Sunday, August 13, 2017

Your Sunday Squirrel

This fellow is from over a month ago at Denny Park.  Funny thing, I've seen way more Douglas squirrels since then.  Compared to them, gray squirrels are paragons of calm and logic.


...sunflowers!  At my parents' house in Snohomish.

They Built This Across the Street

Well, the Whisky Bar has done it.  They've built this thing.  What do you call this?  An island?  I have no idea.  I imagine that they're going to populate the area with tables and chairs, thereby making everyone enclosed the target of semi-relentless panhandling.

If you've read any of my past experiences here, you'll know that the service is pretty lousy.  Based on that, then I predict that it will be even worse out here.

Shalom, Jewish Federation Building

Well, some bad stuff went down here a few years ago.  And now, the building's coming down.  There's no connection between the two events.  What we'll see here within the next year and a half is 38 stories of adult dorms.  There's a name for it. - maybe "live share" or something.  Any way you slice it, it sounds terrible.  As a person who treasures his solitude, this would drive me nuts.  To be funneled into clubs and activities in lieu of having any semblance of real life is a depressing prospect.  Since it's a Martin Selig building, you can count on big, ugly art in the lobby and common spaces.  In any case, this will be one of the tallest buildings in Belltown.  But not the tallest.  So there.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Your Sunday Squirrel

It's another Douglas squirrel!  Hooray!  You'll notice that the background is usually the same for these guys.  The only way to take pictures of them is to get catch them snacking.  I put out a lot of grub for them, the gray squirrels and the birds.  They hit the scene, each as much as they can hold, attack each other, chitter a ton and scurry to and fro.  This guy was uncharacteristically calm for a few seconds.  Then he turned into a maniac again.  

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Your Sunday Squirrel

This fellow is also from a few weeks back.  He and the looking-down squirrel are one and the same.  He was really quite photogenic.  And quite handsome for a rodent.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Your Sunday Squirrel

This is from a few weeks ago, when we were surrounded by a whole gang of squirrels who were getting along really well.  There was none of the usual growling, nipping and chasing that plagues most squirrel gatherings.  Of course, at my parents' place, it's very common for the Douglas squirrels to fight constantly.  How do they have little Douglas squirrels if they're so belligerent?  Maybe they're delivered by the squirrel stork or some such, which takes the pressure off developing social skills.  Anyhow, gray squirrels can be pretty pleasant at times and this was one of them.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Your Sunday Squirrel

This week at Denny Park: a squirrel goes up in a tree and looks down at me for a really long time.  And...
I explore the use of negative space with this guy.

The Fourth

Well, once again I ventured up to Edmonds to take in all the Fourth of July pageantry.  It's a tradition, so I find myself traditionally disappointed by the end.  This year was no exception.  They did have a few people-dressed-as-animals.  Above is a panda...
This guy's a raccoon...
And then, there's a zebra.  And that's all you get.  But there were other features worthy of note.
Here are the Star Wars nerds.  Yoda voice: A lot of fat jedi, there were.  Vader also tubby, he was.
And there was also the Lynnwood band.  They play most every year and I always note that they are a band that absolutely doesn't march.  Well, times have changed.  They have outgrown their flatbed, so some of them must march.  It doesn't affect their sound.  They haven't gotten any better - or worse.  I guess it's only a matter of time till either they all march or somebody builds a second tier and the flatbed turns into a double-decker bandstand.  Anything is possible!

There was more stuff in the parade, but I've documented so much of it in the past.  As far as the quality, this year was quite average.  There's a new-ish parade announcer and he's pretty good.  So now I have no reason to go to Edmonds until next year.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Your Sunday Squirrel

 Here is another shot from my jaunt to Denny Park last weekend.  This guy really liked his tree!
And again, my parents have lots of Douglas squirrels hanging around their house.  This is one of them.  Last night, he was about two feet away, snacking on sunflower seeds for about 20 minutes.  Then he skittered away to do other squirrel things.

That's How It Feels Sometimes...

This was by 7th & Blanchard.  Yeah, as density increases, parking gets more scarce.  Me, I've got a car again, which means that I have to pay for parking.  When I first moved to Belltown, I managed to make do with street parking for years.  There were ways to game the system.  Now there aren't.  You'd go broke paying for parking tickets, so it's much cheaper to rent yourself a space in some garage.  Mine is a bit of a walk away from my place, but it's relatively cheap and it has 24-hr. access.  It's kind of weird being a more-frequent driver in this town.  If anything, Seattleites have become more timid drivers in the past few years.  Everyone seems very unsure of themselves.  And when that happens, they tend to hit the brakes.  Which is the root of all traffic problems - along with people on their phones or just plain not paying attention.  

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Your Sunday Squirrel

Sorry for no recent posts.  Things have been happening and such.  That includes going out and taking pictures of squirrels.  The guys above are from Denny Park.  It's pretty rare to have two squirrels in close proximity without them attacking each other.  These guys were on pretty friendly terms.

I've been spending a fair amount of time up in Snohomish at my parents' place, and they have Douglas squirrels.  Three by my count.  OK, gray squirrels are wacky enough, but Douglas squirrels are really crazy.  They're really small and very territorial.  They fight all the time, even when food is abundant for all.  Yeah, they're crazy, but they're also very small and cute.  They're about half the size of a gray squirrel, about chipmunk-size, but they're not chipmunks.
Finally, this picture isn't mine; it's Beck's.  She likes squirrels, too.  She was in Denny Park recently and found this fellow wandering around.  It's a shot I wish I could have taken.  

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: