Just another never-to-be-forgotten summer…

“All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.” – L.M. Montgomery

What a pleasant quote from the famed author of Anne of Green Gables! Though, I am often a bit more of a Fall or Spring favored person, as I love those variances in weather and the changes they bring, Yet, I feel a special, unforgettable summer that works best with all it brings with the awesome raised warm of the Pacific Northwest. a break for many, a time to spend with friends and family on big adventures can be delightful and near perfection.

That being said, I am enjoying this summer of 2022 so far, despite the worries of the world. I have pulled myself further from the claws of the social media beasts, to long escapes to waterfronts and large parks. My times are private, almost selfish as I enjoy my along time in self-reflections, figuring that’s next for the months of ahead. And soon, I shall take a much needed travel trip, to make all this even better.

I hope you are enjoying this summer as well.

– Orion T

The picture was taken by me a few days ago from Gasworks Park, a wonderful little spot on the north side of Lake Union in the Seattle city. The slight combined with the warm ready made that time, near perfect.

Super tasty, visually delightful street fair food

What's your favorite street fair food?

I love a local street fair, especially the annual University District Street Fair here in Seattle. I attended, absorbing the sights and sounds of free entertainment and random happenings. But even more so, I enjoy the smells and tastes the food choices of this street fair brought. The weather, perfect.

I love the food options this street fair offered. Here tended much extra special dishes with a variety of culture from many local businesses. One takes chances from each, be a little brave in trying new things, wait in line for and pay a little more. Every disappointment can be a notable experience. Every tasty surprise, a euphoric reward to that street fair experience.

So, I took pictures of some choice food from this fair, with both visual appeal and invite curious taste. Many have links on where you can learn more from the business that served each. Enjoy, and let them encourage you to check out some street fair food stands…

Kettle corn, naturally fresh from a big kettle…very authentic!
Here’s a huge block of potato curls, best shared with friends!

Some dessert made with liquid nitrogen, from 320 Below!

Boba tapioca balls piled up ready to put in delicious drinks at the Mustache Milk Tea stand!
Bubble waffle deserts truly taste as amazing as they look, from Cafe Kleo!
I love the Tornado Potato, a tasty work of art!
A savory strawberry crepe I enjoyed from Blinchiki!
This Character Cotton Candy sweet ducky pal to share the fair with!
My favorite treat of the whole fair. The Korean Cheese Dog from Puffle Up Seattle, simple yet amazing to my tastebuds!

So with all that delight in mind, I would love to know your favorite street fair food. Please share in our comments!

– Orion T

Loving the new season cherry blossoms

The new spring season has finally arrived, and its new atmosphere feels absolutely great.

Slightly warmer weather, a time change giving more light to our evenings, more outside sports actions, and very notably come the fresh blooms.

My favorite visuals of this new season are the many cherry trees adorn with their brightest blooms, of which I have wrote about many times, and did a little video last year.. Yet, I can never express enough the wonders and atmosphere these sakuras bring at such a perfect time. I am often drawn to them. My imagination is brought to visions where I will someday witness see their grandest display in the Land of the Rising Sun.

But for now, I shall continue to appreciate this annual natural tradition, well appreciated in the PNW where cherry blossoms are plenty. Cherry blossom festivals are coming, with a new one this weekend at the University of Washington. I may check that out.

But if you see a cherry tree or grove, stop and enjoy what’s freshly given in the narrow time seen. Look close, and appreciate every branch, every petal whether resilient or loosely falling. Then get lost in the overall picture…

– Orion T

Lion Dancing through the Lunar New Year

Today, marks the last day of the 2022 Lunar New Year festivities as we welcome the Year of the Tiger. I hope many readers caught some part of this longtime 15-day tradition. I almost missed out with schedule complications and untimely weather.

But, I was fortunate to be around the Seattle Center last Sunday, getting some fresh air. I wasn’t very excited about this year’s Super Bowl this year, but did enjoy the halftime special later. This day was the only chance I had for a while to spend extensive time outside, and that’s important to me.

So, I felt rewarded in that time, for I witnessed a glorious gathering for the continued Lunar New Year celebrations with the White Lotus Dragon & Lion Dance group. These are very talented performers in colorful costumes, from Portland, Oregon. They do a variety of dances, musical numbers, sharing of Asian culture rooted from longtime traditions, for entertainment and promotions.

