Merry Christmas Daze!

Cheers to all on this Christmas Day!!

The lights above are from a large tree in Central Vancouver (Canada), in a recent visit. I love my blurry shots in a time that feels very unclear yet still colorful. Now, I’m in Southern California with limited online access, feeling more festive inside than outside with family and friends.

Joy to all, and those around you too.

Orion T

The Spirit of Christmas Present…

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And another Christmas Day has come and gone (almost midnight right now). We tried to be merry as many of us struggle with inconvenient news, emotional angst, and hardships. Yet, the best we can do throughout the day is share some warmth and light to others who may need it through support, prayer, gifts to others in need. In that collectivity, I hope this day was joyous in whatever way such can be delivered, or given to everyone taking part in this annual tradition.

– Orion T

Blurry Holidaze Light

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Christmas season lights at night are favorite visuals of the holiday season.

The arrangement of colors on a tree, across buildings, upon poles and mundane objects, making for a special time to enjoy the timeless tradition of dazzling modern decoration. Such a display is also fun to snap pictures of and experiment in the process.

I did so at the Pike Place Market in Seattle, getting the above shot, and this more abstract result…

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Very cheery!

Orion T 

 

Merry Christmas Day!!

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Today, the streets remain quiet this Christmas Day, but the cheer remains.

Enjoy the spirit.

-Orion T

I took the picture recently from the famed Pike Place Market in Downtown Seattle, in the quiet after hours of this Holiday Season.

A Celebration of Seattle, a Holiday Season Gingerbread Village Tribute

This year’s (25th) Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Hotel in Downtown Seattle, is a celebration of the city itself and a must-see for local holiday deco enthusiasts.

This year marks the silver anniversary of the famed annual presentation, with “25 Years of Cheer: A Celebration of Seattle,” a creative, sugary take on visions of Seattle’s future, and past. There are multiple large displays, with structures, landscapes, things made mostly out of reinforced gingerbread, frosting, candy bits, gummies, jelly beans, frost, and other sugary silliness combined with LED lights and some animatronics. Each display developed from the work of an architecture firm and lead “chef.” Last year’s Gingerbread Village theme focused on Harry Potter, and Star Wars the year before.

Below are some pics of each display. Enjoy!

For those who wish to visit and view, The Gingerbread Village is now free to the public until January 1, 2018. It’s all located by the Sheraton (still hosting) across the street from at the City Centre building. You are also encouraged to also give a monetary amount to the JDRF Northwest Chapter. For more site and event information including bios on the designers and builders (and to donate directly), visit www.gingerbreadvillage.org.

Orion T

A visit to the Harry Potter Gingerbread Village…

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This year’s (24th) Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Hotel in Downtown Seattle, is a very magical one. This new theme is all into the world of Harry Potter.

Last year’s Gingerbread Village theme was all about the Star Wars. Now, it’s gone full Hogwarts with displayed exteriors made mostly out of reinforced gingerbread, frosting, candy bits, lots of jellybeans and other sugary snacks best used for such displays. Each display developed from the work of an architecture firm and lead “chef.” Also involved were children (aka “Elves”) dealing with Type 1 Diabetes, promoting the cause of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) for treatments and research.

For those who wish to visit, the Sheraton is located near the Washington State Convention Center in Downtown Seattle, in their lobby. The Gingerbread Village is now free to the public until January 1, 2017. You are encouraged to also give a monetary amount to the JDRF Northwest Chapter. For more site and event information including bios on the designers and builders (and to donate directly), click here.

Below some pics of each display, based on the first six books by J.K Rowling, and the movies based upon such. Click on each below for more detail. Also, click here to visit strangerworlds.com, for my nearly same write-up, and a many more detailed pics.

Orion T

Picture of Today 12/24/15, Twas the Night..

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‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the city
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse..

Perhaps probably because the night twas too cold for stirring, and more like slumping. I noticed much slumping from the few stragglers outs past 7pm tonight, working out the last minute shopping, holiday planning, probably finished with extra work shift hours (including myself)

I passed by the old Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle while admiring the serene calm of this cold night. I finished some last minute errands in the area, with high hopes to see the fullish Moon up high. It was there, I knew. But sadly, too much cloud density to capture such a rare view this Eve. Maybe where you are, the sky is clear. If so, go outside and take a look.

And to all, have a wonderful warm and silent night. Then, have a Merry Christmas Day!

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-Orion T

Postcards from Centerville..

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Ah, the first day of Winter!!

Tis a most wonderful time for when the nights are long and the air is cold. For then, we value warmth in tiny cups and small furnaces while celebrating the seasonal traditions with a fresh new year. Outside, we tread through icy landscapes, tote around naked trees, go about daily errands with perhaps a little playtime; all while covered in wooly layers.

Such is the typical life for the people of Centerville, a very small town within the Armory Mall of the Seattle lands (South Queen Anne territory). There is grandness for the local Winterfest of the annual holiday season; where this hidden town is suddenly visible to the outside world. Anyone may peek inside during the right hours; to see the trains arrive on time, admire the nostalgic architecture, or just people watch. For more info, click here.

