Weekend Thoughts 11/29/15, A Needed Peace of the Season..

Photo Nov 28, 7 07 50 PM

Meanwhile in the Emerald City, the Holiday Season feels fresh once again.

Though this could be the same picture as what will happen during the following weeks. To the left is part of a very tall Christmas tree, which was present last year in this very spot, and probably the next. If not for some particular buildings in the backdrop, this deco could be easily mistaken for nearly any developed big city.

What makes the holiday season special is not the deco, but the people what they make of it. Not everyone may find the holiday symbolization as welcome. For example, the night before the above picture was Black Friday, a day infamous for shopping madness frenzy on “doorbuster’ deals; and also for tree lighting ceremonies and opening festivities. It was (and I think becoming) a day for civil unrest and social justice here in Seattle at least, as a massive Black Lives Matters protest developed in the midst of a crowded Westlake Center area. This was similar to last year’s Friday after Thanksgiving. There are many points of view on whether that was a good or bad outside additive to the holiday festivities, but such a happening brought this particular place and setting a somewhat distinct feel to it all.

Here was that tree in the background on that evening..

Photo Nov 27, 4 16 22 PM

Photo Nov 27, 4 52 52 PM

The crowd was quite massive, with a mix of emotions on the invasive presence of the Black Lives Matters protesters with chants and signs calling for an end to police brutality, racial discrimination, and social injustice. Walking through the crowd I heard approving and disapproving voices (with dashes of racism as well). For me, my claustrophobia was developing, and thought my place was away from all this. Also, I was very hungry..

Photo Nov 27, 4 56 48 PM

Sadly, I missed out on the fireworks and big Christmas tree-lighting that happened shortly after. Meanwhile,  I felt reminded of recent words from Pope Francis in a recent speech to some Catholic churchgoers: “We are close to Christmas. There will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes – all decked out – while the world continues to wage war….It’s all a charade. The world has not understood the way of peace. The whole world is at war”

And that brought me to thinking while I heard the fireworks boom in the distance, that perhaps the Holiday season does need some change. Should some consideration of what is not right in the world, have a damper on holiday festivities, or should we take time out ponder this incompleteness of our Holiday season?

I felt the reason for the BLM protest; a large group of people felt a disconnect with a dominant status quo on the long-running issues of racism and police brutality in the US, and perhaps that was reason enough to interrupt the joys of tree lighting and musical entertainment. Is it reason enough to interrupt the planned joys to the bigger crowd? That’s for the public to decide, if any change will gain support, or result in resistance. But either way, I felt what the Pope said to where we can’t quite celebrate the spirit of Christmas without considering the larger pictures outside our comfort zones (though he was referring more to the escalating war conflicts). War, injustice, starvation, and other signs of inhumanity..still out there.

So, I will be thinking of some good deeds I can do, perhaps giving and donating to the homeless and less fortunate (an issue I feel this city of Seattle needs to address more). I will read more on what else troubles humanity this Season, and consider what I can do to make a holiday season festive for those who truly need it more.

Meanwhile, we can’t all be magically happy with doorbuster deals and seasonal lights as we start the Holiday Season. I will continue to appreciate any wonderful displays of Christmas decoration, because otherwise the month is too cold. Perhaps, we people should collectively take more time to understand and show some compassion to the distraught toward the time of Christmas Day, even if their messages are not convenient to our liking. That extra warmth and additive in our traditions could go a long way, and make the next Christmas Seasons even more festive.

– Orion T

 

 

 

 

Picture of Today 11/22/15, As I Age…

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A little motivation from others, during a nice day walk through city park.

Located within the Jim Ellis Freeway Park, very close to the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle. That board is erased and begins anew at times I do not know..

Orion T

Picture of Today 11/17/15, Time Out for a Picture

Photo Nov 17, 4 45 12 PM

Just a meaningless moment, is what can truly matter.

The days have been long, and busier than normal with an urgency for swift actions. Yet, I feel the damp murkiness of the days passed wearing me down. Reasons for this range, from trivial sports moments to the many tragic lives recently lost in faraway nations. I go on yet, with my daily errands and long work schedules. Moments between, call for a bite to eat and a sip of coffee. I check my social networks for the latest in birthdays and the opinions of others. Further out are lonely walks between work, the public transport, the post office, a therapeutic thrift store adventure. The rain and wind switch through the airspace above. I leave behind the scattering of leaves on the wet city streets. The days go on, while I continue my stepping through.

However today during a particular hour leaving my work, I halted for a moment on a small overpass. I look to the southwest over yonder, noticing a moment of time standing still. For now..no wind, no rain, no fresh news, and I have little immediate need of sustenance or destination. I simply see a beautiful crescent Moon shining above through a darkening sky. For much of the day, the light stayed out, yet coming back for the evening to give us locals one good moment before the night falls. I stood still, and let the moment sink in as I snapped a picture with my somewhat decent phone camera. The moment is good..

