Polar Bear Plunge – Vancouver, Canada 2019

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Traditionally in mid-winter, many thrill-seekers gather at various shore locations worldwide, to plunge into freezing temperature waters. It’s insane, but an awesome happening for over a century now. This event is the annual Polar Bear Plunge.

In Canada, the Polar Bear Plunge is traditionally held on New Year’s Day; a perfect time to bravely face forward the new challenges within the next long Earth cycle around the Sun. In Vancouver, it’s highly regarded and looked forward to as a continuation of passionate bravery for local participants and arriving travelers, since 1920.

I attended this latest Polar Bear Plunge, at English Bay in Vancouver. I witnessed from afar and late, a couple of years ago at this location. This time, I’m in front as a spectator, with my ankles in the water, and then trying it closer to my kneecaps. Wow, what freezing water!!

The temperature was at about 4 degrees Celsius (40 degrees Fahrenheit). Not sure on the number of those jumping in, but I was told it was in the early thousands throughout the time it was officially held. Many were in wacky costumes, while others held flags and team banners to represent something more.

Here are some of my pictures of plunging moments captured.

The energy and excitement shared felt inspiring. I loved every second, watching the reactions and cheering on those brave souls. I learned a lot too, on preparation and taking on this challenge (don’t drink, know your limits). Getting a small taste by stepping into the cold, I found myself inspired and wanting more.

So, I will plan to take part in a Polar Bear Plunge eventually on New Year’s Day, in Canada most likely. I look forward to this shared experience!

-Orion T

Dazzling Bright in Seattle, at the Borealis Festival of Light

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Last Saturday, I viewed some very bright and colorful lights during the nights,  the first annual Borealis, Festival of Light in Seattle.

Such was a four-day event held in the main waterside park area of South Lake Union, where a showcase of light fixtures and interesting little sculptures were scattered about, in and around the area. Some of the visuals were interactive…

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That was all I got from the small stuff, but trust me, there were some cool illuminations around. That second pic above would change with the use of a “magic roller.” Cooool!

Some attendees also brought their own electrical lights…

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From all that, simple minor delights to enjoy for what they are, an appreciation for the use of art in light, through intensity, shape, color, and new technology. I felt a childlike joy, in allowing my imagination slightly drift off, in some weird otherworldy dimension for the moments I had to myself among the strange sights.

Meanwhile, the most interesting and best of it all was its main event, a very huge video projection show of dazzling digital light and sound, all part of a large competition of art teams, from around the world…

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I will share more about that in my next write-up, soon. I promise!

– Orion T

 

 

 

The Star Wars Togetherness

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I much enjoyed the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie.

It’s not a perfect movie, but it’s got all the stuff I ask for in a Star Wars movie; awesome visuals, big space and ground battles, dueling light sword wield wizards, interesting characters with great development and interaction, light humor, and a lot of answers to fictional questions.

The picture above (Rebel Pilot and Biker Scout) are of two dressed up persons in front of the Cinerama theater in downtown Seattle on Friday Night. I saw the movie yesterday, and was not dressed up (though I wish I was).

That’s all for now. May the Force be with you.

– Orion T

 

Of the 46th NW Folklife Festival, 2017

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This Memorial Day Weekend, I took a little time out to check out the 46th annual Northwest Folklife Festival. The event is a wonderful combination of music (mostly) and artists gathering for free (donations highly encouraged) performance for the thousands of visitors present.

All located in the Seattle Center by the world-famous Space Needle, there was something extra special added to the grand mix of delights. That, being a full weekend of warm weather, supported by the blue sky and the sunshine. After nearly half a year of wet, cold, and gloomy weather, such kindness felt deserved for the locals and an extra bonus for incoming tourists.

I meanwhile did not spend as much time as needed, being that I had many errands and some projects to work on. Still, there were some good hours I got at the NW Folklife, checking out a nice variety of international sounds. Here, are some highlights in pics (with some video links)…

3 Play Ricochet, ” bluegrass band.

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The”New Genesis Gospel Choir,” I think. I forgot to write this one down, but the schedule I believe matches the time I took the pic.

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The Debaucherauntes,” a Jewish fusion folk band

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“See Beeze,” sidewalk performance

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The “Bollywood Stars”

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Greg Youmans, of the “Not Quite Full Harmonic Orchestra” one-man band

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A picture from my cellphone, showing the great Space Needle, with some reggae band playing. Sadly, I could not stick around to enjoy the entire show.

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That’s all for this year’s 2017 Northwest Folklife Festival. The past years, I covered more time, but at least I discovered some new music with a nice international variety. This year will likely not be last, and I look forward to checking out new acts, and hopefully more pleasant weather.

