Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Brisvegas

The ubiquitous jacaranda tree is an introduced plant in Australia native to South and Central America, but holds a special place in Queenslanders' hearts and can be found in every park in Brisbane. The city is purportedly beautiful to behold in the spring when the jacarandas are covered in masses of purple flowers. It's not a good sign for Uni students, though-- final exams come hot on the heels of the first blooms. Usually I try not to gush about invasive plants, but these trees are just so cool! Clouds of shimmering leaflets shade gnarly, spreading trunks that are just right for climbing and hammock hanging, and inspire a good deal of general admiration and appreciation:


Brisbane is on what I would call the "bridge plan"-- in addition to millions of dollars of riverside development, the city also loves to invest in bridges that are the longest, strangest, biggest example of this or that. Little Rock is embarking on a similar quest.

The Kurilpa Bridge was described by one blogger as "one of the most audacious and technically ambitious bridge designs of recent years." The style is known as "tensegrity" and, like the Big Dam Bridge (the longest purpose-built pedestrian/cycle bridge in the US), Kurilpa has a hilariously specific claim to fame: The World's Largest Tensegrity Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge.

I mean, bridges are pretty darn cool. I definitely spent a good 30 minutes hanging out with my new friend Kurilpa today (another plus: it's the scenic route over to the coolest library in Australia!). One of the first things I'm planning when I get back to Arkansas is a bike ride from my house over that cool new bridge to Two Rivers Park and all the way to Pinnacle Mountain-- who's in??

3 comments:

  1. And from Pinnacle mountain all the way to OK if you trek it. The grand opening ceremony was just announced.

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  2. Ashley BachelderJuly 9, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    I want in on the bike trip! I cycle everywhere everyday (haven't been in a car in Cambodia at all!) and have fallen in love with this mode of transit! Too bad LR is so dang hilly.

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  3. Yeah bikes! OK, it's a plan.

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