Saturday/ the heat is here 🌟

We are having a little heat wave here in the city.
(Heat wave for us, anyway). It feels as if we went from early spring weather to the summer highs in three days flat.
The highs look like this:
Saturday 88°F 31°C
Sunday 87°F 31°C
Monday 91°F 33°C
Tuesday 68°F 20°C

A few panels from my Adventures of Tintin book called Der Geheimnisvolle Stern/ Eng. The Shooting Star*/ Fr. L’Étoile Mystérieuse.
*The English-language publisher’s translation from the French is scandalously inaccurate: it should have been The Mysterious Star.
Anyway: part of the plot of the book is that a giant meteoroid appears in the sky, and heats up the surface of Earth in a big way. (Kind of like the ‘Don’t Look Up’ movie on Netflix). 
Translation of the text in the bottom panels:
Poor Snowy! He is perishing of thirst .. and the plants also look pitiful.
The end of the world, Snowy! The end of the world- do you understand that, Snowy? (Evidently not, he is only too happy to have some water).

Wednesday/ Seattle downtown 🏢

I made a run into downtown today with the No 10 bus to pick up an item at Walgreens.
The one here on 15th Avenue closer to me is has lots of empty spaces on the shelves!

The Walgreens that I went to is in Melbourne Tower on 3rd Avenue. It is a 10-floor, reinforced-concrete office tower that was completed in 1927. It is not fully occupied right now, with available office space on the 5th and 6th floors.
Third Avenue in downtown had been in bad shape at times the last few years, but is finally looking much cleaner. New public art has been installed, adding a little color to the beiges and grays all around. This is one of five such pieces, called The Five Creations (2022) by artist Angie Hiojos. The motifs depict traditional Aztec beliefs.
Nordstrom’s flagship store and headquarters across from Westlake Center still looks nice and clean after the renovation of its exterior, some years ago.
A sign of the times? Look up! and Look right! from texting on your phone! A scooter rider or cyclist might be careening towards you in the new bike lane.
The Washington State Convention Center is now called Arch | Seattle Convention Center.
Is the coin and stamp store still there? I wondered. Yes, but with only one employee, instead of the 4 or 5 that used to sit inside. You have to knock on the glass door to get in.
I thought for a moment to buy this First Day of Issue envelope featuring Seattle’s 1962 World’s Fair (just $5) but didn’t. Maybe I’ll go back tomorrow and get it. 🙂
Here’s the Summit | Seattle Convention Center, nearing its final exterior form. This is the extension of what was called Washington State Convention Center, and what in now called Arch | Seattle Convention Center.

Tuesday/ the bears are out 🐻

The press is full of bear market reports with the recent declines in the stock market indices.

Wed 6/15, 2.00 pm EDT: Fed Chairman Jerome Powell announced that the Federal Reserve will indeed raise the federal funds rate by 75 basis points (0.75%), bringing it to the range 1.5%- 1.75%. Right now they project a rate of about 3.5% by year-end.

Here’s the New York Post. ‘Bear market has economy running scared’ .. is that really true?
The economy is running too hot, if anything, and as the picture shows: it is Uncle Sam (the government, White House) that is scared.
Investors are scared as well, of course.
There’s a bear in the Tintin adventure by cartoonist Hergé called Le Temple du Soleil (Temple of the Sun). The outcome was that Captain Haddock ran away from the bear, and came to no harm.
Originally published in Tintin Magazine in 1946-48, the cartoon strips were later collected in albums or bande dessinée in French— literally ‘drawn strips’.