This stylish lion dancing dates back over a 1000 years, rooted in ancient China, backed by related folktales that add mystique to this creature rarely seen by locals. Traditions have remained steady since, with regional variations, promoting Chinese culture around the world now. Unlike Chinese Dragons who need many to animate the creature movement, Chinese Lions only unit persons per unit. Music is added, often introduced with fireworks, and stunts may be performed. To witness these lions in action, is an awesome spectacle.

I enjoyed this colorful display, of which I share further with these pics from my camera.

The White Lotus Dragon & Lion Dance group performs for many events, and remain local to the Pacific Northwest. For more info, visit www.whitelotusliondance.com.

Orion T

Remembering the wonderful snowpeople of Seattle

Sadly, a recent weather report concluded to zero chance of lowland Seattle, for the coming days, and likely the rest of this month. The weather will warm up instead.

Which is too bad for those who don’t get enough snow in their life, but enjoy what it brings. Meanwhile, I do love those pics of the northeast U.S snowfall. And then I remember, that I have pics to look back on, with many I have yet to publish on travelingorion.com.

Last year here in Seattle, we received much low-land snow where in Seattle. I posted some pictures here, and here. But, I held back on many pictures of handmade snowpeople, with an intention to feature in a separate post. But sadly, the plan was set aside in favor of editing and producing a video. I was hoping to revive the theme with the recent snowfall, but didn’t quite find any more snowpersons, and also was a bit too busy to seek any out. So, I remembered last year’s adventures, and now would like to share these special pics.

What a nice bunch! Someday, I will build one of my own. That’s on my bucket list now.

– Orion T

All great adventures begins with small steps

I love a good bookstore, especially with a staircase that leads to room with more books.

One favorite staircase is from Ophelia Books in the Fremont neighborhood in Seattle, located one block north of the Fremont Bridge. It’s got a nice collection of used books at very decent prices.

But the coolest aside from the books, is that awesome staircase noticeable at entrance. It’s a narrow spiral, and important that you watch your step going down. Take it downstairs, then browse their science fiction, mystery, lots of non-fiction books of many subjects.

I was there recently, filling in time before a meeting. I found some good books on journalism history, and The Dictionary of Science Fiction Places. I would take the past and future with me, back up the spiral staircase. I will travel this way again.

And now I ask. Do you have any favorite used book stores with cool book cases? Or just favorite book stores? Please share with me in the comments!

– Orion T

Let us walk in the white snow…

Here’s a special theme for this post…walking together in the snow. Trailing through a beautiful place where snow cover is an amazing, poetic experience meant to be shared.

So, I hereby mix up today’s pictures recently taken by me, with a poem (Velvet Shoes) by Elinor Wylie, an American poet and novelist of the early 1900s. She lived an interesting yet shortened life of 43 years; married three times, wrote five novels and multiple poems. This poem is timeless, and perfect for a snow walk through the woods.

I will share more details on the pics, at the end.

Velvet Shoes

Let us walk in the white snow
In a soundless space;
With footsteps quiet and slow,
At a tranquil pace,
Under veils of white lace.

I shall go shod in silk,
And you in wool,
White as white cow’s milk,
More beautiful
Than the breast of a gull.

We shall walk through the still town
In a windless peace;
We shall step upon white down,
U
pon silver fleece,
Upon softer than these.

We shall walk in velvet shoes:
Wherever we go

Silence will fall like dews
On white silence below.
We shall walk in the snow.

The candid pictures were taken at Ravenna Park, a beautiful little ravine forest in north Seattle. The park is a 1/2 mile stretch where you can spend a day not admiring it enough. I can never visit there enough and will take any excuse to trail again. The recent snow here was amazing, and a lot of fun for photography. The first shot was taken above the Ravenna Bridge. The others are of the main path through the park. have more pictures, which I will share soon. These three pics with the theme of others walking though, just deserved its own special post.

– Orion T

Experimenting with Color and Reflection

I’m having fun again, with my old and slowly outdated DSLR camera.

Show me fresh shapes, crazy lights, tricky angles, strange surfaces. With the right camera, fun will will happen, as I shall go for some interesting shots.

