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).
Rain has fallen heavy tonight upon the Emerald City as the global pandemic courses through. The streets have are almost empty as the night sky takes over and most shopping and restaurant spots normally open, are now closed. There is peace, in between much of our troubled days.
The holiday lights for this time will not dim, as they brighten up this dark year with Christmas-time cheer. Traditions continue, helping those still out or perhaps needing a nice walk (but still stay safe, please), that not all is lost for 2020. Beautiful, colorful, LEDS everywhere!!!
But it’s also cold and wet now. I would not advise going out around here now, unless you really have to or maybe living a lonely life in a dark, small downtown apartment during a pandemic is clawing at your mental health. Then, a good walk through pretty lights can be pleasant, even in Seattle’s coldest, wettest hours.
Here are some of my choice phonecam captures of the Pike Place Market and Westlake area, taken recently. Live vicariously through them, hopefully in a safe and seasonal cheered environment…
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.
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…
I was hoping for something bright in the sky, being the day for a new Supermoon event. But, the dense clouds have made seeing that too difficult. So being around the usual downtown, I settled for the biggest shining light seen every Holiday season here in Seattle, easily seen best from the Westlake Center.
This, as seen above in the picture) is the Macy’s Holiday Star, a 160-foot-tall, 60-foot-wide star with 3,800 bulbs and a large 1,000-watt bulb in the center bulb, lit from around Thanksgiving time till New Year’s Day. This giant star has been a local tradition since 1957, only skipping the 1973 year because of an electricity crisis at the time. You’ll see it high above on the corner of 4th and Pine, upon the Macy’s building.
Enjoy this light when you see it, because it’s wonderfully bright, grand, and closer to the Earth.
Today, after the sun fell, I passed by a special carousel in Seattle’s downtown Westlake Center, which only comes out for the holiday season around here. I had my good camera with me and took the above picture.
I enjoy the beauty of unfocused lights, as this setting gave much to the eye in variety and sizes. I love every megapixel of this moment. So much loved, I didn’t bother with cropping and or editing the result.
I then shot another picture, this time further our and focused, seconds before someone jumped on the horse…
There is a special brilliance of a great carousel when fully illuminated at night. You see one, take a moment to stop and appreciate. Then maybe, go for a ride.
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.
Sometimes, I feel like a bystander in the first chapter of some long mystery. Especially, when the rain happens through the night.
The rain does this sometimes, because nights like this are best described in long opening descriptions, establishing mood and environment. I love this kind of rain, not dense or rough enough to have myself rushing to the next bus; but to casually stroll through and let the wetness sink in (and take pictures). The wet sprinkles are enough to appreciate my surroundings, and think of what has not changed since the noir days of old fashioned city life. This being, how we all become a part of our environments, yet don’t know it. The rain in this city can places between between reflections, making new shadows of us dwelling through. We are all getting by, to become new stories or develop that next chapter.
Just be careful out there.
Shots above and below are of the Westlake Center area of Downtown Seattle; a place that is best in after hours, and in the rain. Also, I really like these shots. I will be coming more of this in the near future.
Serious rain happened this evening. From the sky, everything drenched below to these streets of the Emerald City. For us getting home from work, we hurried. For others getting the holiday shopping done, they hurried. For the rest, there were whimsical choices and not the need to escape the nightly showers..which is why this merry-go-round was ready to go this late evening.
Also, one can never be too wet for mini-donuts and hot chocolate..