street canyon

Grand Canyon Mall, Haifa, Israel, June 2, 2016

Leon Sturman lives in Sherman Oaks, near the top of a hill that separates the San Fernando Valley from West Los Angeles. His is a narrow, winding street typical of the canyon neighborhoods that usually provide a haven from the buzz of urban life. It runs parallel to one of the most congested corridors in the country: the 405 freeway.

By 7 a.m., though, Sturman’s street begins to resemble that freeway.

“Take a look down the block,” he says one weekday morning. “How many cars are there? Thirty cars already just waiting as far as the eye can see.”

The gridlock is a recent phenomenon, says Preet Dhillon, who grew up on this street and lives next to Sturman. She attributes the backup to one factor in particular: Waze.

The GPS-enabled navigation app uses crowd-sourced traffic data from some 50 million users to find drivers the quickest possible route. It’s no surprise the idea has been embraced in traffic-choked cities like Los Angeles, which boasts almost 2 million users — the app’s biggest market in the U.S.

The Road Less Traveled? Not Since Waze Came To Los Angeles

Photo: Ruby Wallau/NPR

First off, I like how the “natural” symmetry of this Frame has been broken. On first view, in seems symmetrical because furniture and design are suggestive of symmetry, but of course it isn’t. For one, one of the seats (that seem to be accomodated to the different species on the Council, which is cool)  breaks the symmetry, but more importantly:  The Frame is tilted to the left side, where Anakin - the Chosen One - is located. That left part of the Frame is also considerably darker than the right half, which is more illuminated by the sun. The asymmetry is a reflection of Anakin’s inner imbalance.

If you look at it closely, you’ll find there are two “pathes” placed for Anakin. The right window shows the sun that creates a “good path” with its rays. The left window displays a “dark path”, represented by a dark and murky street canyon. That, of course, is the windows Anakin is currently looking through. It’s the window he chose when thinking about Padmé.

It’s a situation of choice and reminds us of two famous quotes from the people that are closest to Anakin:

  • This path has been placed before you. The choice is yours alone. - Shmi Skywalker, The Phantom Menace
  • Anakin…you’re breaking my heart! You’re going down a path I can’t follow. - Padmé Amidala, Revenge Of The Sith

The Chosen One is not just “chosen”, but he also has to make choices.
Anakin chooses the dark path and turns his back on the light.

It’s time for sunset.