Tag Archives: Seattle

bicycle prayer wheel

Riding a bike can be meditative. The rhythmic revolution of each pedal stroke and steady breathing can help clear your mind and put you in the present.

It feels natural then to make a short pilgrimage to the bicycle prayer wheel in Nord Alley. The wheel is mounted outside Back Alley Bike Repair and is available 24/7 for spinning prayers and good thoughts.

Mother Nature forces us to take a break from work and politics

snow-day

Today Mother Nature gave us a snow day in Seattle. It was a much needed respite from the political havoc that has descended upon this nation since the transition to a Republican administration.

snowmanFor at least a few hours, many Seattleites opted to shun news, social media and work to play in the snow. Instead of turning on the morning news programs, we walked through neighborhoods blanketed with snow. We tuned out the tweets in favor of building snowmen. We took a day off work to sled with our kids.

For those who eschew winter, the snow day was a perfect time to ignore current events and cozy up to a fire. We used the down time to catch up on some reading or finish a knitting project. It was a chance to watch a movie that we added to our Netflix list months ago.

Thanks, Mother Nature. We really needed this break today. Tomorrow will be a new day.

snow-day-2

 

There was enough blue sky on Sunday afternoon to knit a cat a pair of britches, so I embraced the day with a bike ride through nearby neighborhoods. I pedaled through South Park and Georgetown, where I made a stop at Oxbow Park.

Nestled in the residential part of the neighborhood, Oxbow Park is home to Georgetown’s P-Patch and the iconic Hat ‘n Boots. The larger-than-life cowboy hat and boots were originally part of an old 1950s gas station until the business closed its doors in 1988. The Georgetown community rallied to rescue Hat ‘n Boots from the wrecking ball and, in 2003, the historic icons were moved to their present day home in Oxbow Park.

More info about the history of Hat ‘n Boots can found on History Link.

The Aimless Bike Ride

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We live in a society that values productivity and achieving goals.  Work hard, play hard. Worthy attainments, yes. But sometimes overrated in my opinion.

My idea of a full and productive life includes ample amounts of unplanned time. This free time allows me to be spontaneous in joining friends at the last minute for an activity, or it’s a time to chill, or it can be used to wander and wonder.

I frequently opt to wander and wonder. These aimless rambles are on foot or by bike, and are often in my neighborhood or an easy bus ride away. They typically involve exploring streets, paths and alleys in search of the interesting, unusual, odd or beautiful gem. And they always include a pause to take in my surroundings, reflect, and wonder.

I went on an aimless bike ride on Sunday, rolling down the hill to a waterfront park. To my surprise, it was low tide–reason enough to pause, sit, and take in the Puget Sound views. Continue reading

Alki low tide (2)

You can usually find me in the mountains on a warm sunny weekend, but not this past one. Home projects kept me in town. I took a break from house painting Sunday afternoon to explore Alki beach at low tide.

Sunday’s low tide at Alki was -3.2 feet, making it possible to walk around the lighthouse point, peek into tide pools and discover aquatic gems usually hidden by Puget Sound waters. It’s a reminder that some of the best things in life are right in my neighborhood.

West Seattle Community Garage Sale

West Seattle Community Yard Sale signPeople hold garage and yard sales all the time. But what happens when an entire community holds one? It becomes an event.

This certainly holds true for the West Seattle Community Garage Sale. What started as a community project with 100 or so coordinated garage and yard sales in 2005 has evolved into a 2016 event that featured 320+ registered sales scattered across the peninsula. At least 18 of those sales were benefit/fundraisers.

What do the rest of us do? We hit the garage sales! Continue reading

Pioneer Square Alley Exploration

Many folks retreat to the indoors when it is raining. I decided to embrace the wetness on this rainy day and head outside for some urban exploration. My destination: Pioneer Square.

This Tlingit totem pole stands in Pioneer Square.

Seattle’s oldest neighborhood, Pioneer Square is rich in history, culture and quirky haunts. A Tlingit totem pole, a waterfall and the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park are an easy walk of each other. Art galleries and restaurants share the neighborhood with high tech start ups and homeless shelters.

I like Pioneer Square because of its people-friendly design and public spaces. Streets tend to be narrow so traffic moves slowly, making it perfect for pedestrians and bicyclists. Parks and public squares invite you to sit, linger, and engage with the neighborhood.

Nord-Alley-bikesSince it’s a drippy day, I don’t spend much time sitting. Instead I explore this oldest part of Seattle by wandering its streets and alleys. The Pioneer Square community believes alleys are more than a place to stash trash. They promote alleys as people space.

The Alley Network Project helped Pioneer Square citizens and businesses activate the alleys as people space. Boarded up doors and windows were opened up and used again. Plant baskets, artwork and lights were installed. Instead of dark, creepy passageways to be avoided, the alleys were inviting people to use them.

So I explored them. I walked through an alley delighted to see an open doorway, hanging plants, and bikes. More importantly, I wasn’t the only person using the alley. On this wet day, as I photographed the alley environment as it was reflected in a puddle, I captured this mystery woman in a beautiful red coat as she dashed by.

alley-red-reflection

What are the alleys in your community like? Are they active spaces that welcome people?