I snapped some pics of my last visit, capturing that small town life…

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– Orion

Picture of Today 12/8/15, Spinning Bright

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I think heavy rain inspires me to mess with the settings on my camera. Here at Westlake Park in Downtown Seattle, I went for a new long exposure in the night. It was another wheel (see previous posting for the other wheel), but this time a little smaller with horses on it. Are there other big wheels for me to gaze upon in this Emerald City?

And for a bonus picture, here is the full stop. The rain kept going.

Photo Dec 06, 6 02 24 PM

Orion T

Visiting the Star Wars Gingerbread Village…

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I recently checked out this year’s huge seasonal Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. Every year has a theme and this time it’s all to a galaxy far, far away.

It’s all Star Wars!!  Also, the Village promotes the cause of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) for treatments and research. Children dealing with Type 1 diabetes helped with each display, working with various architecture and construction firms to make each one impressive.

I am huge sci-fi, nostalgia geek at heart. The kid in me of all ages in me cheered to this display collection of all the movies, which I enjoyed (even The Phantom Menace). I also look forward to the next chapter, The Force Awakens.

The display is open to the public and free, and it’s located near the Washington State Convention Center in Downtown Seattle, at the Sheraton hotel. The Gingerbread Village is here until January 3rd, 2016. You may also be encouraged to donate money to the (JDRF) Northwest Chapter while there. For more site and event information (and donation info), click here.

here are below are a few pics of the display. I posted a lot more with more info about on another site I post for, at strangerworlds.com. Click here for more awesomeness!

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Orion T

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

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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..

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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..

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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 12/25/14, the Holiday Sky..

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Today was a nice gift..

Especially to the feverish and sickly ill in need of fresh air, like myself. The beautiful unique sky became a sight for healing to my congested soul. The overhead brought crazy color mixtures and fresh still air. The space between felt cold but not freezing (a manageable 41 degrees), and clean for this big city of Seattle. The streets were almost quiet, with barely any cars and occasional people walking about. The sound was still, except for some birds and the distant running giant fountain (and some Christmas music on the distant loudspeakers, mostly ignored).

I eventually found a nice chair, and empty table at an upper platform of this local Seattle Center Park (pictured above). Then, I sank deep within my heavy coat wrapped with a thick red wool scarf; then kicked my feet up for lost time, in the celebration of nothingness and continuation of healing. I watched the sky change until..

I had a visitor, another local traveler drop by. Hello..

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Picture of Today 12/20/14, Merry Holiday Season at the Market

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‘Twas the peak of the Holiday weekend shopping rush all through the Market. Earlier, where the corridors were crowded with tourists and gift-givers being greeted by merchants and fish-throwers. The rain outside stayed all day, and a little in the night with some sprinkles here and there. I meanwhile, am happy with my box of smoked salmon, of which I will bring to a party later on.

Good night.

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Picture of Today 12/16/14, Holidays Bound II

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More lights!!

Same place as yesterday, at the Westlake Center by the Westlake Mall in the jolly Emerald City of Seattle. Enjoy these lights, especially when put up in such a brilliant and strategic pattern.

The Seattle Center Holiday Lights..

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A good evening below the Full Moon, and Holiday Season at the Seattle Center.

Just an otherwise quiet night, perfect for an evening stroll (to the supermarket). Cutting through the great Seattle Center, perfect in its Seasonal cheer. The weather, a little warmer than previous nights (around 40 degrees), and enough for its International Fountain to give a good show (usually turned off on the colder or rainy nights).

Some surrounding paths are decorated well, scattered with cheer.

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Directly below, the Space Needle, at the Howard S. Wright Memorial Fountain. There stands this assembly of lit spheres, forming a very different and artsy Christmas tree.

Seattle Xmas tree

Above, the Space Needle, with the Moon adding to its shine.

Space Needle moonlight

The Moon, appreciated by the giant, musical Sonic Bloom solar flowers at the nearby Pacific Science Center. Nothing Seasonal themed here, just a beautiful moment given by the wonderful timing.

Sonic Bloom Moon

Hours later, the fog rolled in; hiding the last Full Moon of 2013, but not the Holiday spirit.

Seattle Space Needle fog

Pictures by Orion Tippens

NOTE: Do not copy or use any of the images here or herein without written consent (contact Orion at travelingorion.wordpress.com). © Copyright 2013 Orion Tippens. All Rights Reserved

That Seattle Holiday Spirit..

Seattle Holiday Needle

Beautiful, and festive.

Yes, this comes to mind looking at the Space Needle with its Holiday hat in the late midnight, now with 13 days to go until Christmas Day. This special time adds needed warmth, for the current chilly nights and earlier nightfall. Walk through the Downtown areas of Westlake, Pioneer Square, Pike Market, and you will find special, colorful Christmas deco; some very creative, unique adding to the Emerald City’s artistic vibe. These wonderful holiday illuminations, brings special color and vibrancy to the chilly nights of Seattle’s prime center. So if here in Seattle, or any wonderful city development in the spirit, take a walk outside and enjoy the seasonal sights.

I will, with more pictures to follow.

Seattle Holiday Needle 2

Pictures by Orion Tippens

NOTE: Do not copy or use any of the images here or herein without written consent (contact Orion at travelingorion.wordpress.com). © Copyright 2013 Orion Tippens. All Rights Reserved