Canal St. Cross-Section (2009-2010)
What’s that giant quarter doing in the Canal Street subway station? Actually, the entire diorama is a realistic miniature urban sculpture by Alan Wolfson. It took him 18 months from start to finish, but the result is simply amazing.
What a lovely photograph from yesteryear, eh? Not quite.
It’s a model. Specifically, it’s one of the astoundingly detailed models of 1950s American homes, cars, and street scenes made by Michael Paul Smith. His work is being compiled into a new book called Elgin Park, the name of a fictitious Pleasantville-like town which his models and photographs depict.
Toothbrush (2010) by Nancy Faust
In response to Monday’s post, many of you asked how tall the new castle is, or if it would even distract from the view of Cinderella Castle (this shot was taken from the queue at Dumbo the Flying Elephant). Well, the next few photos should put your mind at ease. As you can see, Beast’s castle actually uses forced perspective architecture to make the structure look more grandiose in size than it appears in reality.
Forced perspective works as sort of an optical illusion, tricking the eye into believing a structure is much larger or taller than it really is. This is done by manipulating the size and scale of a building, based on the perspective it will be viewed from.
The company’s use of forced perspective started with Walt Disney during the construction of Disneyland park in California. At that time, Walt paid special attention to the scale of each building, as well as the specific shrubs and trees that flanked them in order to create the best sense of height and drama.
As you can see in this comparison between the artist rendering and the current construction, the castle sits high atop what will be the Be Our Guest Restaurant, which is really the gateway to the castle’s interior. Here, the restaurant will offer quick-service lunches and table-service dinners inside the Beast’s elegant ballroom, gallery and eerie “west-wing.” The construction to the far left will become Maurice’s Cottage.
Word on the street is that WDI is preparing a video tour of the area for our Disney Parks Blog readers. More to come on this next week.
Beast Castle: Behind the Scenes With Walt Disney Imagineers by Jennifer Fickley-Baker: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog
My very dear Sarah:Ballou died a week later at the First Battle of Bull Run.
The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days—perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more . . .
I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And I am willing—perfectly willing—to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt . . .
Sarah my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me unresistibly on with all these chains to the battle field.
The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them for so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grown up to honorable manhood, around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me—perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar, that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battle field, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness . . .
But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladdest days and in the darkest nights . . . always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again . . .
On April 9, 1961, Walt Disney dedicated the Snow White Grotto, a tranquil spot in Disneyland park you won’t want to miss. Located at the eastern end of the moat around Sleeping Beauty Castle, its quaint wishing well has launched millions of wishes into the world. Do you know the the story behind this serene locale, and how it began with a problem of proportions?
The white, marble figurines depicting Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs arrived anonymously from Italy as a gift for Walt Disney. They were exquisite, but every statue was roughly the same height. How would Snow White, the princess, project her royal presence if she was no taller than Dopey?
Walt Disney was determined to find a way to include the figurines within Disneyland park. As the story goes, Disney designer John Hench was perplexed when Walt first gave him the figurines to display. Then he found an ingenious and elegant solution. The major elements of the scene were scaled to create the illusion of distance and height and Snow White was placed at the top of the diorama, where she stands majestically above the scene. This created a forced perspective. Viewed from the adjacent footbridge, Snow White appears perfectly proportioned in relation to her friends.
Hench did such a magical job creating the scene that three other Disney Parks have since incorporated the montage – disproportion and all – in their Castle forecourts.
The soundtrack at Snow White Grotto includes chiming bells, woodland creatures and the voice of Snow White from the original movie. In 1983, as part of the New Fantasyland opening, Adriana Castelotti recreated her performance of “I’m Wishing” from the Oscar-winning 1937 film. Snow White sings throughout the day in the Grotto and even this feature has a magical quality as listeners hear the voice of the princess float out over the waterfall, then echo back from the Wishing Well.
Throughout the years, guests have tossed pennies and small coins into the well, along with their wishes. They may not realize that making their own wish also grants a wish. For decades, the money collected in the Wishing Well has been donated to children’s charities. Inscribed on the well is the sentiment: “Your wishes will help children everywhere.”
