seattle, travel

That's One Heck of a Market You Farmers Have

the glassesToday I went to not one but TWO farmer’s markets. The first was in Fremont, which is famous for it’s Lenin statue and rocket. But to me it is famous for getting me these free frames which I might use once my current glasses need to be replaced. It’s a longer story than worth telling, but I will say this: it pays to agree with the guys selling things. The second farmer’s market was in Ballard, which is a place I’ve been to a few times now and liked each time.

The main difference between the two markets is that Fremont’s was more of a flea market, with lots of furniture and neat pieces of junk with a bit of produce thrown in, while Ballard was entirely things that you can eat or grow (food and flowers). Both places had musicians working off to the side, but Fremont’s were slightly crazy while Ballard’s were folky. Monica and I got a good sub from a shop and then some really good veggies. I bought a couple Asian pears (also known as a nashi pear) which I love, but they’re not ripe enough to eat yet. I suspect they will be delicious as the rest of the food from the good ol’ farmer’s market.

nice flowersthey are friendlylettucei kind of like this one

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seattle

I Tried Folks, I Tried

I said in an earlier post that 14th Avenue had some great view especially at dusk. I also said I would try to get some photos. Well, I’m no liar, I tried, but I failed. Sort of.

I headed off kind of late and caught the tail end of dusk. At 14th and John I saw what I was looking for BUT that is a very busy intersection. Seeing as my camera isn’t so great and because dusk is no place for anything but a decent camera I wasn’t able to get the shot I wanted. What I had to do was wait until there was a gap in traffic and then run out to the middle of the road and wait for the camera to take the gosh-darn picture. The breakdown of my game of chicken:

  • see traffic gap (10 seconds to get out alive)
  • run to middle of road (8.5 seconds)
  • look into camera, frame shot, push shutter release (7 seconds)
  • wait for camera to focus (4 seconds)
  • wait for camera to open shutter (3.5 seconds)
  • wait for camera (with not to great iso to shutter speed choices) to finishing taking the picture (0.5 seconds)

nutsIf this is hyperbole then it is only the smallest exaggeration. It is why this photo is best of three attempts. The truth is, with this camera, even if the traffic wasn’t as bad, I doubt I could hold the camera still enough for the ridiculously long exposure. I need either a tripod (unlikely to work in the middle of an intersection) or the ability to stand motionless with no support for about three seconds (I’ll start working out).  Sorry, it really is beautiful, I will look around 14th some more and see if I can find a place that this will work… it really would be worth it.

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outdoors, seattle

Running on Ice

Actually I wasn’t running on ice, but I just remembered that Billy Joel song. Ah my childhood music idols…

I did go running today though. My Dad was nice enough to UPS my shoes and since I got them today off I went. First let me just add that UPS, for those unfamiliar with the acronym, stands for Ultimate Package Suckyness. So, if you ever are looking to have an unreasonably bad experience sending or receiving a package, please select their “service.”

But the run.

I haven’t been running in a long time. During and after the run I felt terrible, but it was the good terrible and not the bad terrible, so that’s great. I ran to, but not through, Volunteer Park. I was too tired and in agony. I also had an upset stomach for which I blame the cheese I ate. My observations while running as follows:

  • I am out of shape
  • I shouldn’t eat cheese before running
  • There only concrete sidewalks, that is bad, especially considering how injury prone I am.
  • 14th Avenue during sunset has some mind blowing views
  • groin injury, which has kept me from running for a year now has finally healed.
  • I need to get running sox
  • Seriously, no more cheeese

So, I need to get back into shape, and not injury myself in the process. Seems like a tall order to me, but what the heck it’s worth a shot. What’s more important though is that I know where to get some great photos, and will do so soon, though probably not tomorrow as I have plans.

