Saturday, while we were BBQ’ing on the patio, we noticed a window in the hotel across the street was open. Then,a long wooden ‘pole’ extended out, at the tip a 6″ spike on which a small bunch of straw was attached. It slowly stretched out over the alley and,once over the edge of the apartment building next door,was inverted,allowing the straw to fall off. The pole was withdrawn back in through the hotel window and the entire sequence was repeated. Two more times. One of the bundles of hay fell into the alley, so, during a dog walk, I checked it out, unsure whether I’d find a severed hand or a hypodermic needle hidden inside the bundle, but it was only straw, knotted by twine.Who does something like this? And why?
Parklet: “A parklet is a small space serving as an extension of the sidewalk to provide amenities and green space for people using the street. It is typically the size of several parking spaces. Parklets typically extend out from the sidewalk at the level of the sidewalk to the width of the adjacent parking space.
Parklets are intended for people”—– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parklet
Originating in San Francisco and spreading throughout urban areas in the United States, these small, passive spaces are intended to foster a sense of community while taking up just a couple of street parking spaces. One recent study, in Philadelphia, found a daily use of 150 people in a space previously occupied by two cars.
This parklet is Seattle’s newest, up the street from our apartment in Lower Queen Anne. Sitting just outside the Uptown theater and a couple of restaurants, it may sea quite a bit of activity as the weather warms up, but walking past it the other day, as a bus zoomed by, my wife remarked, “I’m not sitting there.” We shall see if others feel the same way.
The El Nino weather system that is sending the Siberian Express rumbling through the Midwest and Southern United States and bringing Nor’easter to New York, Boston and the New England is also bringing unseasonable warm weather and clear skies to the Pacific Northwest. We have lived in Seattle for 3 of the past 4 years, with a year off in Shanghai, and this is the mildest winter of all. For my friends and family in the South, the Midwest and the Northeast, sorry. Come visit.
Last year, Melinda and I welcomed in the Chinese New Year (of the Horse) in Shanghai, China and the next day left for Hanoi, Vietnam where we celebrated Tet, the Vietnamese version of the lunar new year. Fast forward to 2015 and we took a break from work (Melinda) and birthday celebration (me) to make a trip to the International District, Seattle’s version of Chinatown. The dragon parade, kung fu demonstration, drivers ignoring the crosswalks and throngs of people waiting on restaurant lines and jamming the streets lent a slight flavor of our favorite Asian countries.