Pride for this end of June carries on

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Pride Month reaches to a close this end of June, as celebrations in all US major cities had their parades and festivities. Such is the annual month for solidarity and recognition of LGBTQ members in our civilization for their basic rights, and to coexist freely without the effects of bigotry and persecution.

This weekend also marks the 50th anniversary of the clash between police and gay bar patrons in Manhatten, New York City known as the Stonewall riots. Building frustrations from the local gay community in the late 1960s boosted the modern gay-rights movement, building much in the decades ahead.

Meanwhile here in Seattle, a large parade would draw thousands of people over, along with two major festivals in Capitol Hill and the Seattle Center. I missed most for personal reasons tending elsewhere. Yet, I did take around 20 minutes to watch a little of the Sunday parade.

For that moment, and observing the huge crowds of support, I see great development since the Stonewall riots. LGBTQ activism and solidarity are more freely expressed, with growing support and understanding. But, there remain other areas in our world, where such expression is forbidden and met with a terrible penalty. We look to our own leaders, and some failings with the current administration to help protect what should be equal rights to openly engage in same-sex relationships, have legally accepted civil unions, and domestic partnerships. Also, not be discriminated in for employment situations, public accommodations, housing, education needs, and more.

Therefore, the marches and festivities shall move on in more Pride months, perhaps for another 50 years at least. Along the way. humanity collects and grows as we learn to love better.

– Orion T

A delicious, puffy weekend treat

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Ymmmm, puffle!

From that, occurred a fitting theme to the latest South Lake Union Saturday Market, a local weekend event happening through the late Spring, and much of summer. They had an ice cream social, where desserts of frozen sugary joy would be sold and served on a lineup of small trucks, carts, tents. Such was perfect for this warmer than expected day of brighter, hotter sunlight.

The most eye-catching for me was a tent for Puffle Up. Their specialty was a special form of bubble waffle, folded over to hold strategically placed additives of the tasty and sweet variety (popular and possibly originated in Hong Kong, but not sure). Choices were great, where I picked the one with strawberries, bananas, chocolate, whipped cream, and Pocky sticks. Adding ice cream would be a small priced extra, which I turned down.

What a beautiful thing this treat to behold, to stare at for a long moment (pictured above), before devouring it in a state of blissful joy. The tasteful combination is similar to a crepe, but with the waffle texture and its open-air spots, giving a focused experience of collapsing squish.

I recommend Puffle Up, especially if you are an outgoing person who loves local festivals and markets. You can follow them on Facebook and Instagram, to learn more. There’s also a Yelp list of Seattle area places where bubble waffle desserts are served.

– Orion T

 

A city wakes up slowly, clutching its blanket

Recently this Thursday morning, some intense marine layer fog covered the Emerald City.

Then by 10am, the fog slowly dispersed. Revealed, the busy downtown area would enjoy a lively blue day, followed by a dreamy evening of humid layers.

– Orion

I took the picture above, from high upon the Columbia Tower. Notice the tip of the Space Needle!

Upon high, a little creature sticks to the sky…

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That winged little creature is an estimated 900 feet in the air, upon a window of the Columbia Tower, where you may find me working these days.

I am not certain what kind of bug resting on the outside of the window. It’s much bigger than a housefly and very still. I wonder how it found the strength to fly so high, then remain still for the near hour I spent on the inside, taking a moment to stare at it. Then, I would go back to other distractions.

– Orion T

A Jurassic Crossing

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Always make way for a dinosaur.

That was a few weeks ago, by the SeaTac airport on a quiet afternoon. I see this fully animatronic T-Rex crossing the green light walkway, casually as one should in Seattle. Very lifelike!

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This creature previously walked from my toward destination at the time, the Doubletree Hotel. There happened the annual Crypticon, a  horror/occult/spooky fun fandom convention. I had a great time there, engaging with friends new and old. I will share some pics on that visit soon.

Look forward, and keep walking!

– Orion T

Adding joy to a gloomy day…

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Bubbles work.

Though, I think it’s more of a visual cue of the senses to enjoy the magic of trapped air in compressed water molecules amplified by soap particles that decrease the surface tension of its expanded exterior. A quick Internet engine search gave information links to vague notions of bubble therapy, leading to some ideas that positive vibes can be raised from its process. Bubbles are a special kind of magic, that science explains but doesn’t really bring to mind any complex process for the joy one finds in their strange, gravity-resistant behavior.

There seen, is some appreciation of seeing life in shorts spurts of existence, momentary freedom. Observe the span of such beautiful fragile life, as its memory will echo further into the mind’s gallery of abstract concepts, in wait to be revived again.

– Orion T

The picture above is from a few weeks ago at Cal Anderson Park in Seattle’s Capitol Hill district, of which I took. The bubbles came from a large wand dipped in a small bucket, waved by a cool and free-spirited heavily-tattooed young man. 

Take me out to the ball game!

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This recent Saturday evening was not a great time for the Seattle Mariners, our local baseball team. This major league team played the Minnesota Twins and lose 4-18 by the end of a long night. The Mariners hasn’t been a top tier team of recent years but still has its fans, and many were there for support.

I among them would root for the home team, boo the many knockout hits of the other, and laughed at the numerous foul balls smacked into the side setting. To help cheer up attendees at the T-mobile Stadium, bobbleheads were given out of the Hall of Hame MVPer Ken Griffey Jr.

Overall, a good time though most of us here would have preferred a victory.

The next day, the Mariners won a comeback, beating the Twins 7-4.

– Orion T

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…

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…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…

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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

 

Seattle’s Snowpocalypse at UW

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It’s snowing in Seattle now, with more to come.

I’m enjoying it, for bringing a rare and peaceful beauty to this busy city. Though, many have to make adjustments to their lives, especially for those driving on the roads. It’s not as cold as the snowy areas of the east coast but definitely can feel an icy chill in the air.

Here are some pics recent from the Univerisity of Washington, in North Seattle. If in the area, do enjoy and explore, but be careful.

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The Late Awakened City

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This morning, my eyes winced at the unusually bright light; blazing through the windows of my Seattle workplace. There was an odd distraction about it, while I slowly consumed my lukewarm morning coffee.

Such was unexpected on this day of cloud dominance with a wide range of greys hues and deep shadows. Below was dark, kept in shadows for a surreal time. What a dream to live I thought, and when will the day really wake up?

The picture was taken from my crappy smartphone. Sometimes that’s enough to capture a good moment.

Orion T

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Marching in 2019

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We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.” ― Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World

Today, a beautiful day in honor of the great civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. Many had the day off and joined others at special marches across the US.  Seattle represented itself well where thousands took over many blocks, giving tribute and spreading many of Martin Luther King Jr’s messages on racial prejudice, economic inequality, social injustice and change, the effects of war, the need for peace, education, and much more.

Among them, I felt a great optimism of such strength in numbers, that we can move forward for the better. But, there is still a lot of work to be done, after the marching is over.

– 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 

 

A Frosty Sunday Morning

Here’s a little holiday season spirit from Frosty the Snowman.

Around him, the air is cold and wet. Yet,  here was Frosty with a smile, top hat, and a carrot nose; which helped to warm the heart of those around. There was also Santa Claus, and Mrs. Claus (first name unknown)…

Elves and reindeer, I think….

Then, some other strange creatures…

That was a little of my Sunday morning walk, and only time I spent outside for the weekend. I have missed much of the holiday festivities around here because of personal stuff. I just missed the annual Jungle Bell marathon, as most of its runners long passed the finish line before my arrival. There were many jolly people around, even though the morning rain poured. The finish line had a little fake snow blowing, welcoming those crossing over.

I think I got a lot more to say on all this, but for another day maybe…

Orion T

 

Festive cheers in Seattle at the Macy’s Holiday Parade

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Last Friday morning after Thanksgiving, many spectators took part in the yearly holiday tradition of a good old fashioned street parade. This one, being the 28th Annual Macy’s Holiday Parade, in Seattle.

This parade was cozy, small for over an hour through the narrow downtown streets. The weather remained chill, with a little bit of rain halfway through. Some arrived early, camped for the best views, while latecomers clamored for whatever spots were left.

The floats and performers were of many wholesome, non-corporate themes; mostly relating to timeless fun and the childish innocence of old toys and cuddly animals. Marching bands, dancers, unicyclists, candy throwers, city representatives added to this heady mix of holiday seasonal fun. Eventually, Santa Claus arrived on the end float, indirectly reminding many to get to their consumerist-powered gift-shopping done before Christmas Day.

Here are some pics of the parade. Enjoy, and have a happy and safe Holiday season.

Hey November!

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I almost titled today “Hey Newvember,”  because this month is feeling that fresh, and today feels special enough to usher that in. But, I love November for what it always is, and here we are again.

Why? Perhaps because change is in the air. We got the new holidays season coming around, a very notable Election Day coming up (to all US citizens, you better VOTE!), NaNoWriMo, Fall TV season schedules, a lot of football, other stuff I will remember later.

