November 22, 2010

In the past 48 hours, the weather conditions in Seattle have rapidly gone from ‘look at the delightful snowflakes!’ to ‘oh my god is that a bus tipped over on its side?’. To give the full effect, I’d like to post some before and after photos. The first two were taken Sunday morning when I went out for a pleasant walk while my laundry was drying. The last are from a couple hours ago when I ventured out to buy emergency candles and lighters from Rite Aid across the street.


On October 30th I ventured downtown to Westlake Center to meet up with some of my Bellingham friends and stand in support (and soaking wet in the rain!) of reason and civility in Seattle’s Rally to Restore Sanity, a satellite of the much larger DC version hosted by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

Through the rain and cold and crowds, I managed to snap a few photos of the awesomely creative signs present.  Below I’ve posted some of the best pics from the day, apologies for the quality… desperately needing a new camera at the moment!

Bellevue Fun Facts

October 12, 2010

More people (130,000-plus) work in Bellevue than live in it.

The city of Bellevue is home to the Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art which contains one of the largest doll collections in the world—more than a thousand dolls—displayed on two floors of a Victorian-style building.

Bellevue holds an annual Strawberry Festival to celebrate its strawberry farming history.

Bellevue was named Number 4 on MoneyCNN’s list of Top 100 Best Places to Live in America for 2010. In 2006 Bellevue was also rated one of the 25 safest cities in America.

Bellevue has had a Wi-Fi hotzone with free access in its central business district since 2007. Interesting to note, 45.79% (as of Dec 2009) of users on the network are iPhone and iPod Touch users.

Bellevue continues to have the largest percentage of foreign-born residents of any city in Washington. About 31 percent of Bellevue’s population is foreign-born, and one in every three residents speaks a language other than English at home.

One of Bellevue’s City Council members was recently attacked by a bear and survived.. minus one eye.

Profiles of Bellevue

October 7, 2010

I have an enormous amount of time for people watching during my daily commute to work. For anyone who has never been to Bellevue on a weekday morning (me a couple weeks ago), there is a unique cross section of people to observe. And in honor of that, I’d like to present you with my observations of the different types of people I encounter on a daily basis… let’s call it a field guide to the Bellevuian.

Young professional
The older among them look anxiously uncomfortable, and the younger ones look uncomfortably anxious. Regardless, they are all so tucked and buttoned and in a hurry to do/go/meet/call that they are never quite at ease.  Conspicuous consumers of the latest high-tech goodies, you’ll rarely see a young professional in Bellevue without a visible iPod, smart phone, blue tooth headset, laptop, or kindle.

Microsoft geek
Though everyone who works in Bellevue has been sleeping around with Microsoft in some fashion, the ‘Microsoft geek’  is definitely the most obvious and prolific employee. Erring on the ‘casual’ side of business casual, you will often see these young white men wearing what they normally would with a dress shirt thrown in the mix. I’m talking jeans and sneakers, khaki cargo shorts, mandals with socks, and laptop messenger bags.

That bike guy
Regardless of whether he is on the bus or wandering downtown, that bike guy always wears a helmet so the world will be aware that, yes, he rides a bike. And just in case you weren’t sure, he’s gone ahead and added the reflective tape, blinky lights, and helmet mounted rear-view mirror.

Awkward Asian lady
Somehow I always end up sitting next to her on the bus. This woman is clearly not dressed for work, so I can only assume she is on her way to the city to go shopping. She has perfected the ‘dressing in the dark’ look… wearing an incredible assortment of mismatched clothes. Nice dress paired with well worn tennis shoes? Why not. An expensive jacket with a Winnie the pooh mini backpack? You bet.

Everpresent leafblower
If you ever wondered why the streets of Bellevue are so spotless, look no further than its army of immaculate gardeners. Every morning they are out there leafblowing that single fallen leaf, spraying buckets of herbicide on the last tiny, weedy survivor who sprung up in the cracks of the sidewalk the night before, and sweeping individual little pieces of trash while wearing sporty white gloves. And props to these guys for managing to do a labor-intensive job without ever bending over or touching the ground.

1. A sandy beach exists in NW Washington

The other day I decided to go adventuring down to Golden Gardens park at the end of my street. Who knew there was a sandy beach so close to my house! Hopefully we’ll get some more nice weather before winter starts.

2. There  are lots of unique places to eat

Including an authentic Morrocan restaurant called the Kasbah, which has excellent cocktails mixed with honey and cinnamon. And bellydancers aparently.

3. Crown Hill Cemetery needs some work

I’ve always been strangely fascinated with cemeteries, so I had to check out the one down the block from my new place. Unfortunately the place has been neglected to the point of being overgrown and full of litter. Most unique thing I spotted here: Miss American Pre-Teen Pageant Finalist trophy next to a headstone.

4. Henry is everywhere

This local artist has a thing for awkwardly cute animals and bright colors. I’ve probably seen at least a dozen of his murals around Ballard so far.

5. The Scandinavians are a proud people

Welcome to Viking territory… again.