Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I usually keep this blog focused on life in and around West-Park Church. But having spent a long weekend in Seattle, Washington, I’ll share a few reflections....

  • I’ve always appreciated Seattle from my first visit in the ’80’s through my visits over these last four years to my son Nate in college there. The very first time I looked out on the sound, coolness of the air, the smell of salt, the Olympic Mountains seemingly rising out of the water to the west, a feeling of openness, like you could get on a boat and wind up north to Alaska or all the way across the Pacific.
  •   There’s something about the homeless population in Seattle. Somehow sketchier, more beaten down, desperate, drugged... Different than the homeless people I encounter in New York City, on the steps of West-Park. Why? The only thought I’ve had is that this is the edge, the end of the continent, when you’ve finally arrived here, there’s no further place to go.  Nothing but the vast expanse of the Pacific beyond.
  • The Pike Street Market gets it right. Fresh fish, produce, stands surrounded by artists, craftspeople, artisans of food and wine...all local, all from Washington. It’s what the South Street Seaport should have been...Who would trade handcrafted jewelry or artisanal cheese or pasta for Ann Taylor, Abercrombie and Fitch, the Sunglass Hut...?
  • Never before noticed the wide variety of art deco architecture in Seattle, not only downtown but in houses and apartment buildings on the lushly shaded streets of Capitol Hill, the classic Northwest Deco of the Seattle Art Museum with its Native American motifs
  • And something familiar in the Richardsonian Romanesque Revival red and stone exterior of 700 First Avenue, just like West-Park....
  • What other city has statues of Jimi Hendrix and Lenin?  
  • The Pacific Islander culture has become part of life here, like Latinos in New York. Little places like the home base of the food cart Marinations serving up Mex-Hawaiian- Korean fusion like Aloha pork kimchi tacos...
  • So many Pacific Islanders at Seattle U that celebratory leis have become part of the graduation tradition. The best handmade by families the night before, made to share with friends, fresh and fragrant, one after the other circling the necks of the graduates....
  • I remember the Museo Nacional  de Antropologia in Mexico City with its mural of a band of Asian people just having crossed the Bering Strait staring out in wonder  at a continent opening before them. The first American immigrants. Maybe something in the DNA that drew those first adventurers here continues to draw people to cross oceans  today...
Grads and leis

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