Saturday, April 17, 2010

In Praise of Sunsphere

Sometimes I get excited about dumb things. Case in point:


I love the Sunsphere.

I know, I know, what's not to love? It's tall, it's shiny, it's shaped like a penis, it's been on "The Simpsons"... how could you not love it? I'm being a little sarcastic, but I really do have a little tiny bit of civic pride toward the Sunsphere. When I think about what I like about living here, and things in the city I love and think people should visit when they come here, I think of the Sunsphere. Also, in a more practical sense, it helps me not to get lost downtown. If I get turned around or confused about directions, I'm fine once I figure out which way the Sunsphere is.


As a visual driver with a poor sense of direction, you have no idea how important this is to me.

Since I love the Sunsphere, I have a lot of pictures of it, and that's where I kind of ran into a problem: visually, it's not that interesting, and there are only so many ways you can work with it.

You can get some distance:

path to the sunsphere

or get really close:

looking up

You can even get inside:


You can put stuff alongside it, like flags:

sunsphere with flag

or protestors:

protestors and sunsphere

There's also the option of different times of day. For example, Sunsphere at sunset:

sunsphere sunset

Sunsphere in the dark:

sunsphere at night

and Sunsphere with weird night filter settings on your camera:

spooky sunsphere

In the end, though, the Sunsphere is still the Sunsphere, and all of your pictures of it eventually start to look the same. That's why I was so excited yesterday to suddenly discover a new angle that I hadn't previously considered:

reflected sunsphere

It's a picture of the Sunsphere that the Sunsphere isn't actually in. Suddenly everything old is new again, and it's like the very first time I saw the Sunsphere in all of its tall, shiny glory.

I love you, Sunsphere, and I'm glad you live in my city.


Elizabeth said...

I, too, love the Sunsphere because it is shaped like a penis! (And because it is Knoxville's landmark.)

Skald said...

Interesting, it looks like someone put a pushpin into Knoxville and said "I was here".

JMBower said...

It is an odd landmark, but as I'm writing this is a City whose landmarks include giant armadillos and 40 foot statues of Sam Houston, I will not comment on it as such.

strong cookie. said...

"It's tall, it's shiny, it's shaped like a penis, it's been on "The Simpsons"..."