Seattle Space Needle viewed from Kerry Park

Seattle Space Needle viewed from Kerry Park

The Space Needle, built for the 1962 World’s Fair, is still one of Seattle’s icons.  I didn’t intend to have this image dominate my sightseeing spree around the city with my sister and her husband, but once I noticed its reflection in the glass creations in the gardens of Chihuly Garden and Glass, I was captivated by its presence.  Here are 14 photos of the Space Needle out and about Seattle:

Space Needle from the glass house at Chihuly Garden and Glass

Space Needle from the glass house at Chihuly Garden and Glass











Space Needle from the fountain at the Seattle Center

Space Needle from the fountain at the Seattle Center

Space Needle from Calder's Eagle at the Olympic Sculpture Park

Space Needle from Calder’s Eagle at the Olympic Sculpture Park



Echo by Jaume Plensa, Olympic Sculpture Park

Echo by Jaume Plensa, Olympic Sculpture Park

This 46-foot sculpted head called “Echo” by Jaume Plensa is the newest addition to Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park.  From a distance it made me laugh because it reminded me of the coneheads from Saturday Night Live. But up close, it looked more Buddha-like with its meditative expression, eyes closed.  Calming even in its immensity.






Thinking about heads reminded me of this poem:

by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!


Richard Serra's Inside Out at the Gagosian Gallery

Richard Serra’s Inside Out at the Gagosian Gallery

I am familiar with Richard Serra because he has a sculpture, The Wave, at the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle.



And when I was at Storm King Art Center, I saw his Schunnemunk Fork.


So I was delighted to learn that the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea was showing another of Serra’s massive steel sculptures.  Called Inside Out, you felt invited to follow its curves like a maze, albeit a short one.  Standing in the narrow gap between the high walls was similar to being in a slot canyon.  I loved this.

Richard Serra's Inside Out

Richard Serra’s Inside Out






You can read more about this piece and more of Serra’s work here.

“I have come to the hill to see the sun go down, to recover sanity, and to put myself again in relation with Nature.”
— Henry David Thoreau, from The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, Vol. 6, June 5, 1857

Sunset over the Olympic Mountains from Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle

Sunset over the Olympic Mountains from Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle

It is a challenge for me to stay connected with Nature while living my day-to-day life in a big city.  Most often I am indoors under artificial light at sunset.  I have to make a special effort to be mindful of the setting sun and go outside at this time of the evening.

I did recently watch the sunset from Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle.  It is situated on the waterfront overlooking Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains.  Ferries plied the water.  Seagulls frolicked in the air.  The only thing missing was clouds, which would have made the sunset more dramatic.  I must be a true Seattleite to be missing clouds!

“A sky without clouds is a meadow without flowers, a sea without sails.”
— Henry David Thoreau, from The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, Vol. 6, June 24, 1840

Space Needle at sunset, viewed from Olympic Sculpture Park

Space Needle at sunset, viewed from Olympic Sculpture Park

Louise Bourgeois's sculpture, Father and Son

Louise Bourgeois’s sculpture, Father and Son



Sunset at the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park

Sunset at the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park


Cloud Cover

March 6, 2013

"Cloud Cover" by Teresita Fernandez, Seattle's Olympic Sculpture Park

“Cloud Cover” by Teresita Fernandez, Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park

I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
In their noonday dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
The sweet buds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother’s breast,
As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under,
And then again I dissolve it in rain,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.”
— Percy Bysshe Shelley, from “The Cloud”

We have so much natural cloud cover in Seattle, it seems fitting that one of the installations at Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park is called “Cloud Cover,” a walkway with laminated and colored glass.  I like the overlay of images as I take in the views through the colored panels.  The shifting light offers different views of our urban scene.

"Cloud Cover" with Spaceneedle

“Cloud Cover” with Spaceneedle

"Cloud Cover" with Seattle's Big Wheel

“Cloud Cover” with Seattle’s Big Wheel

Apartment building through "Cloud Cover"

Apartment building through “Cloud Cover”

Olympic Sculpture Park, Space Needle with Calder’s Eagle

My siblings are a far-flung bunch, and I always enjoy their rare visits to Seattle.  Out-of-town guests give me an excuse to play tourist in my home town and to re-visit my favorite places. It’s no surprise that I’ve blogged about most of these excursions already (links to past posts included below).

Here’s a list of things I did with my sister and brother-in-law — what else would you have included?

Watching the sunset from Golden Gardens beach

Flowers at the Pike Place Market

Busker outside the original Starbucks store in the Pike Place Market

  • Savor the flavors of the Pacific Northwest.  We enjoyed lattes from Zoka’s Coffee Shop, salmon, steamed clams, fresh peaches and cherries from the Olympia Farmer’s Market, dinner at the Green Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant, Fran’s chocolate Gold Bars and truffles, homemade blackberry pie, and pizza at Tom Douglas’s Serious Pie (among other things).

Morning lattes from my neighborhood Zoka’s

The Earth Laughs

July 30, 2012

“The Earth laughs in Flowers.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wildflowers on the hillside, Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle

Lupine and other wildflowers

Bird (robin?) on a tree at the Olympic Sculpture Park


The hillside at the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle is a delight of blooming wildflowers.  The groundskeepers there have mowed paths so that you can stroll on the tilted terrain overlooking Elliott Bay.  I can’t decide which I like better, the natural view or the impressive sculptures.

The blue-ribbon days of summer!

Hydrangeas in blues and purples

A bush of blue hydrangeas

Garden art: blue plate in a garden gate

I love the blue stems of sea holly


Nothing but blue skies (Just kidding — this is Seattle, after all!)

Chihuly Garden and Glass sculpture brings this quote to life: “There is no blue without yellow and without orange.” (Vincent Van Gogh)

Blue window trim, Post Alley


Sweet blueberries, just picked

Sandra Cintro’s Encontro das Aguas (Encounters with Water) at the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle

“Orange is red brought nearer to humanity by yellow.”
— Kandinsky

Orange lilies



Striped umbrella, outdoor dining

Orange calendula

Orange poppy

Honeysuckle in oranges and pinks

More reddish-orange lilies

And yet another photo of a lily

Salmon filets, Pike Place Fish Market

Fishmonger from Pike Place Fish Market shows a young man a fresh Dungeness crab

Dahlias, Pike Place Market

The Space Needle (painted orange for the 50th anniversary of Seattle’s World Fair) seen beneath Calder’s Eagle, Olympic Sculpture Park






May your summer be filled with red letter days!

Lucifer crocosmia

Two pots of strikingly red geraniums brighten this yard.

Hummingbird feeder, no hummers

Ethereal poppy

Boat rentals at Green Lake

Ubiquitous red stop signs

Rainier cherries, Pike Place Market

Raspberries, Pike Place Market

Fire engine red

Red chairs in the pavilion at Olympic Sculpture Park, with “Encounters with Water” wall art

The Seattle signature (muted) wardrobe brightened by a red beach bucket