THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT
When I was a design student at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
began the photography
program there, and I was able to take courses with him for several
years. Minorís emphasis was always about the photograph as metaphor
and symbol. He was equally concerned about teaching people to
look at photographs as well as make photographs- in both cases,
seeing what was there literally and what might also be there
metaphorically. If this was Minorís basic lesson, then I am a shy
Even though so much is possible in the art and craft of photography,
I still admire most a photograph that is well seen and has a sense
of engagement and wonder. It is like learning something.
I am a teacher of mathematics and photography at
Saint Mary's College High School
in Berkeley, California, where I head the mathematics department. I
have been a teacher for twenty-four years.
About Terra Firma:
the transition of the Alameda Navy Base into
There is a piece of land near where I live
that used to be one kind of place and is going to become something
else. It has a specific history, and a contract has been awarded to
a master developer who specializes in the redevelopment of old
military sites and unused airports.
The place is filled with many forms that no longer function; but the
current tenants are going concerns that operate tugboats along the
pier and use some of the old Fleet Industrial Supply Center
warehouses to receive, store, and ship quantities of things that
arrive and leave by truck. It used to be the FISC for the Navy. It
is supposed to become Alameda Landing
-- a mixed-use development of
offices, stores, houses, and waterfront access. Right now, although
the rate of change seems uncertain, change accumulates in the form
of broken water pipes and corroded pilings and a new chain link
fence along the unused portion of the pier. The fence was installed
to discourage others from mooring unauthorized or derelict vessels
to city property.
The Faithful was expensive enough.
From the Oakland Tribune, 2/28/08
Built in a prestigious Hamburg shipyard in 1955, the luxury cruise
ship Xanadu led a remarkable life, first shuttling passengers around
Germany and later cruising the waters around Alaska and the North
Fifty years later, long after its glory days, and after being
renamed the MV Faithful, it was taken to the northern waterfront of
Alameda. In the early morning hours of Feb. 17, two tugboats dragged
the boat to a marina in the Solano County city of Rio Vista, where
it will spend the remainder of its years, possibly to be
reincarnated as a restaurant.
That's the ongoing saga of the Faithful, which became the subject of
some public interest after the City Council voted in January to have
the boat towed for $200,000 by longtime boat salvager Kurt Lind.
Alan Lopez, Oakland Tribune
photo courtesy of Alameda Landing
June 27 to August 8, 2009
Saturday, June 27th 6 to 8pm
The Alameda Reuse and
Redevelopment Authority authorized the expenditure
of $200,000 to remove an unregistered 293-foot
vessel moored and abandoned at the former Fleet
Industrial Supply Center. It was considered the
least expensive and most timely alternative compared
to salvaging or scuttling the ship.
The Faithful was built in 1955 by Steinwerder
Industrie AG in Hamburg Germany as the Wappen Von
Hamburg. It was their first post war seagoing
passenger vessel and was intended for day cruise
service sailing from Hamburg with a capacity of
1,600 passengers. (Chronology data from Maritime
- In 1960, the Wappen Von Hamburg
was renamed Delos and was sold to Nomikos Lines of Greece. She
was refitted with a swimming pool, air conditioning, and cabins
for 186 passengers and maintained service to Aegean ports until
- In 1967, the Delos was bought by
Westours and renamed Polar Star. The Polar Star cruised to
Alaska, Mexico, and Tahiti.
- In 1970, the Polar Star was
transferred to West Lines and renamed Pacific Star.
- In 1972, the Pacific Star was
sold to Xanadu Cruises of Panama and renamed Xanadu. The Xanadu
had style and sophistication, but the energy crisis of the
1970ís ended her cruise line career.
- In the mid-1980ís, Xanadu was
sold for use as an exhibition and trade fair vessel and brought
to Los Angeles with the name Expex. Expex was neglected and
- In 1991, Expex was sold to
Friendships and renamed Faithful to be restored and used as a
missionary and relief vessel. The Faithful was moved to San
Pedro in 1994 for continued renovation including a large meeting
room. The work was never completed, and the Faithful was
returned to Los Angeles.
- In 2003, The Faithful was sold
to Dr. James Mitchell to be rebuilt into a hospital ship to be
called Xanadu 2.
- In 2005, the Faithful/ Xanadu 2
was towed from Los Angeles to Alameda to be rebuilt into a
Finally in 2008, the City of Alameda attempted to
negotiate with the Delaware Corporation that owned
the Faithful for lease payments or removal of the
vessel. Negotiations were not successful, and no
reliable buyer could be found to remove the ship in
a timely manner. Estimates for salvaging the ship
($1,000,000) or scuttling the ship ($250,000) were
more expensive than having it prepared for towing
and removed to a mooring point near Rio Vista.
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