29 September, 2011

From Basement to Shop Window

Working in the only vegetarian restaurant in Blacksburg, VA exposed me to a crowd that before that time in my life I probably wouldn't have been cool enough to associate with and probably still am not.  Gillie's was a place for the hipsters and indie kids of Virginia Tech to get away from the typical college students who were too afraid or manly to be caught dead in a vegetarian restaurant that served craft beer and tofu.  Through my friends here I was exposed to basement shows where local bands, the good, the bad and the ugly, would come perform at someones house in a cramped, low ceiling basement.  One of these bands that I was fortunate enough to see multiple times was Facepaint, a group that was composed partially of Gillie's, and our sister bakery Bollo's, employees.  The lead of this band was Jack Tatum and they were one of the best shows you'd see in these primitive venues.  Jack also had a solo project, Wild Nothing, that was signed by Captured Tracks somewhere in the midst of all this.  Wild nothing needed a band for live performances and Facepaint was the obvious choice though some members have changed since. One day we were watching Facepaint in basements and backyards and the next Jack is on the Best New Artist list of Pitchfork and earning a raving review.  Anyone who knows about indie music and Pitchfork knows that they can make a career.  Since then Wild Nothing, has gone on a few tours in the US and Europe and Jack is working on a new album.

I am not great friends with Jack and the band members other than recognizing each other on the street and saying hello.  The point of this parable is how interesting it was to watch an artist grow and one day walk down the street in a new city and see this in a shop window.

27 September, 2011


Well, our little family has made it up to Seattle and is settling into a small home, 470 sqft. to be exact with a yard and a "greenhouse".  Stress became a close friend in our quest for residence but at the end of the week-long-living-in-a-motel search we lucked out with a place of our own in a good neighborhood that doesn't break the bank.  We have been spending our time dreaming of things to build to maximize our space, hitting up thrift shops for certain necessities and exploring our new city.  Explorations thus far are mostly taking walks through parks or in our neighborhood.  After steadily emptying our wallets throughout the move and buying new goodies for the home we thought this would be an economical way to enjoy the last beautiful days of the season before the famous Seattle weather hits us head on.  Luckily our home is a hop skip and a walk away from two very different but very beautiful parks and if you add a two-wheeled human powered vehicle to the equation the options for picnics and book reading grows exponentially.  I regret to say not many pictures have been taken but here are a few of my favorites from the ones we have.

Golden Gardens Park
The "quintessential" view of the city at the very small Kerry Park.
Gasworks Park
Gasworks Park

I don't have any pictures from the park we went to today, Carkeek Park, which is home to trails full of ferns and moss that end at a beach on the other side.  I also kick myself for not having a picture that does Golden Gardens Park justice with a view of the Olympic Mountains on the other side of the Puget Sound.  It doesn't seem to make sense to be on a beach with a mountain range in view on the other side.  Moving has been anything but glamorous but it's nice to have places like these around when I'm 3,000 miles away from the coast I grew up on.

Before I get weepy here's a cool print of Seattle Neighborhoods I found through a blog I frequent and then stumbled upon again in a little shop down in Ballard.  They're designed by Ork Posters and are a lot of fun since we have been stressing over what neighborhoods to live in first in Portland and then Seattle.  Aaron, Sagan and I are residents of the Greenwood neighborhood, it's a pretty easy find.  You can check to see if they have one of your city, they also have prints of the anatomy of the brain and the human heart, pretty nifty.
manhattan nieghborhood poster