Thursday, October 28, 2010

A global beginning to the day

It's a beautiful day!  Had to climb up and see Seattle.  
Simone is learning to read and particularly likes to do some of her reading homework in the globe.

And enjoy be tickled by Hope. (My good friend Hope visited us on Sept 25th.
It was lots of fun...I am just now catching up with blogging!) 

The view is always a rush.

My wee sherpa Simone offers to bring us breakfast provisions.  No easy feat but she is quite the facile climber.  She fills up a backpack with bubbly water, crackers and cheese so that Hope and I can hang out a bit longer.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Naomi's KOMO tour of the Tower or it ended up on the cutting room floor

This KOMO news piece turned out well but what is funny is that I mentioned ACT Theatre dozens of times. Wove ACT into whatever they asked about. "Yes, I DO love living downtown, especially because I can, spur of the moment, catch innovative theatre at ACT with my cool ACT Pass.

I really AM eager to see the play Lieutenant of Inishmore and so of course I mentioned that during the KOMO interview as well as the Pinter Forthnightly series and Lady with all the Answers (Ann Landers) that are both finishing up next week.  

Hmm.  Was I too obvious?  Somehow, all those mentions ended up on the cutting room floor.  (So to speak.)  A friend of mine had a great suggestion, he said, "Next time write ACT Theatre or ACT Pass on your forehead.  They are bound to ask about that?"

By the way, the ACT Pass is a monthly program.  You pay $20 or $25 per month depending upon your age and you can go to as many plays as you want and bring guests for greatly reduced rates.  ACT Theatre is the first theater in the country to present such an option and partly that is because there are four stages in the building and a huge amount to see including the Mainstage play series, the InterACTions lectures series, the Caught in the ACT series of screenplay readings from the Film School, New Works for the America Stage, dance performances, The Central Heating Lab productions, the Moisture festival, RAWStock short film festival and of  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Art is never chaste.

"Art is never chaste. It ought to be forbidden to ignorant innocents, never allowed into contact with those not sufficiently prepared. Yes, art is dangerous. Where it is chaste, it is not art." 
Pablo Picasso

Loved the exhibition at SAM.  It is up till January 17th,  2011. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

115 "area ways" below the streets of Pioneer Square

After school the girls like to play in front of the building for a while.  
It's our "porch"and on sunny days it is a fun place to hang out.  
Naomi showing her latest breakdancing moves on the sidewalk.  Note the little glass squares.
Typically we get out the bikes, chalk and a few toys and hang for awhile.  Today we had the giant poly pocket airplane out.  We use the colored chalk to draw flowers in and around the checkerboard of glass squares.    

The glass squares are skylights.  There is a lower level that we call the "Area Ways."  After the huge fire of 1889, Seattle was rebuilt.  The city decided that the new buildings and sidewalks should be raised 10 to 40 feet higher to make space for modern plumbing and to get folks up out of the mud.  This solved the waterfront neighborhood's drainage problems.  
Slippery mud played an important role in the history of Pioneer Square as it was the viscosity of the street clay that made it possible to slide logs down Skid Row  to the docks for exporting.  The term Skid Row (now Yesler Way) originated in Seattle and was an important part of its livelihood. 

There are 115 "area ways" below the sidewalks in Pioneer Square.  They were originally passageways and stores from before the fire stayed open on the lower level.  But over time, businesses moved up and in 1907 the area ways were condemned by the city for fear of pneumonic plague.  

They are usable spaces, as after the Nisqually earthquake in February of 2001, they were repaired and updated a bit.  You can take the Underground tour and wander through them.  You'll see the remains of gambling halls and speakeasies...even opium dens. 

Today businesses use the bright spaces for storage.  When I was building-out the Smith Tower Penthouse, I went down into them and found pieces of Chinese antiques, thick white marble slabs with blue veins running across them and rows upon rows of little enamel sinks.  I used the marble for the kitchen counter and the antiques for doors and various built-in supports.

Purse and wings and we are ready to go visit our friends in the neighborhood.  

Sometimes my friends ask me if we miss having a backyard.  Of course we do!  A chicken coop would be fun but we don't have a place for it.  Nor do we have a spot for a swing set or jungle gym.  That said, Simone and Naomi seem to find lots of things to climb on (EVERWHERE!) and we make do by growing a surprisingly prolific potted vegetable garden on the office rooftop.  When we want to run around or cycle, we head to the Olympic Sculpture Park, Myrtle Edwards, Seattle Center or Occidental Square.  

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hillary does Pier 30

Hillary Clinton does Pier 30.  So nice to have her in town.

"There isn't anything we can't do!"

First time

Naomi's first time climbing into the globe.  

Naomi gulping milk with the view.  How small the cars look.

  I didn't know there were so many roofs.  

Naomi's adventure came about when KOMO news asked to do a story on the apartment.  Heather Reese  and photographer Ben Barnett arrived when Naomi and I were chalking up the sidewalk outside the Tower.  The crew let Naomi lead the way up in the elevator with Alfredo, into the Penthouse,  quick stop to see her room, and then up to the tippy top.   

"Please Vote!" or Clinton's in Town

Clinton comes to Washington to personally ask that Washingtonians get out and vote!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mieraye, Obama and Murray or the President comes to town.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souz
Simone's school mate, Mieraye Redmond, had an exciting day yesterday.  She met President Barack Obama in front of her own house.  Mieraye is incredibly well spoken and very much beats to her own drum. Just last week at the Evergreen school math and science night, she spontaneously stood up in front of a packed stadium and read a story she had written that morning.  She was loud, clear and made us laugh heartily.  

For the President, Mieraye wrote a letter and attached a colorful paper bouquet. Sen. Patty Murray and the President were on a walk through the Wedgewood neighborhood on their recent trip to the city.  

Mieraye and Simone take violin and choir together at Evergreen School which means I get the pleasure of hanging out with Mieraye's mom, Toni Redmond,  a couple times a week.  Toni is a syrupy-rich jazz singer.  She jammed at Russ and Gemma's anniversary party last year and ever since then I have been encouraging her to get a group together. (How is that coming my dear friend!)

Get in close!

Do you prefer a backyard chat or stadium performance?  

Packed house at the University of Washington.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Java with Senator Patty Murray and President Obama

Brainstorming over Java.

Making a Home in a Pyramid, 462 Feet Above Seattle

Michael Tortorello wrote a nice piece about our place for The New York Times called "Making a Home in the Pyramid, 462 Feet Above Seattle."  It came out today and the photographer Stuart Isett said I could use his extraordinary images on the blog.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ending nuclear proliferation

Was reading an email from Mark Anderson this morning.  It was about his upcoming Future In Review conference.  He was opening the floor for speaker nominations.  The first that came to my mind was John Gilleland with Terra Power.  It would not be an understatement to say that John is solving the big problems of today's world!

This type of nuclear power ends nuclear proliferation as it runs on depleted uranium.  There is nothing leftover to make bombs.  Isn't that remarkable?  As Izhar Armony puts it, "the Terra Power reactor transforms nuclear waste liabilities into assets." June 2010 

Terra Power provides the safest nuclear power known as the plants themselves run enclosed for hundreds of years without refueling and "based on the amount of depleted uranium sitting around the U.S. right now, you could power at least this continent for about a thousand years at current rates of consumption." -Jan 2010 Eben Frankenberg.    Jaw dropping, no?

What a masterful solution to climate change

As if that isn't enough reason to rewrite nuclear regulation right now and put everything we have behind this...Bill Gates spoke at TED this year about how this solution is the tool he wants to use against global poverty

Terra Power is one of MIT’s 10 Emerging technologies that can change the way we live.  

So you are probably wondering who is behind this.  Funded by Vinod Klosla, Bill Gates, Charles River and incubated within Nathan Myrvold's Intellectual Ventures

Could any one technology do more for Extreme Poverty, Global Warming, Energy Independence and Nuclear Proliferation?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Making body parts and firing madly!

The sign read The Lieutenant of Inshmore contains strong language, adult themes, fog, gunshots, violence, torture, mayhem, and a lot of laughs.  I can handle a little fog but torture? Is the audience in danger?  

Can you tell what is real and what is the mold?  I'm working on our "optical illusion" halloween costumes and stumbled on these creepy creations for the Lieutenant of Inishmore.

Saw the movie RED last night and at certain moments I was able to see the crazed shooting as a color, just as comedy is a color, or romance, or lust...used to tell a story, share an idea or simply entertain. I'm getting there. Can't wait to see Inishmore. Opens Thursday!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Brunch with Margit, Ben, Sarah, Rob and Pascal or Hot Lava

Margit, Simone, David, Pascal, Ben and Naomi
The morning started in the backyard with Margit creating crowns from the giant leaves.  Ben and Naomi were doing an improvisation about a family of animals.   We seem to descend on Ben and Margit fairly frequently on Sunday mornings. 

Sarah, Rob and Simone work on the crossword puzzle.  Sarah and Rob are Pascal's parents. 

Ben and Margit are both Naomi and Pascal's godparents. 

Margit and Pascal making crowns.

Do you like my robes?  I'm a King and these are my royal garments. - Ben
Naomi is mesmerized.

Naomi and I take a walk down the street to a playground while Ben plays violin for Simone.
Lets play Hot Lava mom.

I'm stepping over a scary monster here.

I'm climbing up the mountain.

I made it.  I'm thirsty! 
We head back to the brunch.

Simone's laptop

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Why are you smilin’ like a rabbit in a briarpatch?

Kevin, Simone, Elias, Liam, Simone, Drew
We are fairly frequent visitors to the CLAMS house.  Cora is 4, Liam is 5, Annie is the mom, Miela is a dog and Scott is the dad.  Like their other parties, this one was wildly fun!  The horse theme was in celebration of Cora's 4th and Lola's 5th birthdays. Lola is another part of our clan...i.e. the youngest daughter of Kevin Flick and Melissa Hartley.  Presents and a cake did happen but the dominant event was horsing around in the best way.   Why with straw, mud, ice cubes and bubbly water... Right?

Scott, Kevin, Liam, Simone

As we got out of the car, Scott (Cora's dad) zoomed by with a dozen kids 
on his heels trying to lasso him and put him in the jail out back.

Naomi with a funnel, an upside-down filter and a strainer.

Seattle was built on the gold rush and the kids fell for it too or I could just say that the girls had fun panning for gold (beads, that is) in the mucky kiddie pool and stringing up necklaces for their horse's manes.  Okay...maybe there were no real us parents had to ante up and wear the muddy things.    

Scott, Kevin, Drew, Liam
So a hay fight erupted. It was tons of fun but it didn't stop there. Ice cubes were great to drop down pants but that too got old.  I'd say the mud was probably a bad idea but the seltzer those were genius as, with a little shaking, they could get someone from a yard.  Oh that reminds me of that old saying...don't judge till you've walked a mile in their shoes. Pretty good advice really as you are a mile away by the time they get wind of your words and YOU have their shoes.  Back to the fight...and the discovery of a projectile seltzer.  
Julie, Naomi, Gwen

Not everybody joined in the chaotic rough-housing.  There were safe spots one could take turns swinging or (below) ...their were moms to nestle up with like Catherine and Francesca below.  

Catherine, Francesa, Julian

As one horse says to another, any pal of yours is a palomino!  Or...yelled rather loudly before stuffing someone's pants with scratchy damp hay..."Hold onto your britches, you are about to be a dripping wet scarecrow!"  Yes that line was uttered...still makes me laugh to remember it.  

Join us next time...that is if I stirrup'd up any interest.

Kim, Elias, Simone, Liam, Drew, Simone

Here is a clip with some of the action.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

You're just jealous cause the voices only talk to me or "Pumpkin Head"

Outside of the grocery store was a monster pumpkin with three heads carved into it. 
Here are two of them.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A One Nation Sunday

A One Nation demonstration is happening on 2nd Ave. The girls are watching folks congregate in the street and tell me that there are a buses driving up 1st Ave bringing more people to the rally.  Then as quickly as it appeared, it vanishes.  Not a sole on 2nd people and no cars.

Time for us to go.  We're heading over to the first gymnastics meet of the season.  Simone is uncertain about it.  She says she can't remember her routine and doesn't want to go.   I pack everyone into the van and say we might as well drive over there and root for the rest of her team.

Turned out just fine.  In fact, as we were walking out, 
Simone said, "I want to do that again. It was awesome."

It was Naomi's turn to pick whether we head to a playground or to a fashion show some friends are involved in.  Naomi chose the Harbor Steps fountain and a trip to the Seattle Art Museum.

The feet of SAM's Hammering Man

Friday, October 1, 2010

Instead of Driver's Education, Children attend Biker's Education

Just read on Truth-out that in both Utrecht and Copenhagen 
Driver's Education has been replaced with Biker's Education. In the 3rd and 9th grade, kids learn cyclist traffic laws, bike etiquette, agility on two wheels and safe ways to commute.  

In the picture above Simone might be doing a bit more singing then pedaling?  This is the new riding equipment we picked up on the search for an interesting reptile.  Somehow the reptile search did not result in a reptile pet but we did stumble upon horses and acquire this handy trail along at a garage sale.   Inside the yellow sidecar, Naomi is out cold.  The nap is warranted as we are at the Magnolia Seafair parade and took full advantage of the pony rides, little train and inflatables.  

If you like to ride with your kids as much as David and I do, then jump onto the kidical mass website created by Dr. Julian Davies.  Julian is dad to Drew and Luc, wife to Kimberly Hartley, pediatrician to Naomi.  AND he has a sideline.  He orchestrates wildly fun family rides throughout the year and delivers a comprehensive overview on family biking on his totycle website.  Often these kidical mass rides start at Ballard Commons and head South along the canal to Gas Works park where a gelato bike, pizza bike and other goodies await. Below are images from some of those rides. 

The yummy gelato bike is a Julian creation.  Cute as a button with its zig zag trimmed shade.