Sunday, June 4, 2017

Your Sunday Squirrel

This isn't the greatest photo in the world, but I do like upside down squirrels.  The weird texture on his back is due to the light, plus I was using the zoom, so the resolution goes down.  He was nice enough to hold still, but not nice enough to let me get close.  There will be other upside down squirrels.  I hope they show up sometime soon.

Well, Of Course It Does...

In Snohomish County, this is front-page news.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Your Sunday Squirrel

It's a praying squirrel.  There is a Squirrel-Jesus after all!

A New Place!

Once upon a time, when a new coffee place opened up, there was a feeling to exhaustion, what with all the espresso carts and the proliferation of Starbucks and Tully's and SBCs.  Those days are long gone.  I'm not a coffee drinker, but if anybody wants to open up a cafe, more power to them.  One just opened across the street.  I still haven't been there, because for some strange reason, they don't open till late in the morning.  Anyhow, this place is called Navy Strength and it's located at 2nd & Wall.  They've been working on it for quite and while and it's still not open.  But it might be one day very soon.

UPDATE!  I was totally wrong.  Here are the facts: It's a bar and restaurant, owned by the same folks who run No Anchor next door.  It's open now.  Sorry for the bad reporting.  

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Your Sunday Squirrel

It's finally happened - Denny Park has reopened!  And the squirrels once again have to share the place with humans.  Do they mind?  Who knows?  But it's a great day for those who like to throw peanuts at tree rodents.
Here's an action shot.  Beck likes to have them venture up and take the peanut from her.  The squirrels are really hesitant to do this, but they do it anyway.  

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Your Sunday Squirrel

Here's another shot from last week's visit.  This is Secretive Squirrel.  He doesn't want you to know what he's doing, even though he's totally eating a peanut.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Your Sunday Squirrel

Well, yesterday proved to be a fine day for squirrels at the still-unfinished Denny Park.  We had a steady cast of about four.  And they were very hungry.  And also friendly and quite civil with each other.  Speaking of that, I saw two Douglas squirrels at my parents' house this morning.  They are much smaller than these guys.  They're also a great deal crazier.  Seriously, they seemed really keyed up about something; they were constantly fighting, chirping and flicking their tails.  It's weird to see such a small creature act so aggressively.  But still, they're quite cute.  

More Like This, Please

This is on the side of the former Shilla Restaurant at 8th & Denny.  Yes, technically not in Belltown, but that's unimportant.  If there was just more stuff like this around, I'd feel a lot better about things in general.

So Long, Hurricane

We all knew it was going to happen.  I mean, the Hurricane has been closed for over two years.  It was only a matter of time, right?  Well, now it's gone.  I dunno, I guess the feeling is one of relief that I won't be confronted with another image of a Seattle that has fallen by the wayside.  Don't get me wrong; the Hurricane was far from my favorite place and also, I'm all for progress, but still, it's kind of an ignominious end for the place.  After all, it was once the much-beloved Dog House.  And now it's nothing.  I'm sure that whatever is going up in that spot will have no character at all.  That's the thing - I'm all for progress by progress has no personality or context.  It's just there.  In ten or twenty years, when a national or international financial crisis empties out all these new buildings, that's when we'll start to see character emerge.  But not before then.  So rest in peace, Hurricane. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Your Sunday Squirrel

This is from last week - photographed through the chainlink fence around Denny Park.  Someday the park renovation will be finished.  And one day, people and squirrels will frolic together.

Bye-Bye, Bikes!

Last week, there were bikes here.  Now there are none.  All gone!  Well, it was a bad and expensive idea that just got worse and more expensive as it went along.  OK, so they were installed in the urban core where there were plenty of better options in a city with iffy weather.  I only saw tourists riding them and very few at that.  It was pointless.  And now it's gone after the city paid like $400,000 for it.  It could have worked in a place that has better planning, but Seattleites get stuff foisted on them because they have no vision of the future.  Anyhow, bikesharing was a novelty that spiraled out of control.  Yeesh, this ain't Copenhagen.  

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Your Sunday Squirrel

This guy is from today.  As you can see, work at Denny Park will never end.  And the whole park looks terrible.  It's one thing to make improvements, and another for the place to look improved.  In other news, I've been spending a few days each week at my parents' house in Snohomish, and thanks to generous applications of birdseed, not only have the birds returned, but the squirrels have, too.  There are a few grays and one that is almost definitely a Douglas.  Due to the high predator population (namely hawks), they're super-skittish.  Just handing them peanuts is out of the question.  But hey, at least they're making an appearance.  Nothing brings out the wildlife like free food.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Your Sunday Squirrel

This fellow is from a few weeks ago.  Work on Denny Park will never end, it seems.  I was at my parents' place today and I saw either a Douglas squirrel or a young fox squirrel.  I can't tell which, but it was intriguing.  The guy above is an Eastern gray.  They're very nice, too.

