Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Train Stations and Bunkers, Sort Of...

Yesterday I posted about my trip to the AMTRAK station in Providence. In the comments, blog-buddy IT mentioned that the photo above looked rather like a bunker. Now for those of you who may not know the type of bunker I'm talking about, let me clarify what I mean by a "bunker".

Here's what civilians who play golf think of when you say "bunker" -

Bunker in golf (I think hazard or "sand trap")
Yup, looks absolutely nothing like that photo of the State House side entrance to the AMTRAK station in Providence.

But here's what we military-types (and those with a knowledge of history) picture when you say "bunker" -

German defensive bunker in Normandy
(What people who don't play golf or have a knowledge of des affaires militaires think of when I say "bunker" I have no clue. By the way, that was a pretty good example of an awkward sentence. But that's the way I talk. Seriously. What Conan the Grammarian has to say about this "I have no ideer." So to speak.)

Yes, I can see the German bunker's resemblance to the AMTRAK station in Providence. Made of concrete, has a rather blocky appearance. The one non-bunkery thing about the AMTRAK station is that the entrance is way too open. Also, bunkers (good ones anyway) never have glass doors. Or windows. The train station has both. Of course, it's not actually a bunker.

Blog-buddy Skip postulated (in a separate comment) that perhaps the view from the steps of the State House or the lawn of the State House would present a more pleasing aspect. That is, non-bunker like. I indicated that on my next trip up there (if I remembered) I would attempt to photograph the AMTRAK station from Skip's suggested vantage point.

Then I remembered the "magic" of Google Images and Google Maps. No need to go there, this is something I could do from the comfort of my computer room. So I did the "research" and this is what I found.

To the upper left is the State House, the lower right is the train station
As you can see in this overhead view from Google Maps, the train station still looks kind of blocky but not quite as "bunkery". There's that rotunda thing on top and that clock tower on the lower left corner of the building.

But then I found this ground level view (from that park on the left in the preceding photo) and now the train station looks "bunkerish" again but with sort of a Buck Rogers in the 25th Century look because of that rotunda. The clock tower looks as if it could hold a quad-20mm anti-aircraft gun behind false walls or something. (In German, that would be a Flakturm, or "Flak tower". Flak is a German acronym for Flugzeugabwehrkanone, literally "airplane defense cannon". Learn something new everyday here at the Chant du Départ, don't ya?)

Now that rotunda thingee puzzled me as I didn't really notice it yesterday. So I accessed Google Images to get another interior shot of the station. The domed ceiling is pretty obvious in this photo.

Call be Captain Oblivious, for I did not notice this yesterday. (Of course, yesterday was a Monday. I will leave it at that.)

I will, someday, head up that slope to the State House and get a photo of the train station from that perspective. I'm still thinking "bunker", the evidence seems to point that way. YMMV.

Thus endeth the travelogue.


  1. What Conan the Grammarian has to say about this "I have no ideer." So to speak.

    Nothing wrong with that. But we do have to heave a big-ass sigh over this: "As you can see in this overhead view from Google Maps, the train station still looks kind of blocky but not quite as "bunkery". " And this... I'm still thinking "bunker",

    Buy 'em books, send 'em to school, yadda, yadda.

    Oh, well. We're just checkin' the box, yanno? One and done, sorta like some folks we know.

    1. Heh, I got some of them right.

      Actually I wanted to give you a target-rich environment today. Of course, that's kinda "fish in the barrel" around here innit?

    2. Most interesting post. I'll see what I can do.

  2. OH well, can't win em all, and yes yesterday AND today are both Monday... sigh

    1. Lately I seem to be caught up in a stream of successive Mondays. Even on the weekends!

  3. Aha!
    It is a bunker
    A camouflaged bunker
    The dome retracts and 16" guns appear to take out the Confederacy's ironclads ...right?

    1. You weren't supposed to be able to discern where the 16" guns are mounted. I fear I have revealed too much!

      (I was kind of hoping you'd be distracted by the Flakturm, er, I mean "clock tower".)

  4. The guy in the bunker, looks like he's got my technique down pat. Move a lot of dirt a long way and the ball about 6 inches. Rinse, then repeat.

    1. Heh. I had to take a closer look at the photo. Then I saw what you meant. He IS moving more sand than ball isn't he?


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