How One Problem Turned into Millions of Wishes at Disneyland Park by Michele Himmelberg: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog
The great thing about cupcakes is, well, everything. But it turns out that they can be improved upon. If you’re looking for a faster way of shoving cupcakes into your mouth, you might want to try the PushCake by the Meringue Bake Shop in Orange County, California. Do you need more cupcake? Just push the bottom up.
Nicholas Maxim was born without hands or forearms, but the fifth grader can write -and well, too. Nicholas has won a special award in Zaner-Bloser’s 20th annual National Handwriting Contest.
“We submitted his entry because we felt his penmanship was amazing considering he completes most of his work without using his prostheses,” said Cheryl Hasenfus, Readfield Elementary School principal.
At those times, Nicholas writes by holding a pen or pencil between his upper arms.
On behalf of Zaner-Bloser, a publisher of educational materials, Hasenfus presented a trophy to Nicholas during a school assembly for his excellent penmanship. The school is in Readfield, Maine.
Inspired by his ability, Zaner-Bloser decided to create a new award category in his honor: Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellent Penmanship
Other winners of the competition will be announced in May. Link
I love how Pixar puts out posters that enhance the atmosphere of the world their films are in...
Here are three new vintage-style posters for the new 'Cars 2' film. The marketing of this film is moving forward with an every increasing force and it's good to know that there is an artsy side to this. Posters are a great reflection on a film in and of itself. Just like the 'Ratatouille' posters or the one sheet marketing campaign of 'Toy Story 3,' the designs for this further adventure into a world of mechanical hearts is clever. But it's the Lamp, right?
Let's hope the film itself is just as entertaining...
Hat Tip to Cinematical for the pics.
Alek Komarnitsky learned that hummingbirds had nested at a local golf course and took several high-resolution photographs. Here are the two babies, almost ready to leave the nest. The housefly on the branch gives you a sense of the scale.
Chris McMahon calls them “involuntary collaborations”. He buys fairly dull landscapes at yardsales and then adds monsters to them. To give credit to the first artist, he just adds his own name in the bottom right corners. You can view two others at the link.
The site Merry Shop sells these packets ready to go for 158 Yen (about $2), but there is nothing stopping you from creating these on your own.
Take any bottle cap (the larger the better) and find some fertile dirt outside and place it in the cap along with seeds. You have an almost free way to build your own micro-garden and it should fit almost anywhere.
As part of an advertising campaign for Hot Wheels, a construction crew in Bogotá, Colombia, installed a facade for a loop. From the side, it resembles the loop tracks that Mattel has sold for years. You’ll have to, sadly, wait a little bit longer before experiencing a real one.
Starting your plants indoors for their eventual outdoor transfer doesn't have to mean buying little pots. Half of a grapefruit or orange can do the trick, too, as one crafty blogger demonstrates.
The blogger at My Roman Apartment was on a year-long kick to buy as few new things as possible, and with planting season fast approaching, this is how she made due. Poke a hole in the bottom for drainage, and your herbs and other small plants can be simply grown on the counter, then brought outside and planted whole in the ground. We're not garden experts, but we've heard compost fans describe citrus peels as being good for the mix. If you've got a similar idea for starting your plants without buying once-a-year equipment, give us the dirt in the comments.
The Green Machine was a classic toy from the 1970s. It steered from the rear using levers, thus allowing riders to make very sharp turns. Parker Brothers Choppers built this Green Machine for adults. It’s powered by an 80 cubic inch Harley-Davidson engine and steers from the rear, just like the original.
“We had a Green Machine lying around the shop and we figured it would be a cool idea,” said Parker Brothers’ Jeff Halverson, who did 50 mph on this beast. “It rides crazy and is fast as heck. If it wasn’t for the rear tires we could have had it DOT approved.”
Instead of the Department of Transportation, however, Parker Brothers is looking for approval from the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest wheel on a motorcycle trike.