#12: Elevator story
When I was a child, I developed a fear of elevators. It was a perfectly rational fear. You’d be scared of the elevators built during the Soviet Union, too. They're not like those fancy lifts with mirrors where you take selfies of your outfit.
No, the elevator in our building looked like a coffin, smelled of urine, and the sounds it made were out of a horror movie. It was never certain whether you'd survive or not. I got stuck inside a few times — it was awful — until I decided I’d rather climb eight flights of stairs than go through that hell ride again.
On my way home from school one day, I saw a man waiting for the elevator. I took the stairs. He took the stairs after me. Was he afraid too? Did I make him think the elevator didn't work? Oh well. It's probably nothing.
I reached the third, fourth, fifth floor; he was still behind me, loudly dangling his keys. Straight out of a horror movie. At that point, I was 100% sure I was going to die.
When I reached my floor, the last one of the building, I tried to act normal. I rang the doorbell and patiently waited for my mum to open the door. What was taking her so long? When she finally let me in, do you know what that man did?
He pressed the elevator button.
After that day, I wasn't sure what I should be afraid of more.
I found a good candidate for my new favourite tree while out in Weston Park last week.
But I had something else in mind.
What’s that building?
It’s the Arts Tower. It belongs to the University of Sheffield and is the second tallest building in the city. According to Wikipedia, it looks similar to the Seagram Building in New York City. I can see it.
I know another interesting fact about this place.
Inside the Arts Tower, there's one of the last remaining paternoster lifts in the UK. First of all, what a weird name. It reminds me of Padre Nostro, the prayer. A paternoster lift is a doorless elevator that never stops. Passengers have to hop on and off when they reach their destination floor.
If you're reading this and you're like yeah, that doesn't sound like a big deal. IT IS. It's a big deal. It's scary. I can easily see myself falling off and dying.
Luckily, there are also two fancy elevators with mirrors in them.
As the name suggests, the Arts Tower used to house the University's arts department. Today the space is allocated to architecture students. And fittingly so — there's a nice view over the city from the top floor (tip: if the classrooms are busy, search for the bathroom).
I think the functionality of this paternoster lift is to remind students that life is tough out there, especially for art students.
Unless they sell NFTs, maybe?
This is the part where I make an announcement about Bouquet.
I’ll be sending a newsletter twice a month.
You can also think of Bouquet as a monthly newsletter with a bonus. There will be regular posts, like this one, and a new special kind of post.
It’s a story about photography, immigration, depression and more. It starts in 2007, unsure when it ends. We’ll see. I make the rules here anyway! Kidding. Please stay with me.
A bunch of links. To be clear, as in a bunch of flowers. Is this stupid / needs changing?
Most images make me think of the photographer taking the picture, camera in hand and all that. You know how when you watch a movie and know the people are acting?
Rinko Kawauchi's photographs don't look like they were taken with a camera. It's like she casts magic spells and images appear out of thin air. I don’t know how to explain it. Her book Illuminance is getting republished after 10 years. Pre-order it now.
Hey, I keep mentioning NFTs. What’s that about? It’s probably nothing. Could be huge!
If you want to learn more, join Desire Path’s discord: a growing community of photographers and artists meditating about the future. The name itself should be a good enough reason to join.
Climb a few stairs, it's good for your health. Just be careful not to fall down.