Archive for December, 2005

tacomawatch: improbable architecture department

tacomawatch_12302005.jpg
one of the entries in kevin freitas’s photo essay [#]

BoingBoing points out [bb] a series of photos documenting a completely mind-boggling piece of architecture in Tacoma that’s not long for this world.

The outlandish house near the corner of South 25th and Fawcett Avenue, with painted lumber scraps jutting skyward like some kind of art-deco cathedral . . . which [Vladimir] Deriugin dreamed of encasing in concrete and using as the core for a 500-foot office and condominium tower, will be torn down within the next couple of months. [newstribune]

It seems that Mr. Deriugin has been fighting The (public safety-obsessed) Man in Pierce County for years to keep his art project/architecture experiment/bizarre home alive. With the courts finally shutting him down, those who want to see the structure with their own eyes are running out of time. Maybe a 2006 resolution to make a daytrip to Tacoma is in order for architecture tourists.

Bandwatch: The Helio Sequence

Next Friday, all of my wisdom teeth are coming out. Before that happens, I’m going to take them to one last show: The Helio Sequence at Chop Suey on Thursday, the 5th.

Reviews of the band’s 2004 album, “Love and Distance”, were generally lukewarm. Pitchfork wrote a long, long metaphor about cheese, which was not, as you might guess, favorable. But I don’t care. I have a copy of the album, and I listen to it when I’m cooking sometimes. The place where The Helio Sequence really shines is onstage. They layer electronica on top of drums on top of guitar on top of a harmonica, which makes for way more sound than two people really ought to produce. Also, of course, there is Benjamin Weikel, my favorite drummer.

Also playing Thursday night are Crystal Skulls and Wet Confetti, the latter of which I know nothing about. (I do, however, really love the opening line of their bio: ” When an OCD asian girl, a mid-western guy who has absolutely no concept of time and an ex-mormon get together, you’d think you were in hell, but we like to call it Wet Confetti.”)

Tickets are $8, doors are at 8:00.

listener powered favorites: kexp’s 90.3 of most of 2005

Today is the day when KEXP reveals their favorite 90.3 albums of 2005. Since they’re counting down, it’s probably too late to hear the song (the Magic Numbers, with “Love Me Like You”) that earned the three-tenths slot, but you can follow along at home by refreshing their online playlist [#] while you spend the last weekday of the year toiling away to complete your last year’s resolutions.

nifty update: Those listening on their computers can keep track of the current track in a tiny popup window [mynameiskate]. It’s really too bad that KEXP can’t transit this information directly to iTunes, but this is a nice workaround.

Weblog law requires that we compile lists of our favorite things from the year. But since it isn’t over until Saturday at midnight, we’re reserving judgement until the last minute. If you have suggestions of what you liked about this year, send your nominations seattle.metblogs (at) gmail (dot) com.

(reminder courtesy of joe [lj])

New Years Day Polar Bear Swim

While some of you plan your New Year’s Eve, others are busy planning jumping into cold, cold water on New Year’s Day, in the region’s annnual Polar Bear Swim. The Seattle Times has a list of good places to go, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Me? I plan on being toasty and warm under the blankets with my kitties New Year’s Morning, contemplating nothing colder than whether or not I want to microwave leftover coffee or make a new pot…

One Week Left/SAM’s Last Bash

The Seattle Art Musuem’s show “Louis Comfort Tiffany: Artist for the Ages” closes this upcoming Wednesday, January 4th, and that’s it for SAM as the musuem closes for a year long move and renovation into new quarters. Starting at 5pm Wednesday, there will be live music and festivities til midnight, when the show officially closes.

And speaking of live music, a little bird happened to tell me that Central Services will be starting the music at 5pm, opening for Math and Physics Club.

SAM has more details for their Last Bash here.

Discontent and Animal Control

I wish every Seattle entry was a good news “hey isn’t Seattle great” post, but sometimes they aren’t. This is one of those times.

A few weeks ago, a pair of pitbulls got loose near my house in the Central district. They attacked and seriously injured three people, including a senior citizen, and a 6 year-old child. The child in particular was very badly hurt.

But for some reason neither the Seattle Police nor Animal Control seem to be taking any appropriate action. As a blockwatch captain, I’ve dealt with Seattle Animal Control in the past, and I can’t remember any situation where they took action on a complaint (or even gave polite phone service for that matter). These same dogs attempted to attack my neighbor last spring, and I know for a fact that there was never any follow up on the complaint. I’ve heard the same story on my neighborhood mailing list and from other blockwatch groups in the area.

