The walkways around the Denny Substation opened yesterday, and I went to take a look today.
Today marks ten years since the opening of the Seattle light rail transit system. I was one of the 45,000 riders that boarded the light rail train for the first time, on July 18, 2009.
The initial line ran from downtown to Tukwila International Boulevard (close to Seattle-Tacoma airport). Four more stops have opened since then (Seattle-Tacoma airport & Angle Lake to the south, Capitol Hill and University of Washington to the north). The next extension of three more stops to the north, will open in 2021.
I went bicycling with my friends on today, and tried out an electric-assist bicycle for the first time.
The bicycle has three gears, and performed very well. As far as I could tell, the electric assist from the battery is always-on (so no way to turn it off).
On even grades, the electric assist feels a little like cheating! – but it does come in very handy on long uphill climbs.
I woke up to a shaking house at 3 a.m. this morning.
The shaking went on for only a few seconds, but I was sure it was an earthquake. It turned out there was a magnitude 3.5 quake, and the one I experienced must have been the 4.6 quake that followed just two minutes later.
The epicenter of the quake is about 26 miles from my house. No real damage or injuries in the Puget Sound area or from elsewhere, were reported.
P.S. The Nisqually earthquake of 2001 near Olympia was several orders of magnitude stronger, at 6.8. It damaged the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the dome of the State Capitol building in Olympia, and Starbucks headquarters in Seattle.
Here’s a beautiful double rainbow, that we saw on Wednesday night from my friends’ house in the Mt Baker neighborhood.
P.S. Yes, it’s not your imagination, there really is a second one above the first!
It was a gray Sunday, with a little rain, here in the city today.
I did run out to go check on the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s gradual disappearance (on-going demolition), and the new buildings under construction nearby.
We had light rain for most of the day here in the city – a welcome change in the weather, given the dry conditions around Western Washington.
July is the driest month of the year, though*. So we may not see a whole lot more rain, soon.
*July average rainfall is 0.9 in., compared to 6.1 in. for December.
Happy Pride! My friends and I checked in on the Seattle Pride Parade today, and here are a few pictures.
I helped out as a volunteer at the Seattle Classic tennis tournament today.
The tournament is sanctioned by the Gay & Lesbian Tennis Alliance (GLTA). The GLTA is an international body that oversees an impressive worldwide circuit of tennis tournaments (check out the table below).
The tournaments do not have prize money to speak of, but it is a great way of encouraging the LGBT community to participate in the wonderful sport of tennis (of which I am a lifelong fan).
|June||Alegria Open||Rotterdam, Netherlands||Clay|
|June||Seattle Classic||Seattle, WA-USA||Indoor and Outdoor Hard|
|July||Prague Friendly Tennis Open||Prague, Czech Republic||Red Clay|
|July||San Diego Open||San Diego, CA-USA||Hard|
|July||Liberty Open||New York, NY-USA||Outdoor Hard|
|July||Hanse Cup Hamburg||Hamburg, Germany||Clay|
|July||The Philadelphia Open||Philadelphia, PA-USA||Hard court|
|July||Madrid Tennis Open (Masters)||Madrid, Spain||Green set (outdoor) and clay (covered)|
|Aug||Chillli Tennis Open (Masters)||Katowice, Poland||Clay|
|Aug||VIP (Vancouver International Pride)||Vancouver, BC, Canada||Hard Court|
|Aug||Second City Tennis Classic||Chicago, IL-USA||Indoor Hard|
|Aug||Ad-OUT Cologne||Cologne, Germany||Clay|
|Aug||Paris Summer Cup||Paris, France||Clay|
|Aug||Zurich Rainbow Open||Zurich, Switzerland||Red Clay|
|Aug||Barcelona Open (Masters)||Barcelona, Spain||Clay|
|Aug||New Hope Open||New Hope, PA-USA||Hard Court/Clay|
|Aug||Tallinn Colour Games||Tallinn, Estonia||Hard Court/Carpet|
|Aug||Montréal Coupe de la Reine||Montréal, Québec, Canada||Indoor Hard|
|Aug||The Peach International||Atlanta, GA-USA||Hard|
|Aug||Rose City Open||Beaverton, OR-USA||Hard|
|Sept||IGO-Italian Gay Open||Milan, Italy||Clay|
|Sept||Kiss My Ace-Manchester GLTA||Manchester, England||Grass|
|Sept||IndyTennis Classic||Indianapolis, IN-USA||Hard Court|
|Sept||Bali G-Slam||Bali, Indonesia||Hard Court|
|Sept||The Capital Classic||Washington, DC, DC-USA||Hard and Clay|
|Sept||WrocLove Cup||Wroclaw, Poland||Hard Court|
|Sept||Queen City Open||Cincinnati, OH-USA||Hard|
|Sept||VicTennis Hard Court Championships||Melbourne, Australia||Hard|
|Sept||Texas Open (Masters)||Dallas, TX-USA||Hard|
|Oct||Gran Canaria Open||Maspalomas, Gran Canaria||Clay|
|Oct||Out in Hong Kong Open||Hong Kong, Hong Kong||Artificial Grass|
|Oct||Peter Deacon Tournament||Sydney (Concord), NSW, Australia||Synthetic Grass|
|Oct||San Diego Doubles||San Diego, CA-USA||Hard Court|
|Oct||Tennis London International||London, England||Indoor Hard|
|Oct||Brilliant Games (Masters)||Antwerp, Belgium||Hard|
|Nov||HOUTEX||Houston, TX-USA||Hard Court|
|Nov||Sunshine Doubles Gran Canaria||Maspalomas, Gran Canaria||Clay|
|Nov||Segundo Abierto del Orgullo Argentino LGBT||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Clay/Hard Courts|
|Nov||Palm Springs Open||Rancho Mirage, CA-USA||Hard Court|
|Nov||Citrus Classic (Masters)||Tampa, FL-USA||Har-Tru Clay|
|Dec||Frankfurt Open||Maintal, Germany||Carpet|
|Dec||10th Bangkok Pride Tournament (Masters)||Bangkok, Thailand||Hard Court|
Some of the construction projects in South Lake Union are nearing their completion: the Nexus condominium tower, the Denny Substation and the Google office buildings. I took these pictures today.