Recently here in downtown Seattle, I took my old Canon T5 with a 24mm lens for an evening walk. The weather remained chilly, as some recent snow remained scattered through the streets. I originally looked around for some dramatic themes of cold winter weather, while also picking up some food to go. But upon checking for what remained open, I read on some “SLU After Dark” displays in the South Lake Union area. These were four light-up, interactive art installations. All of which were temporary on display until the end of 2021, and then likely moved elsewhere.

The display labeled Prismatica caught my eye the most, by RAW, a Canadian architecture firm. Prismatica is a series of prisms filled with color lights, where anyone near may give each a spin. It’s simple yet dazzling amusement with an incalculable amount of experiences in visual joy brought with variances of light, motion, position, and your reaction.

So, I took pictures with my camera. At first, very difficult to get a good angle many, while the snow also distracted in each shot. Yet, I was a surprised at some results of myself trying, but up close. Depending on what you looked through, what reflected, finding yourself in them, and different cam settings; some very interesting results. Here are some favorites through different glass layers using a combination of bouncing of colors, reflections, focus depths…

That was all good fun. I love to try this again soon, but with warmer weather.

Orion T

Some leftover Christmas weekend cheers, with surprise snow

I hope you (yes, you!) had a wonderful, warm, and safe Christmas weekend.

I did, though I would have preferred a more traditional day with many friends and family. The pandemic and rising Omicron variant have put a severe damper on that prospect. Still, thanks to the wonders of modern technology with the video conferencing and cellphones, had a lot of heartwarming talks and goofy discussions of the Matrix Resurrections movie (mini-review at the end).

Through the day of Christmas Eve, I went on a small road trip to the Snoqualmie Pass in the mid Washington State mountain region. The snowpack did not disappoint, with about 11 inches fallen in that last 72 hours. I have never been there before, as I wanted at least one small adventure for this Holiday season. So I enjoyed my time, and will write more on it soon.

On Christmas, I spent much of the day alone in my apartment with my cat, Smokey, who was extra cuddly that day. Some friends online could not visit their families that day, citing a lack of vaccination at the dinner tables. So for much of the day, we spent smiling, chatting, updated on our lives though our webcams and microphones. With that exchanging fun video bits from YouTube, and played some Jackbox.tv games online (Quiplash, Drawful 2).

And, I got to share this hilarious comedy sketch from the BBC of a Nativity production gone horribly wrong. Lots of fun, and very clever near the end.

And then the next day, we got Snowpacalypse in Seattle 2, Holiday Boogaloo!!! Lots of snowfall happened overnight and through the day. Of course, I took a long walk. This time, to somewhere different and visual stunning. I have many pictures, of which I will sort out later and share soon. The location, I will keep hidden for now.

Here are some snow pics in the meantime, from Seattle downtown and somewhere in the north of Seattle.

That’s all for now. Stay warm, safe, and cheerful out there!

– Orion T

Bonus movie review: Matrix Resurrections is a reminder that truly creative work owes us nothing, leaving more room for appreciation to be given. I had a lot more typed about that, but then it ‘s more than what I wrote above. Maybe, I will share more on this later. It’s still a great movie for it’s meta-humor, original themes reexplored, and multi-layered relationships. But, the viewer needs to free their mind of what to expect or want, and what may not be given.

Warming up for a s’more good time

Who thought of the simple, timeless recipe that for s’mores?

For those unfamiliar, s’mores are a simple stack of of two graham crackers, with a freshly roasted marshmallow and chocolate bar part in between. It’s all best enjoyed with the company of others partaking in the roasting and messy consumption.

Here is some history on s’mores, found on Wikipedia:

S’more is a contraction of the phrase “some more”. S’mores appeared in a cookbook in the early 1920s, where it was called a “Graham Cracker Sandwich”. The text indicates that the treat was already popular with both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. In 1927, a recipe for “Some More” was published in Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts.

The contracted term “s’mores” appears in conjunction with the recipe in a 1938 publication aimed at summer camps. A 1956 recipe uses the name “S’Mores”, and lists the ingredients as “a sandwich of two graham crackers, toasted marshmallow and 1⁄2 chocolate bar”. A 1957 Betty Crocker cookbook contains a similar recipe under the name of “s’mores”.

The 1958 publication Intramural and Recreational Sports for High School and College makes reference to “marshmallow toasts” and “s’mores hikes” as does its related predecessor, Intramural and Recreational Sports for Men and Women, published in 1949.