I’ve dealt with many good and helpful people working for the City of Seattle and Seattle PD. I have nothing but respect for those people who do their best to serve their city. But I can’t say the same for Animal Control. People in this neighborhood have been calling City Councilors, journalists, and the Mayor’s Office to try and get some satisfaction, so I thought I’d do my bit to publicize the problem.

Has anyone had a positive experience with Animal Control? Does anyone have some advice for dealing with dangerous animals in the neighborhood?

recycling: not just for the warm fuzzies anymore

oscar_12292005.jpg
(image [wiki])

At the beginning of this year, we were all introduced to the abstract concept of mandatory recycling in the city of Seattle [mb]. While I’m sure that everyone takes a similar bit of joy from chores like washing out glass jars, collecting aluminum cans, and bundling stacks of old periodicals for the recycling bins, the days of doing this for the simple pleasure of greener living are now coming to an end.

KOMO reports that 2006 strikes, garbage collectors will be checking out your trash to make sure that you’re doing your part to keep the bin free of recyclable articles [komo]. If your garbage isn’t trashy enough, it will be left on the curb to shame you into cleaning up your act. Or at least into dropping a couple of Hamiltons on the lid to get the driver to look the other way and call your > 10% recycling his or her > 90% garbage.

more metroblogging all the time: mumbai

It seems that the sun never sets on the Metroblogging Empire. That’s right, the year ends with Metroblogging adding its fortieth city with mumbai.metblogs.com.

Even if you took geography lessons in less enlightened times and still think of Mumbai as Bombay, stop by to say hello — URL clicking is still a lot quicker than flying all the way to the subcontinent to check in on what’s happening. Perhaps you can read it before heading out to your favorite local purveyor of fine Indian food to get in the mood for some tasty cuisine?

broadway watch: american apparel opens [actually, not yet]

aabroadway_12292005.jpg
a couple weeks ago [flickr]

Out of town for the past week, I returned to find a surprise gift unwrapped on the corner of John and Broadway while I was away. After what seemed like years of promising to go out of business, Rado actually did close its doors sometime this autumn. With all the talk of Broadway’s slow slide into oblivion, one might have expected the storefront to sit empty and creepy [ed: creepier?] looking for at least a few months (in the style of the abandoned Mongolian barbecue).

Instead, there’s a brand new American Apparel store standing shiny and ready to outfit Capitol Hill denizens and their pets with well-fitting brand-free cotton garments. Sure, we could have always taken a field trip up to the bigger store that opened this spring to much fanfare [mb] on the city’s other favorite beleaguered avenue, but any excuse to avoid the #49 is a good one.

Does this new store, along with other indicators like the six plus month survival of 406 Broadway tenant [mb], a sign that Broadway’s long struggle to “reclaim it’s hipness” [p-i] is not a complete failure? And is it a complete coincidence that it’s located right next to one of those gold fire hydrants [mb]?

update: a sign on the door reads “coming soon”, so this post was a bit of premature celebration. developing.

Last minute scramble

Space Needle
image via: king5

As my weekend officially begins tomorrow, I have to start thinking about what to do for New Year’s Eve. I know, I know, it’s late! But generally, I don’t do anything. In fact last year, I walked the strenuous 1/2 block to the beach, watched the Space Needle fireworks, then walked back to my brand new abode in lovely Seattle. I would attribute this lack of partying to my oldness, but I really can’t remember doing much at all on Dec. 31 for at least 10 years or so. Yes, I’m totally a rock star.

So I was thinking that maybe this year I do something. You know, go out, drink up, listen to some fab music, but where? Hmm. If you’re in the same boat as I am, NWSource has a great round-up of events [#] for your last minute perusal.

As for me, the top three choices seem to be:

  1. Ooh! Buttrock Suites (who rocked out at Bumbershoot) and some excellent musical guests at the Crocodile.
  2. Perhaps Americana in a Scandinavian neighboorhood of the Pacific Northwest. Whatever am I talking about? The good line up at The Tractor, of course.
  3. Or, what I did last year – aka, in Russia, Space Needle watches you.

Oh the weighty decisions I have to make! What about you? Who are you and what do you do for New Year’s Eve?

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