Monday, April 27, 2015

There's plenty of evidence in the pool.

I find it intriguing when I make that chance discovery of coins in a fountain or pool. I’ll pause and gaze over their numbers and think, “Wouldn’t it be cool if you knew the represented wish of each coin.”

In ancient times wishing was an appeal to the invisible forces that surround us and just maybe they’d respond favorably if we made an offering. Nowadays, I wonder to whom we address when a wish is made.


Coins in a fountain at University Village, Seattle.

Myself, I rarely have any change in my pocket. Transactions with plastic are but a stream of electrons and always exact. But if I do, I can’t resist. I’ll make a wish and toss a few coins into the water, just in case.

I think we still have a connection with the invisible forces. There’s plenty of evidence in the pool.

#invisibleforces #wishingpool #wishingwell #makeawish #cointoss #superstition #uvillage #Seattle
There's plenty of evidence in the pool was originally published on the Activerain network.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Coming Home, at the University Village

I’ve posted about the University Village in Seattle several times. I draw a lot of inspiration from this urban village and my co-worker Barbie Van Horn and I teach a a really fun and engaging 3 clock hour social media marketing class here once a month titled: Mobile Communication Boot Camp, or #mobilecomcamp for short.



There’s always something new to discover here and I especially enjoy the public art. One of my favorite ensembles of cast Bronze sculptures is Coming Home (1995), by Georgia Gerber. I'm not sure exactly why I’m so attracted, but it strikes a chord in me as 'they' say. When I was growing up we were not far from rural and I had many opportunities to spend time on farms and ranches around the are with animals of all kinds.



I connect with this ‘artist's statement’ on the website bio: georgiagerber.com/bio

"I like my sculpture to invite an interaction with its audience. This is often meant to be a direct physical interaction, but always I strive to engage the viewer's imagination. I tend to present an incomplete visual narrative; a story is suggested, a feeling evoked, and the viewers find themselves providing details."

As a writer and one who loves photography and video, this so resonates with me. I so totally relate to 'the incomplete visual narrative' and 'evoking the viewer to provide details'. It's a primary driving force for me. I strive to create images and a context that invites the viewer to fill in the intentional blanks.

Georgia Gerber has many wonderful pieces and installations all over the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere...

More about Georgia Gerber and her art at: georiagerber.com and gallerymack.com

Coming Home, at the University Village was originally published on the Activerain Network.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Danke Schoen... Live Music is Best!

I swung by the Whistle Stop Ale House in old downtown Renton last Friday evening to see some long time friends. I got a birthday text from Dave on Wednesday with an invite, “Stop by and we’ll buy you a B’day drink. John and I and the guys will be playing from 6:00 to 8:30 pm. Should be fun!”

Normally by Friday evening I’m pretty played out and ready for some serious couch time. Like, “Yeah I crossed the finish line!”

So glad I chose to go. It was the Whistle Stop’s 20th anniversary celebration. Tonight’s configuration was the John Giuliani Quintet with John Giuliani on bass, Andy Mirkovich on accordion, Dave Hoskin on drums, Bruce Hall on clarinet and tenor sax, and Jeff Wilke on guitar. I say configuration because they play all over the area with many other musicians and put a band together to fit the occasion.

John Giuliani Quintet at the Whistlestop Ale House in Renton WA.

Left to Right... Jeff Wilke, David Hoskin, Bruce Hall, John Giuliani, Andy Mirkovich

These guys are solid pros and have been playing professionally for many years. It was such a joy this evening. They were playing standards from the 40’s 50’s and 60’s like Girl from Ipanema, Sentimental Journey, Take the A Train, Satin Doll, and Danke Schoen.

This is the stuff I was raised on and brings me right back to childhood and triggers many fond memories. Danke Schoen, by Bert kaempfert, was released in 1962. The big hit on this song was Wayne Newton in 1963. He was only 21 years old at the time. Brenda Lee and Connie Francis also had hits with this song in the 60's.

The German translation to English is: “thank you very much.”  What a wonderful treat and a great way to spend a Friday evening. 

Danke Schoen... Live Music is Best!

 

#Renton #LiveMusic #OldFriends #GrowingUp #PNW #SerendipitySundays

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Modern Convenience

Among a few fond memories I have of the later 1950’s (I was just a young'n then) is the advertising in magazines, newspapers and on television. We were all going to live a wonderful modern life with amazing products that would bring us every convenience.

We'd see the USA in a Chevrolet and take in the rugged west like a cowboy in Marlboro Country. If we didn’t feel so good we had Alka-Seltzer for speedy results and eased our tensions with Beech-Nut Gum, always a refreshing peppermint flavor. 

We paused for a refresher with Coca Cola, it's a natural! And ate Rowntree’s Fruit Gums, because they were long lasting and you can taste the fruit!

Van Heusen Century shirts never wrinkled, ever. We stayed regular with all-vegetable Nature’s Remedy, it made the difference! And Dad, always pleasant if Mom had a meal disaster, “Don’t worry darling, you didn’t burn the beer!" (Schlitz)

We jumped for joy with POST SUGAR CRISP and never forgot our vitamin-rich MILK, nourishing foods are the foundations for a STRONG AMERICA! And if there was any doubt at all, TIDE'S GOT WHAT WOMEN WANT! No soap, no other “suds” no other washing product known will get your wash as CLEAN as TIDE!

Rene washing dishes. (1956)

I’m cracking up this morning after a volley online with 1950’s advertising. I'm working on a paper about now and then. Life is looking so totally corny back then through today’s lense.

