Archive for May, 2005

dept. of symbolic dirt

round trip to the land of make believe

You may remember [metblogs] that the Waterfront Streetcar’s future is somewhat uncertain due to a barn on some prime real estate slated to become a sculpture park. While SAM’s vision of the site doesn’t include a maintenance shed, the issue of what happens to the trolley has yet to be resolved.

Despite tomorrow being the deadline for resolving several issues to the streetcar’s future, the actual decisions won’t be unveiled for weeks. As it stands, the trolley line may or may not be extended, the barn may or may not be moved or razed to the ground, the sculpture park may or may not stabilize the seawall before or after the winter, and various city entities may or may not be willing to contribute to the bills for all of these contingencies. However, have faith. Amid the sea of uncertainties, over 250 people will be at the site next Monday for the ground breaking ceremony. [seattle times]

First Thursday Art Walk

Read previous post: “For the Love of Art: First
Thursdays& Other Art Walks in the City.”

>> For Seattle Art Calendar and Art Events in the City,
visit or

This Thursday marks the much-celebrated monthly First Thursday Art Walk in Seattle for art aficionados and curious-ones alike.

The admission to participating museums in the city and art galleries in the area are FREE every first Thursday of the month to celebrate current exhibits and exhibition openings, as well as viewing new works of rising local artists in our city. The First Thursday Art Walk is a must-attend event for art enthusiasts and admirers to mingle in the art social scene and bask in its creative surrounding.

For more on First Thursday Art Walk including a suggested art exploration route and other art happenings in Seattle, read “For the Love of Art: First Thursdays & Other Art Walks in the City.”

Signs around town (free art edition)

Some of my favourite art is over at the Crossroads Mall. Presented with no ceremony, hidden in odd corners, on top of roofs and lamp posts, or beside a dumpster, it inspires a fresh look at the world, taking your focus up, down, all around.

The air up there (Summer Weekends)

[skye:] We’re continuing to play on the idea that just as New Yorkers “are what they wear,” and Chicagoans “are what they eat,” here in Seattle, “we are our summer weekend.” Why do we continue to insist on describing our fair city with a one-dimensional idea? Because it’s fun, that’s why!

Using a five-question format to interview each other and random locals, we explore our summertime activities. Cat Nilan kicked things off in her paen to camping and hiking. Today David picks up where Cat left off, and takes us on a heady adventure.

David Herman is a Seattle area writer, technologist and aviation geek, who has been interested in flying ever since he was a kid. Now a private pilot, he bought an airplane a few years ago for recreation. He last circled the Olympic Peninsula in his Cessna 150 on Friday, his tenth trip ’round the horn. His flying websites can be found at

1) What’s your favorite summer weekend activity?
If the weather cooperates, I like to go flying. I have a small 2-seat airplane (nothing fancy or terribly expensive) that I keep at Seattle’s Boeing Field. I fly primarily for recreation — I find it’s very relaxing and I like the perspective it gives me on life and on the world below.

Who are the people in your neighborhood?

I’m a Sesame Street kid, born and bred — the old, edgy, dark Sesame Street where Mr Snuffleupagus was a figment of Big Bird’s drug-addled imagination, Cookie Monster didn’t preach moderation, and I just knew one day I would go postal on Bert’s behalf and mow Ernie down with a plastic butter knife.

So, of course I took the opportunity today to return to my Sesame Street roots, and fnd out who the people are in my neighborhood by participating in the first ever “Crossroads Bellevue Street Scramble” — 90 minutes or 3 hours of street-strolling or bike-riding fun in the heat of Washington’s first ever “heat advisory”.

Some very important things I learned: walking is hard, Bellevue is big, and a $15 hotdog and coke (free with Street Scramble entry fee) can be the best thing you’ve ever tasted.

Now, Bellevue’s street scramble is an addition to the three usual street scrambles in Seattle, and all are preparation for the 3rd annual Night and Day Challenge in July, a 3-hour, 7-hour, or 16-hour (take your pick) extravanganza of a scavenger hunt that will have you staggering around Seattle at all hours of the night, trying to answer insane questions such as “In X park on the southwest corner, how many of the swing seats are black?”. And if you think that question sounds bad now, just wait til you read it at 2AM in the morning after having walked around for the past 10 hours.

Sound like fun? I’ll see you there.

rebranding folklife?


Apparently, some people are concerned that the Northwest Folklife Festival has an image problem:

  • yesterday: “Folklife: Not just for hippies anymore” [UW Daily]
  • today: “Folklife–It’s Not Just Dirty Hippies” [seattlest]

    Which is sort of like saying: The ocean — not just for salt water! or Crack dens — not just for addicts! Anyway, I don’t think it’s the fear of not being hippie enough that keeps Folklife avoiders away (or dragged to Seattle Center), it’s the hippie density and likelihood of tripping and falling into a drum circle never to return.

  • cafe culture 2.0


    Victrola, my favorite 15th Avenue cafe is doing it’s part to enforce the five-day work week. People who show up on weekends as part of the sea of iBooks will find that that while their caffeine addiction is satisfied, their compulsive need to check the internet won’t be indulged. [wi-fi net news]

    The experimental wifi-free weekends combines an effort to reduce the wall of laptops to restore cafe culture with an attempt at keeping wireless freeloaders from camping out for hours without buying things. Apparently the owners hope that the absence of the internet will restore the climate in which people lingered at the cafe, yet felt comfortable talking to strangers.

    Of course, the plan could backfire if the gain in other conversation starters is outweighed by the reduction in the time-honored modern people-meeting strategies: asking to share power outlets or adaptors, iTunes flirting [], or spontaneous Rendezvous chats.

    ( via joe [lj])

    dept of signage : begging for a photoshop contest edition

    metblogs caption contest

    As happy as I am that the city is soon to be safer for walkers,1 I’m afraid that the billboard promoting the efforts to improve Seattle’s pedestrian-friendlieness is going to inspire more laughter than caution. In response to Tuesday’s banner day for pedestrian-automobile hostilities, the mayor announced several steps (no pun intended) to make things better for the car-free:

    Along with the safety campaign and increased enforcement, Nickels’ 10-point plan includes encouraging drivers to slow down, upgrading crosswalks and improving walking routes to T.T. Minor and Bailey Gatzert schools. The city also is planning a red-light camera pilot program in the fall to photograph cars and fine drivers running red lights. [p-i]

    Although the “fast response” is admirable, the quality of the ad campaign reveals the hastiness with which it was created. It’s certainly no “tsunami evacuation route.”

    (1) although, I don’t think I’ve encountered a more pedestrian-friendly city than Seattle.

    weekly weekly report : on time for once (developing)

    It’s time once again for the weekly weekly reader feature, still in tabular format, but posted in a somewhat timely fashion. This week’s edition (temporarily) sacrifices appropriate linking for promptness and a more general overview (if you want a list of all the articles, the tables of contents are [/will be] online. The URLs will be added in as they become available, but isn’t the point of the weeklies to get your hands dirty by reading the paper version?

    major topics
    Remember last week’s
    w.w.r., which tried to predict the hot summer storylines? It looks like
    the big two are still in action this week — major player height
    restrictions and regular undercurrent religion (News [#, #] and Last Days [#]) show up throughout the front of the book. Rather than relying on side-by-side comparisons on local
    weblogs, this time the Stranger
    takes on the Weekly’s
    anti-density position with a full page smackdown. [#] Most enlightening
    fact: Knute “Mossback” [wtf?] Berger is actually from Kirkland. Although this weblog
    doesn’t have an “editor” or any “official opinions” the general
    consensus at this week’s “editorial meeting/happy hour” was that
    Broadway is in need of something more than ugly abandoned grocery
    stores and faltering novelty shops; so bring on the mid-rises.
    Regarding the Weekly’s central
    complaint about the [theoretical] New Yorkification of Seattle, that
    doesn’t exactly sound like the worst fate ever.
    This week’s issue is highly
    focused on blurbs. With a huge feature about things to do in the summer [#] (some of which don’t involve buying things [from advertisers]),
    previews of summer books, previews of summer movies, rundowns of items
    in the news and on the internet, this issue of the 54 SPJ Award Winning
    perfects the art of  quickly-readable concise content advertised with a typically salacious cover headline (Global Warming Guide!). In addition
    to all of the suggestions and short interviews with warm weather
    experts, there’s a calendar of all of the festival type things that
    seem to crop up to claim most summer weekends. This issue always
    reminds me of my first summer in Seattle, in which I saved the guide
    with the idea that I’d actually do some of the suggestions. Ah, the
    optimism of youth . . .
    other gems
    Although both papers
    cover the new Sleater-Kinney album (and their upcoming show at the
    Moore on Tuesday), the Stranger
    includes a really nice, moderately-lengthy profile. Hannah Levin made
    the journey to Portland to hang out with the band and returned with an
    insightful and personal account of the decade old [!] iconic Northwest
    group. [#]
    article about the strip club moratorium profiles the trials and
    tribulations of “the 87-year-old godfather of nude dancing” [#]; a preview
    of why this year’s drought might not be as bad as the 2001 version
    (better planning and more conservation) [#]; and an expose about how
    wildfires are bad for fish [#] (and you thought the water kept them safe!).
    overlapping picks?
    Once again, no overlapping
    picks between “the Stranger Suggests” [#] and “SW This Week” [#] Those looking
    for consensus to plan their agendas are out of luck. However, if you’re
    having trouble deciding which paper’s recommendations are best for you,
    remember that the Seattle Weekly recommends
    the four-day Folklife Festival. Figure out whether you’re a person who
    avoids Seattle Center like the plague on Memorial Day Weekend and do
    the math.
    (some) weblogs mentioned
    Sound Politics
    the Stranger Blog
    other things noticed
    are a lot of really good shows this weekend, although many of them
    conflict with Sasquatch (which
    might be good news for those of you not making the journey East for the
    picturesque and packed-full-of goodness festival); but not Architecture
    In Helsinki (the “Australian Belle & Sebastian”), who, contrary to the Stranger’s “Poster of the Week” [#]
    are playing on Monday the 30th and not Saturday the 30th. Finally,
    skimming the music sections, I’m wondering if Aqua___ is the new ___ Snakes
    for band names? Please discuss.

    A Truly Nice Place to Eat


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