Sunday, December 29, 2013

SLC Docks

Delta A320 inbound from Newark Liberty.
Loading docks from a new vantage.
Blink and you'll miss them.
Sometimes squinting and straining are needed--
great exertion and commitment to spot a dock.
I find it pointless to simply shrug and say there are
no loading docks in the great industrial expanse
west of Salt Lake City.
I choose to accept that loading docks exist in the thousands,
even if they're not readily apparent in my
immediate perceivable surroundings.

A bird's eye dock pic--hitherto unseen on The Loading Area. This time, the loading docks are minuscule in a sweeping scene marked by wintry landscape, expansive warehouse roofs and an obscured Wasatch Range. Quite a sea change from the close-cropped decontextualized docks you're accustomed to! Plus you get an airline livery-clad wingtip fence as an added bonus.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Docks Across America

Portland, OR - c. May 2012

Los Angeles, CA - July 2012

South Bend, IN - May 2013

Pottstown, PA - July 2013

El Paso, TX - October 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bench Docks

Earlier this year, while padding along a pristine sidewalk in a Central Bench industrial zone, a profound realization struck me. It's relevance and application eluded me, however. But now, after seven months of percolation, rumination and even some fermentation, a tangible product has bubbled to the surface. Upon cursory glance, it's your garden variety experimental mixed-media dock poem. But I look at it as an unclassifiable article with a consciousness unto itself. I served, perhaps, as a mere conduit to give it perceivable form in our limited plane of understanding. Regard:

"Emerald Corridor -- Feb. 18, 2013"

A trek to "work"
A trek back "home"
And along the way
an exploration of
seams to reveal
liminal fixtures...

...fixations remain 
livery arranged...

...context cropped
from hodgepodge, opportunities
in whimsical voids...  

...narrow verdant portals
welcome narrow
verdant cadavers...

...a flashing-clothed spur
eyes an un-
trodden inverse environ...



...pending ascension tempered,
airing warily outside... scrape along
on toes... 

...of unacknowledged 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Twin Docks

While I personally believe there are infinite opportunities for discovery in even the most spatially confined settings, I will admit to a certain myopia in my unremitting exploration of loading docks. I am well aware that there is a vast uncharted universe of docks outside Boise's walls. But one needn't travel far to revel in new and exotic freight threshold experiences. Some time ago, I hit the open road and ended up in Twin Falls, Idaho several hours later. Other than being home to the scenic Shoshone Falls, a decent-sized community college and a prominent food manufacturing sector, Twin contains a historic warehouse district that is something of a de facto loading dock museum! Here are some highlights of what proved to be a fruitful and satisfying day trip:

A former Swift & Company plant. In the stillness, you can almost hear the bloodcurdling cry of creatures sacrificed for that altar known as the American dinner table. Indeed, loading docks have been and continue to be complicit in dreadful practices, but on an aesthetic level, they can still be encountered in awe and fascination.    

In an age of "repurposing," a handrail now dictates the movement of people, not goods, on the open dock at this old paper warehouse. When spared from the wrecking ball, a loading dock finds a way to adapt and remain relevant through the passing years.

Now here's an outfit that took its docks seriously. Even in a state of disuse, honest hand-painted letters tell us in no uncertain terms the final cause of the gateway they adorn with stunning permanence and dignity. May this artifact provide a lesson in directness and respect for generations to come! 

As far as juxtaposition is concerned, it doesn't get much better than loading dock with a generous splash of grain elevator. I could go on, but grain elevators deserve a dedicated blog in their own right.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Just The Docks

Sometimes it's not necessary to endeavor to make sense of and find meaning in a loading dock. Sometimes we can be content to marvel at and enjoy a dock purely for its aesthetic qualities. Sometimes we can be satisfied with just plain liking something, no questions asked. In my humble opinion, those times are all too infrequent. So here are some docks, sans intrusive commentary:

Sunday, March 3, 2013

University Docks

Boise State University is arguably Idaho's premier sports entertainment complex and events center, as well as an unrivaled brand merchandise retailer. They say you can take classes there too. On top of all this, BSU features a cadre of not-half-bad loading docks scattered throughout the campus:

 Science Building

Morrison Center for the Performing Arts

Facilities Operations and Maintenance  

Note: In my exploration and contemplation of loading docks at Boise State University, my thoughts naturally turned to a topic near and dear to the institution: marketing. While this is a concept I roundly reject as a cynical and deceitful attempt to reduce great and multifaceted enterprises into mere commodities, I accept that a strong and recognizable brand can garner both notice and interest. That said, I have come to accept that loading docks deserve more than a plain, minimalistic blog template. My initial thoughts on the matter were that by stripping away distracting ornamentation and frills, my blog would focus on loading docks as entirely as possible. I know now, however, that a sleeker look and catchier title will draw more traffic and give my beloved docks the attention they deserve. I find this a cause worth compromising my anti-marketing values for. Thus, this blog shall henceforth carry the title The Loading Area and feature a design and color palette easier on the eyes. I have taken the liberty to "retcon" any posts that refer to this blog by its erstwhile handle of Loading Docks. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Downtown Docks

Today we draw our attention to a motley assortment of loading docks in and around the southern extremity of Boise's 8th Street Cultural District. This is a gritty pocket of the city's central core that has in recent memory teetered on the edge of the redevelopment ravine. Will this area and the diverse docks who call it home plunge irrevocably into the cookie-cutter chasm of loft housing and brunch spots? Sadly, the shared sensory experiences and spatial interactions of the many are at the mercy of a select few. Until such time as these landed elites cavalierly alter our collective landscape, let us celebrate and find meaning in our existing surroundings:

600 Block, S. 8th Street: An improvised-looking dock graces a corrugated ziggurat of a warehouse. A truly singular specimen.

River Street at 9th: The old Associated Distributing warehouse boasts both a large open dock (left) and a more conventional flush dock (right center). Variety is the spice of life.

500 Block, S. 10th Street: This massive structure was previously fed by railroad tracks, prior to their unceremonious removal from downtown. The creative addition of a platform, dock leveler and bumpers, however, give the former rail car loading door above a new life as a worthy truck-to-warehouse interface.