elements obscura

This was along a notoriously torturous waypath pounded out of skyward ground by hunters, to a high place which has been frozen, shattered and thawed into living ruins, leaving weak-kneed flower-sniffers like yours truly, shivering just so. It had me pondering my sanity bringing Adam up the brutal track but what boy or girl or them doesn’t like climbing onto the roof for a better look, that wonderful feeling of belonging where maybe one shouldn’t be?

May 2018 - Tyler Peak 264

This rainy morning over coffee with an old friend at La Marzocco (and KEXP’s studio) would find me by far the unhippest person in a several hundred foot radius. Nevertheless, innocently spying across the room I would observe a former mayor of the city, seated at a table with a companion associated heavily with Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. Back in the day, that mayor could be spotted on a fairly regular basis riding his bike around town for meetings, he also was among the staunchest, most vociferous political opponents of the downtown waterfront tunnel’s construction and so logically my thoughts were transported to Saturday morning when we would observe the final architecture of the Alaskan Way Viaduct (merely a four-legged tabletop of rebar-filled cement) being unceremoniously torn down. Because I’m fairly dedicated to the craft I was filled with that desperate impulse to jump out of the ferry waiting line in order to document the final day of the Viaduct right there across from Colman Dock but for once in a blue moon the boat had arrived on schedule and my entire family threatened me with grave consequences if I so much as stepped one toe out of the car so it was that when we returned home on Sunday, the Viaduct was no more.

15 thoughts on “elements obscura

    • Thanks! For quite a long time I favored very grayscale monochrome, liked pulling out a lot of values, didn’t have a good fundamental understanding of b/w. Still don’t, I’m really just the annoying Mynah bird in the apartment upstairs. But I think now I do lean toward the contrastier exposure so I’d like to imagine that’s what you might see. Thanks for weighing in. Been interesting seeing your pictures from around town past few months. And the trip pictures.

  1. Everyone’s into demolition – – nature is pulverizing the rocks and the DOT is busting up all that beautiful ’50’s concrete. Syracuse, NY is getting ready to tear out an old viaduct, too. I know some locals wanted a tunnel, but the state said they don’t rate $5 b. tunnel, I think they’re going to just have a big boulevard with trees. This is for I-81, which runs from the 1,000 Islands Bridge to…someplace south. A lot of Canadian traffic headed south to NYC, Wash. DC, etc. and in summer, Army/Nat’l Guard convoys headed north to Fort Drum, which is 100,000 acres of tanks, drones, etc. in case the Canadians are still sore about 1812. To me, bumping over the aqueduct always meant I was about an hour from home.

    • Hit a pretty bad pothole in Syracuse circa 1995 and my junky old car squeaked funny for the rest of the summer, stopped at Niagra Falls on the way home. Haven’t been through the tunnel here, it’s an unusually long one. I’ll grant you this, it’s awfully nice having the Viaduct gone, it was a certified brutalistic soul-squelching blight (everyone seems to agree it was fun to drive on, though). But I’ve got my fingers crossed because now there’s gonna be a multilane boulevard below and no matter how much lipstick and fescue the neo urbanists put on it there’ll still be plenty of belching, honking cars and trucks to frogger between the waterfront and downtown city streets above. Are you back from your trip?

  2. 1. I like how many of your pieces you just rush headlong straight into the re-telling of a particular story or adventure.
    2. That looks like an impressive view, high up enough to feel completely immersed in nature.
    3. I don’t why I’m using numbered bullet points today!

    • Well, that’s just funny because the hopeless but indefatigable list-maker in me rather enjoys your numbered, bulleted points. With regard to the headlong, straight on re-telling, I’m just thankful for those handful of patient friends like you who’ve come back often enough to see…….. that it all kind of goes together. Sort of.

      • That is quite ironic that you like lists, as your writing is towards the opposite end of the scale, ie far more spontaneous and unstructured (which I greatly enjoy).

        But then I’m similar, I love lists and stats and charts to get me organised, but when I’m writing it all tends to just tumble out. I don’t do a great deal of editing or rewriting for my blog posts.

  3. I might have to drive two hours to get on a ferry for an hour to go to Seattle and walk the waterfront for old time’s sake, some day next summer when we have those long long days. I wonder if it will be much quieter…Hope you and the fam are enjoying yourselves with plenty of adventuring TF.

    • If you’re ever field tripping this way and get lost while walking around or the keys get locked in the van and you’re waiting for AAA Washington to answer the 1-800 number and the ferry you were supposed to get on is pulling away and the old man is fuming because of a certain resigned comment you made about the keys which was only intended for levity and Cosmo has fallen asleep in the driver’s seat, let me know and I’ll come get you for a breather!

      • HA! You have been paying attention to how things go around here TF. Thank you for the offer and I will definitely keep it in mind. And yes, Cosmo always hops into the driver’s seat and gets really quite crabby when we ask him to vamoos.

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