Memorial Day

“They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”
– For the Fallen, a poem by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

Flag (1954-55) by artist Jasper Johns, from Museum of Modern Art, New York City.
In 1951, Johns was drafted into the army and spent two years in service during the Korean War at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and in Sendai, Japan.
The forty-eight stars and red-and-white stripes depicted here picture an American flag from the year this work was made (Alaska and Hawaii had not yet become part of the union).
Medium: Encaustic (using pigments mixed with hot wax that are burned in as an inlay), oil, and collage on fabric mounted on plywood, three panels.
Dimensions: 42 1/4 x 60 5/8″ (107.3 x 153.8 cm)
[Picture Credit: moma.org]

Saturday/ apartments with art 🎨

I frequently drive by the newly completed Midtown apartments on (23rd Ave. in Central District) with its colorful exterior and artwork.
Today I checked it out a little closer, on foot.

The Midtown Square apartment building has 7 floors with 428 apartments, from studio ($1,800 pm) to 2-bed, 2-bath (about $3,200 pm). So expensive, as expected for a new development, I guess ⁠—although a 130 apartments are offered as affordable housing units through Seattle’s MFTE and MHA housing programs.
The images on the panels were created by photographer/ artist Adam Jabari Jefferson.
The entrance to the public square on the inside, from the Union Street sidewalk.
The colorful exterior panels on the corner of Union Street and 23rd Avenue.
The artist is Barry Johnson.
Public art on the Union Street/ 23rd Avenue corner. I couldn’t find the artist’s name.
I would like one of these for my backyard. Beautiful.
Central .. the first of a series of murals facing 23rd Avenue.
Edwin T. Pratt (1930 – 1969) was an American activist during the Civil Rights Movement. He was assassinated at his home in Shoreline, WA in Jan. 1969. At the time of his assassination in 1969, he was Executive Director of the Seattle Urban League. His murder is still unsolved.
DeCharlene Willians (1942-2018) was a legendary owner of a Central Area boutique, who also founded the Seattle neighborhood’s chamber of commerce. 
The artist is Central District native Myron Curry.
District.. the second of a series of murals facing 23rd Avenue.
Langston Hughes (1901-1968) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri. (The Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute is a cultural, community, and artistic center in the Central District). 
The artist is Central District native Myron Curry.

 

Community .. the third mural facing 23rd Avenue.
Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) was a musician, singer, and songwriter and a Seattle native.
Ernestine Anderson (1928-2016) was an American jazz and blues singer. Her family moved to Seattle when she was 16.
The artist is Central District native Myron Curry.
The entrance to the public square from 23rd Avenue. The lamp sconces feature performance and recording artists. The installation was made by Henry Jackson-Spieker in collaboration with KT Hancock studios.
I believe this is Duke Ellington (1899-1974), composer, pianist, and leader of a jazz orchestra for most of his life. He gained a national profile through his orchestra’s appearances at the Cotton Club in Harlem, New York City. Duke Ellington’s The 1952 Seattle Concert was his first legitimate live performance release.
The public square inside the apartment complex. The picture shows part of a 120-ft mural with historic scenes and lettering that says C E N T R A L  D I S T R I C T.
The artist is Takiyah Ward.

Wednesday/ what it is to wallow

Poster for the band Wallows and their album Tell Me That It’s Over .. sure sounds like a reference to the pandemic. Dr. Fauci says it is .. kind of: the US is ‘out of the full-blown COVID-19 pandemic phase’. We still lose 300 people every day, far more than in a very bad flu season, but down from three thousand a day at the height of the pandemic.

I knew the word wallow, but when I saw the poster of the band Wallows that had been here in Seattle, I wanted to look up the word nonetheless.  Check it out below.

wal·low
/ˈwälō/

verb
1. (chiefly of large mammals) roll about or lie relaxed in mud or water, especially to keep cool, avoid biting insects, or spread scent.
“watering places where buffalo liked to wallow”
Similar:
loll around
lie around
tumble around
splash around
slosh
wade
paddle
slop
squelch
welter
splosh

2. (of a person) indulge in an unrestrained way in (something that creates a pleasurable sensation).
“I was wallowing in the luxury of the hotel”

proper noun
3. Wallows is an American alternative rock band based in Los Angeles composed of Dylan Minnette, Braeden Lemasters, and Cole Preston.
The band began releasing songs independently in April 2017 starting with “Pleaser”, which reached number two on the Spotify Global Viral 50 chart.