-Orion T

Among the many, at The Women’s March on Seattle…

 

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Yesterday, nearly 4,000,000 people stood up and marched in solidarity for the collective resistance and concerns of the recent massive change within the current US federal government political landscape. Many affected and off-put by what will likely lead towards an anti-progressive agenda, are women. Also, our newly sworn-in 45th U.S President, Donald Trump, noted for multiple offensive remarks towards women, in general and of specific targets.

So, to “send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights,” was originally for the prime Women’s March on Washington, then setting the template for various other marches of a similar name, different locations.

I, living in the Pacific Northwest, attended the Women’s March on Seattle (also known as the Womxn’s March on Seattle, for reasons I remain unclear about on LGBTQ matters). From Judkins Park, through the International District and Downtown, ending at the Space Needle, over 150,000 persons took part in that very dense slow three-mile stretch.

And within, were many other concerns on issues hard-pressed by activists; all affected by developments in the new Trump administration and GOP dominance in other government branches. Such included but not limited to; climate change, universal health care, LGBTQ rights, foreign policy, war rhetoric, immigration policy, religious exclusion, net neutrality, press freedom, environmental protections, and much more. Also raising concern, are the shaming attitudes of Trump towards specific targets, leading to further discourse. Many organizations and large groups feel threatened, of the new government power and its formal reality show/entertainment celebrity turned leader of the free world still known as Donald Trump.

So forth, comes the best way in dealing with a system no longer in favor of the collective American people. Such are the protests, where ones can freely gather and express their grievances in a wildly visual display. For the Women’s Marches are many adorned pink hats, in light of Trump’s offensive remarks to “grab them by the pussy.”  Notable are the many Leia Organa signs, perhaps inspired by Carrie Fisher’s recent passing who portrayed the Rebel Princess of the Star Wars. I noticed many signs reminding of us real-life icons; including Rosa Parks, Malala Yousafzai, Angela Davis, Frida Kahlo, Angela Davis. Also, in plenty sight were the three colorful prints of women representation, by Shepard Fairey (whose first well-known work was the iconic Barack Obama “Hope” poster). And overall, lots of feline imagery and wordplay referring to a particular popular euphemism.

That being said, I enjoyed my good walk for nearly the entire way (from Judkins Park to the Westlake Park area, then needing a long rest at home). Much of me was in exhaustion from the previous night walk, where I ended up with a little pepper spray on my lips and eye. That story, I leave for another article.

Overall, a worthwhile time for the history books, of which I am proud of and cheering towards all who participated, especially the friends I know who traveled as far as Washington DC to take part in this historic, and record-breaking event. I also, feel much hope for these worrisome times, that it will be the people and not our government, that will decide our future.

Below, are my personal pictures shared of the Seattle Women’s March. Enjoy and be inspired!

– Orion T

Pictures and notes by Traveling Orion, (Orion Tippens). For external and public use, please contact and obtain permission first.

Fantastic Times at the 2016 NW Folklife Festival

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I was at the annual Northwest Folklife Music Festival, again..

This, being my fourth time of attending this huge annual extravaganza of folk music and dancing, from all over the world. Since 1971, it’s brought a large array of arts, crafts, dancing, and sounds from multiple ethnic varieties to the Pacific Northwest, backed by donation and volunteer support. Held once again at the Seattle Center by the great Space Needle I attended Saturday and Sunday, with no energy left for the sunny Monday finale. Overall, some great times were had…

Here are some pics…

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The Freelance Reveleers, a ragtime blues group doin some sweet street performing..
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Tom Day Wait James with Dave Acker and the Growing Boys for some serious country folk jamming..

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This Balkan dance group (missed their names) showed some fantastic choreography, and among my favorites for this year

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More Eastern European dancing, from Saturday night.

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A mighty drum circle underneath the Rhythm Tent..

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A street performer (name was lost to me), with his awesome didgeridoo..

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Inside one of the many booths present selling eccentric home-crafted delights. The food selection was great too.

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Another shot of the good times, of which made up an overall great time for many..

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That’s all for now!

– Orion T

 

Picture of Today 3/20/16, Spring Bern

 
The first day of Spring in the rain, near the Key Arena in Seattle.

Also significant are the 17,000+ supporters here waiting for Democratic nominee, Bernie Sanders. He is due to speak nearby, to give a speech to rally his caucus support for the state of Washignton. Some friends were present, as his message resonates with the younger city crowds. While there was much excitement among the many here, I felt a certain calmness overall. Of what, is difficult to pinpoint. Perhaps, the rain and wonderful colors of the blooms above. Maybe, it was the positive vibes of those rallied here to support a message not all may agree with; also a contrast to the gatherings of another candidate much in the news lately, heavy in protests and disruptions. Or perhaps, there are some other good things worth appreciating now and on, that are in the fine details between the big deals in life.

I’m hoping for more Spring rain, at least.

Orion T