The character of old Seattle still graces the ambience of the Pioneer Square area of Seattle and along Western Avenue to the Pike Place Market.

The Smith Tower

The Smith Tower

The 42-floor Smith Tower was the tallest building on the West Coast when it was built in 1914.

The 42-floor Smith Tower was the tallest building on the West Coast when it was built in 1914.

Totem Pole in Pioneer Square

Totem Pole in Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square totem pole

Another totem pole by the Iron Pergola

Another totem pole by the Iron Pergola

Ink sketch of Pioneer Square totem pole

Iron Pergola, Pioneer Square

Iron Pergola, Pioneer Square

Vine-covered wall along Western Avenue

Vine-covered wall along Western Avenue

Man hole cover on Western Avenue

Man hole cover on Western Avenue

Along Western Ave

Busker with duct-taped accordion, Pike Place Market

Busker with duct-taped accordion, Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market

Sketch of rock fish

Sketch of rock fish

“Choice is the holy-making stuff of life.”
— Joan Chittister, Following the Path: The Search for a Life of Passion, Purpose, and Joy

“In a way, anyone who collects things in the privacy of his own home is a curator.  Simply choosing how to display your things, what pictures to hang where, and in which order your books belong, places you in the same category as a museum curator.”
— Brian Selznick, Wonderstruck

Accordions from Dale Chihuly’s personal collection hang from the ceiling in the cafe at Chihuly Garden and Glass.

Accordions and Chihuly’s paintings

The Cafe at Chihuly Garden and Glass holds its own as a place of interest.  Called the “Collections Cafe,” it showcases 28 of Dale Chihuly’s personal collections.  And what a varied array of collections it holds — accordions, clocks, lemon juicers, and more.  We had already seen parts of Chihuly’s personal collections of Native trade blankets, Native baskets, and Edward Curtis photographs in the Northwest Room of the glass exhibits.  But the collections in the cafe show another side of Chihuly — one wonders what the appeal of the objects had to Chihuly’s artistic eye.

I find it fascinating that Chihuly, a prolific and accomplished glass artist, is also an avid collector of — in many cases — quite ordinary, inexpensive objects.  Every collector is a curator, too, and his collections are another aspect of self-expression.  You can read more about Chihuly’s personal collections in this Seattle Times article.

In the Collections Cafe, most of Chihuly’s collections are cunningly displayed under glass table tops.  Quite ingenious!

Cafe table showcasing a collection of wooden toy furniture

This table displays an assortment of lemon juicers.

Cafe table with clock collection

 

 

 

 

University District Street Fair in Seattle

This is the weekend for the annual University District Street Fair in Seattle.  The “Ave” draws thousands of fair-goers who enjoy the street music, quality arts and crafts, and food, of course.  This event, more than Memorial Day, seems to signal the start of the summer season in Seattle.

Chocolate-dipped strawberries on skewers

Savoring a bite of chocolate and strawberry

Young street musician at the University District Street Fair

More street music

Music for many tastes -- even accordion

Vendor selling fairy wings

Colorful scarf stall

Lots of fair-goers bring their dogs

The University District Street Fair is the best place for people-watching.

Dressed for the fair

Another Man’s Treasure

September 19, 2009

Neighborhood Garage Sales in Greenwood

Neighborhood Garage Sales in Greenwood

Seeking bargains

Seeking bargains

My brother-in-law is always on the lookout for used accordions

My brother-in-law is always on the lookout for used accordions

Last Saturday was the annual neighborhood garage sale day sponsored by the Phinney Neighborhood Association.  For the past three years, my sister and brother-in-law have driven up from Oregon to attend this bargain festival.  This year the weather was perfect, sunny and warm, and there seemed to be more participants than ever.

I love going for the sense of community, the pleasure of seeking bargains, and the joy of finding an unexpected treasure amongst other people’s cast-offs.  It feeds my thrifty nature to reuse and recycle things that no longer fit in other people’s lives.  Truly, one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure.

This year my daughter asked me to be on the lookout for a coffee table and some pots and pans for her new apartment.  I am happy to report that I was able to find them for her at bargain prices.  I found it more fun to have a few things in mind to look for as we moved from sale to sale.

And for me, I happily purchased for a couple of dollars some matted frames to use with my photos, a handmade rag rug that fits perfectly in our guest bedroom, a red tablecloth, a pear-shaped cutting board, and some handmade pottery bowls.  I would never have purchased these things new, but I am so happy to be able to surround myself with such beautiful things for just pennies, and to give them new life in my home.

Handmade pottery bowls and other garage sale treasures

Handmade pottery bowls and other garage sale treasures

Matted picture frame that now showcases one of my photos

Matted picture frame that now showcases one of my photos

Blue rag rug for our guest bedroom

Blue rag rug for our guest bedroom

The Greenwood Garage Sale Day is definitely worth watching for.  I can hardly wait for next year’s sale.