[tags]cheese is bad, concrete, exercise, impact surfaces, running, volunteer park[/tags]

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random, seattle

Best Sign

I doubt anyone is a stranger to homeless people sitting by the road with cardboard signs, but I saw a sign the other day that made me chuckle. I don’t know how I feel about laughing at a homeless person’s sign asking for money, but that seems like it was the point. Still there is a guilty feeling. Apparently this is a pretty common sign, but it was new to me. It read: “Ninjas killed my family. Need money for karate lessons.” There are a few variations, but I bet if you look hard enough you could find this is just about any city.

ninjas

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eating out, environment, outdoors, random, seattle, travel

Yum & Yuck

rowingI ate down by the water the other day at a Mexican restaurant called Agua Verde Cafe. The food was delicious, not too pricey, and it was happy hour so my beer only cost $2.50. Okay, can I just say that $2.50 does not a happy hour make, that’s more like a pleasant hour. It wasn’t like I got some expensive beer, it was a Pacifico. Anyway, I had this taco composed of yams, onions, and cheese with some sort of tasty sauce. It was called a Taco Boniato and it was worth every penny. We ate on the deck which was nice, but would have been nicer if the weather was just a tiny bit better, because then they would have had the removable sides taken down, giving a full view of the beautiful lake we were eating beside. After that my friend and I went down to the docks just below so that I could see what water looked like in Seattle. It looks just fine. Below Agua Verde is a paddle club where you can rent kayaks, at $15 an hour it seems worth it to be able to explore what looks like a pretty amazing seascape.
waterwarning signs

I mean, look at how pretty the water looks on the surface, [cue “hard hitting” tv “journalist” overdub] and yet beneath this seemingly pristine facade lies a terrible reality. After these messages!!
[cue commercial] Buy the new iPod

I found this sign posted in quite a few places. But hey, at how often could it possible rain in Seattle? Even if sewage isn’t overflowing into the water while I’m there I’d like to avoid anywhere that sewage ever overflows into. Look at that swimming person on the sign, why can’t he see what a terrible mistake he’s made!  I realize that birds, fish, and little kids do all sorts of business in the water, but sewage seems like taking it up to the next level.

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seattle

Where I am

15th ave google mapRight now I am living in Seattle, at 1421 E. 15th Ave, which is in the Capital Hill area. I am sleeping on a nice bed which Travis and Monica bought from Ikea. The bed is in the dinning room in an apartment that faces west towards the water, though I can’t see any water from here. I’ve been told you can see the Space Needle, but only once the trees shake off their fancy green leaves.

If I was gay I’d probably be an alcoholic because there are two gay bars within dancing distance. One is called The Men’s Room (I guess it’s actually C.C. Attle’s but there’s a big sign that says the Men’s Room, which I think is better for a lot of reasons), the other is called Thumpers… which made me start to wonder, does a place like The Men’s Room start off with the idea of being a gay bar, or a gentleman’s club? How does a bar owner go about encouraging clientele? The name is a start, but I guess a better answer is to have “leather uniform night.”

But I digress.

boo

bedThe apartment. It is very nice, the proximity to downtown with three groceries stores all within easy walking distance, and parks, museums, galleries, (etc) seems nice. My host, Monica is also very nice, and my other host Boo is also nice (even if he sits on the newspaper whenever I am reading it). The verdict? I am lucky. Oh, and I am stealing a neighbor’s wireless internet, which is also lucky and nice for me.

I’d say more about where I am staying, but it seems like this has gotten long already so I’ll leave it at that for now.

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random, seattle

Is it Awesome?

What’s that you ask? Is Open Books awesome?

Well, let me ask you this, is Arrested Development awesome? Is the Flaming Lips documentary Fearless Freaks awesome? Are spicy black bean veggie burgers awesome?

Those are insane questions with a very easy answer. Yes.

Open Books is awesome. It is one of very few book stores that sells only poetry. You read that right. I felt like an idiot in a candy store— a very happy idiot. If you are ever in Seattle and want to get some poetry you have to go there or people will think you are something much worse that an idiot. They have good new, used, and rare books. Best of all the owners John and Christine seem to incredibly nice people.

[tags]book stores, open books, poetry, seattle[/tags]

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seattle, whatnot

Build Me a New Seattle

I read in the paper the other day that there are now luxury downtown condos selling for a measly $2.5 million. That is quite a few pesos (27,222,500) and even more rupees (115,012,504). The story all around Seattle is that houses and condos are selling for silly amounts of money and that it is causing all sorts of trouble for folks of both the buying and renting persuasion.

constructionI didn’t need anyone to tell me that though, all I needed to do was walk around for ten minutes and see that there are condos being built on every other block. This is just barely an exaggeration. What’s more is that they say that the price surges are over now because, like everywhere else, demand has declined. The paper also said that “experts” believe while prices won’t increase here they will stay where they are. I wonder though… if demand is decreasing and a ton of condos are just barely starting construction it would seem like prices would go down a bit. Saturation and all those fun things. I’m no expert though.