For many years since, s’mores remain an awesome and very inexpensive treat for the coldest of days, very easy to prepare with little mess, except on the fingers.

It’s been too long and before the ongoing pandemic since I roasted a marshmallow above an open fire, prepping for this epic treat. And then yesterday on Friday, I did. Roasting the marshmallow is an authentic necessity for perfect s’mores. Such activity brought special joy, making the smores thereafter, all the more enjoyable.

This, was part of a local event in downtown Seattle event at Freeway Park. There was also cake decorating, caroling, other fun things going on in the early evening there. All was much fun, though I couldn’t stick around for too long. I had dinner plans soon after the s’more and some chatting, and then a movie theater seat for Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Anyway, love the s’mores as the yummiest part of an awesome night, as I should make time in the near future for some more.

Orion T

I want to give a huge thanks and shoutout to Valerie for tagging me to the event on Facebook. Valerie is a local historian who posts up some fascinating bits on Seattle history at wedgwoodinseattlehistory.com…highly recommended and worth following via WordPress!

Bonus movie review: Spider-Man: No Way Home is super fun, and a special fan service to those familiar with the last two decades of Spider-Man and Marvel films. For those not, probably an odd and confusing experience. This is a film that knows its audience, and caters heavily with action, humor, and some very emotional bits. Two thwips up!!

Letting the Holiday season lighten our souls…

Tis the season, from here in the Pacific Northwest…

As the air is cold, the ground is damp, and the day sky is many shades darker. Yet anew, this month of many Holidays brings light and warmth with a fresh mix of seasonal lights, cheery sounds, and activities to enjoy in this rough time.

Especially lately with the ongoing pandemic and bleak news as they can bring a heavy heart down further. This time can be difficult as not everyone has the comforting company or financial stability to help balance out the daily struggles that will not disappear. Especially in Seattle, I feel can be an especially hard city to be mentally struggling for many here dealing with growing socio-economic changes that favor the privileged. Also, the Seattle Freeze is still very real. Yet, we try our best to keep a smile and look forward. I see the Holidays time cheers as a much needed necessity to our collective well-being.

The holiday cheers much help. Every directional salutation of Happy Holidays followed by a smile from merchants, baristas, co-workers, friends, and strangers adds warmth and light to this darkest and coldest of months. There are many public events and sights to witness, especially at and around the Pike Place Market area. We share with something for everyone, leaving room to give and help those troubled and less fortunate. Come together with the best we can, to get through the Winter Solstice, wrap up the longer and eventual year, and also enjoy the Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Rohatsu, Festivus, Life Day, etc. and more with out friends and family.

So, enjoy the holiday decor that lights up the streets and guide our shopping, as they have a universal appeal. Here are some glorious sights of lights from my local area in Seattle (Westlake Center).

Orion T

Next stop, Northgate Station…exit to my right

Through every developed mega-metropolis, should stay a sensible guided rail system as excellent transport. On this rail, are scheduled fast-moving boxcars, stopping at main points of access, where most of the distance has been traveled in a considerably short and convenient time comparable to a rush-hour commute.

And for Seattle, there is our Light Link Rail system. An awesomely modern form of public transportation for over two decades, cutting through its narrow main stretch of land, squeezed and shaped by two large bodies of water. The city can not spread out. But, it will likely increase in population density. The city needs this system.

With this increase, so must the car traffic. Frustrations happen on where to park, getting to work on time, not missing a flight. Yet for Emerald City, the Link Light Rail is a huge boost. I rely on it often, to zoom past traffic lights and daily street inconveniences, to give myself more time and less worry. I can venture easily to and from Angie Lake, past the SeaTac Airport, past the sports arenas, through Downtown, eventually north to the University of Washington.

And now, to my delight this October, the Seattle Light Rail added three more stops to its path. Now, past its Husky Stadium, eventually to the Northgate station. But first, there is the new University District stop, which I highly recommend for local shopping and entertainment. I often treasure hunt at Al’s Music and Games, get spooked at Gargoyles Statuary, check out rare movie showings at the Grand Illusion Cinema, The Roosevelt station is next, which brings you very close to Ravenna Park, a dense mini-forest well-worth strolling through (see my previous entry). And last for now is Northgate Station, where you will find many very large and boring corporate department stores, which are sometimes needed.