So Long, Clever Bottle

I'm a fan of Marcus Johnson's establishments.  I think he's done great things with the places he has.  Now just when he's poised to become the downmarket Tom Douglas of 2nd Ave, one piece pops out of place.  I've been to the CB a number of times and it was always good.  And also affordable.  I'm sorry to see it go.

It Was One Year Ago...

...that Mama's closed.  Yes, there's another incarnation in its place, but it doesn't compare.  The old place was relaxed, cheap and welcoming.  The new place is the opposite of all that.  I paid a commemorative visit last Friday and found the food to be improved over the last time, but alas, the service was surly and indifferent.  And just to keep beating this dead horse - I had to pay the mandatory 20% gratuity for that.  I always feel ripped off.  Every time I go in there, it seems that the entire wait staff is new.  Again, the opposite was true with the old place.  The same people worked there for years.  If somebody quit, it was a big deal.  I had lunch at El Tapatio in Snohomish today, and this is what it looked like:
Yeah, inauthentic as all get-out, but delicious and satisfying.  Plus, check out that plate!  I miss Mama's.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Your Sunday Squirrel

I went to Denny Park last weekend and, success!  There were quite a few squirrels around.  They weren't overly friendly, but I imagine that their nerves are frazzled from months of listening to heavy equipment.  The improvements continue and no apparent end is in sight.  I will wait and hope.

So Long, US Bank Building

Take a last look, because it's comin' down.  This was a strange place.  It was like somebody's idea of the bank-of-the-future circa the mid-sixties.  The place had an escalator (and also a weird smell).  I would generally get my laundry change there, because for years it was about the only bank in Belltown.  I know that can't be right, but it sure seemed like it.  Anyhow, it's on the way out; to be replace with something much larger.  It is the way of things.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Your Sunday Squirrel

OK, Denny Park is still closed.  God only knows when it will reopen.  Even though there's work going on, the squirrels still abide.  We swung past there yesterday and the place was squirrel central.  We pretty much lost count of all the rodents who came and went.  So the guy above didn't bite anybody.  It looks like it, but in truth, squirrels don't get nippy when it comes to peanuts.  They're nippy with each each, yes, but not with food.  This fellow was quite pleasant.  
See? Very polite.

And also I took these two photos:

Not Closed. Oh, No. Don't Even Think That.

I walked by the Bell and Whete a few days ago and noticed a change.  It was closed.  There was a note on the door, detailing how it wasn't closed, but remodeling and "refocusing its emphasis" or something of that sort.  It's due to reopen in the spring.  All I can tell you is that I've been there once and was charged a total of $40 for four very ordinary local beers - and these were happy hour prices.  This included the mandatory 20% gratuity.  Anyone who has read this crappy blog knows how opposed I am to that practice.  I'm all for paying employees a living wage, but tacking a 20% surcharge (and slapping sales tax on that) is gouging.  Since the same operation runs Local 360 and the new Mama's, you get hit up the same way.  Here's the thing: it's not up to me to pay employees $15 an hour.  It's up to the employer.  Those costs need to be built into the prices and not piled on top as surcharges.  Otherwise, it's gouging, plain and simple.  It's not fair treatment to a customer to be automatically charged 20% more than the price listed.  Now, when I was there at the Bell and Whete, the service was fine.  But I also want that to be my decision.  I generally tip 15-20% anyway, but I want to make that my choice.  If the waitperson is inattentive, if they screw up the order or if the food is bad, I want that reflected in the tip.  The last time I was at Mama's (let's be clear - the new one), I had just about the worst burrito in my life - bland, tasteless, and almost cold.  The service was slow and indifferent, but I had to pay the mandatory charge anyway.  Yeah, I felt completely ripped off.

OK, so the Bell and Whete has been around since 2014 and now it's retooling.  My guess is that I'm not the only one who thinks this whole surcharge business sucks.  I'm making it a goal not to patronize any place with that policy.  Maybe another reason for this rethink is that lots of people, myself included, like to go to a place, have a few beers, order an appetizer or two without having to take out a second mortgage.  I just got the feeling when I was there that the same experience could be had either up or down the street for much cheaper and without the feeling of being gouged.    


I was walking home a few weeks ago and captured this at 3rd & Pike.  Even my camera is all freaked out by how bright it is.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Your Sunday Squirrel

It's a new year, which means a new squirrel calendar.  This is Mr. January.  Denny Park is still closed, so we'll still be dredging through the archives.  I did, however, find something squirrel-related that was worth photographing.  Here it is:
This is right outside of the College Inn, so it's definitely not in Belltown.

Outside the Croc

Sometimes there's good stuff on the outside of the Crocodile, sometimes it's just a dumb ad.  This is kind of in between.  Apparently, love is the answer.  But really, what's the question?  And what's with this indian chief as an angel?  And what does the skyline of Seattle have to do with it?  Yeah, a bit strange, but it isn't poorly executed.

Happy New Year!