It’s the official start of summer here in the North today.
We have had mild temperatures (68°F/ 20°C) and not much rain in June, tracking at about 50% of the month’s average.
Sunset tonight was at its latest for the year, at 9.11 pm here in Seattle.
Only two of the five amigos could make it to the Elysian for beer night tonight.
Our beer of choice was an Elysian Space Dust, a hoppy Imperial Pale Ale with a whopping 8.2% alcohol by volume.
Johannesburg in South Africa is sometimes said to be the real ‘El Dorado’: the city that was built on the discovery of gold*. Seattle, for its part, was a pioneer outpost in the late 1800s, and was lifted out of an economic slump and prospered by 1900, due to the discovery of gold.
Here is a brief timeline of Seattle at the end of the 1800s:
1889 Seattle’s Great Fire reduces 50 blocks of downtown to rubble.
1893 The financial Panic of 1893 causes a national recession.
1897 On July 17, the Portland Steamer docks in Seattle, carrying half a ton of gold from the Klondike region in Canada.
Some 10,000 men and boys leave for the Alaskan and Canadian goldfields.
1898 Canada creates the Yukon territory.
1900 By the time the decade and the century ended, Seattle’s population had doubled to 81,000.
*The Witwatersrand Gold Rush was a gold rush in 1886 that led to the establishment of Johannesburg, South Africa. There was once a massive inland lake, and its silt and gold deposits from alluvial gold that had settled there, formed the gold-rich deposits that South Africa is famous for.
It’s nice to see that the City of Seattle has applied new paint on some of the rainbow pedestrian crossings here on Capitol Hill.
I guess it’s too bad we cannot stop pedestrians and traffic from dirtying them up all over again, right?
Should a city such as Seattle with really expensive housing costs, adopt rent control* measures? Maybe, but probably not.
It usually turns out that rent control creates a whole new set of problems. Renowned economist Paul Krugman writes that rent control inhibits construction of new housing, creates bitter tenant–landlord relations, and in markets with not all apartments under rent control, causes an increase in rents for uncontrolled units.
A better approach for city councils could be to provide housing subsidies or tax credits to renters.
*Rent control or rent regulation is a system of laws, administered by a court or a public authority, which aim to ensure the affordability of housing and tenancies on the rental market for dwellings. [Source: Wikipedia]
I stopped for a moment on the way to the dentist this morning, to take a picture of the colorful rainbow flag at the entrance of the new Hyatt Regency. (June is Gay Pride month).
I found this wabbit* right here on 17th Avenue on Capitol Hill tonight. He was not too skittish. In fact, he rolled around for a bit in the flower bed dirt after he had spotted me.
*It’s an eastern cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus).
I see on the message boards that long-time residents think there is a bit of a rabbit invasion going on – an influx into Capitol Hill from other large green spaces such as the one around Husky Stadium.
Says one commenter: ‘Rabbits are a pest and an invasive species’. I think that is correct; they are prolific breeders.
‘People are an invasive species’ retorted another. I think that is a true statement as well.
A rose is a rose is a rose
– Gertrude Stein, from the 1913 poem ‘Sacred Emily’
[From Wikipedia] Among Stein’s most famous quotations, this line is often interpreted as meaning ‘things are what they are’, a statement of the law of identity, ‘A is A’. In Stein’s view, the sentence expresses the fact that simply using the name of a thing already invokes the imagery and emotions associated with it.
A whale was struck on Tuesday night by the same ferry we had been on earlier in the day. Eyewitnesses said that the whale had breached right in front of the ferry, barely 3 minutes after the ferry had left Colman Dock in Seattle. There really was nothing that could be done to avoid the collision.
It was a juvenile humpback whale that was struck, and the blow to the animal was likely fatal. The ferry is so large and heavy that the impact was barely felt on the vessel. The US Coast Guard is now on the lookout for the wounded or dead whale. As of Wednesday night, no sighting of the whale had been reported.
From KUOW.org: While the collision may have been a first in the records of Washington State Ferries, humpback whales are becoming more common in Puget Sound and the risk of future collisions with all manners of marine vessels is increasing. Since the late 1980s, humpback whale numbers have shown ‘a remarkable and strong recovery’, says research biologist and whale expert John Calambokidis at Olympia-based Cascadia Research. Their numbers increased more than four fold to approximately 3,000 along California, Oregon and Washington. Commercial whaling was outlawed in 1966.
We took the Kingston Fast Ferry out to Kitsap county today to go to Paul’s for a day or two.
It’s a new ferry service, in place since November 2018.