The new city perspective, from higher Seattle…

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The above shot is from the Madison and 4th Building in downtown Seattle, where I currently work these days. It’s from yesterday, being the last sunny day of summer, but with wind and cold outside ushering in the new Fall Season.

In the distance are two of Seattle’s tallest buildings. To the right, being the 76-floor Columbia Tower, a familiar tower to those who lived here over the last few decades. On the left to the middle is the more recent 44-floor F5 Tower, completed in 2017. Some cool facts: its glass walls are designed to handle temperature and energy use by letting in some sun rays and reflecting others. It uses the same glass as the One World Trade Center in New York City. It also holds rainwater for reuse, has a 35-foot-tall”living wall” where plants grow and have solar energy equipment upon its roof.

On the ground, the F5 is a visually puzzling, odd building among the other skyscrapers. Not exactly straight, and appearing too modern I think. From the ground, its pattern feels a bit off…

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But rising up high in another building and seeing a different angle of the F5, there is a barely seen symmetry to it, that is brilliant and awesome (see top picture).

Maybe someday, I will go inside and see more for myself. Hopefully, up high and getting the chance to look around, and gain new perspectives.

– Orion T

 

 

The Outside In

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The sun was an inviting element to this particular past weekend for 2018. I think this was the first time of this year, where the Emerald City got complete sunshine for both Saturday and Sunday.

Or, at least that what I have noticed while not being indoors for most this weekend. I walked around a lot through downtown and the waterfront on errands and eating. But particularly striking was the Central Library in the early afternoon. I was there to finish my taxes and check out some movies. The light of the sun directly shined through, causing the revealing pattern shadows on the floor. I had to take a picture (see above).

Then, the only movie I checked out was Alien: Covenant. I watched it later, and felt no excitement. That movie is super boring and put me to sleep.

– Orion T

Outside the Amazon Spheres

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Live in Seattle, and you will eventually notice the overwhelming presence of Amazon. I mean this, because of the influence the mega-dominating capitalist empire carries, with its growing tech culture and innovation, here at a high price for the locals here.

Now stands the Amazon Spheres, an enclosed botanical paradise for some of its highest privileged employees. A forest world of its own, with a large variety of plants, waterfalls, and trees; all contained within an architectural wonder of curved glass and complicated steelwork.

This bonkers modern construction is the newest developed centerpiece for the many surrounding Amazon buildings towering over the city (and much blocking the view of the Space Needle for us regular folk). Its light after sunset illuminates Amazon’s current prosperity to its many local highly paid tech-workers, as they gather their food at the nearby Amazon Go shop, or the Whole Foods Market a few blocks away (now owned by Amazon).

The building is cool to look at, but I think would be more impressive if it stood for more than its company name. I have more to say on this, especially after visiting the inside of one of those spheres.

More on that, soon.

– Orion T

 

Elevating in the Smith Tower…

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The other day, I had the pleasure of visiting the oldest skyscraper in Seattle, the Smith Tower. Completed in 1914, this was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River, for its time. It was also the highest building in Seattle until the Space Needle came along in 1962 (completed in 1961). So, the Smith Tower needed an elevator…

And that it got, a lovely manual operated system of seven elevators. Each operated by a human who would push the buttons, turn things, slide the doors, and give some amusing small talk in transition. this would go on for 103 years.

Now six of the seven doors are to be automated, in an effort to keep up with modern fire and safety standards. One elevator will remain with a human operator, probably the one that leads to the observation deck…a classy tourist destination for those looking to enjoy a bit of the old city with its remains of an interesting history.

Going up, this was my first time. The elevator had see-through windows, and a vintage wobbling and mechanical nature, reminding me of an old apartment elevator in my childhood home in San Francisco. Except this one had the operator, who told me a humorous anecdote of the Smith Tower history.

Here are a few pics I took of the doors, inside panel, and elevator serviceman:

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Overall, a pleasant experience leading to another, being the observation room and outside deck on the 35th floor. That will be shared in another post in the near future….promise.

-Orion T

Picture of Today 7/27/16, The Over Light 

Just one light fixture among many at the beautiful, historic Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles. One could look around and see the well-preserved arches, talk windows, shined floorways, wooden surfaces within the grand halls. Passing through such a picture, can feel blessed for that feeling of time.

Here’s a a quick unedited pic of that noticeable setting below…

– Orion T

Picture of Today 6/7/16, An Empty Fountain

Into the Cultural Landscape Fountain, within the the Jim Ellis Freeway Park in downtown Seattle (near the Washington State Convention Center). Design by Lawrence Halprin, whose work can be seen in many parks and landmarks across he United States. The crazy thing about this, is that one could walk by the fountain for many days, weeks, months; and yet miss the majesty within. Such is easy to miss, but hard to forget when found. Stop when near enough in Seattle, and check it out.

– Orion T