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/ the Sounders make history

Seattle Sounders FC made history tonight by becoming the first Major League Soccer team (team from the United States or Canada, that is) to win a Concacaf* Champions League title.

*The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football, founded in 1961, one of FIFA’s six continental governing bodies for association football (soccer).

The Sounders beat the Pumas UNAM (based in Mexico City) by 3-0 in front of a record home-crowd of 67,000 at Lumen Field.  The weather played along, as well:  a high of 65 °F/  18 °C today before it starts raining on and off for the next several days.

Seattle Sounders players celebrate after winning the CONCACAF Champions League title over the Pumas UNAM from Mexico City.
[Picture Credit: Getty Images]

Saturday/ it’s not orange; it’s galaxy gold 💫

My mission for the afternoon was to get a few pictures of the Space Needle. It is again painted in galaxy gold for its 60th anniversary⁠— the way it had been for its debut at the Seattle World’s Fair in April 1962.
I even drove up Queen Anne Hill to Kerry Park, to get the classic skyline-with-Space Needle picture.

The Davenport Apartments building is posted here as a ‘Find the Space Needle’ puzzle. (Part of the Space Needle appears in the picture). The Davenport was designed by architect Herbert Bittman in 1925, and has an unusual courtyard entrance to its 14-car garage.

Friday/ you look nice today

These pictures are from my walk back home from the Bartell pharmacy on First Hill.

This is Hofius House at 1104 Spring Street, First Hill. Designed by German-born architects Spalding and Umbrecht and constructed in 1902. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese began housing the Seattle Archbishop in this residence in 1920.
The Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church at Harvard and Howell held a last service in June 2018, and then closed its doors for good, it seems. The church was built just about 100 years ago, in 1923.
Hey! The tourists are back, even if just a handful. I waved at them. (Maybe I shouldn’t have. I could the city’s reputation for stand-offishness to neighbors and visitors alike, called ‘The Seattle Freeze’).
Spring leaves on the trees by Seattle Central College on Broadway.
I hate graffiti, but hey⁠— if the graffiti complements me, it makes it a little better. Maybe.

Friday/ Earth Day 🌎

Mariette (looking at a picture of a tree) : What’s that?
‘K’ (the Blade Runner) : A tree.
Mariette : I’ve never seen a tree. It’s pretty.
– from the 2017 movie about a dystopian Earth, ‘Blade Runner 2049’

The Prez was here in Seattle today. He talked about legislation to help the U.S. Forest Service plant 1.2 billion trees on national forest lands.

These pansies (genus Viola) are in the flower beds by the greenhouse in Volunteer Park.
Here is President Biden, speaking in Seward Park.
Writes Katie Rogers for the NYT: ‘He unveiled a plan to restore national forests devastated by wildfires. He promoted a climate agenda that has largely gone unfulfilled.  .. The trip granted him a bit of a respite from Washington and returned him to the campaign-trail style of schmoozing that energizes him. In Seattle, Mr. Biden appeared before a group of big-ticket donors that included Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft.

Thursday/ do rainbows have seven colors?

Here is my picture of tonight’s rainbow that was visible just before sunset, now at 8.08 pm.

Rainbows are optical illusions: reflected sunlight that is scattered by suspended drops of moisture in the atmosphere. Moreover, the multicolored band with ‘seven’ colors is an artefact of human color vision. There is no banding in a black-and-white photo of a rainbow, only a smooth gradation of intensity to a maximum, then fading again towards the other side.
– Paraphrased from the Wikipedia entry for Rainbow.

Wednesday/ U for Union

Three of the five amigos (two are out of town) had beers and a bite at Union. We liked the ambiance inside. The food was decent. Maybe the volume for the music videos on screens around the place was turned up a trifle too high⁠— or maybe I’m not as young as I used to be.

One of us had to surrender a credit card as collateral, as soon as we ordered our beers. Say wha-aat? I thought. (It’s the first time in a very long time that we had been at a place that required that). They worry that unscrupulous clientele might vanish after a second or third round of expensive cocktails, of course.

I just happened to take this picture of Union’s entrance last week while on a walkabout.
‘Airy bar & eatery with a leafy patio, serving cocktails alongside hearty comfort food & happy hours’, says the online description. The bar used to be located at 14th & Union some three blocks away, but the building there had caught fire in April 2019. It all ended up in a relocation and reopening here in March 2021.
(Side note: very nice to see the sidewalk and street free of trash).

Sunday/ Denny Way construction report

This afternoon, I walked down to the 45-story apartment towers on Denny Way (official address: 1200 Stewart Street) to see how the construction is coming along.

I paused at the Melrose Avenue overlook as usual, to peer out at the Space Needle. The Needle is 60 years old this week, on April 21. Surely the owners will put a flag up, to celebrate the milestone?
The Brothers (a pair of prominent peaks in the Olympic Mountains near Hood Canal) are to the right of the bare flagpole on the right.
Here’s the 3-story podium of flanked by Denny Way an Minor Ave. The 45-story tower is hiding its twin right behind it. That’s the Seattle City Light Denny Substation with its Frankenstein tree (my name for it) art installation, on the left.
The podium wraps around towards Stewart Street. The installation of the window panes on each floor is slowly progressing.
Here’s a reflection of the two towers off the Building Cure (opened 2019) belonging to Seattle Children’s Hospital.
I see I caught a sun halo of sorts from the sun behind the building on my picture. I couldn’t really see it with the naked eye. (Sun halos can appear when sunlight interacts with ice crystals that are suspended in the atmosphere).

