Friday, April 07, 2006

Visual motifs

I am finding the visual motifs at the SWALL conference to be quite appealing. First of all, the Driskill Hotel is simply beautiful! It is a living slice of an earlier more elegant (idealized) time. But in addition to a general admiration for the fin de si├Ęcle architecture, I'm finding Texas motifs everywhere! And of course, as an incurable shutterbug, I took pictures of it all.

Texas, as the lone star state, has adoped the five-pointed star as one of its symbols. And in the Driskill, you can see those stars everywhere. They are on the lamps and chandeliers. You can see them in the upstairs carpeting and the downstirs carpeting as well. Stars are in the windows, the elevators and the inlaid marble flooring. They shine above the cafe, and in stained glass over the great reception hall.

And who has not heard of the yellow rose of Texas? While not as prevalent as stars, yellow roses also appear throughout the Driskill. They are in the carpeting outside my door, and on the lamps and the wall sconces as well. And of course, there were yellow roses to welcome us SWALL-ows to the conference.

Perhaps most amusing is the food shaped like the state of Texas. I saw the shape of Texas in a colby-jack cheese at registration on Wednesday. On Tuesday, I saw the state formed out of biscuits and chocolate dipped shortbread cookies. (Perhaps it is a good thing that my sister is wrong, and chocolate is not, in fact, destiny, else Texas would have just annexed parts of New Mexico and Oklahoma!)

I don't suppose that star or rose (or Texas-shaped cheese) spotting at the Driskill will ever catch on the way searching for Hidden Mickeys has caught on at Disneyland, but it does add an extra element to the conference. It is nice to see such attention to detail in a world that is so often filled with a 'good enough' ethos.

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