JUNE 13, 2019

Some (More) Solo Sight-seeing

Hi Mom and Dad,

As usually happens when I meet with people, I don't take pictures because my phone stays away. Thus, not much of an update imagery wise this week. At least prior to today, but more on that later.

On the plus side, meeting Ethan this past weekend was quite enjoyable, and a great insight into the pacific northwest. It's also fun getting a gaggle of former Wisconsinites together to compare and contrast life. Likewise, many jokes arose from Linh, who compared off-gassing to house farts.

Gotta let your inner child shine, right?

In other news, I do have a Monday meeting, and then next Wednesday, I have something of potential coming up. But more on that another time maybe.

As you may know, I love to walk around at night, and I finally got the gumption up to trying out a night route in Seattle. I've been scoping the Ravenna park trails for nighttime walkability, as well as the campus area, and Burke-Gilman trails. During the day there are usually a few homeless around, but as is usual here, they seldom approach you. But also watching someone punch storefront windows in front of you and then proceed to walk into oncoming traffic with no sense of care is also a bit shocking at times. I'm sure that won't be my last story.

To start with, golden hour photography of Ravenna Park.

I still cannot get over the nature and beauty of this park. It's a great end-of-the day clear your mind type of walk.
The stream. I was sitting on a bench that looks at this one evening reading "The Nature of Order: The Phenomenon of Life", and two women walked past, one saying I had the best seat in the house. She was most right.
The waterfall in this portion of the aforementioned stream.
You both do not know the moth and lämp meme, but if I had a version of this meme, it would be me and nature exploration.
If you don't know what a meme is, it's 21st century stupid adolescent humor.
A closer examination of the baby falls.
This picture does not do the view justice. Believe me. This is looking across Lake Union towards Downtown.
Looking to the west towards Queen Anne.
Looking to the east towards East Lake.
Finally, I climbed Kite Hill. The view to the west of the setting sun, was stunning, as was the panoramic view of everything else.

Sooner or later, I will get a map of sorts together so that you can see Seattle. As with any big city, there are many neighborhoods, and I am sure many places I am referring to that you do not know of. No matter where you go though, the appreciation for nature in this city is apparent, and it is one of the many things culturally I love about here. Even moreso than Madison and Milwaukee, this city has trees and plants incorporated. Perhaps part of it is the lack of snow in the winter needing a place to go, or perhaps it is a choice of the city and state. Either way, about the only place I have found so far you can go to attempt to escape nature is the downtown area. There are some places in the U-district here that are more sparce, but still trees and ground shrubbery find a way to poke through.

Asides for nature, the architectural design here is pretty great. I like it a lot. The first time I went to Ballard for the locks, I walked back up the main stretch on Market Street, and I came across a place called the Nordic Museum. It immediately caught my eye for the design, and I knew I would be back shortly.

The main hall, looking back towards the entrance.
The main stair, which comes to an end-grain wood floor. Does anyone know why museums use end-grain wood floors?
Did you really think I'd make it out of the museum without taking pictures of the modern nordic design? I don't think so.
More of the display.
Looking back to the rest of the nordic exhibit. This side focused on nordic heritage in the countries. It seems like the architects and exhibit designers worked pretty closely together.
This is the last chair, I promise.
The other side of the main exhibit, focusing on nordic immigration to America.

Though a relatively small museum, there is a lot of information packed into the exhibits, and a lot to interact with, though overall, well done for the amount of information and ideas they work to get across. You definitely get an understanding of how nordic culture plays a bigger part in the world, especially here in the pacific northwest. 

And hey, who doesn't like to see nice, well designed chairs on display?

Beyond the exhibits, this museum was not done presenting me with surprises. Since I was here at dinner time, I decided to give the cafe a go, and was faced with a sausage in a pretzel bun piled so high with toppings, I had no second thoughts on giving up eating it in a normal fashion. Defeated and still in shock, I retreated to the forks, knives, and napkins at the counter to avoid drenching myself in pickled vegetables, mustard, and curry. It is important to note that no matter how much of a behemoth it was, it was still delectable.

As a last small update, my mind gave into wanting something to distract from the roughly textured white walls of my apartment.


While some may recall the infamous "Dive into your dreams" poster adorning my bedroom wall in Madison, I decided to upgrade.

What you may ask? National Park posters, The Emerald Playlist, Star Maps, and some pieces that match the colors of those and allude to nature. If you didn't notice the nature theme yet, I don't know how to tell you, but I like nature themes, and black. Lots of black.

The National Parks Posters and The Emerald Playlist (playlist courtesy of Ethan – check out his work here).
Also, don't ask about those parks, I have yet to go there. I'll get back to you on my opinion of them at that time.
Now, instead of diving into my dreams, I can shoot for the stars! On the left is the northern hemisphere, on the right is the southern, and in the middle are two mountain pieces which fit the color scheme. One has skiiers, one mountain climbers. Ignore the slopily hung string lights.

Books have also arrived, and in bigger news, I have kept the plant alive so far!

From Seattle With Love,


After walking at Ravenna this night, I decided I had the energy and desire to go further. Though I knew I wouldn't make it back before dark, and that I would actually arrive at the park right at sunset, I went ahead to Gas Works.
This park, a former coal gas plant operated by Seattle Gas Company, was restored in the 1970's per the EPA's requirements. While I visited back in January during the daytime on a hot and sunny 50 degree day, I did not go on the hill that day, and had to make a stop back to do so.
45 minutes of fast walking later, I was greeted with the following views.

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© 2019 by Erin Burkard​

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