Tearing down the Alaskan Way Viaduct

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The former State Route 99 freeway through Seattle, also known by the waterfront as the Alaskan Way Viaduct is finally coming down. Originally, its construction began in 1949, completed its first version in 1953, then carried on until earlier this year.  In its final full year, the Alaskan Way Viaduct could carry up to 91,000 vehicles per day. But sadly, the viaduct could no longer sustain as it was considered unsafe, and prone to a heavy earthquake. So, away it must go.

In place, will be a lengthy waterfront park area, and I think some new driving lanes. The site will be an overall facelift for this changing metropolis.

– Orion T

 

You Spin Me Round Like a Record…

Photo Apr 12, 10 23 33 PM.jpg

…Right round like a record, baby
Right round round round…
― vocalist Pete Burns of the 80s British band Dead or Alive

The picture is of the Seattle Great Wheel upon Pier 57 waterfront. I shoot while waiting in the wind on a bench for some minutes to mean something. I go for a 15-second shutter speed, low ISO setting exposure. I like the result.

– Orion T

April Bloom in the Pacific Northwest

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To fully appreciate, look close…

There are fresh blooms to behold through this wet season this April. Such is welcome, and natural for this time in the Pacific Northwest, as fresh color is added to an otherwise grey week.

Throughout this Seattle area, some trees once again blossom with silkiness and lively character. If in the Downtown area, I recommend walking Freeway Park, located next to the Washington State Convention Center, and partially over the Interstate 5 freeway.  You will find a nice variety of colors and textures now…

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But to fully appreciate, look close…

– Orion T

Blossoms in the wind

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“And so the spring buds burst, and so I gaze,
And so the blossoms fall, and so my days …”

– Uejima Onitsura, Japanese haiku poet of the Edo period, 1660-1738)

The above picture was during a recent rush to work in downtown Seattle. This flurry of loosened cherry blossoms, as I admired the surreality. They would almost fall to the ground, then scatter down the street in random directions, never to be seen again.

– Orion T

 

The Peace of Fewer Pieces…

Photo Mar 03, 5 21 22 PM

Today was a wonderful Sunday, at least for many of us in Seattle. I would wake up late, to go outside and enjoy the sunshine as the peaceful start of this week will not wait up. Such was a joy best-taken advantage on this wonderful Sunday, to not waste it away in my apartment shell.

So, I decided to spend some alone time at the famous Pike Place Market, to ruminate and do some writing from the new back patio area. I would stare at the blue sky-reflected Elliot Bay waters while feeling the gentle late winter breeze mixed with warm sunlight. But, there was something else that added to the calming moment…and that was the former State Road Highway 99, Alaskan Way Viaduct between the Pike Place Market and Seattle waterfront area.

Such was a roadway icon of the city for over half a century, recently shut down permanently for safety reasons. I lived in the city for over six continuous years. I would see the road busy with traffic as I hear the familiar thumps of the vehicles constantly passing over highly stacked concrete. Now, there was a stretch of stillness, and an oddly satisfying sight of the empty shell of the old SR 99, now awaiting its fate of deconstruction, piece by piece.

Such will continue for the months ahead, until its gone. And with it, those old noises of yesterday fading out. I will wake up again on a distant Sunday, to come back, to gaze out to a different site…not likely as empty or peaceful as now.

– Orion T

This Seattle Ice Age Cometh and Gone

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What a cold, snowy, slushy, wet week it so far in the Pacific Northwest…

The snow is thick and still ongoing in many areas. I hear the snowstorms have more recently hit Vancouver, Canada pretty hard. Portland also got a lot. It’s all pretty much everywhere now. But here in Central Seattle, the snowfall stopped, for now. Then we have some rain coming forward, melting much of the snow to wet, mucky slush. More snow may yet come, but for the next few days. we get a break from the sky, maybe.

I walked around a bit yesterday and the day before to examine the results of this Seattle Snowmageddon 2019, so far. We got covered pretty good. The above picture is from the Pacific Science Center by the Space Needle, where even the dinosaurs must freeze for this temporary ice age.

I also surveyed a few other local spots and took some pictures. Here are some around the Seattle Center and Denny Park…

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That’s all for now. Be careful, don’t run, and look out.

– Orion T

Snowy conditions in the PNW

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Pacific Northwest weather report summary:

The area is still snowy with icy conditions on the roads. Some rain is mixed in with some breaks revealing the usual clouds.  More snow is likely the way in many areas. Remain extra cautious if driving, and don’t do anything stupid.

– Orion T