Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bus Stop Biosphere IV

< Bus Stop Biosphere III | Bus stop Biosphere IV >

Some late February and early March 2013 pictures of plants and other small wonders in the city.


Left: Lichen in a pear tree; Right: Moss on a pear tree

Lichen in a Pear TreeMoss on a Pear Tree

Left: Flowering currant in Olympic Sculpture Park; Right: Bellis perennis in Myrtle Edwards Park lawn with red-tipped underside of petals

Flowering currant in Olympic Sculpture ParkBellis perennis in Myrtle Edwards Park lawn

Left: Pheasant Grass with blue wall; Right: Oregon Grape (Mahonia x Media ‘Charity’)Pheasant Grass with blue wallOregon Grape (Mahonia x Media ‘Charity’)

Left: Spider web on a trellis with drops of water; Right: Crocus and brown leaves Spider web on a trellis with drops of waterCrocus and brown leaves

Clematis vitalba (a King County Class C noxious weed)

Clematis vitalba Clematis vitalba

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Pack Rat Tourist: Too Many Maps and Brochures - Upcoming Piemonte-Cuneo Region Trip

Piemonte (Piedmont) Literature Spread Out on the Dining Room TablePiemonte (Piedmont) Literature Spread Out on the Dining Room Table

When travelling, I’m always tempted by racks of maps and brochures. I can’t help it. Who knows, one might come in handy, right? Well, actually, more like wrong. But, collect I do. A few months ago it was maps and guides for Iceland in Too Many Maps – Iceland Case Study. This time around we are planning a return visit to Piedmont and for once I decided to pull out everything we had collected in our past five trips there. First, it was strange to find duplicates of several things (I guess the same brochures look just as good the second time). Secondly, what we collected is turning out to be useful in the planning phase. There, justification.

Our collection of maps and brochures deals mostly with the southwest of Piemonte, La Provincia di Cuneo, where our family is located. Cherasco (Cherasco – Good Chocolate and Good Food) is represented well in the brochures we’ve collected. We always enjoy visiting Cherasco. (In that post's title, I elevated chocolate as something more than food and as well I should. Chocolate is a way of life.)

Information about Truffles – Carta della Qualità Brochure

Information about Truffles – Carta della Qualità BrochureInformation about Truffles – Carta della Qualità Brochure

Cherasco Brochures – Città del Cioccolato e Capitale Italiana della Lumaca

Cherasco Brochures – Città del Cioccolato e Capitale Italiana della LumacaCherasco Brochures – Città del Cioccolato e Capitale Italiana della Lumaca

The Province of Cuneo (Blu Edizioni) Libro and Il Cuneese MappaThe Province of Cuneo is in English and is very useful.

The Province of Cuneo (Blu Edizioni) Libro and Il Cuneese MappaThe Province of Cuneo (Blu Edizioni) Libro and Il Cuneese Mappa

Saluzzo Information

Saluzzo InformationSaluzzo Information

I Sentieri (Walking Paths) in Casotto, Corsaglia and Roburentello

I Sentieri (Walking Paths) in Casotto, Corsaglia and RoburentelloI Sentieri (Walking Paths) in Casotto, Corsaglia and Roburentello

Santuario di Vicoforte

I Sentieri (Walking Paths) in Casotto, Corsaglia and Roburentello

Friday, April 19, 2013

Binomen Art - Mangifera

Champagne Mangos and Cinnamon Mangifera

Mangifera - Mango

It’s been a while since we have been inspired to create a Binomen Art project and these champagne mangos looked like the perfect subject. The champagne mango, according to the Ciruli Brothers (exclusive distributors of champagne mangos), is the variety ‘Ataulfo’, “named after Chiapas, Mexico, mango grower Ataulfo Morales Gordillo. Its origin was the result of random cross pollination of several mango trees in the Soconusco region of Chiapas.” We can vouch for the marketing blurb that says this variety is velvety smooth with almost no fibrous texture. And, it’s tasty to boot.

Mangos or Mangifera indica are part of the Anacardia family which includes cashew, poison ivy, and sumac. Mangos grow in tropical climates, typically at low altitude.The generic name according to Quattrocchi has the following origin:

Manga, mangai, man-kay, mankay, manghi, Malayalam and Tamil names, plus Latin fero, fers, ferre “to bear, carry”.

The specific epithet indica means “of India” – where it is believed the mango originated. The “fero” part of the generic name made me scratch my head a bit until I found the Gernot Katzer’s Spice Pages site which has this to say about the generic name:

The genus name Mangifera (“bringer of mango”) contains Latin ferre carry, bring (see also asafetida), cf. Lucifer bringer of light or Christopher he who carries Christ.

