Sunday, June 12, 2011

Madison in a Photo

Madison is the capital of Wisconsin, the only major city in America built on a isthmus, birthplace of the progressive movement, home of an elite university, a flashpoint in the 60's revolution, a mid-sized city in the midst of rolling hills and farmland, and a bunch of other stuff. 'Nuff said. The people who live here make the city, but also mime this idea of their city - we feel the need to reaffirm our membership by being the things a Madisonian should be, and I don't think I'm an exception.

I'm really making a silly preamble to a photo, but bear with me.

Yesterday I headed to the Capitol Square to the Farmer's Market (the Midwest's largest!) to pick up my CSA share...and I brought my camera just in case I had an opportunity to use it. At the head of King St is the prime spot for all things Madison, and it's also where Driftless Organics sets up their stall, so I like to take at least a couple minutes to take things in, do a little shopping, meet friends, and observe those fascinating Madison people before I grab my veggies.

Here's what I saw:

Grannies for Peace performing at the Saturday Farmers Market
ISO 200  20mm  f/6.3  1/320 sec

--The Capitol dome, with statue (which has a badger on its head)
--"Grannies for Peace" performing songs, mostly protesting our craptastic Gov. Walker
--Flags of the State and Union
--Some dude dressed in officially licensed UW Badgers apparel
--A reminder that we have a sister city in Germany...for some reason
--The statue of Hans Christian Hess, who did something important in a war, I think

Admittedly this was more-or-less a snapshot. I lined it up so that the Capitol, Hans and the singers were balanced, and I think that worked. It's actually very close to the rule of thirds with only a minor crop, but that's at least 25% luck. Maybe I'm just getting some intuition :)

But what this photo means to me is that there's a quintessential Madison-ness that I revel in when I'm downtown. I love how the city has come alive now that we have something we all want to protest together. I love that we do this wearing Badger red, eating cheese curds and buying excellent produce from local producers. I'm proud of our heritage and the monuments we've built and I love looking at that dome.

I wish that the sky had been more interesting, as it really kills this picture. Oh, well. I'll be there again in 5.5 days and I'm sure that someone will be putting on a show.

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