The whole stretch between Angie Lake and Northgate is about 22 miles. The ride from one end to the other is 1 hour and 15 minutes. With daily rush hour traffic, the rail is the superior choice in pretty much any two areas to save money and time.

There is more to say about the subtle cheer of riding a rail system, going underground, and rising above. All gently along with the hum of its simple fixed positioning, feeling a bit more relaxed with less to worry about with more assured timing. The more stops on our rails, the more pleasant the plan.

– Orion T

Appreciating the Fall season, Pacific Northwest style

The best way to appreciate the Fall season, is to appreciate what becomes of it.

Many people complain about the Pacific Northwest weather after the summer season. Not me, for I believe here shows a pleasant trade off to the warm weather and blue skies. A return to nature, a cycle of renewal, a time for periodic harvesting. To benefit, is to get through the minor inconveniences of darkened skies and wettened soles.

I see the refreshments of fresh Fall colors of earthly greens, oranges, yellows, browns, and much more variety between brought about by the plentiful trees and shrubbery. The season enhances, by spreading from the sky, unto the ground, mixing what was cleared, now a beautiful mess. A good rain and infrequent loosens the stems, brining leaves to the ground, and then see why the Autumn (aka as from a history of French borrowing from Latin) season became more commonly named, Fall. Because the leaves must Fall, for the seasonal cycle to make sense.

Meanwhile, here are some magnificent captures from a recent walk to Ravenna Park, a half-mile narrow ravine below two large bridges. This stretch is perfect for jogging, casual strolls, ruminating, and of appreciating the Fall season. You’ll find this park, located closely north of the University of Washington, in north Seattle.

These pictures are not all of Ravenna Park, that I intend to share. This park has much beauty, which I will features more of in future postings. In the meantime, go take a walk through your nearest park and appreciate what the Fall has given.

Orion T

Notice the little angels along the shore…

Today, I took a long walk in my Seattle neighborhood between errands, from the Magnolia Bridge in Interbay to Pike Place Market, mostly along the waterfront trail overlooking Elliot Bay.

The pleasant, mostly concrete path stretched about 2.3 miles (4 km). It took my feet about two hours, as I stopped often to enjoy a little moment, answer a text, eat some snacks, take a few pictures, write. The trail was narrow, with rocks separating much of the developed green and calming waters. The weather was perfect, being that last little bit of warm sunshine, stretched from the summer, mixed with the breeze of this new fall, squeezed by days of much-needed rain.

I noticed some drawn angels etched on some rocks in a few places. The artist is unknown, with an intent purpose to perhaps delight, and maybe let us know…that yes, there are angels out there in unexpected places. I don’t know, but I appreciated their presence.

So, leaving them behind for others to find, I went on keeping my eyes open for more angels. Probably more around on rocks, waiting to be found. Or maybe they are just keeping an eye on us. Who knows?

– Orion T

The timelessness of a good summer time

“Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.”

― Famed writer George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

When I was a little one newly understanding the concepts of time and seasons, I never stopped to realize that I have only one summer a year. Every summertime from then on, such a thought has escaped me until now. I measure my time in years, when I should be measuring in this favored time of escape and letting my inner child run free under the piercing, brightest sun. Every summer enjoyed is a complete year in my growth cycle (also, my birthday happens at the end of a summer cycle).

I would love to enjoy over 100 summers, but then 10, 20, 30, and eventually 40 has been a wonderous blessing. There is a remaining inner child part of me, that finds myself wanting to play in some water and kick up some sand. Enjoy the summer as I should. Maybe someday should I get through 50, 60, 70 or eventually 80 summers and beyond, I shall build a mighty sand castle and declare myself king of the beach, being very wise yet childish to those around me.

Orion T

The picture above is recent of Alki Beach in West Seattle, my favorite beach of the Seattle area. The Spidey-bike belonged to some little girl, learning how to ride.

Living the hottest day in Seattle

108 F degrees happened in Seattle today, breaking an all-time record for hottest day in this city. Portland also broke its all-time heat record at 115 F degrees. This heat wave in the Pacific Northwest is excessive!

Yet, I kept myself cool for most of the day. I went out for a few errands around noon, finding that lemonade was a sold-out commodity in the downtown area. No lemonade seen on any shelves of some local stores I checked, nor at any Starbucks or popular eating areas (or, so I was told by a few local venders). I was craving lemonade, and settled on just making my own later.

