Saturday morning, after a train wreck of a gig in Renton with my friend BT, and having stayed up until four o’clock in the morning the night before, I got up and nine o’clock and drove up to my brother’s house. I got to see Niece #2 for the first time, and she’s almost five months old. She was very quiet and smiley, and she instantly grabbed both my thumb and pinky finger in her tiny hands, which seemed to surprise everyone. “She never does that with us,” they said.
It was great to see them. The last couple of times I’ve been up in Seattle, they had been in Portland, so our paths hadn’t crossed. We do talk on the phone regularly, but it’s not the same, especially when a new baby is involved. We went for brunch at a delicious Mexican restaurant called Azul, then went back to the house and just kinda hung out for a while. They were packing for a trip, so I just stayed downstairs and played with Niece 1 and Niece 2 while Nephew was upstairs sleeping.
We all went our separate ways around 1:30, and since I had no agenda for the rest of the day, I decided to take a rest from driving and go sit in a park for a while. Naturally I had to drive for quite a while to get to the park, but the plan was set. I headed down to GasWorks Park, in the Fremont district. That’s the short version of the story. The long version is that there were two or three large festivals in Seattle that day, and traffic was nightmarish. I also took a wrong turn and ended up going across the short bridge to Eastlake (I think. . .?) and hung out in a tiny little park along Lake Union for a while, exploring and walking through the neighborhood a bit before driving back across the bridge to Wallingford, which is a neighborhood that I could quite easily see myself living in. By the time I got to GasWorks Park, I was ready to relax. There was some sort of folk arts festival happening, so I was glad to have gotten there early enough to check it all out.
Naturally, I had my camera with me, and I was very glad I did. There were lots of colorful costumes, great gypsy klezmer music, naked people (some painted, others not), belly dancers. . .
(Can I just take a minute here to say that the naked dancing guy had a surprisingly gigantic scrotum? I rarely feel the need to mention things like that (mostly cause I don’t see many scrota!), but I mean, jeez. You’d find it worth mentioning too, if you’d seen it. I’m just saying. The security guy finally made him wear pants, which he grudgingly put on, but kept pulling them down as low as they would go, showing fully half of his ass and barely concealing him in the front. Yeesh. Anyway. . .I don’t want to devote too much time to scrota; I feel that I’ve done enough already. Moving on.)
. . .and, of course, the gas works itself. This is one of the weirdest parks anywhere, and it’s in one of the most beautiful settings in all of Seattle. It’s slightly sinister, utterly fascinating, and endlessly photogenic.
I seem to remember signs posted around the park that said things like, ‘Wash Your Hands After Touching Grass’ and ‘Do Not Lie On Grass; Please Use Blankets’ and things like that, but I couldn’t find any of those this time. The city must have cleaned the place up a bit more since the last time I was there. It’s been a few years.
Anyway, the day was lovely, and I was glad to have had the extra time to spend in such a leisurely way. I love Seattle, and every time I go, I toy with the idea of moving there. Here’s the view from the park. If you click on it, you’ll see that it’s full-size so that you can really get a sense of it. It’d be amazing after dark too.
I don’t know that I’ll actually move there. I have good things going for me here (not to mention extremely cheap rent), but I do love it, and I always come back and look at apartments on ListByCraig in various neighborhoods, trying to decide which area would suit me.
Le Sigh. Je t’aime, EmeraldCity.