NOTE: I took the above photos while riding as a passenger in a vehicle, not while driving.
Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
FIFTEEN MINUTES. That’s all the time I had to view downtown Rochester before I needed to be at the Civic Center Theater for a weekday evening Poetry Bash.
So my husband parked the car across the street from the theater. I grabbed my camera and we headed the opposite direction toward the heart of downtown.
We’d made it only half a block, almost to the railroad tracks, when I noticed art painted on a utility box. First photo snapped.
Across the tracks, more art—this time a music themed mural on a building next to a vacant, fenced lot—distracted me. Focus, snap, focus, snap, focus, snap, focus, snap. Until I’d lost count, so intrigued was I by the mural fronting a dramatic high rise backdrop.
“Are you photographing the tall building?” a passerby inquired. I was and I wasn’t. It was the art that interested me more than the structure. I chatted a bit with the man from Chicago who was in town for treatment of his skin cancer at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic which centers this southeast Minnesota city’s downtown.
Next I photographed the Kahler Grand Hotel’s iconic sign, a work of art, too.
A glance at my watch told me there was no time to wander any farther. The muses were calling.
But I am determined to return to Rochester and explore this city which we always bypass on our hurried way to somewhere. Its artsy vibe appeals to me. And I’d really like a closer look at the Mayo Clinic, only glimpsed as we swung through downtown after the Poetry Bash. By then darkness had descended. I couldn’t help but think of all the people from all over the world who would sleep this night in Rochester, perhaps restlessly, and rise in the morning to meet with medical professionals and undergo tests and receive diagnosis. Does the art distract them as it distracted me?
© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling