Thursday, September 24, 2015


We spent a day or two last week pondering options for an impromptu weekend, but settled on Vancouver. We found a reasonably affordable room (fortunately, everything in Canada is 30% off these days). We refreshed our list of highly recommended restaurants and M sent out a call on Facebook for more ideas.

Friday afternoon we drove up. It was pretty gray and wet all weekend, but that wasn't too much of a problem. The Subaru, the Canada Line, and all the places we went were waterproof - with just short patches of drizzle in between.

Our rooms were at the Sandman Signature in Richmond - we all used to routinely stay here before heading for Salt Spring so we could play in the pool with the big slide. Friday night we took the train into town and headed for Gastown. We checked out a couple of galleries of First Nations Art where I could lust after pieces by Susan Point (others, too). We checked out the beach at Crab Park. And then we had dinner at Cuchillo, which was really, really good.

We took the Canada Line back to Richmond and walked over the Night Market. Which was very, very different. Sort of a big Asian midway - although mainly booths, not rides. We were too stuffed to eat anything, although there were plenty of options (many quite strange, at least to us). And the merchandise definitely had sort of a corny asian theme - cell phone cases, tinted contact lenses, very cheap short socks with cartoon characters. We were able to leave without spending anything.

Saturday, we drove into town, had Belgian Waffles at Nero's on Robson, drove around a very wet Stanley Park and then checked out the downtown library (or at least the atrium, where M splurged at the used book sale, spending at least a couple of dollars (Canadian dollars) to buy several books. Then to Kitsilano and Comedy of Errors at Bard on the Beach. Which was really nicely done - and I loved the steam punk setting. We hung out at a coffee shop for a bit (for WiFi - our cell phones don't work in Canada) then had dinner at Maenam (Thai, also very good).

Sunday, we drove back into town again and had brunch at Twisted Fork on Granville. From there we went over to Canada Place to Fly Over Canada, which was fun, but would have been better had it been much longer!

And then we drove back to Seattle. And that was it.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

UW Tacoma

I love the way the UW Tacoma campus has built itself around the historic legacy of its neighborhood. This area along Pacific, across from the old Union Station, used to consist of light industrial facilities and warehousing. The buildings stair stepped up the hill, cross-crossed by the rail line that served them.

The University of Washington has remodeled many of the old buildings, turning the spaces into classrooms and offices and labs. They've left much of the old structure - the old beams, the windows, the brick facings - but added atriums and new materials and modern era utilities. And they've done a wonderful job with the spaces between the buildings, including the diagonal that follows the old tracks and a great terraced series of steps that mark the core route through campus.

Here's some photos from a few years ago, taken on the other side of Pacific down towards the Foss Waterway.

Tacoma: February 2011

Seattle Waterfront

I had been wanting to get out of the house, probably figuring I needed some distance between me and my little backyard landscaping project. And I'd been curious for a long time to see the progress on the new seawall. M was willing to join me and we spent an hour or two walking the waterfront with the tourists and the cruise ship crowd.

It's a real mess right now, since they're trying to replace the seawall out from under all the activity and the existing piers and buildings. But it's also fascinating seeing how they're doing this.  I admit it will be nice when it's done. And being done isn't just the seawall - it's the new boulevard and park that will emerge after the viaduct comes down (assuming Bertha can back to work digging her tunnel under downtown).