I never thought of Lucifer or Christopher in this sense. And folks, that’s why I produce this blog – to learn.

Here we spell out Mangifera by slicing into the flesh with a knife dusted with cinnamon. The cinnamon was used to make the lettering stand out and it turned out to work very well taste-wise with the mango.

Champagne Mangos and Cinnamon Mangifera

Mangifera - MangoMangifera - Mango

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Feathered Friends – Alley Street Art

Feathered Friends – Alley GraffitiFeathered Friends – Alley Graffiti

I noticed the street art on the back side of Feathered Friends for the first time the other day now that the lot between John St and Denny Way, along Pontius Ave N (the old greyhound station) has been torn down. A new electrical substation, the Denny Substation, will be built to support the increasing demand in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Feathered Friends – Alley GraffitiFeathered Friends – Alley GraffitiFeathered Friends – Alley GraffitiFeathered Friends – Alley GraffitiFeathered Friends – Alley GraffitiFeathered Friends – Alley Graffiti

Denny Substation Project Information Board
Denny Substation Project Information Board

Da Spot Hookah Lounge Murals

Da Spot Hookah Lounge Mural
I didn’t even know what hookah was (other than a fuzzy and misconceived idea that it was “exotic”) or that hookah lounges existed in Seattle (they do) until I was drawn to a mural I spotted on the building for Da Spot Hookah Lounge at 1914 Minor Ave, Seattle. For the record, hookah refers to a waterpipe used for vaporizing and smoking flavored tobacco and it isn’t really exotic or unusual at all.
The mural features a woman blowing smoke and a hookah pipe to give you a clue. Additional clue: hookah piping hanging off the side of the building.
Da Spot Hookah Lounge MuralDa Spot Hookah Lounge Mural
The Space Needle as a Hookah Pipe
The Space Needle as a Hookah PipeThe Space Needle as a Hookah Pipe

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sultan Firefighters and Train Murals

Sultan Firefighters Mural: left, center, and right panels

Sultan Firefighters MuralSultan Firefighters MuralSultan Firefighters Mural

We were on our way back from Stevens Pass (one Friday hooky day) and stopped in Sultan to change drivers which was all the excuse I needed to investigate this mural. We’ve passed by this mural many times driving on Stevens Pass Hwy (Route 2).

The Post Office Murals are three panel mural commemorating Sultan firefighters. These panels were created by David Hose in 2009. Each panel was one of the garage bays where firefighting apparatus was kept. The building, today a Post Office, was built in 1954. See the photo of the information plaque for information about who is depicted in the panels. A couple of the characters are creations of the artist; most are real characters like the woman, Doris Jelinek, on the edge of the central panel holding the lunchbox of her husband, Louie Jelinek, who stares out form the panel. Louie Jelinkek was the Sultan Fire Chief from 1943 – 1973.

Sultan Firefighters Mural. Left: All three panels. Center: center panel. Right: Dedication information.
Sultan Firefighters MuralSultan Firefighters MuralSultan Firefighters Mural - Information

Across the street from the Post Office is the Train Mural depicting the Empire Builder passenger train arriving at Sultan Station and pulled by the Great Northern steam locomotive, 2555T. The view is of Sultan sometime in the 1940s judging by the style of dress and cars. The central characters, a man and a woman, are waiting for the train at 2:55pm. The man is a soldier who is getting shipped out. The woman next to him leans into him, sad.

This Train Mural is also by David Hose and was created in 2005. Here is a video of Hose describing this mural. In the video he mentions that the work he put into getting the details of the locomotive just right.

Hose also created the Doric Lodge Mural in Fremont just down the street.

Empire Builder – Train Mural in Sultan, Washington

Sultan Firefighters MuralSultan Firefighters Mural

Friday, April 5, 2013

Consent Is...Don’t Repeat Steubenville Mural

Consent Is...Don’t Repeat Steubenville MuralConsent Is...Don’t Repeat Steubenville Mural

A Seattle Grrrl Army mural - message on the subject of consent and rape with a reference to Steubenville High School rape case. This mural is approximately at Denny Way and Pontius Ave N painted on a plywood fence, facing south and surrounding a construction site.

Who are the Grrrl Army? From tumblr: “A Seattle-based collective of artists, activists, scholars, and whoever who are really fucking fed up with patriarchy. Who is grrrl army? YOU ARE GRRRL ARMY. Get in touch to join the ranks.”