Tearing down the Alaskan Way Viaduct

Photo Apr 12, 9 05 11 PM

The former State Route 99 freeway through Seattle, also known by the waterfront as the Alaskan Way Viaduct is finally coming down. Originally, its construction began in 1949, completed its first version in 1953, then carried on until earlier this year.  In its final full year, the Alaskan Way Viaduct could carry up to 91,000 vehicles per day. But sadly, the viaduct could no longer sustain as it was considered unsafe, and prone to a heavy earthquake. So, away it must go.

In place, will be a lengthy waterfront park area, and I think some new driving lanes. The site will be an overall facelift for this changing metropolis.

– Orion T

 

Blossoms in the wind

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“And so the spring buds burst, and so I gaze,
And so the blossoms fall, and so my days …”

– Uejima Onitsura, Japanese haiku poet of the Edo period, 1660-1738)

The above picture was during a recent rush to work in downtown Seattle. This flurry of loosened cherry blossoms, as I admired the surreality. They would almost fall to the ground, then scatter down the street in random directions, never to be seen again.

– Orion T

 

The Peace of Fewer Pieces…

Photo Mar 03, 5 21 22 PM

Today was a wonderful Sunday, at least for many of us in Seattle. I would wake up late, to go outside and enjoy the sunshine as the peaceful start of this week will not wait up. Such was a joy best-taken advantage on this wonderful Sunday, to not waste it away in my apartment shell.

So, I decided to spend some alone time at the famous Pike Place Market, to ruminate and do some writing from the new back patio area. I would stare at the blue sky-reflected Elliot Bay waters while feeling the gentle late winter breeze mixed with warm sunlight. But, there was something else that added to the calming moment…and that was the former State Road Highway 99, Alaskan Way Viaduct between the Pike Place Market and Seattle waterfront area.

Such was a roadway icon of the city for over half a century, recently shut down permanently for safety reasons. I lived in the city for over six continuous years. I would see the road busy with traffic as I hear the familiar thumps of the vehicles constantly passing over highly stacked concrete. Now, there was a stretch of stillness, and an oddly satisfying sight of the empty shell of the old SR 99, now awaiting its fate of deconstruction, piece by piece.

Such will continue for the months ahead, until its gone. And with it, those old noises of yesterday fading out. I will wake up again on a distant Sunday, to come back, to gaze out to a different site…not likely as empty or peaceful as now.

– Orion T

Freedom to be yourself…

photo dec 31, 2 42 42 pm

“You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way” ― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

The pic above is a moment here at Granville Island in Vancouver, Canada.

– Orion T

 

The great Post Alley Art Wall

Post Alley Art Wall

Between two giant tourist attractions in Seattle, being the Gum Wall and the Pike Place Market is my favorite thing in the area for all visitors to check out…the art on the wall of Post Alley.

You’ll find this in the side of a downwards driveway below the big sign to the left, towards the Gum Wall from the west end of Pike Street. It’s hard to miss, unless really tired. But, I love it any time as it is always changing. It’s full of social messages, with some politics. Also full of adverts, shameless self-promotion, heads up on local events, and some puzzling stuff.

That’s all for today. I think the imagery has at least a thousand more words that speak to the reader than I can put forth for now. Just click on to enlarge and explore!

– Orion T

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