For the rest of the day, I stayed indoors blocking out the sunlight through all my windows, and keep my oscillating fan on setting 3 and very loud. I devoured four popsicles.

I hope everyone else stuck with this weather made it through, maybe found a fun way to keep cool. I think today is the height of the rough weather, and hope we can back to usual unpredictable mix of clouds and sun at 70-85 F soon.

– Orion T

The above is picture is of Westlake Avenue, through the top of an clear sippy cup of iced water.

A sweet, full day at the beach

It’s a most excellent day, to be at Alki Beach here in West Seattle.

The temperature is perfect at about 75 Farenheit, so expected to climb to about upper 80s later on. Here, is a sweet steady breeze. It’s not overcrowded with people yet. And best of all, the day is free for me.

That means I have time to plan, to figure out future travel ideas (especially on filming!) . Hardest parts that I must ponder will be money, and time. Also, going to do some freestyle writing and light reading.

So, I must put down my phone soon, and make the best of my awesome surroundings.. I hope your day is pleasant as well, and enjoying some great summer weather.

Orion T

Hello ice cream, my old friend…

One of the best things about hot weather, is the craving for some ice cream to best counteract the bursting sun. Living through modern times, it is a constant appreciation that I usually have access and monetary funds for this wonderful confectionery concoction.

Such sensation has been constant since my earliest days of discovering various forms of sweetly tastes. My favorite ice cream flavor in my adolescent days, was some mint chocolate chocolate chip.

Then for my teenage years, my ice cream preference was anything that had berry bits. Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia, often yes!

Through my growing adult years, I came to appreciate lemon flavor or peanut butter mixtures, but not both together. I didn’t quote care for nuts or almonds though.

Since moving to Seattle, I discovered the joy of sea salt flavor in my ice cream. Usually with chocolate or caramel, which works well with non-dairy store brands too.

Then came this sea salt caramel (see above picture) with cupcake bits, at the nearby Cupcake Royale (close to Pike Place Market). This is the next stage of ice cream joy of my life. It’s amazing, and perfect for now.

What’s your favorite scoop?

New Video, exploring the Danny Woo Community Garden

Check out my new video, now up on my Traveling Orion Youtube channel!

This latest is my continuing stroll through Kobe Terrace Park, to the adjacent Danny Woo Community Gardens. For over a quarter-century, these collected plots of land have serviced the local community, and add much character to Seattle’s International District’s local culture! Definitely worthwhile, for anyone who enjoys gardening or just feels the heart and soul of it all.

Meanwhile, I did a little refining on my post-production editing routine, figuring out more on the subtleties of timing and spacing. I think I need a bit more practice and learning, but I will get there. I also added some music (free use provided by YouTube resources) at the end credits. I like it.

Anyway, here it is. Enjoy!

New Video, Early Springtime Exploration at Kobe Terrace Park!

I recently finished a local move to a bigger, more spacious apartment. After that, and a break from my busy life, I finished editing and publishing a little video I shot in early April. This comes in two parts. Part one is centered on the beautiful Kobe Terrace Park in Seattle’s International District during a short period of cherry tree blooms. Part 2, will be on the nearby Danny Woo Community Gardens!

Check out part 1 below. Part 2 will be done soon. Enjoy!!

A beautiful springy spring, and its fresh cherry blossom blooms

I have finally let myself be immersed in the glory that is the spring season of the Pacific Northwest.

I feel a bit late to the party, but also just in time for some fresh blooms. Cherry blossoms are around in Seattle, for about a good few weeks to appreciate, then on to other spring blooms. But for now, I must walk, and peek, and listen, and study, and breathe in the light breezy air between the many trees around. I see many are gaining new leaves after losing so many to the long, harsh and lonely winter.

For now, back to the blossoms, look!!

Each one of the countless, can be appreciated. More of this, soon!

The above pictures are from a recent visit to a favorite little park by a very noisy freeway…Kobe Terrace park in the International District of Seattle. I have shared about it on travelingorion.com more, on a snowy day, after a snowy day, and other days of spring blossom renewal. This time, I did something a little different, which I plan to share here soon.

Orion T

Being stuck in a winter state of mind…

Today is the first day of Spring, but the picture above does not reflect today.

