West 25th Rapid Station, Cleveland: Red Metal, Glass, and Japanese Knotweed: in album transit
|May 23rd, 2003, by Alex Zorach|
This photo was taken in the West 25th Street Rapid Station in Cleveland, Ohio. This stop is also known as the Ohio City stop, as it is located in Ohio City, which is a neighborhood of Cleveland that actually used to be a separate city. Ohio City is the downtown-like center on the West side of the Cuyahoga river, the west side's "downtown". This stop is also located directly across the street from the West Side Market, making it convenient. I often waited at this stop after visiting the market.
This photo, besides being somewhat interesting for the broad, spacious quality of the station, and the various visual textures shown, shows a few interesting features. Note the overhead wires and insulator, in the upper-right of the photo; Cleveland's rapid transit trains run on overhead wires, unlike some subway and elevated-train systems, which use third rails.
Also, note that this station is enclosed in glass, but open to the outdoors. This provides a moderate amount of protection from the elements year-round, but does not require the station to be heated, which strikes a balance between comfort and conservation. The station is certainly cool in the winter, but is always a relief after walking on the cold, snowy, rainy, and windy streets.
Also, notice the lush green vegetation growing on the sloped hillside behind the glass. This plant is Japanese knotweed, a non-native species that is usually considered invasive. I suspect it was probably not planted, and has just been left or allowed to take hold here. Although some vegetation is better than no vegetation, and this plant probably does a good job of holding the soil and perhaps providing some air filtering, in my ideal world, I would envision this sort of slope populated by a diverse wild ecosystem of native plants.