Green Lake Protest

It was grey outside, and It looked like it was going to rain very soon. Well, that wasn’t so bad, it’s Seattle, right? I headed down to Ballard to rock climb as usual when my friend Mikki called me up to go to a War or something protest at Green Lake. I changed my course and went there, waiting by the bathhouse.

I was early, but people had started to congregate. the point of the event was to hold hands around Green Lake, so I walked up to the line and found myself in between two total strangers, without my friend. On my left was an odd man with long black hair and a lot of tattoos on his arms, which extended all the way up to his sleeveless trenchcoat.

On my right was a woman of 60 or so, small and petite with curly white hair, holding a “buck fush” sign in her other I stood with these two, the rain started to fall, I grinned nervously at the man, and he squeezed my hand reassuringly. It felt very comforting to be in the middle of somewhere I rarely go holding the hand of two strangers because We were still able to share a close bond. I never said a word to this man or this woman, but I touched them, and I held their hands and knew they felt the same way as me about something.

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Between Work and Home in Seattle

There’s a bus stop conveniently located right in front of the hospital. I used to use it every day to catch the 43 home. These days, when my shift is over, I typically walk the length of The Health Sciences Building and catch my 43 at the stop down the street. It’s less crowded over there, and the walk helps me stretch my legs after being confined to a scheduling desk all day. I love to walk even when it’s between work and home in Seattle.

One Friday afternoon, the clock hit five. I logged off, powered down, shut off, and started walking. I walked on and on. The Health Sciences Building goes on forever. Even if the main hallway didn’t have those jogs in it, I don’t think it would be possible to see from one end to the other. I made it only halfway. An impulse struck me. I turned left, then climbed two flights of stairs. I crossed the T-wing bridge and walked across campus.

I had found my present job with the same serendipitous attitude I use during my commutes home. It wasn’t until after I’d accepted the job that it occurred to me that I had achieved a dream I didn’t know I’d dreamed – to work on a university campus. I grew up in a house full of reference books – It feels comfortable to me to be surrounded by all that learning. University campuses have that same preference for humans over motor vehicles that I found so appealing about Dutch cities. And there’s some other feeling going on here that I haven’t yet been able to focus on. Maybe it’ll come to me someday while I’m looking out through a bus window.

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Visiting the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) for the GED Social Study Test

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. Visiting the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) with my best friend Mikki for her GED Social Study test is what I decided to do yesterday and I really was impressed with the great 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. So I went with Mikki who was following the BestGEDclasses preparation course for her GED test and she was absolutely right. What a great way to widen my horizons!

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.

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Is This How It Ended?

An old roommate told me that Annie was on campus. He was working in a lab where she was hired as a summer intern. I had one more semester left before graduating and was still doing sys-admin work for the biochem lab. Annie and I dated when I was a sophomore.

We met while I was part-timing in the Health Sciences building. She was a freshman but decided to transfer at the end of the year. Although I started dating Helen (now my wife) soon after Annie moved away, I hadn’t exactly gotten Annie out of my system.

So I called Annie at the lab, and we made a date to go out. Catch up on old times. Helen had already graduated and moved out of town, so I figured this would be the perfect crime. Helen knew about Annie, and well, Helen wouldn’t have liked it if she knew I was meeting Annie. I arrived at the bar first. My heart raced when I saw her. Annie was a slightly-built blonde.

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A Day in February at the Seattle Public Market

It’s 8.15 am, somewhere on Pine and Western Ave. The sky is pale and the air is chill. I can feel the mist running through my nose and slowly freezing my vein. I keep my hand underneath my coat to take away the pain in my fingertips. So read on to learn more about just a day in February at the Seattle public market.

I want to walk quickly so I can get out from this cold, but my legs are stiff. People move slowly. Light from the stores is reflected by the puddles on the road. The song by the seagulls is broken down by the sound from the uploading truck once in a while. To get a good impression of what a market should be like, check out this video about Seattle’s Pike Place Market:

I see a few people jogging on the street like they don’t care how cold it is. From Western Ave, I cross the street to Elliott Ave. I can see and smell the ocean. I see the Seahawk stadium standing still beneath the morning fog. The grass is wet, and the street is damp. I see a man sleeping on the bench at the sidewalk, curling his body till no one can see his face. He has dark and long hair, a greenish dark coat, and old dirty brown shoes.

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Seattle Art Museum – Just Visit Again

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. So when you visit the Seattle Art Museum – just visit again.  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.

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High On Ice

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. They’re really High On Ice, wouldn’t you agree?

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.

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Pioneers for Seattle Parks

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, these Pioneers for Seattle Parks, 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.

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Revenge of the Lutefisk at the Crosswalk

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. This post is about the revenge of the Lutefisk at the Crosswalk.

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.

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Yes, She Has Arrived

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. But now, yes, she has arrived.

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.

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