Friday, April 27, 2012

Victor Steinbrueck Park

Victor Steinbrueck Park April 2011

Victor Steinbrueck Park April 2011

Victor Steinbrueck Park April 2011

Pike Place Market & Downtown Seattle from Victor Steinbrueck Park April 2011

Victor Steinbrueck Park April 2011

Victor Steinbrueck Park, Alaskan Way Viaduct April 2011

Victor Steinbrueck Park isn't a very large park.  But there are very few parks in Downtown Seattle.  This is the only park in the Pike Place Market.  Here you can hang out with market regulars &, during the summer, hordes of tourists, especially when the cruise ships are in town.  There are places to sit at tables in the sun, which you might find in summer.  There are also sheltered benches, if you encounter rain.  There are excellent views of the market, Downtown Seattle, Elliott Bay & Puget Sound.  On a clear day, the Olympic Mountains are stunning.  Let me warn you that an easy way to annoy a native Seattleite is to ask for directions to Pike's Market.  While we've all heard this said, we are often inclined to answer that there is no such place.  The Pike Place Market is named for Pike Place (an extension of Pike Street) which runs through the market.  Pike Street was named for Seattle pioneer John Pike.  It bears no relation to Pike's Peak in Colorado.  But perhaps that peak is the source of confusion among tourists about the name of the market.

Victor Steinbrueck was a well-known advocate of historic preservation. A University of Washington alumnus & architecture professor, he opposed the city's redevelopment plans for the Pike Place Market & helped to establish the city's Pioneer Square Historical District during the 1960s. Steinbrueck's sketches of the market & other Seattle scenes appeared in his books Seattle Cityscape (1962) Market Sketchbook (1968) and Seattle Cityscape II (1973). Steinbrueck's work to save the Pike Place Market came in response to the city's plans to tear it down, along with other nearby structures. In response, Friends of the Market was formed in 1964, led by Steinbrueck. Their campaign resulted in a successful ballot initiative in 1971 which established a seven-acre Pike Place Market Historical District, saving it from demolition, & formed a commission to oversee it, on which Steinbrueck served.

Friday, April 13, 2012

March in Seattle

Ribes sanguineum March 2012

Hepatica americana March 2012

Pulmonaria longifolia 'Bertram Anderson' March 2012

Hacquettia epipactis  March 2012

Helleborus lividus March 2012

March 2012 was colder & much wetter than normal.  The mean temperature was 43.1F/6.2C.  The normal mean temperature is 46.5F/8.1C.  The highest temperature was 60F/15.6C, the lowest 29F/-1.7C.  Total precipitation was 7.2 inches.  Normal precipitation is 3.72 inches.  There was 0.9 inch of snow.  There was 1 day with heavy rain, 9 days with rain, 24 days with light rain, 1 day with heavy snow, 2 days with snow, 4 days with light snow, 1 day with sleet, 19 days with fog, 23 cloudy days, 7 partly cloudy days & 1 fair day.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Xardín da Terraza Abandonada (Garden of the Abandoned Balcony)

 Xardín da Terraza Abandonada March 2012

I saw this abandoned apartment building in the Casco Vello de Vigo, Galiza.  Plants had spread from their pots to root on the floors of every balcony & into the many cracks of the facade to create a vertical garden of melancholy charm.  Although barely visible,  the containers were in place.  There are a number of abandoned buildings in the old city of Vigo.  But none other has been left in this condition.  I wonder what circumstances caused the residents to leave their potted plants behind.

Vin este edificio abandonado no Casco Vello de Vigo, Galiza. As plantas se espallou a partir dos seus vasos de enraizada nos pisos de cada terraza e nas moitas fendas do muro para crear un xardín vertical de encanto melancólico. Aínda que pouco visible, os vasos estaban no lugar. Hai unha serie de edificios abandonados na cidade vella de Vigo. Pero ningún outro se deixou nesta condición. Eu me pregunta o que fixo que as circunstancias os veciños a deixar os seus vasos de plantas para tras.

The second paragraph is a translation into Galego (Galician), an official language of Galiza (Galicia), along with Castellano (Spanish), and the first language of  local government.  There are 3 million speakers of Galego.