection. I would watch the Olympic happenings at Nate’s house with he and his roommates and it was a very communal experience, to sit together and cheer on Gabby Douglas and Misty May-Treanor and Allyson Felix and to all be emotionally invested in their victories together. There was such a latent excitement surrounding the Olympics this year, and it was fun to live in that excitement for a couple weeks.
But what happens when the Olympics are over and the excitement disappears? I came across a series of photos the other day on FlavorWire that attempt to get at that question. The Olympic City, a collaboration between photographer Jon Pack and filmmaker Gary Hustwit, is a photo collection of the ruins of former Olympic host cities. As it turns out, many of the grand Olympic structures built for the Games have faded into obsolescence, and a few have been repurposed for wildly different uses than they were originally intended for. These photos are really beautiful and haunting, and it makes me wonder whether it’s worth it to pour so much money into such a temporary grandiosity if this is the fate that awaits future Olympic sites. It’s an interesting and tricky question to consider.
See more photos from The Olympic City Project here.
One of the perks of dating a band manager is that sometimes you get to attend outdoor music festivals in the mountains of eastern Washington for free. On Friday night, we packed my car with provisions for the weekend and drove out to Darrington, the location of the groovy Summer Meltdown, to pitch our tents alongside the weirdest crowd of people I’ve ever found myself among. And I mean that as a compliment. We probably spent more time people-watching than we did watching live music because there was such a huge spectrum of strangeness: we saw a man in a speedo offering blueberries to passersby, girls in bikini tops and neon-colored tutus, folks in full-body green man costumes and a perpetually shirtless guy swimming in the river with his pet tortoise. I think we all thought it was really refreshing, though, to see people who were completely unpretentious and unabashed lovers of music come together and dance like they didn’t give a damn, because they didn’t, and be so free and un-self-conscious. It was kind of inspiring. There is much we can learn from the weirdos of the world.
Here are a couple photos from the weekend:
1. So many Westfalias. 2. Sunshine in the woods. 3. I almost bought some of nature’s jewelry. It seemed like a good idea in the moment. 4. Getting melty. 5. Stacked stones at the river. 6. Ben and Jill, trying to pretend they’re in a tropical locale and not staring at the guy in a speedo behind me. 7. Over-the-shoulder speedo shot = maybe the highlight of my weekend. 8. True Spokes brought out some of the UW marching band for a few songs, which you’re allowed to do if you invented Summer Meltdown. 9. Jill, tortoise whisperer. 10. Where everyone in attendance was from. Lots of homies from South America, surprisingly. 11. The daily view.
Watching this video has totally re-ignited my wanderlust. It’s such a cool concept and it inspires me to go, to do more.
“I wish to offer through my photographs escapes into alternative landscapes where the reconstruction of new lands is made possible. The journey inside the image will invite the viewer to enter the space as well as entering the narrative of a ‘make-believe’, bringing him into the game between fiction and reality in which one can identify the fragility of one’s own desires.” – Noemie Goudal
Are these photos incredible or what? I saw them on because i’m addicted the other day and was blown away. I love how Goudal’s installations bring artistic additions to existing locales, blending nature and the industrial and blurring the line between reality and fantasy. They’re like portals opening up to other worlds, like the wardrobe to Narnia: inconspicuous enough, but startlingly magical once you realize what you’re looking at. It’s absolutely inspiring, and it makes me pine to do something creative on a large scale like this.
You can see more of Noemie Goudal’s photos here.