When the Seattle Art Museum’s new downtown building was opened in 1991, there also was a show that highlighted Asian art and conservation problems related to a few classic masterpieces.
These included a monumental and impressive Korean Buddha scroll as well as a dramatically beautiful Japanese screen (12-panels) that shows flocks of black crows that are swarming on a magnificent gold ground. Both masterpieces are dating back to the 17th century.
The next historical works had been brought to the museum and into our modern era through the acquisition of two local Pacific Northwest collections. One features specific Ukiyo-e woodcuts by Hiroshige, Hokusai, and some other famed artists.
The second masterpiece conservation show was focusing on Nihonga, a traditional Japanese painting style that was used during and after the Japanese Meiji era and highlights conservative resistance in relation to Western influences.
The Seattle Art Museum – So much art. So little time.
Though the Seattle Art Museum is open so many hours each day, this grand downtown Seattle masterpiece building still won’t allow you to see all there is to see inside in just one day.
And that’s just fine. Just make sure you’ll be returning. Over and over again.
The museum hosts so many new shows and exhibits, and there’s a good chance that each time you return, you’ll discover something new, something that has been improved or upgraded.
And of course, the impressive light all through the building. Oh yes, the light. The building is famous for its light that gently spreads out, through and over each of the museum’s floors like gossamer. It is like the light in the museum is “bringing things to life.”
In January 2006, the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) closed to allow for a huge expansion. This was needed to make room for the growing exhibition programs and collections of the museum. So just one block south of Pike Place Market, at the museum’s original location, a brand-new 16-story building was connected to the existing museum that also underwent a complete renovation.
For older adults, hockey offers the thrill of endorphins
In the 50-and-over bracket of the Seattle Adult Hockey League, players Bob Macdonald and Cy Wilson are on the ice for long stretches, despite their 70-plus years.
In the midst of a hockey match at Shoreline’s Highland Ice Arena one Thursday night, there was a brief tussle between two players searching for the puck. “Get out of my way, old man,” grumbled one. I’m not sure who said it, but it doesn’t seem to matter. Cy Wilson is 78. Bob Macdonald is 77. It was a joke anyway.
In fact, the average age of the Seattle Adult Hockey League’s 50-and-older league is early-60s.
These older skaters play “pond hockey,” a gentleman’s game with no refs, no body-checking and no fighting. They also mix and match the teams by random drawing before each game. Watching them whiz up and down the rink, I realized what great exercise it is. Skating, stopping and changing directions is an exhausting but low-impact exercise.
It is some years back now, but throughout 2003, there were many reminders of the centennial for the arrival of the Olmsted Brothers firm. To celebrate the contributions of these pioneer landscape architects, the Seattle Parks Foundation featured monthly walking tours through 12 city parks that were shaped by the firm, the most celebrated of national activists in the progressive “city beautiful” movement of the late-19th and early-20th centuries. The first tour began at the Conservatory in Volunteer Park on Saturday at 10 a.m.
See also this interesting Kyle McCoy video:
In the more than 30 years that followed the 1903 introduction of its comprehensive plan for Seattle parks, the firm was involved in 37 park projects.
Its influence is felt even more if we add boulevards, designs for many private local gardens, and master plans for making over the University of Washington campus as well as the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition.
Seafood Days, ya? A warm Saturday in mid-to-late summer, cobblestone Ballard Avenue and the retail ‘core’ of Market Street are blocked off by squad cars. It’s the only time you’ll see more than one cop in Ballard.
In Bergen Place, a stage and picnic tables are set. Children dance in colorful highlander outfits around a Maypole holding the ends of pastel ribbons attached to the peak, braiding them one way and then the other as they skip to the loo, dodging each other in serpentine while an accordion player sways – a uniquely Nordic combination of polka, square dance, weaving, and Twister.
Taking a bite of barbequed salmon, I nearly choke when they call for volunteers for the lutefisk eating contest. “Just raise your hand and we’ll bring you the waiver.” No takers. Is it a contest or just tradition if no one enters? The announcer repeats the call, throwing in as much heritage pride & guilt as she can. Read More
She sat down next to me and her story began to unfold over coffee like gentle, winter rain. I knew it had to be told and stopped typing. Her sincerity opened my heart and my eyes as soft, blue raindrops slid softly down the foggy glass. She moved to the Northwest from the South married with two little ones as a young woman and looking for a better life. Washington held the promise of a better life for her immediate family: husband and two small girls.