Yep, the Fall season is really kicking in, especially around here in the Pacific Northwest with the winds, rain, chills seeping in as they remind us to bundle up, close the windows, take some vitamins.

Bring it on!

– Orion T

 

Brilliant Night in Seattle, at the Borealis Festival of Light

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Continuing from my previous post, is a main visual feast shared last weekend, at the first annual Borealis, Festival of Light in Seattle.

The main visual feast is a video projection main show upon the MOHAI  (Museum of History and Industry) building in South Lake Union. Over four nights repeated hourly for the early night hours, we got colorful video presentations backed by modern sound mixing, presented by talented light artists from around the world.

Here are some glimpses of that, ahead of the mass oohing crowds…

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Here below, are also some video samplings from the few various presentations, from Geekwire’s Youtube account:

An overall breathtaking experience for lovers of lights, sound, and modern new ways to express art in digital forms. I am a fan of this work now and will definitely check out more light art shows on this grand level of awesomeness.

– Orion T

Dazzling Bright in Seattle, at the Borealis Festival of Light

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Last Saturday, I viewed some very bright and colorful lights during the nights,  the first annual Borealis, Festival of Light in Seattle.

Such was a four-day event held in the main waterside park area of South Lake Union, where a showcase of light fixtures and interesting little sculptures were scattered about, in and around the area. Some of the visuals were interactive…

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That was all I got from the small stuff, but trust me, there were some cool illuminations around. That second pic above would change with the use of a “magic roller.” Cooool!

Some attendees also brought their own electrical lights…

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From all that, simple minor delights to enjoy for what they are, an appreciation for the use of art in light, through intensity, shape, color, and new technology. I felt a childlike joy, in allowing my imagination slightly drift off, in some weird otherworldy dimension for the moments I had to myself among the strange sights.

Meanwhile, the most interesting and best of it all was its main event, a very huge video projection show of dazzling digital light and sound, all part of a large competition of art teams, from around the world…

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I will share more about that in my next write-up, soon. I promise!

– Orion T

 

 

 

The great Post Alley Art Wall

Post Alley Art Wall

Between two giant tourist attractions in Seattle, being the Gum Wall and the Pike Place Market is my favorite thing in the area for all visitors to check out…the art on the wall of Post Alley.

You’ll find this in the side of a downwards driveway below the big sign to the left, towards the Gum Wall from the west end of Pike Street. It’s hard to miss, unless really tired. But, I love it any time as it is always changing. It’s full of social messages, with some politics. Also full of adverts, shameless self-promotion, heads up on local events, and some puzzling stuff.

That’s all for today. I think the imagery has at least a thousand more words that speak to the reader than I can put forth for now. Just click on to enlarge and explore!

– Orion T

The new city perspective, from higher Seattle…

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The above shot is from the Madison and 4th Building in downtown Seattle, where I currently work these days. It’s from yesterday, being the last sunny day of summer, but with wind and cold outside ushering in the new Fall Season.

In the distance are two of Seattle’s tallest buildings. To the right, being the 76-floor Columbia Tower, a familiar tower to those who lived here over the last few decades. On the left to the middle is the more recent 44-floor F5 Tower, completed in 2017. Some cool facts: its glass walls are designed to handle temperature and energy use by letting in some sun rays and reflecting others. It uses the same glass as the One World Trade Center in New York City. It also holds rainwater for reuse, has a 35-foot-tall”living wall” where plants grow and have solar energy equipment upon its roof.

On the ground, the F5 is a visually puzzling, odd building among the other skyscrapers. Not exactly straight, and appearing too modern I think. From the ground, its pattern feels a bit off…

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But rising up high in another building and seeing a different angle of the F5, there is a barely seen symmetry to it, that is brilliant and awesome (see top picture).

Maybe someday, I will go inside and see more for myself. Hopefully, up high and getting the chance to look around, and gain new perspectives.

– Orion T

 

 

Breaking down the days behind

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Here, I observe the destructiveness of change, swift and ruthless to some things our new civilization stopped caring about.

I see the dust from a crushing of metal and wood once assembled with care and love. Now, this structure once proud, crushed by monsters with mighty jaws that mash and crunch.

