I had just arrived at my boxing class when my trainer asked me about my goat shirt and where I picked it up. While I was readily eager to share my love, appreciation and understanding of goat’s contributions to society. I could not recall the name of the market where I picked it up. “Oh, you know that art market they have in the airplane hanger.” was all I come up with at the time. The truth is, that since moving to Seattle in June of 2017. I’ve left most of, it not all of the weekend driving to my wife. Though much of my driving during the week has me within the Columbia City, Downtown and West Seattle areas. The weekends usually take us far beyond the areas mentioned. And while I retain minute details of the places we’ve visited. I can rarely remember the names of the towns, cities and businesses. Having visited the same market just a week ago. I still never bothered to remember the town, military base or the name of the market. Who knows, maybe it’s a subliminally intentional thing. If life has taught me anything. It’s that, the less you know…
I took this image as we entered the market. Let me know if you recognize the place.
After returning from dinner and dropping of a few things at the new apartment in Columbia City. I headed up to the roof deck to get some night air and take a few pictures. While we were out that night, i mentioned to my wife that once we get settled in the new place and unpack, I’d like to get back to capturing more nightlife= and night scapes. Something I had done regularly while living on the East Coast. Being that most of my photo gear, including my tripod, has somewhat limited my options. Being that I’m just days away from being reunited with my studio lights, stands, backgrounds and tripods. My mind seems to be filled with creative juices. I can’t go without noting the sense of envy I felt as I was packing up as two photographers armed with tripods emerged from the darkness. I couldn’t help but wish I had mine.
With all the traffic that builds up around our home. We’ve done a pretty good job in finding alternative routes, short and long cuts and series of detours that help us avoid the traffic nightmares that often accompany living so close to major bridges and tunnels. Depending on the time of day and of course, the season. You’re likely to witness some breathtaking sunsets and sunspaces. For me personally, it’s enough to pull over to the side of the road and reach for the camera in order to capture some of its natural beauty.Of course, my wife thinks I’m crazy. Luckily, I’ve been doing it long enough that she’s come to be expect it.
It’s often I find a friend who not only shares my passion for documenting the off-limits. Even more of a rarity when one asks if they can come along. When that friend just happens to have worked with me in a studio environment. The urge to capture that beauty among the rubble is surely alluring, but then again. When will I have time to spend wandering with this friend. Why would I steal time from this perfect moment, only to turn it into something it was never intended to be? Realizing just that so quickly not only allowed me to enjoy her company. It served as a lesson in that I in order to become a better communicator. I need to become a better listener. I’m not there yet. Far from it, but knowing where I want to be heading just might get me there faster. The images I posted below will hopefully express my intention to include her while allowing her a sense of ambiguity.
I was talking to a friend about a recent excursion that really made the hairs on my arm stand on end. A little over a month ago, I came across a spot that was as scary as it was intriguing. That day, I spent a matter of minutes exploring the area just adjacent to the old, abandoned automotive parts/repair shop. At the time, I peaked through, before briefly entering the side door. When returning a few weeks later, I found an obscured front door and entered with as much caution as I had curiosity. Almost immediately, I could feel the hair on my arms stand on end as I had entered a dragon’s lair of graffitied walls, random garbage and the remnants of a recent visitor, or worse, occupant.
As I stepped cautiously through the debris and squalor. I couldn’t help but feel the tortured spirits of those who may have preceded my visit. As I moved from room to room through hand carved holes in the walls. I couldn’t help but feel that I might have bitten off more than I could chew. The random needles, paint cans and emptied glue containers served as evidence of recent hardcore drug use. “You’re too old to be doing this. You should be enjoying a plate of eggs and hash browns with you wife right now”
As creepy as my visit might have been. I had no inkling as to how weird things were about to get. While carefully opening one of the container doors. I unveiled what seemed to be a living space, complete with mattress. Though not the unveiling of a colony of brain thirsty zombies or bat wielding crack heads I spooked myself into imagining. It quickly served as the hair-raising moment that told me “Times up. Get your ass back in the car” Thankfully, I was in complete and total agreement with that inner voice. Until the next time.
Each year, Labor Day weekend comes and goes without much movement around here. The urge to go somewhere for the extended three-day weekend is often outweighed by the thought of getting caught up in the “Get outta Dodge” type traffic that seems to accompany any holiday travel. This year my wife seemed a bit more determined to do something out of the norm. Or as she put it. “Something we don’t usually do most every weekend.” As per usual, I was up for anything. (That is “Just about anything.”)
As the links and ideas began to fill my email. I began to realize just how much she wanted to do something different. We had missed some opportunities due to traffic, long lines and just a lack of any intense interest. Knowing full well my lack of flexibility and patience played a major role in these decisions and… for lack of a better word, indecision. I was willing to do anything to make her happy. To say I cringed when she sent me a link to an upcoming County fare would be an understatement for the ages. The thought of driving for two hours in order to see a cover band perform a mix of Country favorites and Eagles covers amongst the smell of fried dough and cotton candy, somehow does not appeal to me. It wasn’t until she mapped out the trip and mentioned the pig racing schedule, that I realized this was something bigger than me. So off we went.
As we arrived, all the cliques quickly fell in to place. The array of deep-fried everything that could put a lesser man into a diabetic coma. The rabid obesity and of course the cover band deep in the belly of a rousing chorus of “I got friends in low places. My mind was transplanted to that part in “Apocalypse Now” narration where (Martin Sheen) Capt. Willard says”I wanted a mission. And for my sins, they gave me one.” I was there to have fun… And dammit, whether it at my expense or someone else. I was going to have fun. For lack of a better term. Finding my way to the cow, pig and goat stables made me feel happier than a pig in shit. After some “me time” with the cows, we settled in for the pig races before heading home. I’m just glad my wife had a chance to do something different.
We live in an ever-changing world where we are constantly in perpetual movement. Very few, if anything holds permanence. While not a bad thing per say. It’s one of the founding principles that influenced my becoming a photographer who felt it important to document my surroundings.The need to explore and document things that may soon be gone is one of the key factors in what originally drew me to photography.
Knowing full well that changes would soon come to one of my current favorite local photo destinations. I took a ride with the wife to see what had developed since my last visit. As we drove closer. The unwelcoming sound of barking dogs echoed in the distance. The immediate question “Could that barking be coming from indie the construction site?” and if so, “Where those dogs chained up or were they loose?” Knowing the answer would soon reveal itself. I proceeded with extreme caution.
Just as predicted. The incessant barking was coming from two Pit Bulls inside and thankfully, not roaming around awaiting their next meal. While it always pains me to see such beautiful animals being chained or caged. I was greatful to feel a bit safer while I quickly got what I came for. Noting the projects progress, the precence of trucks and of course the guard dogs. I relized that this was in all likelyhood, my last visit here. And while we were happy to see that the dogd had plenty of food and water. We made it a point to report the siting to both the lacal Humane Society and Police.