Looking down the sidewalk in front of my house this morning

Looking down the sidewalk in front of my house this morning

I carried my camera with me as I ran some last-minute errands this morning.  I wasn’t planning on doing another post today, but I want to show you what I am leaving behind for one month.  (Am I crazy for taking a vacation in April when it is so beautiful here??)  I’m consoling myself, knowing I can look back at this blog post from the road whenever I feel homesick.

 

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Venerable old trees line Memorial Way on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.

The tree takes precedence over the sidewalk right-of-way.

How can you not love the planners at the University of Washington who saved a giant tree by making the sidewalk go around it?

 

Maple leaves glowing in the morning light

I checked on my “adopted” maple trees this morning.  The maple leaves are getting larger, and the trees’ flowers are dropping and littering the sidewalks like green snow.  I love the dappled green light under the trees.

Sidewalks and streets littered with fallen maple flowers

Maple in late April, with new leaves and flowers

A bit of a mess for the cars parked underneath!

Fallen flowers from maple tree at curbside

Fallen maple flowers with focal zoom effect

Dappled light

 

“Cities have always offered anonymity, variety, and conjunction, qualities best basked in by walking:  one does not have to go into the bakery or the fortune-teller’s, only to know that one might.  A city always contains more than any inhabitant can know, and a great city always makes the unknown and the possible spurs to the imagination.”
— Rebecca Solnit, A History of Walking

Today I attended a workshop at the Seattle Public Library downtown, and I decided I would walk from my house.  It’s only 5-1/2 miles, but I had never before walked downtown to work.  I chose a direct route down Eastlake Avenue, which parallels the east shore of Lake Union.  The street does not run right along the water, but I got brief views at each intersection, where I could see down to the lake.  It was a clear, sunny day, but I walked on the shady side of the street and did not get too hot.

Here are some of the things I saw along the way:

Crossing I-5 on 45th Street NE. Heavy traffic going into downtown.

On clear days, Mount Rainier dominates the horizon.

Statue of Sadako and the thousand origami cranes near the University Bridge

After crossing the University Bridge, I could smell fresh bread from this bakery.

Rolled croissants, ready to rise

Fresh baguettes, Le Fournil Bakery

I kept passing these sidewalk plaques on Eastlake Ave E. They showed various microorganisms native to Lake Union. I learned later that they are the creation of artist Stacy Levy.

"The Vessel" by Ed Carpenter, a sculpture at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, South Lake Union

Reflections on the sidewalk from The Vessel sculpture

One of the figures from Akio Takamon's "Three Women" sculpture outside Whole Foods Market, South Lake Union

I arrived downtown after walking two hours.  I had an hour before my workshop started, so I decided to check out the Chihuly glass installations in public locations in downtown Seattle.

Persian glass installation by Dale Chihuly, on the mezzanine of the City Centre building on 5th Avenue

Detail from glass installation at City Centre

An installation of Flower Forms in the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel

Detail of Chihuly's Flower Forms, Sheraton Hotel

One of two glass chandeliers by Dale Chihuly in Benaroya Hall

"Crystal Cascade" chandelier by Dale Chihuly

Detail of glass chandelier at Benaroya Hall

All too soon, it was time to report to work at the library.

Seattle Public Library, Central Branch downtown Seattle, designed by Rem Koolhaas

Interior, Seattle Public Library

Escalator, Seattle Public Library

Another escalator, Seattle Public Library