Tag Archives: USA

Wind phones

In 2019 I posted a story about the Japanese wind phone – you know I love to bring to this blog, the weird and wonderful ways that phone boxes exist in our world. This beautiful idea appears to be catching on . Here is a story from the USA. (I would love to set this off where I live but I’m afraid the booth would just be vandalised.)

Marshall phone carves out space for spirituality and grief

Woodfin resident Aaron Kreizman uses the Marshall wind phone to connect with a loved one. Photo by Laura Hackett.

Just off state Highway 213 in Marshall, a 1940s rotary phone sits inside a white, glass-paned phone booth, overlooking a garden and, in the distance, a ridgeline. While not physically connected to any network, the phone facilitates spiritual connections. Here, visitors can pick up the handset, “call” their lost loved ones and release whatever words they wish to communicate into the wind.

As Western North Carolina continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, the wind phone’s creator, Susan Vetrone, hopes the space will offer respite and a glimmer of hope to anyone struggling with the complex emotions that accompany loss.

“People are carrying around a lot of grief,” explains Vetrone, a Marshall resident who conceptualized the project this June and oversaw the booth’s installation in October. “It’s hard to lose people you love. … I hope this helps to relieve some of that angst.”

The concept for the Marshall wind phone, says Vetrone, is based on the original “phone of the wind” in Otsuchi, Japan, created by garden designer Itaru Sasaki in 2010. Sasaki initially built the phone to cope with his grief over his dead cousin. But after a tsunami and its aftermath killed 20,000 members of his community the following year, Sasaki opened the site to the public. In the subsequent three years, the booth became a community cornerstone, receiving over 10,000 visitors.

Vetrone first heard the story of the wind phone as she was mourning her mother’s battle (and eventual passing) with Parkinson’s and dementia. “It really moved me,” she recalls. “I immediately started seeking out a way to make it happen here. I wanted it to mirror — almost exactly if it could — the Japanese phone booth that brought so many people comfort.” 

Replicating the style of the original wind phone wasn’t easy. Vetrone had to sift through many red, shiny “UK- style” booths before eventually tracking down a plain wooden one, which she then painted white. “We wanted the feeling of lightness and spirituality,” she explains.

And to evoke traditional Japanese architecture, Vetrone commissioned local sculptor Steve Reed to create the booth’s ornate copper roof. She also weatherized the structure and installed solar lights inside the booth so visitors could make calls after dark.

Neighbor Sherrye Perry, who has lost both of her parents and visits the wind phone often, appreciates that it gives her the space to “say what you need to say.”

“It reminds me that there are all different ways and resources and paths to communicate with — at least in my mind — my creator and my ancestors,” Perry adds. “That we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. I can’t see them, but you can feel them. And they see me, and I feel uplifted by knowing that.”

How to get there

The wind phone is open to the public at 386 Madison Heights in Marshall, about a 25-minute drive from downtown Asheville.

From Asheville, take Interstate 240 to Interstate 26 west. At Exit 19A, take U.S. Highway 25/70 north toward Marshall. Turn right on State Road 213. After 2 miles, turn left on Madison Heights Drive. The parking lot is on the right.

Source: https://mountainx.com/living/marshall-phone-carves-out-space-for-spirituality-and-grief/

Screenshots

The Haunting of Bly Manor‘ – I enjoyed this ghost story. The only thing that bugged me was the obvious fact it wasn’t shot in the UK. Faux British architecture doesn’t do it for me. The above screenshot is an attempt to set a London scene.

Screenshots

A couple of more interesting elements were introduced in ‘Waking the Dead’ episode, in one episode (S6) a character is assulted in a phone box with a psychedelic compound made with woad and another (S5) where a man is murdered while making a call…

And in ‘Upload’, the design for the digitial after life still includes a phone booth…

Face the Music

Face the Music

‘Bill and Ted: Face the Music’ opened recently and the phone booth still plays a vital role as a time machine, in the quest to save the universe. (An updated time machine, now in the shape of a cocoon, is utilised by daughters, Thea and Billie.)

Screenshots: Lockdown viewing

Upright
(good Aussie comedy/drama, making me a little homesick)

Screenshots: Covid 19 viewing

More screen time is ahead of me in the coming months. I’m normally don’t sit in front of the TV for too long but as I’m trying to do my civic duty and not leave the house, this will be difficult. Here’s a few to start the next phase with:

I like that in Supergirl we see a photo of a couple on someones phone with the indication that the photo was taken in the UK, thanks to the iconic, red phone box in the background.

Screenshots: Rewatching a favourite

With a new Wes Anderson movie coming out*, The French Dispatch, I thought I’d re-watch a favourite, The Royal Tenenbaums. There are quite of few scenes with telephones:

* Written Feb 2020, before Covid 19 ravaged the globe. And I thought I was about to see ‘The French Dispatch’. It still hasn’t come out (Oct 2020) although I did see a short for it at the cinema a week or so ago. It looks fabulous and I want to see it now!

Screenshots: Superheroes

From the recent movie Captain Marvel and the tv series Watchmen (a phone booth used to talk to a blue god) to an iconic favourite – Buffy.

USA trip

We recently returned from two weeks holiday in the USA. We visited Washington D.C., Harrisonburg, Philadelphia and surrounds. Even though pay phones still feature heavily in tv and cinema, they do not feature on the streets to any great extent. I managed to get a few shots of remaining phone booths, with my favourite being in Philadelphia…

Philadelphia

WeWork removes thousands of phone booths due to “elevated formaldehyde”

It isn’t just WeWork’s now-pulled IPO that’s toxic at the company: according to a Business Insider report, the company emailed its tenants on Monday telling them that there was “potentially elevated levels of formaldehyde” in phone booths throughout WeWork offices in the U.S. and Canada. Why they used the word potential is unclear – according to the report, the company admitted that “tests for high levels of formaldehyde came back positive late last week”.

The email stated that the company was removing 1,600 phone booth from locations that “may be impacted” in addition to 700 other booths that have yet to be tested for formaldehyde. At some WeWork spaces on Monday, there were taped signs reading: “CAUTION: DO NOT USE” over the phone booths.  

The company stated in its email that it had received complaints of “odor and eye irritation”. The EPA says that formaldehyde can cause respiratory symptoms and eye, nose and throat irritation. 

Colleen Wong, a tenant at WeWork’s Rosslyn location in Arlington, Virginia said: “I always noticed, from the first time I entered a phone booth, a strong chemical odor. I assumed it was a new building / equipment type smell. Kind of like glue or a new car.”

“They had a chemical smell, like when you get something new in the mail,” a WeWork member from Minneapolis told Bloomberg.

WeWork says the high formaldehyde levels are the fault of the manufacturer of the phone booths. 

For the full article go to Zero-Hedge.