They moved to Aberdeen and found a way to exist between limited employment, government commodities, food banks, friends, family, a garden, and doing as much for themselves as they could. The way up was also the way out of Aberdeen. Timber was failing, businesses and mills were closing, and Nirvana was rising.
Their move landed them closer to Olympia, but the rejection she experienced in the small town led to isolation. She found that she was living in a redneck community and being Southern was socially akin to leprosy. This meant no employment opportunities as she had “the wrong number,” or so the anonymous telephone calls said, and even less social opportunities.
As I sit sipping on my steamer soy with a shadow of hazelnut, still blurry eyed from crossing time zones and removing myself from the close relationship I encountered with the equator only days before. My mind and consciousness are in a constant state of disarray. I ponder as I stir my rye flakes while they become this coagulated mass of gray nothingness on the end of my spoon. I sigh knowing that my digestion needs to be moving forward rather than being in a moment of stagnation from the third world foods, which have poisoned my immunity year after year.
Damn. Why can’t I snap out of this? I look outside where a short time ago the sun greeted me like a long-lost companion and healed me with its light. Today, I put my sunglasses on in anger while tightening the belt around my leather jacket. It’s 7 am northern Pacific Time. Shit, just days ago it was 9 pm in Bangkok, and the moon was my sun. Angry at the light, I laugh knowing that in time my body will again beat in unity with the lunar and solar without anger and resentment. Read More
Seattle Restaurant Week takes place every Spring and Fall (usually in April and October) and it runs for 2 weeks. During this time some of the best restaurants in the city offer discounted meals so you can dine for $18 or $33.
This year, Monday, April 2 marks the first of Seattle Restaurant Week’s days. This year, during TWO weeks, on Sundays through Thursdays only, until April 19, you can get a 3-course dinner for only $33 at some of Seattle’s best-respected establishments spread all across town. Some participating restaurants will also be offering 2-two-course lunches for a mere $18. This year’s Seattle Restaurant Week (actually almost two weeks) counts currently 181 participants, though a few more could be joining the festivities.
My Seatle Adventure
I fell in love in the Autumn of 1993, with the woman I now share my life with, and with the city, I call home. I had just recently arrived in Seattle from Alaska, where I had lived and worked for the last four years.
I was no stranger to Seattle, I grew up in Eastern Washington and went to college 90 miles north in Bellingham where I also helped as a volunteer in an education organization, but this was the first time I had ever lived in the city. Not knowing the area very well, I ended up choosing an apartment in Leschi, more or less at random. I liked the idea of living next to the water (Lake Washington), even though my apartment barely had a view of anything wet (I did have a grand parking-lot view though). Read More
The more cycles of the seasons I live through in Seattle, the more I realize how dramatically the city’s collective psyche is affected by the weather. It’s almost cliché to some that Seattle is a “bipolar city,” brooding and introspective in the winter, ebullient and extroverted at the first sign of real sun I know, I know we had our share of sun before, but actually sitting outside in the sun is different!
I saw another demonstration of this right after the first day of spring, eating my lunch in Victor Steinbrueck Park, just north of the Pike Market. It was a warm, sunny, and a Friday, and the market and park were mobbed with people. I sat down on one of the wood tables at the northwest corner of the park, overlooking the Viaduct and Elliott Bay.
I was enjoying the day but not paying too much attention, being absorbed in my newspaper, eating my burrito. Then a fellow sat down behind me, but just barely at the edge of my peripheral vision. He was singing an old Three Dog Night song, “Black and White.” Read More
It is a long way to walk, but yet a short way to talk. It is just one wonderful Saturday Night at the Pioneer Square. It’s an old neighborhood, still, it attracts people to visit. It fulls of history. It is not too crowded, yet not empty. It is full of lights and colors. Many cars and people cruise by; from American’s made by to European’s made by; from a classy to a trashy. It is amazing what can happen in a split second.
People laugh and people cry; Car speeding up and car stopping aside. First block full of entertainment. Next block full of dead silence. Still, I feel inspired and alive. What is it going to be? Could it be her? The wind breeze through her smooths untouchable face and blows her black long straight hair. The way she walks and moves so confidently noticed. Almost so confident makes her looks like a female lion aiming its next target suddenly and slowly. Or could it be the hotdog?
The wind brings me the smell of temptation. The long lines of people prove it that it’s worth of wait, or maybe it’s just the way people balancing out from the large amount of alcohol they consume. The night is still young. I don’t want to miss a thing. Importantly, I don’t want to miss a non-rainy night in Seattle. Read More