It’s about a month old, from the last full day I had outside, February 13th, 2021. Since then, it’s been parts of days on weekends and not much else because my busy life, often full of messaging chains, video conferences, and work. Also, the last two weeks I mostly spent in a 14-day stay at home quarantine, as part of the ongoing pandemic.

I did not test positive Covid-19. However, someone I know very close that I was in contact with did. I tested negative, but through advisement from others and the county, I went into a 14-day quarantine. This was over the possibility that Covid-19 could develop late. Fortunately, it did not.

From there, the time was a bit rough not so much dealing with isolation and living alone in a small, darkened apartment, but other things revolving around mental health. I received some sad news over distant friends, family affected by the pandemic, and felt helpless. I also felt a bit down, pondering my future post-quarantine and post-vaccination life eventually. Where will I be? What will I be doing? How much time must I give to dead-end positions of employment where I continue to be underutilized and my greater talents ignored? So much of my spare time at peak energy and brain is spent working with dead-end tasks that do nothing for career growth, yet pay bills and keeps me moving.

With that, I do have some answers and gave heavy thought to some new ideas. Some of that will take more thinking and more planning, but I look forward to making good on them. That includes, finding fresh energy when I am lacking it the most.

Still, there remains a struggle of wills. A fight to keep going. Some of it is from age, and some of it is from depression. I do what I can do, to get through this long, cold winter.

But, also… I remembered that I had shot many video segments from my walk in the snow last month. I wanted to do a little test, to see how I could do on camera as a host, and a videographer. During the quarantine, I had enough time to get through the footage, weed out the most cringiest parts, do a lot of editing. I also refreshed my skills on motion graphics, animated logos, some other stuff.

This is the result:

Watch as much as you can. If you make it through and enjoyed, please hit a “Like” and “Subscribe” on the YouTube. That will certainly help excite things and ideas for the coming spring season, which begins for me after my quarantine session.

Orion T

Senseless in Seattle, with the usual strangeness of its late winter weather

There’s a saying I’ve heard in this Emerald City of the Pacific Northwest…

If you like the weather, wait five minutes. Or, If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.

But, that’s not an exclusive saying to the city of Seattle. It’s said of many cities where shifting, unpredictable weather happens. The earliest version of that saying was quoted by famed writer Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain. His exact quote was said to be, “If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes.” The context and where he quoted this remains unknown to the Internet. But who cares, it’s timeless to our hours of environmental unpredictability, where it can be the only notable occurance of an otherwise mundane day.

Still, there is something timeless about the joy of unpredictable weather. Constant weather patterns can be boring. TV morning news would be less exciting without our weather reports. Less banter, less small talk for sure. For me, I enjoy the opportunities of photography and inspiration that sudden weather changes bring..

Especially in Seattle.

Orion T

Pictures above are from the newish patio deck area of the upper, main floor of the Pike Place Market. It’s a good place to chill, with less people and more space than other parts of this popular tourist destination.

Through the night of the great Seattle Snowpocalypse of 2021

Continued from my previous post, but before those pics were taken, are more (below) from another long walk.

This walk happened late night last Friday close to midnight with a couple friends, as the snow fell heavy upon the Seattle city. The streets were peaceful, quiet, and relaxing for my boots to stroll about. Locations were mostly the Downtown area around the Pike Place Market, the waterfront, and Space Needle.

Here are the pics of my long, roughly two-hour night experience…

Is that all for now?

Orion T

Through the day of the great Seattle Snowpocalypse of 2021

Over the recent last Saturday of this Valentine’s Day/Presidents Day weekend, 8.9 inches of snow descended upon the Seattle area. This was the most local snow reported in a day over the last 52 years. It’s a lot, though pales in comparison to snow reports further to the East of the U.S.

Yet, I loved this downpour of constant snowflakes rested upon my home concrete jungle. Everywhere, new tints of natures monochrome, and the eerie quiet of city further closed, along with the ongoing pandemic. I took a many steps throughout, for mostly errands and whatever excuses I mustered for the sake of long, joyous walks through this wonderous winterland of strange unfamiliar proportions of snow. I wore a good pair of tough boots this time, well-prepared to not slip and drench my precious feet. I stomped through the downtown area, to the waterfront, until the International District, then back to downtown, eventually to the Capitol Hill district, and then back to the waterfront through downtown again. The long trek was all great exercise, with the minimal eating of a cupcake and a bread bowl full of Ivar’s clam chowder.

