Archives: Seattle

An Urban Walk: A Mini Photo Journal

Back when Tara used to live here, back when a popcorn bowl full of old maids passed for a “drum” during an impromptu roommate jam, back when the furniture didn’t match and nobody cared, we used to go on long walks.

We walked all over the city. Usually ten miles at a time. Usually after a night of heavy drinking. Those walks were magical.

Yesterday was the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for The Cure. My friend Victoria walked for her cousin Patty, who passed away from breast cancer a few years ago. As a sort-of homage to Victoria, and to Patty, who I’ve felt I’ve gotten to know over the years, and to Tara, who I miss having aroung in my daily life, I did my own little walk around town. I took my phone along.


I just love the unambiguous nature of old signage.


Old buildings, too, have a purposefulness about them. I love old advertisements painted directly onto the brick.


There’s a famous nursery rhyme that goes with this one. It goes something like: “There was an old woman who lived in shoe/ Who had so many offers to buy her property she didn’t know what to do/ So she stood her ground, and ignored their demands/ And she whipped them all soundly, because her house, it still stands.” Or something like that. There are enormous new buildings looming around three sides of this little house. You can read about the whole affair here. It’s not surprising that someone has already attempted to hitch their money-making wagon to this star. The banner is an advertisement for, you guessed it, a real estate developer. Tasteless.

I’m on my way…


The Fremont Bridge. Apparently, it is the most opened drawbridge in America.


The Aurora Bridge

Toxicity never looked so beautiful in the sunlight. The city’s about to start churning up the soil underneath these old tankers to test for lakebed contamination. Any guesses as to what the results will be? My money’s on Level “three-eyed fish” Contamination.


A rare and fleeting glimpse of Fall ’round these parts. It doesn’t last long.


QUINT. E. SSENTIAL. Seattle in a nutshell right here, folks. All the rumors about us being nut crunchin’, tree huggin’, bubble blowin’ hippies are true. When we the Seattle Tourism Board asks for a local representative, we send this guy.

The University Bridge. It was a beautiful day for sailing. The bridges were getting their workouts.


You don’t see these much anymore. It was just so charming, I had to take a picture.


If I was on a walking team for the Three Day Walk, this would be it.


The upside down tomato planter. Proof to disbelieving Taller Younger Brother that these things really do work.


I’m not a fan of graffiti on public signage or buildings… But this was a departure from the usual (lame-o) tags I’ve seen. Is that Klingon? Xhosa?

On the door of one of the most amazing little clothing stores in my ‘hood. Check out The Frock Shop. And then check out The 350Project. Support little businesses like this when you can.

Art by Henry

I’m not sure what this guy’s story is. All I know is that, paid or not, invited or not, this guy is making my neighborhood a whole lot more whimsical. He’s Henry. And I like that he makes me feel like I am living inside the pages of a children’s storybook.

The chestnut

This chestnut: the preferred ballistic of warring children everywhere ages 5 through 12. Burdy used to hurl these things at his neighbors growing up (don’t worry; the targets eventually became his best childhood buddies). I remember hucking them onto the steep slope behind my friend’s house, seeing who could get them to roll the furthest. I don’t know what is is about them that makes them so throw-able. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I found out that these things are FOOD. Chestnuts are edible. They’re part of Christmas song lore, and New York City street carts in the Winter, for godsakes. And here I thought they were just kid-sized naval mines.

A Month of Coincidences

This is a story about Facebook, my siblings, college, and a bar in Seattle.

I’m researching my family tree last week and I come across this last name that I recognize. I’ve never noticed this name on my family tree before. The last name on this family tree is also the last name of a family of kids that my siblings and I went to grammar school with. They share the same birth order as my family. While I was in one grade with Joanna, the oldest sister, my oldest brother was in class with the older brother, Mark, and my sister was in class with the youngest brother, Andrew.

And two days after I review this family tree, this family tree that I haven’t looked at in years, Joanna, whose last name happens to appear on my family tree, contacts me via Facebook. I haven’t talked to her in nearly fifteen years.

She says she’s coming to Seattle. Her brother Mark lives here. Her other brother Andrew is coming from Colorado. They’re all going to be here all at once for the holidays. This family whose last name appears in my family tree. The last name I just noticed for the first time last week. This family that I haven’t seen in fifteen years.

Joanna writes me suggest we go see some live music at the Seamonster Lounge, have we heard of it? And I write back…. um… yeah. We know the Seamonster Lounge. We spent every Friday night from 2003 to 2004 at the place. We know the DJ. We know the owner. They’re both great guys. Andrew, the owner, just gave up ownership of the place about a year ago but, magically, he’s back. So, yes, yes we will join you, family that I haven’t seen in fifteen years, at our old favorite bar in Seattle, that we just found out is now back under the ownership of our friend Andrew.

Beforehand, we meet up for dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant, and we ask Joanna how she happened to pick the Seamonster for our entertainment tonight. Oh, well, it’s all Mark, she says. He knows a guy who will be playing in the band. Oh, really, we ask? And how do you know him? Oh, Mark says, he used to live on my floor in college. You know how that goes. You just get to be good friends with people that live on your floor. Right. Right, we say, and we nod our heads. And what’s your friend’s name? Ari Zucker, he says.

And here CLH and I exchange googly-eyed glances. YOU know Ari Zucker? WE know Ari Zucker. And how do we know Ari Zucker? Well, we know Ari Zucker because of our friend Shoshi. Shoshi went to high school with Ari. Shoshi is from Seattle. She knew Ari before he went to college on the east coast with Mark. And the reason we know Shoshi is because of Becca. And I know Becca because I went to college with her in Massachusetts. Becca is from the Seattle area. But she went to school in Massachusetts, like me. And I went to high school with CLH. In New Jersey. And CLH and I started dating after I left the college where both Becca and I went to school. Becca eventually met CLH and Becca convinced us both that Seattle would be good for us, so we moved out here together ten years ago. And we met Shoshi. Who is Becca’s friend. And we started frequenting the Sea Monster. Where Ari played quite a bit. Ari who knows Shoshi who knows Becca who knows me who knows Joanna whose brother used to live on the same floor as him.

Small fucking world.