Monday, August 19, 2013

Stairways taken, literally and figuratively, No. 1

According to the Urban Dictionary online, People often confuse literally with figuratively. Literally is a much misused adverb, often for emphasis. So, that's what I'm doing with it here, on purpose. And Urban Dictionary defines figuratively as "What everybody means when they say "literally." I suppose that's what I'm doing here, too, because literally is defined by Merriam Webster online as in a literal sense or manner, actually, while figuratively is defined there as: representing by a figure or resemblance. And, of or relating to representation of form or figure in art. Now, I've confused myownself, doggone it. Let's see if I can straighten this out successfully. It's a play on words, y'all, because I took the stairs (walked) and I took the stairs (photographed). Both things actually happened. This idea of mine all hinges on the definition of take from Merriam Webster online. One is use as a means of transportation or progression. Another is to obtain as the result of a special procedure, in this case photography. Whew. Now I'm spreading these photos out over five days starting with Monday, August 19, 2013.

I literally took these stairs on Saturday morning on my way from the 12 bus at NE 50th and NE Sandy Blvd. to a friend's house on NE 50th between NE Alameda and NE Stanton. On the bus ride there, I kept thinking to myself, I bet I'm going to have to walk up a hill, hopefully not too steep a hill. At home I had looked at the general location on Google Maps on the iMac, and I knew that I had Google Maps on the iPhone, so at least I wasn't worried about getting lost, just out of breath. Well, when I saw a Dead End sign as I walked north on NE 50th, I thought, "Well, shoot, I didn't pay enough attention to that Google Map at home."

I fired up the Google Maps on the iPhone and realized that I could walk one block west, then continue north on NE 49th. When I came to the spot on the street that you see at the bottom of these stairs, I looked to my right at the curved, sloping road, then I looked at the stairs and decided I'd take the stairs. Maybe the road I would reach wouldn't be as steep, maybe it would be parallel in slope, I wouldn't know until I got there. I can report that I made it up these stairs way easier than I figured I would and the road was noticeably less steep. And I made the decision to seek an alternate route that didn't involve walking back down this stairway to get to the return bus home. Happy to be closer to my destination, according to Google Maps and my own sense of direction, I walked along the north side of NE Wistaria and came across other stairways. Come back tomorrow and over the next few days to see them. Thank you.

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