I also snapped some pictures with my fancy phone (A OnePlus 8T Pro). Here are some of those pictures, all wide and unfiltered:

And there’s more, of which I will share soon. Take care in the meantime, and check your weather reports before heading out, especially if you live in or around Seattle. Weather is otherwise quite unpredictable around here.

Orion T

Spinning light in the deep night…

Here in Rain City, where the trees are wet and my shoes are damp.

The streets turn quiet as the night sets in further. The pitter patter of today’s lasting shower remains. You can hear the drips, falling from above, bouncing off windows, off branches, on our faces. It’s all very pleasant, though my glasses can take only so much in droplets, before I must stop and rewipe.

My time is late, after some mundane yet necessary errands just done. I look to the familiar streetlights to light my way towards home after a short, yet sluggish bus ride from Capitol Hill to the Denny Triangle. Aside, are light reflections off concrete, sometimes hiding sneaky deviously deep puddles. I carry on and eventually reach the front door of my apartment, fiddling for my keys in my drenched backpack. I hear metal jingling, as I rummage though the deepest, cluttered area.

But then I stop for a moment. I look up and notice the glistening naked winter branches, staring back at me. A nearby streetlight is perfectly centered to my line of vision, where it and I should be, to make this connection that is our moment. That is, until my glasses can take no more droplets, and I must stop and rewipe.

I take a picture from the phone in my pocket. it captures the moment perfectly, which you now see above. And then, I dig my keys out. I go inside, and that’s end of my lovely time outside in the rain, for now.

– Orion T

My first cupcake of 2021!!

YUM!!!

It’s a New Years edition edition from the local Cupcake Royale consisting of chocolate cake, strawberry champagne, frosting, sprinkles, and a truffle. It’s a beautiful thing that tastes amazing.

This cupcake is only available from Cupcake Royale from until the end of today, then on to other special editions. One a side note, everyone in Seattle should visit Cupcake Royale when around the world famous Pike Place Market area. It’s small, but filled with much awesome flavor with a curated range of scrumptious cupcakes and ice creams. My personal favorite is their salted caramel cupcake, a must for all seeking to partake in the best sweets of the Emerald City.

– Orion T

Hello and cheers for the 2021 new year!!

This year of 2021 is off to a nice nice start!. Happy New Year!!

It’s the second day now, with solid showers from the sky to the grounds of the great city of Seattle. I got my Nike Air Max’s soaking drenched, underestimating one puddle after the next. Still, I moved on, enjoying every moment this year had to give me so far. Yesterday, was a bit more dry.

I started the new year as the countdown clock hit zero. I was a party, alone in my apartment but a gaggle of friends online cheering on the most surreal virtual “fireworks” imposed over our famous Space Needle. What a weird yet wonderful 10 minutes, developed by Terry Morgan, owner of Seattle-based Modern Enterprises and founder of BOREALIS – A Festival of Light, in partnership with co-producers Maxin10sity.

Here’s that…

This process used a digital sky-mapping technique. I think this involves using multiple layers crossed with 3-D stuff combined with video of the Space Needle. It’s all very visual impressive, but also a bit cheesy. I and online friends watching it online, enjoyed it. I think with drone technology, lasers, hologram tech, this might be a real thing in about 20 years, for many more to enjoy without the virtual part.

Then after much silly chatting, I fell asleep and woke up for later on this first day of 2021. Then, many phone calls with close loved ones, checking on friends, tidying up my apartment.

Then back to day with lots of walking around, yet avoiding people because the pandemic is still out there. I have to go back out tomorrow, and then the next day, and so on for many more because I have to.

But so far, all is well around my wet feet. Cheers, and hope you all are also doing well and looking forward.

Orion T

Back to the Kubota Japanese Garden

2020 isn’t over yet as we we have one last month, and a stressful for many holiday season to go.

Meanwhile, I have the perfect place to wind down for those in the Seattle area, to decompress outside and away, socially distant and pandemic-mindful. That is the Kubota Garden park in the Rainer Beach area.

The Kubota Garden is one of the few curated Japanese gardens, with much greenery and sights reminiscent of the timeless natural scenic beauty of Japan. It’s free to enter, but with current pandemic restrictions (no big gatherings!).

I’ve written more about this place before, of which you can read here.

But for now, here are some pictures I took from a recent visit. For location and more information, click here.

– Orion T