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.