“Did people really live like that?”  No... Not really. But they (we) did buy a lot of those products and appliances and we did watch (and they weren't the reruns) of Leave it to Beaver, Disney, I Love Lucy, Gunsmoke and the Ed Sullivan Show.

The photo is me (at 6) washing dishes in 1956 with younger brother Steve looking on. We’re at home in the Renton Highlands, better known then as The Projects. It certainly wasn’t modern but looking back it was a convenience for Mom and Dad if I was participating in the domestic household process. Houserules dictated that started as early as possible. ;o)

Mom throughout our childhood quoted dear Auntie Mildred (her oldest sister) whom often said, “Many hands make the job small.” That still rings true. We all go forward better together. Real modern convenience equates to cooperation. It’s a human thing, not hardware or an app. Technology is our context, it doesn’t replace participation. It should create more opportunity for it.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Urbanian Ramble

I know I know I know... It’s the city. Get over it.

I live in urbania. Renton, Washington. I’m like 12 to 13 miles from downtown Seattle, depending on the route I take. Since Seattle is the center of our Puget Sound megalopolis, work often takes me to the city.

Albeit many of you live in more populous areas than I, regardless, I’m having my own little private Seattle moment about parking and related things this morning...

Okay... It’s a little bit of a rant.

I drive a 2007 Ford Explorer. I love this truck. It’s the best vehicle I’ve ever owned. It’s not too big, gets okay gas mileage, it’s in great shape, not too many miles (under 100k) and this one’s paid for!

Of all the miles I drive around the area and across this beautiful State of Washington, accept for 2, the only dings and minor scuffs it has are all from parking garages in the city.

Around these parts I’m not the only one that has a similar sized truck or SUV. In fact, many are larger. It’s a Northwest thing I guess. Like an urbanites mythical connection to the great outdoors and the wilderness from whence we came and conquered.

I didn’t buy one because I watch a lot of emotionally branded masculine lifestyle commercials. Nor do I need a tribal bond with the rugged suburban outdoorsy types who hoist and haul and dump huge loads of stuff by the ton.

Urbanian Ramble, Parking in Seattle. Seagull sitting on a parking sign.

Mine is an Eddie Bauer model, 'the gentleman’s truck'. :O) It’s the perfect size for car pooling with coworkers, clients and family, and I need easy accessible room for my briefcase, laptop, projector, tripods, a portable projection screen and a few boxes of printed handouts and odds and ends like powerstrips etc... Always prepared!

Anyway, I’m 5’ 4” and my Napoleon complex has been in remission for many years. I just like sitting up higher where I can see better. I can’t tell you how many times that saved my bacon driving the freeways around here on a rainy day. But I digress.

I have a theory... The newer the building, the smaller the parking spaces. I’ve lost count of the times I pulled into a parking garage and the only 2 or 3 stalls left are so small and situated I can’t navigate my way in. Or, if I can, there’s no room to open the driver door and with high back bucket seats (and not being in my 20’s anymore) there’s no option to crawl through to the back and exit via the tailgate. I tried. It ain’t possible.

So, time is allotted for prowling in hopes that someone will soon leave one of the very few unreserved larger stalls. Fortunately and most of the time I make out just fine. I have a special connection. Whenever I enter a parking garage I immediately start talking to the Parking Angel. I learned that one years ago from my Auntie Marjorie.

Meanwhile, I do contemplate a 2nd smaller car and the possibleness of an angel for dings.

Originally posted on the Activerain Real Estate Network. Urbanian Ramble

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Melrose Grill...

Back in 1901 an Englishman, Ben Atkinson, after a successful run in the Alaska Yukon gold fields, came to Renton, Washington and built the Melrose Hotel. It was a three story, sixty room hotel complete with saloon, billiards room, and a cafe in old downtown Renton, Washington. The Melrose was a favorite watering hole for locals, mostly coal miners and brick factory workers back in the day.

The place caught fire in 1928 and destroyed the hotel rooms, the two top floors. The first floor was salvaged and restored, in fact the original bar is still there. According to the registry, it is officially the oldest historic building still in use in Renton, WA.



Many familiar old Renton families have owned this building from one time or another through the years including the Dobson’s, Nattucici’s, Bertozzi’s, and the Barei’s. I remember this place as a kid back in the early 1970's. The tavern was then owned by local heavy weight boxing champion, Boone Kirkman.

In 1997 Armondo Pavone, Tim and Kimberly Searing, and Charles and Beverly Keeslar purchased the building and created the Melrose Grill in 2002.



This intimate little neighborhood steakhouse is still thriving and a jewel of Renton cuisine. It seats only 84 (and 10 at the bar) so you’ll want to make reservations. I’ve eaten here many times and it is consistently a great experience and meal.

I love walking into this place! Like time travel, you’re immediately transported to an era of good old fashioned small town charm and graciousness with a very Italian flavor. It’s one of a kind, not a chain. It’s a wonderful authentic old place in Renton that serves up the best steak in town.

This is the place I tell my good friends about and anyone who’s visiting the area that asks me, “Where’s the best place to eat here if you want a really good steak and/or several other over the top PacNW options like seafood.”

The Melrose Grill, Renton, Washington.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Lupines and Buttercups

Lupines and buttercups are blooming in Federal Way, Washington, May 26, 2014.
Thinking some warm thoughts on a wet rainy day... Spring time in Federal Way, Washington at the Weyerhaeuser HQ in a field of blooming Lupines with buttercups.