Mostly I wanted to talk about this so I could show you this photo. I’m not sure what they are building, but its foundation will be very deep. The photo was taken from street level, so this is probably something like 40 feet deep. To me it almost looks more like an excavation site than a construction site, but no one has found dinosaur bones in Washington yet, so I doubt that is it. Still one can hope.

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arts, random, seattle

Western Bridge Gallery

Western Bridge’s fall show looks into the darkness. Works in light, video, photography, drawing, and painting explore light–a basic precondition of all images–and its absence.

—westernbridge.org

On Friday the 15th I went to my first real gallery opening at the Western Bridge Gallery way down on 4th Avenue in what people agreed might be South Seattle. In case anyone is wondering, they had delicious brownies. The gallery is private, I haven’t bothered figuring out what that means yet, so I’m just telling you because it is one of the few things I know. A friend of a friend of a friend is an intern there, people were invited and I came along.

While the exhibit wasn’t bad it didn’t really compete with the night’s prior experience— eating pierogies at the Polish Home Association. Yes, they were pricey, and it costs a dollar just to get in, and I got my food (the simplest order) like ten minutes after everyone else, but it was worth it for that homemade greasy onion topped goodness.

Anyway, the gallery. The exhibit was titled Into Black, which sounded to me like a goth band name. Of everything I saw there the only thing that really struck me was a video by Euan Macdonald. The gallery’s website told me that he:

record[ed] the onset of dusk from a helicopter in his video In the Shadow’s Path

Elba - Claude ZervasIt wasn’t a new idea, and it wasn’t amazing, but it was very nice. The real pull for me was that the film grain was huge, because of the low light and high ISO I’m sure. I can’t say why but I love film grain. The rest of the show wasn’t terrible, but I certainly wouldn’t want any of it in my house… if I had a house. I didn’t look hard, but this was the only image of a piece from the show that I could find. It’s title Elba by Claude Zervas and, well, it’s kind of ugly really, though to be fair I’ve never been too into light art. Something about the cords, though I have been won over before. The problem was that this didn’t very imaginative or remarkable, or subtle.

Mostly what I learned at the Western Bridge Gallery was that I’m always happy to see new art, but I think openings might not be how I want to see it.

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outdoors, seattle, travel

Snow Lake

snow lake stitched panorama

yes, more natureLast weekend my friend Monica and I went hiking to Snow Lake. It was about an hours drive to the trail head, from there it was a 3 mile hike to the lake. To say that the quick ascent was pretty would be like saying a the arctic is chilly. And while it was all up all the time it wasn’t punishing, but it was certainly not long rolling green pastures. And of course it is because of the near constant climb that there were nearly constant views.

oh, that is natureThe weather was perfect, in the mid 70’s with barely a cloud in the sky. The trail was very busy, but I can’t blame folks— a beautiful lake only 3 miles in, a relatively easy climb, how could anyone say no? To get to the lake you go straight up on side of the mountain (no idea what that mountain’s name is) and then back down the other side, though not to the elevation you start from.

Once we got to the lake we ate lunch and I swam. Note the name of the lake… it was a chilly swim (see previously analogy). The photo at the very top is a stitched panorama of the lake, it captures maybe 34.72% of how beautiful the lake area was. Afterward we picked a ton of the plentiful and delicious wild blueberries that were all around the lake.

HUGE blueberry pancake with fresh blueberriesI mention the blueberries, not just because they were great to eat, but also because we used them dinner. I made blueberry pancakes with what was described as a “sh-t ton of blueberries.” Not to toot my horn, but they were amazing pancakes… actually it isn’t tooting my horn because the pancakes were from a mix, I used Arrowhead Mills Multigrain Pancakes which is a favorite of mine since it uses corn mean, and I love anything that is like cornbread. I also ended up making a HUGE pancake (pictured), this fella was nearly the size of my head and I ate him like it every second of his existence was an insult to my family.

view from above snow lake snow lake trail stitched panorama

[tags]hiking, outdoors, blueberry pancakes, seattle, snow lake[/tags]

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