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

Rare Seasonal Snow Night in Seattle…

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Last Thursday night, much of the Seattle lowlands got about one inch of snow. Such is a rare occurrence for this grand city. For myself, the new sights are very exciting, as I have never lived or ventured out in areas with normal snowfall. Yet, there is much beauty to appreciate in the first hours of the mass landscape transformation. Though I was not feeling well from a recent slip, I did go for a stroll in the wall and take some pictures of the Downtown area.

I was not disappointed. I hope you like the following, for these sights made me smile. To share for this festive holiday season is an added joy…

Sorry, I did not get a pic of the great Seattle Space Needle in that time. I underestimated the cold, and my body needed a return to my warm apartment. Perhaps, next time.

– 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

Pictures of the Fall 2016, Leaves Away and Soon Gone..

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My favorite part of the Fall is the scatter of leaves. They bring a sense of serenity in the midst of changing weather, with new winds and storms ushering the cold ahead. There can be a bit of melancholy about them when you apply character. They had their run and now must rest until there is wither and end. But first, take in the beauty of the loveliness shown with the sort of lush greenery and return to nature brought, especially in the cityscapes of which I often pass through.

They add to the quiet, and for some also the loneliness of mundane life. You can become part of it, and be still. Let it all sink in, and watch as more leaves gather. Especially on a Sunday, the simplicity of it all brings serenity before the usual workweek schedule takes over.

Like many wonderful things, there will be an eventual end. Fall to me can be warmer than spring to the emotional spirit feeling loneliness within. The leaves make good friends when my feet are among them until taken away by landscapers with their leaf blowers machines and crude metal rakes, or withered by time; hard to decide which is the crueler. The trees above will be stripped to face the coming cold, naked and silent until the rescue of spring next year. I shall empathize with them until then. But for now, I shall take more walks and love the Fall moments while they last…

– Orion T

Pictures above and below, taken at the Jim Ellis Freeway Park in Downtown Seattle, by me in the early November at different days and times…

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Picture of Today 4/27/16, Loose Morels

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Just one of the many things one with a filled wallet can buy from the world-famous Pike Place Market in Seattle. And here is an entry from good ol Wikipedia about this unusual and expensive fungi…

“Morchella, the true morels, is a genus of edible mushrooms closely related to anatomically simpler cup fungi. These distinctive fungi appear honeycomb-like, with their cap composed of a network of ridges with pits. Morels are sought by thousands of enthusiasts every spring for their supreme taste and the joy of the hunt, and are highly prized by gourmet cooks, particularly in French cuisine.

Morels have been called by many local names; some of the more colorful include dryland fish, because when sliced lengthwise then breaded and fried, their outline resembles the shape of a fish; hickory chickens, as they are known in many parts of Kentucky; and merkels or miracles, based on a story of how a mountain family was saved from starvation by eating morels. In parts of West Virginia, they are known as molly moochers or muggins. Due to the partial structural and textural similarity to some species of Poriferans (sponges), a common name for any true morel is sponge mushroom.

The scientific name of the genus Morchella is derived from morchel, an old German word for mushroom (this may be another source for the name “merkel”), while morel itself is derived from the Latin maurus meaning brown.”

There is some ominous warnings about the dangers of eating morels at the bottom of the wiki entry..

Morels contain small amounts of hydrazine toxins that are removed by thorough cooking; morel mushrooms should never be eaten raw. It has been reported that even cooked morels can sometimes cause mild symptoms of upset stomach when consumed with alcohol.[49]

When eating this mushroom for the first time it is wise to consume a small amount to minimize any allergic reaction. As with all fungi, morels for consumption must be clean and free of decay. Morels growing in old apple orchards that had been treated with the insecticide lead arsenate may accumulate levels of toxic lead and arsenic that are unsuitable for human consumption”

And now you know, and knowing is half the battle!

– 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

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