 

Tuesday/ the last infinity stone

Thanos is a supervillain, and first appeared in 1973 in The Invincible Iron Man #55 by the Marvel Comics Group. (A little irony here: Musk is hailed by his hard-core supporters as a real-life Iron Man). Thanos (Musk) is wearing his Infinity Gauntlet, with the Infinity Gems he had collected, making himself omnipotent.
[Cartoon by Michael de Adder, editorial cartoonist for the Washington Post, under the heading ‘Elon is inevitable’]

Saturday/ a very purple

An Athina sofa in Very Peri from the KK by Koket collection. I looked up the price: $5,000. Interior designers caution to use the color sparingly.

Pantone Color Institute’s pick for its 2022 color of the year is an intense purple called Very Peri. The ‘new’ color is said to have been developed from scratch (instead of being plucked out of an existing color catalog).

The color is not universally acclaimed. New York-based interior designer Brock Forsblom warned that too much of the color could give off a “‘My Little Pony’ alternate universe” vibe, or “Princess Jasmine out for a hot night” attitude.

-From a report by Stephen Treffinger in NYT

Thursday/ the ship on the stamp: sunk

The Moskva features on a recent Ukrposhta (Ukraine Post) stamp. This was artist Boris Groh’s winning entry for the Ukrposhta stamp design contest, with the theme “Russian warship go f— yourself”. (That was the defiant response of the Ukrainian defenders of Snake Island when they were asked to surrender by someone aboard one of the two Russian warships that had attacked the island on Feb. 24).

The flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet has sunk in what western officials have described as a “massive blow” to the Kremlin.

Moskva, a Slava-class warship that commanded about 30 vessels in the region, is thought to be the first cruiser lost in conflict since the sinking of the General Belgrano in the Falklands war in 1982 and the first such loss of a Russian vessel since the Second World War.
– The Times newspaper, London

Monday/ after the storm, a rainbow🌈

It looks like the stormy weather of the past two days is clearing up.
Seattle photographer Tim Durkan (@timdurkan on Twitter) posted this gorgeous picture today⁠—of a piece of blue sky and a brilliant rainbow over the city.
I believe his vantage point was off Alki Avenue SW in West Seattle, on the very edge of the waters of Elliott Bay.

Thursday/ animals in LEGO

I ran out to Walmart in Factoria to go look for All Bran Buds today, but no luck. (All the stores here in the city seem to be out of it. Amazon has none, unless you want to pay $10 or $15 per box, from sellers in Canada!).

I almost bought a LEGO set at Walmart, but they lock them up in a display case, and the store assistant was swamped with four other shoppers.

I love the concept of a world map here, and also the idea of using as few bricks as possible to an animal or something recognizable that represents that country.
So which is the cutest: the sleek bald eagle, the orca, the toothy crocodile, the angry lion, the macaw parrot (a psittacine; all parrots belong to the order Psittaciformes), the fat giraffe, the brown bear, the sleepy penguin, or the mama kangaroo (a nice touch, that joey squeezed into its pouch)?
Here’s the other way: to use hundreds of bricks to create a lot of detail. Nice teeth for this tiger, to maul you with🐯. ROWR.

Saturday/ dope or nope?

dope adjective
slang
excellent —used as a generalized term of approval


There are several Twitter handles that post pictures of products, usually personalized by their owners, that ask the question ‘Dope or nope?’ (Approve or disapprove?).
I found this blue Tesla with its orange highlights and matt black hood here on Capitol Hill’s 15th Avenue.
I think 🤔 it’s a nope, speaking for myself.