For many months, I walked by this empty building on Olive and Boren, next to the Convention Place Tunnel Station in downtown Seattle. It was a corner spot, two or three stories tall, with blue triming and giant painted birds upon one side. Both side, dirty glass barely reflecting the growing world outside. I know nothing of its history, but I would guess the inside space for a vehicle showtoom, or dance studio. Stuck to another side, a dreaded Notice of Proposed Land Use sign, its mark of doom. The building remained unhabited on the inside, but still a some life on the outside…

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Coming home last week, I walked down the Pine street from Capitol Hill. I could see the clearing out and tearing bits off the Convention Center Tunnel Station. No more waiting in the centered area, as my gateway to buses to the Bellevue, Kent, Lake City area have now scattered to other nearby stops. This is no longer the final stop after the long tunnel rides underneath the good stretch of old Seattle metropolis. I accepted this, as truth that change is constant and not always convenient.

But there, that little building on the corner of the once proud station center suddenly torn down is a sudden shock now. That was an unknown part to my world, a familiar marker to my daily trek, seen often from high and coming down Boren street from Pine.

Now, the building is now mashed and crunched. The monster I watched was vicious, yet precise on which parts to break first. The building is barely recognizable, and I almost looked away.

But, I should not. There is that reminder on the swiftness off a changing city, where the buildings of old are suddenly gone, with no respect towards what they brought to the past. The familiarity they brought to people’s live, are no more. And what comes next, will probably end up less exciting, as I find the new Seattle structures often boring and forgettable.

Meanwhile, cherish other mundane things that can be part of your daily life, for change may come quick, mashed and crunched.

Under the Poison Sky

Seattle has the worst city sky in the world now, according to my news feed lately.

That’s probably right, according to my lungs. There is much smoke in the air now, mainly from wildfires to the north of here in the Cascades region and Canada. The Air Quality Index had the height of the latest round as a unhealthy hazard at 220, which I read is like smoking 7 packs of cigarettes. This might explain why I feel so very relaxed lately.

Right now, the smoke is applying a filter to the partially visible Moon, giving it an eerie red glow. I tried to leave my window open, to let in some nightly air, but ugh…still not good. My small apartment will remain musty for now, as I now go for an extra helping of Chocolate Cherry Bordeaux ice cream. This is not how I imagined my future, but it’s how I must live now.

Tomorrow, I hear the smoke will partly thin out. That’s good, and hopefully an end to this third sequenced year of the mass smoky blanket of hell, rudely interrupting my summer. And then, I think I will appreciate the return of a good clear day, much more.

– Orion T

Street-painting the sidewalks at the Belltown Chalk Art Festival

Last weekend, many chalk artists got down and arty in Seattle, for the 2018 Belltown Chalk Art Festival.

This exhibition of professional artists busted out some fancy chalk sticks of many colors, to create large murals for two days directly on the Bell street pavement. Add music, open areas for folk of all ages can join in, and voting participation…and we got a cool, free show open for the public to enjoy.

I meanwhile, caught a bit of this on Saturday, on my way to a little lunch date. I saw early stages of work, piquing my curiosity for the finished work. The came back on Sunday, to see some awesome progression.

There was something special to these chalk artists, to see their dedication in action, with every stroke and brushing for all to see in each step. To witness each piece in development on this grand scale, is a special show to behold.

And, I also talked with a new friend among the chalk artists, Raziah Roushan. Here, Raziah posed with her latest work in Belltown, inspired by a photograph she came across.

Since 2004, Raziah produced many grand sidewalk works in many US states. She holds much lot of passion for her work, often experimenting with different styles, making each large artwork noteworthy and memorable. She took some time out to share with me her artwork through the years, and give a little insight on the life of a chalk artist. Check out her work at raziahroushan.com

Meanwhile, other artists delivered high impressions with their chalk murals. Many of them were not quite finished during the noontime. But, I took some shots and noted some of the artwork, now featured below with links…

Gabrielle Abbot (www.gabrielleabbott.com, @GabrielleAbbot on instagram)

Chelsey Dustin (@artofchelsey for Instagram/Twitter/Facebook)

Lori Antoinette (www.lantart.com and @ishyla on Instagram)

Ten Hundred (@tenhun on Instagram)

Donovan Sterling (@vibrassponder on Instagram)

Merkuria Czerwinska (@merkuriaart on Instagram)

Jennifer Ripassa (@indofire on Instagram)

Chalk Riot (@chalkriot on Instagram)

Sarah Martin (@sarahrecycled on Instagram)

That was not all, or even close, as there were more amazing chalked work, of which I was either too early, or missed on getting some linked info. Meanwhile, more chalk art festivals are happening around the world, with one maybe near you. Keep a look out for one, than see for yourself some awesome art in action.

– Orion T