Then, the time became too cold and the moment ends. I move on..

– Orion T

Picture of Yesterday 11/7/15, Demolished Piece by Piece..

Photo Nov 07, 3 32 47 PM

There goes a little more of yesterday…

Meanwhile upon a nearby hill, a beloved thrift store is on its last open day (Value Village in Capitol Hill). In the opposite direction towards the bay, a local tourist attraction will soon exist only in memories (the Gum Wall, see last post). Look all round Seattle now, and you will many cranes and bulldozers galore; removing what was and building towards a new skyline.

There is no rest for change.

Here I was told, stood the 811 Stewart Hotel (see edit below new info). The building was of two, and stood next to the old Greyhound bus station and parking lots for a time. I could not find any information on this building or the other not pictured. From guessing on its old school brick structure, it was around for some decades.

Edit: Thanks to our reader Wedgewood in Seattle History, for some added information on the front building in the picture, leading to a helpful ink via a historical building database on seattle.gov, with this extra info on its history (known as the Bonair Apartments):

“This building was designed by architect Charles Haynes as an “Apartment Building for Amelia Hemrich, according to drawings from July 8, 1924. (Amelia Hemrich is presumably a member of the Hemrich family, long associated with beer brewing in Seattle. The family commissioned several brewery buildings, completed in the 1900s, including one originally located at 1275 Mercer, but demolished for the construction of the 1929 Kenworth Motor Company Building, in the Cascade neighborhood). Known as the Bonair Apartments, this apartment building was completed in 1925….

In general, the building, which was renovated along with the neighboring Ray Apartments in the early 1990s by Kovalenko Hale Architects, has retained a high level of historic integrity. Windows have been replaced in kind and at least two of the storefronts appear to be surprisingly intact. The building is notable for its terra cotta trim and ornamentation.”

The building was eligible for historical preservation, but failed its nomination in 2013.

In place, will be the tallest hotel yet in this city, boasting 1,200 rooms and 41 floors. On the good side, this should give many jobs above the heightened minimum wage to locals (at $15.00, when done). Also, downtown Seattle could use more hotel spaces for visitors for large events at the Convention Center.

Yet, it’s also a sign of the passing days and new challenges ahead. I can’t say I will like the new building, as I enjoyed Seattle for much of its vintage architecture. Many buildings here and the surrounding areas are coming down. In their many places, will be spots targeted and reserved for the upper elites and better fortunate of this city’s grand growth. Demographics I think will further change, along with traffic and property rates. Perhaps by then, I think I will become bored with these new surroundings, and move on.

But for now, here is another picture of yesterday..

Photo Nov 07, 3 45 38 PM

Orion T

The Seattle Gum Wall Sticky Situation…

Photo Nov 03, 5 55 01 PM

Behold, the great Seattle Gum Wall to its fullest potential.

For over 20 years, this small south Post Alley area within the Pike Place Public Market welcomed people to place chewed sugary bubble gum remains upon a large wall. Tourists and locals constantly added to it, enhancing its disgustingness into an old wall (now walls, as it spread to the neighboring surfaces and pipes).

Soon, all the sticky chewings shall be removed, and the walls will go through a massive cleansing, to remove chemical buildup and potential harm upon the aged building. The Seattle Times reports that an industrial steam machine till be used. “The machine will melt the gum with 280-degree steam; it will fall to the ground, and a two- to three-man crew will collect the gum in five-gallon buckets.”

I recently dropped by after work long after sunset. I admire how the street lights adds mystique to the germy area. I may return again before the final removal of sticky contents. But for now, here are some pics from I:

Photo Nov 03, 5 58 07 PM Photo Nov 03, 5 53 58 PM Photo Nov 03, 5 53 21 PM Photo Nov 03, 5 57 34 PM Photo Nov 03, 5 56 02 PM Photo Nov 03, 5 54 21 PM Photo Nov 03, 5 56 17 PM Photo Nov 03, 5 57 54 PM

– Orion T

Picture of Today 11/3/15, Under the Neath

Photo Nov 03, 5 47 32 PM

A return to the local Pike Place Market in Seattle, after closing…

Look to the side near the entrance, on the street that goes under the Pike Place Market and to the side of Post Alley. Here, see an ever-changing art collage of ads and social messages.

But, I was here for that other area in Post Alley. Those that have been around there, know of it. To the rest, I will keep that part a surprise until tomorrow, of which I will post up pics. Hints: it’s lot of disgustingness, and there is some recent news of a change to it all.

For now, the Wi-Fi is too slow, and I must rest. But first, a bonus pic:

Photo Nov 03, 5 48 45 PM

– Orion T