Every night around 10:00 I retreat to what is essentially, the record room. Basically, it’s my office where I have my work desk and the forever growing record and CD collection. As of late, I’ve been listening to more jazz. With a rather small amount of Jazz amongst my vinyl collection. The idea of revisiting what I do have is one of the more attainable goals on my list. So there I was with my Chet Baker record practicing some tai-chi just hours before putting a rather trying day behind me. Looking back to my early twenties where I worked for a small Jazz label and floating Jazz sponsor. Chet was the artist whose horn playing really put the hooks in me. With my first Jazz album being Baker’s ‘My Funny Valentine.’ With all the records I have. I’m pretty sure I will never be able to listen to them all. For the time being, though, sitting down and listening to an album in its entirety is beyond rewarding.
While our original plans to ferry to one of the many Washington state islands in search of oysters was sabotaged by the threat of two and half hour traffic and the long lines that usually manifests in the search of good food. We altered our plans in order to add a chilled out vibe to our holiday. So, after a home made breakfast and a stop at Third Place Books, we headed to Warren G. Magnuson Park to get some sun and warm beach vibes. Despite the holiday, the park wasn’t overpopulated. Which made for a relaxing day that featured the smell of nearby cookouts and the sound of children enjoying their time together on the beach. Aside from taking a few images, I read a few chapters from the Johnny Cash autobiography I picked up. As I get older, I find myself adjusting to a more laid back, relaxed lifestyle. While I’d say it hasn’t been easy. I like where it’s taking me.
After a short stay at Gasworks Park, we began to head home with the mindset of picking up a late lunch or early dinner. In a very short span of time, we must have come up with a half dozen different ideas without one really standing out from the other. Upon passing Ivar’s we finally made a concrete decision and made a U-turn.
The warmth of the setting sun and the sudden sense of relaxation brought on by the lake and passing kayakers was just what the doctor ordered. Though a city boy through and through. One who spent many years living within earshot of Times Square and the once feared forty deuce. I have become more appreciative of a laid back and less congested lifestyle. As I grow older, I often find myself craving solitude and escaping to less traveled places. Below is a slide show featuring some of the images I captured while enjoy fish & chips and clam chowder with my wife.
We were returning from a rather long drive from … when I asked my wife if we could take a slight detour towards downtown Seattle’s Pioneer Square area to watch the sun set, When discussing some rather important issues while enjoying some rather light hearted activities during the day.
Though we originally hoped to buy a condo in Pioneer Square, a tour of the neighborhood, it’s homeless encampments and the missions just a block from what would become our doorstep were a rather harsh reality we weren’t willing to invest in. Add to it the looks better in pictures condos we toured and we almost immediately started looking elsewhere.
Short story long, we found a parking spot close to the ferry and found some great spots to take pictures. There are few things I enjoy more than night photography and chasing sunsets. I’ve been hoping to capture a few sunrises, but during the times I’ve been able to catch them, I have been without my camera. Maybe soon. Until then.
Shortly after arriving home yesterday, I received an email notifying me that there was a package waiting for me in the buildings office. Knowing that in was probably the latest batch of records I ordered from my favorite music distributor, I raced downstairs before even bothering to put my shoes back on. Upon breaking the seal of a vinyl reissue of a cherished demo from the late 80’s. I was somewhat shocked and dismayed to see one of my photos within a collage of others from the time. Shocked, considering I didn’t know how the record label acquired it. Dismayed considering I was never approached, notified, credited or compensated for its use. Feeling angry and somewhat betrayed, I knew I needed to get some fresh air. Over time, I’ve learned a lot about myself and managing I’ve often found that physically removing myself from a situations can go a far way towards easing any stress, tension or anger I might find myself being overwhelmed by. Luckily, with a park, lake and bay just minutes away, I’m able to do so. The chance to practice my tai chi, breathing techniques and take a few pictures can often change a mindset. In being able to combine all three, the thought of someone using a picture I took about thirty years ago seems pretty insignificant in the overall scale of things.
It happened again. Just the way it happens every time it happens. I leave home under the guise of breakfast and a nearby coffee shop and end up with a change of plans before I’ve finished my last piece of French Toast. Instead of heading to a local coffee shop to read the books we recently picked up or head out to do some food shopping at the not so local middle eastern supermarket. We drove to nearby Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park in nearby Renton. Being that it was such a beautiful day and it was my first time there. I knd of wished I had brought my camera, a couple of lenses and my flash. Instead, and maybe for the better. I took a couple of shots with my iPhone. And while I was able to get a pretty good shot. I couldn’t help but feel naked without my trusty Canon. Especially having taken time the night charging its battery, formatting my card and checking the cameras settings. Maybe it’s time to start leaving the camera body and lenses locked up in the trunk of my car. This way, it goes everywhere I go.
With my wife feeling under the weather and my hopes to stay somewhat close to home this weekend. I cooked breakfast with what was left in the refrigerator and made sure she stay buried under the covers and slept late. And while we did get out on both days. We made it a point to stay somewhat local while running errands, and making stops for the important things like ice cream and coffee. Most importantly, or maybe most relative to this blog. I made sure to charge my new camera battery and bring my camera with me. The pictures posted here were taken at Judkins Park and in the alleyway adjacent to Blanchard St. between 2nd and 3rd avenue. As time passes, I’ve come to notice that the pictures I take serve as somewhat of a road map to where i’ve been, who I was with and even what I was feeling at the time. Kind of cool, no?
Following a hearty breakfast that included Johnny Cakes, bacon, eggs and bottomless cups of freshly brewed coffee. We decided to stay close to home to explore nearby Washington Lake. With most of our recent weekends being rain soaked affairs that allow us the excuse to take a good book and the computer to the local coffee house. The sun drenched ones are rare in these parts and therefore wasteful to take for granted. So with our late start and lack of serious plans accepted. We decided to stay close, take it easy and take advantage of what our immediate area had to offer. It goes without saying that some of life’s greatest pleasures can be found right under our noses. Whether it be short walk to your backyard. The hammock on your porch or the lake that lies just five minutes from the place you call home. Sometimes, small steps and short trips can be as and even more rewarding than the bigger ones. As my Dad would say, “Take it Ease.”
Everyone seems to have their own form of meditation. Something to help find the calm and focus needed to cleanse their mind of the clutter, stress and anxiety they deal with on a day to day basis. Personally, I have explored many channels in recent years. Many of which work very well .
One of mantras I’ve adopted over the last year or so is my nightly walk. One of the things that helped us fall in love with our current home is it’s industrial surroundings. With all the bridges, train yards and factories nearby. One could not ask for more character and personality. Watching the sun set over such a beautiful landscape brings me a sense of peace I can’t quite describe and hope to never take for granted. If I was able to dole out advice to anyone. I would recommend that whenever possible. Find those private moments where you can enjoy being alone. Breathe deep and be in the moment for as long as you can.