Thursday, October 13, 2016

It’s Not British Slang for …

So what the heck is a “bollard”? The first time I saw the word, which was fairly recently (this year, in fact), I read it as “bollocks.” Y’know, the English slang word for “nonsense,” or “useless.”

So where did I see the word? In the Atlas Obscura weekly email newsletter of strange and almost unearthy occurrences and locations. An April 8 article (“What Are Bollards, And Why Are They Beautiful?”) talked about photographer Andrew Choate, a resident of California’s Canyon Country.

While photographing the backs of buildings, he noticed a lot of pole barriers. Bollards. Originally metal posts used to moor a ship, they now serve as barriers to separate cars from buildings, fixtures, and … us.

The article opened my eyes and I started noticing bollards wherever I went. Like Choate, I’ve started photographing them whenever I remember to. To wit: 

Oakland Airport Car Rental Center

Costco Iwilei Honolulu In-Warehouse

Costco Iwilei Entrance
(These Serve a Double Duty as Trash Cans!)

Costco Iwilei Food Court

Oakland Airport Hertz Rental

Kuakini Hospital Hale Pulama Mau Driveway

Kuakini Hospital Hale Pulama Mau Entrance

Makiki Post Office

Safeway Beretania Down Escalator

Safeway Beretania Cart Return

Silliman Aquatic Center Entrance, Fremont, CA

Target Entrance, Pacific Commons, Fremont, CA

They’re actually quite unnoticeable because we're so used to them just going about their daily work. But now that I’ve called your attention to bollards, I bet you’re going to notice them all over the place.

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