VFYW: A Castle On Your Commute
For contest #337, we find crenellations next to office parks and what could be a moat.
(For this week’s View From Your Window contest, the post exceeds the content limit for Substack’s email service, so to ensure that you see the full results, click the headline above.)
Before we tackle this week’s window, a reader points to a NYT article about GeoGuessr, featuring a phenomenal sleuth named Trevor Rainbolt. GeoGuessr is very similar to the VFYW contest, so our reader asks:
Have you ever covered this game on the Dish? And does Chini play? Should you reach out to Trevor Rainbolt to see how he does on all the windows? Does he even play VFYW?
No record of Rainbolt. I first saw him last month in the following tweet and have been meaning to highlight his freakish talents in the VFYW:
From the NYT article:
Mr. Rainbolt has become the face of a fast-growing community of geography fanatics who play a game called GeoGuessr. The premise is simple: As you stare at a computer or phone, you’re plopped down somewhere in the world in Google Street View and must guess, as quickly as you can, exactly where you are. You can click to travel down roads and through cities, scanning for distinguishable landmarks or language. The closer you guess, the more points you score.
Sure, but does GeoGuesser have explosive cetaceans?
Ok, I’ll see your exploding Faroese whale and raise you one seriously exploding whale in Florence, Oregon — about 50 miles south of contest #103’s window in Depoe Bay (my second successful VFYW guess, by the way):
Let the video serve as a lesson. If you ever find yourself saying you’re confident your plan will work but you aren’t sure whether a half ton of dynamite will be enough to disintegrate your whale, maybe you ought to consult with someone who DOES know before you strike the match.
From our favorite married team:
Reading the comments from the last VFYW in the Faroe Islands had us in stitches. Looking forward to more great comments on this one.
Another sleuth points to another NYT story this week — a story that of course Andrew and I were texting about:
Would it be worth including in the next Dish the story about the 4,000 beagles rescued from a Virginia facility? Giving homes to beagles would be a worthy cause, but also a nice tribute to the original Dish dog.
Don’t forget the current Dish dog — and unlike Dusty, Bowie is a rescue (plus a tripod, after losing her leg as a puppy):
Coincidentally I just befriended the hu-mom of another rescued beagle tripod — if you count a leg brace, that is:
On to this week’s view of a parking lot, a sleuth writes:
I loved the Faroe Islands contest. So many people got it right, so I was excited to get any mention at all! But the contest this week is diabolical. It consists primarily of sky + parking lot + trees + water. As a hardcore urbanite (albeit one who’s traveled to 30 countries and 40 states), that kind of nature all looks the same to me.
I can’t remember the last time the Berkeley super-champ was stumped:
First of all, Chris, thanks for finding space in the Faroe Islands compilation for so much of my stuff. I couldn’t stop finding things I loved about the place and regretted how long my email was getting, because I assumed most of it would wind up on the cutting room floor. But you found room for every word and image that I hoped would be included.
On to this week, I never found a way into this view. There’s a lot in it, just nothing I found to be productively searchable. Are those cottonwood trees? How would I know? But if so, near a river is where they’d be (if that skinny bit of water can be called a river). And was the damage to the parking lot surface caused by flooding from that river? What flood? When? Where? There have been lots and lots of floods.
At least one building across the skinny river could have been designed by a modern-day Albert Speer (Hitler’s architect), but the fact that it’s a hideous, authoritarian-looking monstrosity doesn’t make the building searchable. How is it useful to realize that one of the trucks in the view has a reel trailer, one that’s seemingly loaded with fiber-optic cable? (The truck’s door has an unidentifiable company logo on it.)
The place looks like some kind of campus somewhere. Is that a corner of a dormitory on the left, because who but students would leave their folding chairs lying about willy-nilly like that? Did they have a tailgate? Or do the chairs belong to the work crew? And where is the work crew anyway? Lunch?
The shadows are short, but how does the possibility that the picture was snapped sometime around noon help identify this place? We’re in North America, I imagine. That much I’m sure of. I think.
And maybe this isn’t a campus after all. And maybe the river’s really a pond. And maybe there isn’t a tiny windfarm on a very distant, very low ridge. And if there is one there, how does that help?
Every day this week, I gave up. And every day I came back for at least a few more minutes of punishment before giving up again. Think of me as Kevin Bacon in Animal House:
There aren’t words to express how much I look forward to getting a new window so I never have to see this one again.
Our self-described “mediocre sleuth in NYC” provides a palate cleanser for the Berkeley champ:
Since I’m clueless this week, I thought I’d send a few window views from my vacation driving through the south.
Charleston, South Carolina, 12.37 PM
Asheville, North Carolina, 4:24 PM
White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, 8:51 PM
Another super-champ is stumped — the one in Austin:
Well, I definitely put in the time on this one, but there is just so little to go on. I’m pretty sure it’s in the US or Canada, north of the Mason-Dixon line and probably east of the Rockies, but after hours of trying to brute-force search every river in the continental US, I have come up dry.
This next sleuth isn’t phased by this week’s challenge … because he’s already reached VFYW Nirvana:
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