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2 Things Covered in Snow and a Ninja

29 Nov

In Seattle’s recent deluge of snow I found a moment to explore the frozen terrain.


No bees were present at time of the photograph. I was so stoked to look up and see this nest slowly collecting snow I think I squealed.


New snow cling to the side of a Western Red Cedar in Volunteer Park, one of Seattle’s oldest parks and my favorite place to play in the snow.


There are many many great things about the first snow of the season, not the least of which is the enviable opportunity to dress up like a cold-weather ninja. So I ninja romped around as the roads froze and the winds whipped the city like a sadistic dungeon master.

All the snow is melted but I have a feeling more is on the way…time to buy a new sled!

Let’s Ride a Bike : Critical Mass Video

10 Nov

Take over the roads every last Friday of the month with Critial Mass! Thank you Nick for inviting me to ride with Seattle’s coolest bicycle clan…

In dozens of cities bicyclists swarm and take over the roads halting traffic and raising awareness for cyclist culture and safety. This was my first Mass and I had a blast riding with a few hundred of fellow cyclists clogging traffic, giving high fives and generally having a blast.

Critical Mass meets in Seattle every last Friday at around 5:30 pm at Westlake Park across from the Westlake Mall.

Photographs of Artists, downtown Seattle Oct. 7

8 Oct

The first Thursday Art Walk is a wonderful way to revel in art, drink wine from plastic cups, mingle with Seattle’s formidable artist community and, of course, snap some photos.

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Seattle Waterfront photo-motion fun

23 Sep

A short and spastic video made from a few hundred photos snapped in a single afternoon

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Sailing in Seattle

23 Aug

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Summer in Seattle means time spent on or in the water. The Pacific Northwest is overflowing with rivers, lakes, ponds, creeks, hot springs, bays and inlets. All these aquatic options lends itself to many adventures, be it kayaking, swimming, fishing, or in today’s case, sailing.

On pier 54 ‘Let’s Go Sailing!’ offers low-key jaunts around Eliot Bay in a racing sail boat. The trips are a few hours long and for $25 a person I think they are very affordable.

Bridget and I chose the sunset sail, shoving off with 12 other passengers and 2 crew men at 7:30 to catch one Seattle’s amazing sunsets from the peaceful waters of the Puget Sound.

Witnessing the Seattle skyline shrink back as the waters lap at the hull and dusk begins to paint the skyscrapers gold and the sky pink and orange is a wonderful feeling.

I have seen this city, ‘the Emerald City’, from countless perspectives and angles but it is from the sailboat, 4 feet above the water, under a full sail, that I think is my favorite.

The focus is on the Olympics and the orange orb as we merry makers sip our wine and champagne and snap photos.

MY FAVORITE PLACES TO GET ON OR IN THE WATER IN SEATTLE

MADISON PARK
At the Eastern foot of Madison st. is a grassy swath, packed on sunny summer days. The beach is small and the water of lake Washington is chilly to some, but the opportunity to swim out to the floating dock and leap from the high dive make this my favorite swimming hole in Seattle.

ALKI BEACH
Sand underfoot and a spectacular view of Seattle are two good reasons to head to West Seattle (via bus or water taxi) for an afternoon on Alki. There are several fire pits, volley balls nets and enough beachfront eateries, coffee shops and bars to keep you satiated. Rent a bike and cruise the easy bike path around the point.

THE ARBORETUM
A huge garden, nature conservatory and public space, the Arboretum is perhaps Seattle’s best park. And with plenty of paths that wind along canals and dip into the lake it is also an excellent place to get near water and the many species it collects.
I like to rent a canoe from the University of Washington waterfront activities center ($7/hour) and paddle under the 520 bridge to access the peaceful channels that snake through the park. From your humble craft you can see bald eagle, blue heron, lake turtles and all manner of water fowl.

THE FERRY
I have rode the ferry form Seattle to Bremerton perhaps thousands of times, even so, it is still one of my favorite ways to get on the water and enjoy fresh air and beautiful views. A $7 dollar ferry ticket brings you through narrow passages and past sea lions, evergreen forests and depending on the season, orca whales. And they serve beer on the ferry.

MYRTLE EDWARDS PARK
Walking North along the waterfront the Olympic Sculpture Park presents itself as an eventuality. Enter the footpath and continue as the Seattle Art Museum sponsored green space gives way to Myrtle Edwards park. Small beach coves, rose gardens, bike paths and the sound of a serene surf punctuate this waterfront strip of zen.

Why do Tourists Look like Dorks?

18 Aug

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Since ancient times tourists have looked like dorks.

There are many reasons for this and archeologists today are in heated debate as to the origin of the dorky tourist.

Was it Marco Polo, showing up with his puffy Italian flare in the court of Kublai Khan?

You’re a Mongolian warrior who has never seen a Venetian in a blouse, you’re thinking, ‘what a dork, where is his fox fur hat?’.

every year Seattle hosts 9.3 million tourists

On or near the Seattle waterfront, tourists trundle about in great endless herds. And darn near each one is dressed like a goofball, a dork, frumpy, dumpy and (generally) plump. Not that plump people are dorks.
You line up 100 tourists and 1 local I could single ’em out, why?

TOURISTS ACT LIKE DORKS
Tourists waddle in amused, slow moving packs, picking up trinkets, taking pictures of sailboats and looking for restrooms. They gawk, and squint and refill water bottles and change diapers. They try to save money by filling up on bread. Tourists perpetually teeter on the edge of being lost. This gives them a befuddled way as they seek their coordinates on the glossy chamber of commerce tourism map.

TOURISTS BUY NEW CLOTHES.
Tourists buy a new pair of pleated, acid washed denim jean shorts and forget to take the tag off. They buy bright floral tops and creased bottoms. They are wearing their ‘going out clothes’, which, unless they are young Parisians, falls far short of glamorous. A wedgie is not a fashion statement.

TOURISTS WEAR FANNY PACKS
And backpacks and polarized sunglasses and white tennis shoes and braided leather belts. Tourists accessorize for functionality. They see their full Nalgene bottle and cargo pocket crammed with Clif bars and they imagine themselves some diluted breed of Golden Age explorer or Hollywood hero. Sanitizer goop, sunscreen, band aids, room keys, maps, extra diapers, light jackets and extremely expensive cameras dangle from limbs and fill pockets.

The tourists sets out, well outfitted and ready for anything.

TOURISTS MATCH
My mom use to stuff my siblings and I in splashy handmade vests and pink turtlenecks then parade us shamelessly. Tourists dress with crests of their local sports teams and t-shirts acquired on other trips (Alaska).

Families and couples tend to generally mimic the same basic theme or color pattern when traveling. With exception of the brooding hipster tween, but even she is an expected cliche.

TOURISTS DRESS LIKE FLY FISHERMEN
The khaki vest with all the pockets.

WHY DO TOURISTS LOOK LIKE DORKS?

I love swimming

15 Aug


Photo by Tanya Puntti

I love swimming.

The feeling of first slipping into the water. Your body crawls and sparkles with the chilly Washington waters. Then you are underneath the surface and every feeling of discomfort washes behind you in a contrail of fine bubbles.

I love being underwater. The weightlessness. The soundless hum of pulsing blood and tidal pull. The feeling of flight. I like to hold my breath and glide.

At Madison Park, at the ass end of Madison Avenue, dropping into lake Washington, there is a pleasant little park, usually packed on sunny days. One hundred feet from shore is a floating dock of concrete upon which rests a diving board and a high dive.

Bridget and I catch the 11 from Pine st as the sun is veering toward the horizon.
I have to get in the water.

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