One night in Seattle Jeff's friend Evan came up and we went out to dinner at Salty's in West Seattle. First we went to a little park on a hill that overlooks the city. We noticed a rain shower moving in, that's it on the left of the top photo, and Jeff predicted we would see a rainbow.
He was wrong. We saw a double rainbow. It was incredible. The whole restaurant was abuzz. People were wedging themselves in between tables next to get next to the windows and take photos. There was even a guy taking flash photos on his SLR. I'm sure those turned out great! Both rainbows made a complete arc across the sky. Unfortunately my little camera and the building architecture didn't let me get a photo of that.
Speaking of great, professor, and probably all around swell person though I don't know her, Celina Su used a few of my photos in a short oral history video of Eddie Boros, the creator of the sadly missing East Village Toy Tower.
As long as I'm promoting myself, the Wall Street Journal recently used a photo of mine in a story on the future of the Corn Exchange Bank on 125th Street.
Ooh, this is neat. If you have an iPhone, iPhone Tracker lets you see the "secret" file on your phone that's been "spying" on where you've been. Here's the map of my trip to the Northwest. The big picture is sort of accurate but there's lots of spurious data. The sloping line north of Yakima makes no sense, nor does the cluster east of Salem, nor do the two smaller clusters north and south of Olympia.
This is the route I took on the trip. Pay attention because I'll be referring to it in later posts! Starting in Seattle I drove clockwise through the Cascades, down through central Washington and then the Columbia River to Portland. From Portland I headed southwest to Lincoln City and then drove northward along the coast on Highway 101. The excursion into the Olympic National Park was to see the Hoh Rainforest. After going around the top of Olympics I finally got off 101 and headed toward Port Townsend. From there it was a ferry to Whidby Island and I looped around until I got on I-5 and returned to Seattle. There was a bit of driving around Seattle as well, but that doesn't show up at this scale. The green names with the orange dots are where I stayed overnight.
In hindsight this was a lot of driving. The Yakima to Portland portion was especially long. I got a late start that day and I stopped more often than I anticipated. That's good in that I saw more than expected, but it slowed me down as I had to stay a second night in Portland. Had I any sense I would have also skipped Lincoln City and gone straight from Portland to Tillamook. However, there were two pictures I had to take in Lincoln City!
Being off schedule helped in one way. I got to spend more time in Aberdeen, which was interesting, and did not stay overnight in Forks, or even pass through it during twilight.
That was a good trip! I returned home late this afternoon after eight days of wandering around the frontwaters and backwaters of Washington and Oregon. The above photo is from the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park. It was one of the neatest places I've ever been to. More from Seattle to Prosser to Lincoln City and Forks and back to Seattle soon. First, though, I've got to go to sleep.
This is the view from my hotel room. I know I said I'd be away for a couple of weeks but I've got a few minutes and I have two elevator stories. Like the New York subway system this hotel has express and local elevators. The local only goes up to the 20th floor, while the express skips all the floors between 2 and 20. The floor I'm on is high enough to take the express.
With that in mind I walked around the corner this afternoon to see a woman waiting patiently for an express elevator. After a few seconds of observing her I did the obvious and pushed the call button. Soon an elevator appeared! I got in and she got in (I wasn't being ungentlemanly, I was in front of the door that opened) and she remarked that the elevators were really slow for express elevators. She had taken the local elevator but it only got her to the 20th floor and her room was on the 22nd. I didn't sense any awareness that she needed to push the button for the 22nd floor in order to get to that floor. She sure was glad her paper session wasn't until Friday because it might take her that long to figure out the elevators. As the elevator cruised past the 18th floor I hit 22. Who knows how long she might have stayed in there if I hadn't.
Story number two. Coming back from dinner I got in the elevator with a bunch of other people. One person said loudly "I can't tell if anyone pushed 23." I was next to the set of buttons on the right side of the door so I pushed 23. He thanked me by rhetorically asking "What's that old saying about some people making better doors than windows?" Seriously!
Come on, geographers, elevator skills aren't that difficult to master!
After brunch on the Upper West Side I took the train uptown this afternoon. All was quiet in the 103rd Street subway station.
I wasn't hungry, otherwise I might have gotten a bagel at Absolute Bagels, perhaps the best in the city. Then again, they only got a 'B' on their health inspection. Did you know that "appetizing" on the awning is a noun?
This Five Guys burger place opened a couple of weeks ago. I haven't tried it yet. Probably won't either. I went to the one at Bleecker and Carmine once and failed to see what all the hype is about. They are way too expensive for the quality of the food.
After not going to Absolute Bagels and studiously avoiding Five Guys, I did go into Book Culture. It is a very good bookstore with very few customers. I don't see how they've stayed in business all these years. They recently made free wifi available upstairs. I checked my email and skimmed through a couple of books.
Finally, I got a ginger bubble tea at TMagic and sat on the steps of Hogan Hall to admire the spring flowers. Jeff Sachs planted them himself! Or not.
The bubble tea was excellent. Instead of, or in addition to, steeping the ginger, they blended candied ginger into the drink, giving it a crystally zing.
All my errands done, it is time to leave for a couple of weeks. I regret that I won't be in town for the Hungarian Pastry Shop's 50th anniversary celebration.
I'm posting this picture because I don't think Jeff quite believed me when I told him there is going to be a "Taste of Nebraska" event in New York. Actually, I think we were hyperventilating with laughter when I said there would be Runza's, Valentino's pizza and UNL Dairy ice cream.
The Nebraska sweatshirt I bought last year would come in handy if I were to go! If only I could find a pair of red pants and a white belt to complete the outfit. Well, that and an ex-pat Nebraska woman to pay for my ticket as I'm not about to pay fifty bucks to eat a runza and talk Big Red football.
A few years ago I put up a bunch of photos from around Manhattanville, that little corner of West Harlem where Columbia was planning to build a new campus. Time and lawsuits have passed big swaths of the neighborhood have disappeared as the university starts preparing the site for construction. A big stretch of the Riverside Drive viaduct is visible for the first time in close to a century. I'm not sure when buildings will start to rise but the anticipated completion date for the first set of them is in 2015.
I'm running out of pictures to show and things to say here. Maybe I need to go somewhere lush and green.