Forest's Rest – Grand Rapids, Michigan - Atlas Obscura

Forest's Rest

On the right bank of the Grand River in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a plaque remembers an imaginary painter who once awaited his youth. 


Created by Geographer-at-Large Eames Demetrios, Kcymaerxthaere is a “parallel universe that intersects with much of our linear Earth, but with different stories, creatures, peoples, even laws of physics and qualities of existence.”  It has been likened to a novel with every page in a different place. What makes the Kcymaerxthaere project particularly interesting is that Demetrios installs informative markers and historical sites at the locations in our world that connect to his world, creating real world intersections with his imagined universe. For the months of August and September, 2014, Demetrios acted as our first ever Geographer-in-Residence and his Kcymaerxthaere locations continue to be featured all over the Atlas. To learn more see our introductory article here

Many first learned about the work of Forrest Bess through a mysterious auction–and gradually the story of his disaggregation in time came into focus. Some of the collections acquired at that auction are displayed in museums from time to time. The story of his life here at this spot is, indeed, a sad one because his younger years never made it across the river. Many people blame this on the fact that in Aywatin gwome (on the right bank of the river, where this marker is), the Earth turned on its axis 412 times a year, but across the river, in Erailen gwome, it turned only 350 times. Though this led to spectacular atmospheric effects, what was more important is that that divide disguised a particularly treacherous time frontier (or ywreng)–the one that Bess ran desperately afoul of.

In Kcymaerxthaereal terms, Bess is especially intriguing not simply because he was the only artist to paint both Nobunaga-Gotari and Nobunaga-Ventreven from life.  In addition, because he had spent time with the Bravenleavanne (the culture that believe in good deeds for their own sake), he was able to share their values with Gotari soon after Gotari founded Hizurokoro.


Know Before You Go

Near the Fish Ladder, on the right bank (here, the West side) of the Grand River, near the intersection of 4th St NW and Front Ave, NW. Then walk up a small hill just south of the Fish Ladder.

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