Tuesday/ beers 🍻 and pub grub

The watering hole called The Chieftain Irish Pub⁠— that the amigos like to go to⁠— seems to have survived the pandemic.
The place was busy tonight, possibly because it was Trivia Tuesday.

We don’t wear masks at the pub or restaurant anymore⁠— almost nobody does⁠— but I still wear my N95 mask when I go anywhere else indoors (grocery store, post office).
I have not gotten my second booster shot, and I probably should go and get it over and done with. There seems to be no downside.

‘Bustling taproom for game-viewing & happy hours, plus familiar pub grub, in dark-wood-paneled digs’, says the description for The Chieftain on 12th Avenue.

Thursday/ tulips🌷

It was 70 °F (21 °C) here in the city today; it will be a lot cooler again tomorrow.
These tulips are from the little Thomas Street Garden by 10th Avenue.

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.

Wednesday/ homeless in Seattle

I noticed tonight that the dozen or so tents that had been in Seven Hills Park on 16th Ave and Howell, are gone. (Probably have been for a while).

I hope our new mayor (Mayor Bruce Harrell) is making headway with his plans to get homeless people out of the parks and green spaces and into shelters or homes.
It is an intractable problem. (In computer science, these are problems for which there exist no efficient algorithms to solve them).

A count from 2020 showed that our city of 750,000 people have some 11,700 homeless among us (half of which are in shelters or in emergency housing, and the other half unsheltered on the street or in tents and such).

The little green space called Seven Hills Park on 16th Avenue & Howell St is ‘Temporarily Closed’ says the sign. The soil is fertilized, and I’m sure the bare spots will fill in with grass soon. The signboard for the park that used to be by the black trash can, is missing.
On a utility pole just a few blocks down on 16th Avenue, there is this sign, weather-proofed and all. It’s a vast oversimplification of the affordable housing issue, and options that are already available to the homeless. I will just leave it at that.

Tuesday/ burgers from a new joint, soon

The Dick’s Drive-in burger joint on Broadway is not open yet.
It was a proper spring day here in the city with 63 °F (17 °C), and I had to take off my jacket and drape it over my arm, as I walked back up the hill from Broadway today.

How’s the remodel coming? Dick’s Drive-In burger joint, a fixture on Broadway since 1954, is undergoing a remodel for the first time ever (mostly on the inside). It closed in December, and will reopen some time this spring.
Dick’s Drive-in Hamburgers, circa the late ’50s. I guess the 19c (for a hamburger) sign could not stay there until today.
[Picture from Dick’s Facebook page]

Friday/ at the map store

Metsker Maps of Seattle on 1st Avenue is a candy store for map lovers.
I went there today to buy a map for my friend in South Africa.

Seattle Art Museum on the corner of 1st Ave and University Street.
Inside the store called Metsker Maps of Seattle.  This is a lovely set of trail maps for Washington State. I bought a Mount Rainier Wonderland trail map (tab middle right of the box).
Downtown had some foot traffic, but seems to be not quite back to business as usual.
A handful of tents of homeless people right at Westlake Center (ground zero for tourists after Pike Place Market), were cleared out just today. Some businesses around 2nd and 3rd Avenue are still boarded up (!). Colorful artwork on the boarded-up window always helps, though.
Here comes my train at Westlake Center for my short ride back to Capitol Hill.
Washington State and King County’s mask mandate for businesses is cancelled as of today, except for healthcare settings and for public transportation.
It will make no difference to me; I will still wear my mask to the grocery store and other indoor places for a while.

Friday/ the camel says hello

As evening fell, I was waiting by the Asian Art Museum’s camel in Volunteer Park for a sunset picture with a dozen or so other people.
Then I walked back home, by Uncle Ike’s pot shop on 15th Avenue.

Tuesday/ here’s March

And so it is March, the month named after the Roman god of war.

There was no rain this afternoon, and a high of 56 °F (13 °C).
I walked down to the Melrose Avenue overlook (over Interstate 5), and back to Capitol Hill’s top along Denny Way.
I turned around every now and then, to look at the beautiful hues of color in the western sky.

Sunday/ gray skies

Here’s the view of Interstate 5 and the city skyline from Melrose Ave and Thomas St tonight.

Aw .. no visible sunset tonight. There was a little bit of fine hail on my deck this morning, and sprinkles of rain now and then.
Taking a closer look at how the two 41-story residential buildings at 1120 Denny Way are coming along. About 15 floors on the one, and 18 floors on the other to get their window panes. At completion these will have 1100 units and a reported 272 furnished corporate suites. 

Wednesday/ vaccine status checks to be cancelled

Officials announced today that restaurants, bars, theaters and gyms here in the city of Seattle and surrounding King County will no longer be required to check the vaccination status of their patrons beginning March 1.

We are waiting for everyone’s beer to be brought to the table, at Thai restaurant Jamjuree here on 15th Ave tonight. They did check our vaccine cards at the entrance.
I get take-out food here sometimes, but the food always seems tastier and more enjoyable in the restaurant itself. So will delivery operators like UberEats and DoorDash hold on to any gains they made during the height of the pandemic? I doubt it.

Monday/ a little rain

It’s been a ‘dry’ February so far, here in the city.
Only ¼ in. has been recorded, and February gets almost 4 on average.
There was a little rain today— of the kind that does not make the ground wet under the big trees.

A little bit of blue sky on 19th Avenue, at about 4.45 pm. It was just warm enough to go for a walk: 46 °F (8°C). I cannot put my right hand in a glove or in my pocket; best I can do hold it against my chest inside my jacket.