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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Swimming Along and Cafe Allegro's Sidewalk

1/5/13 13M
In a different sort of twist, my ride today started with artist Stevo Sadvary coming out to meet S. and I to give us his briefing on his work with mosaics.

We looked at his work, "Swimming Along", which is on both sides of a brick-lined passageway between the sidewalk and an interior courtyard at 527 South 27th Street. (Click the images to embiggen in a new window)


He also told us about other projects he's done which are publicly accessible and we're probably going to ride to them in the near future. He explained that the concept behind the design was driven by the passageway to the fountain, which took him to movement and water and groups, which took him to schools of fish; and he wanted it to be fun and to make people walking through there happy.

Stevo told us that when he was working on the site, his dog Priscilla would sit happily near him. Priscilla was well-trained and didn't need to be tied up, and people passing by were paying much more attention to the dog than to the artist; he said the ratio of Priscilla comments to artist comments was very high.

We departed South Side Works and rode around the South Side neighborhood for a while. The local trails were mostly unrideable due to snow accumulation and a few freeze/thaw cycles. We had some hope of seeing a few "parking chairs", which people use to stake out parking spots that they'd cleared of snow but it seems like there aren't any more parking chairs SouthSide, and today all we saw were orange cones being used to "save spots".

We rode up to Station Square, crossed the Smithfield Street Bridge, rode the Blvd of the Allies down to Grant Street and hoped to join the Jail Trail but that wasn't rideable. We continued on Second Avenue to the Hot Metal Bridge and that wasn't in very good condition either.

Stevo had mentioned that his first public artwork was an unauthorized guerrilla project outside of what once was Cafe Allegro, in SouthSide's Bedford Square at South 12th Street. He said there was an damaged and unfinished section in the sidewalk that was crying out for attention and he decided it would be easier to seek forgiveness that a commission.

We rode north looking to see if it still existed. It took a bit of searching, and then a bit of snow removal, but it's still very much in place:

Rode south again along East Carson Street to 18th, went to Riverview Park, took a ride on the wild side and rode the SouthSide trail down to REI. Trail conditions were very rough and it was more of a slalom than a ride.

A very nice afternoon's diversion and exercise.

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