Thursday/ the puzzle that’s a puzzle

I found a puzzle (wonder what had happened), and R2-D2 depicted on a card, on my walk today.
I was too far from my house to pick either up/ clean it up*, and besides that: I only have one hand. 🙂

*If it’s on my block, especially on the sidewalk or street at the front of the house, it doesn’t matter what it is; I feel compelled to clean it up. Broken beer bottle, dead crow, dog poop, empty cannabis packets.

Was there a tug-of-war between two people, with the puzzle in the middle, and the box was torn open? Who knows.
R2-D2 (say Artoo Deetoo) is a fictional robot character in the Star Wars franchise created by George Lucas. He has appeared in eleven of the twelve theatrical Star Wars films to date.

Wednesday/ 2.2.2022

There are lots of two’s in today’s date (with another one to come on the 22nd of February, of course).

My current Apple Watch face is the kaleidoscope. Every time you look to get the time, the watch face lights up from dim to bright, the image morphs for a few seconds into a different one, and then it stops again as the watch face dims.
This is just one of the standard patterns. I’m going to create a few custom ones with my own pictures.

Tuesday/ Happy Lunar New Year

Happy Lunar New Year.
It’s the Year Of The Tiger.

My collection of tigers. Rowrr 🐯!
Left to right: 2010 Starbucks ‘Bearista’ Year Of The Tiger bear; 2015 Schleich 14729 Tiger Figurine; 2010 Year Of The Tiger piggy bank by Walmart China; ‘2010 Year Of the Tiger’ stuffed tiger in silk; 2010 Year Of The Tiger plush tiger.

Sunday/ Olympic Sculpture Park

The skies were a beautiful blue today, and I went out to Olympic Sculpture Park to take a few pictures.

I parked by the pedestrian bridge on 3rd Ave West. This is a look back at the Queen Anne Beer Hall and the Space Needle from the bridge. I have not been to this Beer Hall; so I am putting it on my post-pandemic to-do list. Quaff a few beers at Queen Anne Beer Hall.
Looking north after crossing the pedestrian bridge.
A closer look at the artwork called Adjacent, Against, Upon (1976) by Michael Heizer. The granite slabs were quarried in the North Cascades. (This is Myrtle Edwards Park, on the way to Olympic Sculpture Park).
The north entrance and ramp to Olympic Sculpture Park, with a long slanted pedestrian bridge that straddles the railway on the left.
The Eagle (1971) by Alexander Calder.
This bench is called Mary’s Invitation: A Place to Regard Beauty by Ginny Ruffner (2014), in honor of Mary Shirley, a benefactor of Olympic Sculpture Park.
Wake (2004) by Richard Serra has five gently S-curved iron structures.
The cafeteria and indoor space called Paccar Pavilion is closed. The steps in front of it is called the Bill & Melinda Gates Amphitheater.
What is nature, and what is art?
Split (2003) by Roxy Paine, a tree made of stainless steel tubes of 20 different diameters.
Making my way back around the south end of the Park, with the south of the staircase going to the slanted bridge across the railway. SAM stands for Seattle Art Museum.
Echo by Jaume Plensa (2011), a Barcelona-based artist. The sculpture’s title refers to a mountain nymph in Greek mythology that had offended the goddess Hera. As punishment the nymph was deprived of speech, except for the ability to echo the last word of another, spoken to her.

Wednesday/ The Randolph

I walked by The Randolph* tonight. I like the stained glass with the name at the entrance.
*A four-story apartment building here on Capitol Hill, built in 1928.

The stained glass lettering is probably from the original construction of the building. Lead paint has been done away with for decades now, but lead is still used in the production of stained glass. It is present in the lead “came” or channel that holds the colored glass in place, and in the solder (50% lead, 50% tin) which connects the came. Is it dangerous? Not really. One would have to touch it and then lick one’s fingers.
P.S. As for leaded gasoline, the world has finally stopped using it as well. Algeria has reportedly used the last of its stockpile of leaded gasoline in July of this year.