To look inside for the way out…

When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 – 1930), author of Sherlock Holmes

I passed by a local bike shop, Free Range Cycles, in the Fremont district of north Seattle. It’s a good start for a better escape, but closed at the moment. However, I did peek inside admiring the sunlight merchandise. Here, is beauty observed of the stillness of these human-powered metal steeds. The look of the bicycle is a timeless, natural design, that I think serves as an extension of real body practicality. I admire the many parts both attached and loose, mixed in shiny metal, smooth leather, and mighty rough rubber. I love all here; meant to make local travel simple, enjoyable, yet empowering and healthy.

Hmm.

-Orion T

Looking up in a day of work..

Look above your head, when walking through a busy metropolis… You might spot a friendly neighborhood window-washing super-person.

To observe a daredevil in action doing mundane work, brings a little thrill to my day. I feel reminded, of extra joys in life that should be gained through some aspects of employment. It’s better to get something more back than money, for your devoted time. Such somethings can be fun conversations, gain knowledge, expand creativity, new friends, tend to a hobby that is part of the job, help others, be an inspiration, be a part of something better, or just be at peace.

This thrill above, is an inspiration for the days ahead. Not so much, to be a window-washer; but to desire something more for my work-time.

– Orion T

The picture, was recently one morning at the Seattle Central Library, an amazing building worth keeping clean.

The dreamy morning float

Here, an amazing view from high up my downtown Seattle metropolis, with a mix of dark and lights cloud tones, as peek sunshine and light rain dance slowly about. Meanwhile, the vastness of Elliot Bay provides a smooth, peaceful surface. The Olympic Mountains are beyond, hidden not quite ready to share the scene. I appreciate the moment in short, observing that trancing beauty echoed into future otherworldly inspiration.

Global Climate Strike action, Seattle’s part

This last latest Friday, thousands of school students led thousands more activists into the streets of Seattle. This was in part of similar protests in over 2,500 connected events worldwide, adding to an unknown number surely in the millions, to protest accelerated climate change caused by human recklessness.

This global event on September 20th, is the first Global Climate Strike, inspired by 16-year old Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg. Back in August 2018, Greta cut school to protest and call for climate action outside the Swedish parliament building. She started alone but soon joined by many others, gaining worldwide attention, and eventually this event powered by more youth.

So, here in Seattle, the strike was done to surprising numbers. A path of closed blocks led from its Capitol Hill district to the city hall in Downtown. Shortly after the noon, I would join the final city block, cheering on the movement.

I feel there is a concentrated push by ignorant people in power, and greedy corporations, and many who just don’t care…to disdain the countless science data and observations that allowing large amounts of poisons into the air and destroy precious ecosystems is causing harm to our planet. Then, harm comes back to us with difficult weather changes, stemming from those harmful effects.

But, will such activism really help and fix our problems in the long run? Well, that depends on what we do from such reaction. Becoming more involved and informed in politics, economics, making conscious decisions on our consumerism and social activity helps. Green renewable energy, recycling, push for compostable/biodegradable over plastic single-use products help. Fighting peacefully against ignorant forces in power through resistant protest and democracy also helps. A lot of this benefits, but the urgency for better action and solution will increase as the problems resulting from climate change increase.

With that, we will hear more from the concerned youth for sure, hopefully leading to better, smarter changes soon.

Cool Chrome on Hot Wheels

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I spent some good time over at Alki Beach in West Seattle over this weekend, of which I needed.

During that pleasant time, I stumbled upon a good old-fashioned sidewalk car show along a block of the Alki Park area. Behold, beautiful vintage classic cars (mostly Chevies) of the 50s and 60s, all with polished chrome parts, intricate details, lavish interiors, overall high style.  Much love and appreciation were put into restoring these symbols  of big car Americana history.

So now, here are some pictures of this recent cultural observance.

 

 – Orion T

Cotton Candy Cheer

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From this last weekend’s annual Seattle Street Food Festival, I love the cotton candy faces!

I think cotton candy is joyful yet surreal. You enjoy it, then the stick leaves a weird residue on your fingers and lips that dissolves back into the dream that created it.  Did you know sugar is the only ingredient in cotton candy, and it’s fat-free? Not much has changed about it since it was invented In 1904, by two Nashville candy makers introduced at the St. Louis World’s Fair.

Here are other treats at this festival I wanted to savor, but too full from excessing on mac and cheese with bubble tea.  I will perhaps go for these at the next Street Food Festival…

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– Orion T

Rainer cherries, adding sweetness to the this summer

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Rainer cherries are back in season!

I love these little tasty tarty things..often ignoring the slightly higher cost at the supermarkets for a good bundle. Rainer cherries are perfect for snacks, best when shared with good friends, and makes the summertime in the PNW a little more special. I also highly recommend them for any Fourth of July get-togethers.

Rainer cherries weren’t always a PNW thing, or anything at all until development in 1952 at the Washington State University by Dr. Harold Fogle, a research scientist of horticulture studies. He crossed two red cherries, the Bing and Van, to create this slightly larger variety with a fiery color blend.

They have a special sweetness and tougher skin, but very sensitive to temperature, wind, and rain. Birds also love the Rainer cherries, almost a bit too much as they pick at large portions of local orchards. Through what’s left, picking good ones can be tedious and require extra care for their soft interior texture in transport. Good results lead to high costs from that extra effort. Yet, locals do appreciate and many are sold.

If you can, go get some!

– Orion T

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