Friday, August 22, 2008

Do Figs Actually Ripen Here?

I was so very excited to see a fig tree earlier this week when dog-walking around my Capitol Hill micro-hood.

Seeing those giant hand leaves and suspended little greenies made me all giddy, recalling late summer days with mom, with bees, and with brown sacks filled with ripened figs. California, mid-70's.

The branches of the tree in my neighborhood are hanging over public property, and I picked up a few fallen fruit from alongside the sidewalk.

They were not ripe, so I drew on them instead.

When will the baby greenies on the tree get ripe? Or rather, do they ever ripen here in the Northwest?

I'll keep checking back on "my" tree during dog walks. In the meantime, you now know who to ping if you have more figs than you can deal with from your own trees.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Little Walking Tour of Capitol Hill

I recently joined the Seattle Architecture Foundation's walking tour of my neighborhood. The Pike/Pine: Cars, Bars, and Dead Rock Stars tour is informative of historical and contemporary design, and use of neighborhood structures.

This tour is good for regional residents: it includes useful historical context and discussion of contemporary urban planning and redevelopment projects. However, I don't recommend you take out-of-town visitors on this tour. The Underground Tour is for the tourists; the Seattle Architecture Foundation's tour is for residents and those interested in the neighborhood's history and building design.

NE from Trace rooftop

Check my post over on the Capitol Hill Seattle site to discover buildings that were car dealerships or auto services 100 years ago, when Pike/Pine was Seattle's "auto row." Once you know what to look for, it is fun to recognize the structures and see how they are used today. Some still have auto-related businesses.

We also had an interesting brewmaster-led tour of the Elysian Brewery. No beer tasting, but it wasn't even noon o'clock yet anyway.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Going to Le Castle Vania

Saturday is the first of a recurring monthly dance party at Chop Suey named Faded.
The inagural night brings Le Castle Vania to the northwest for a night of euro electro dirty disco punk.

You like the Ed Banger label sound? How about Boyz Noise? If so, get your lightweight night duds on and hit the Chop on Saturday. It get's hot in there and I can practically guarantee you'll be a steamy sweaty dance-happy mess by the end of the night. Read more on Le Castle Vania in this Three Imaginary Girls blog post.

Here's a video taste.

Monday, August 11, 2008

photo: hip hop and rain at the KEXP bbq

Saturday's weather included a downpour worthy of the midwest. With lightning, too.

It started during the set change between The Saturday Knights and Common Market at the KEXP summer BBQ and continued throughout Common Market's set.

This picture was called quintessential of summer music in Seattle: drinking beer in the rain, rocking out, and smiling broadly. And less than half with umbrellas.

New Screen Tees

I picked up a couple of new hand-printed tees this weekend, direct from makers Revival Ink and Bherd Studios.

I love this new Twisted Tree design from Revival Ink.

have new tee from Revival Ink
Revival Ink is run by Tara Smith out of Seattle. (My very first Revival Ink shirt was this, purchased last December.) You can find Revival Ink's ready-mades at Atlas Clothing, Pretty Parlour, and a handful of other stores in the area.

Additionally, Revival Ink is a regular at the Fremont Market and I Heart Rummage. Check the Revival Ink website for more locations and upcoming shows, or to order online. Tara's also creates rad one-of-a-kind vintage wear customized with hand-screened designs, available through Etsy.

I cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die swear I had no plans to buy another shirt this weekend. And then I saw this Icarus tee at Bherd Studios. I've always had an affinity for the Icarus story, perhaps because of a recurring dream since a young age that I can fly.

have new tee and boy shorts from Bherd Studios

Bherd Studios is an art gallery, clothing store, and workspace with an urban edge. The storefront studio is in the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle and features artist-in-residence John Osgood. I went to the opening night of the "Spray It Don't Say It" show Saturday night and fell (groan) in love with the Icarus design. And these cutie pie boy shorts with wings on the bum were just too precious to pass up.

All are hand-printed pieces; check the other styles on the Bherd website. Stop into the shop for more designs and colors. You'll also find Bherd at the 2008 Urban Craft Uprising.

I plan to order a pair of these custom kicks from John this fall. These beauties were first unveiled at the Georgetown Artopia event last month and I haven't forgotten about them. If you like 'em too, check with John and Michelle -- they may have your size in stock.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Discover art off the mainstream tonight

It's the first Thursday of the month: time to get your Seattle art walk on!
Rather than hit the usual galleries, why not check out a few of these alternative art spots tonight?

We Have Our Own Ways
by Team Nerd
This first solo show by Team Nerd is a fine art printmaking tribute to the women in the artist's family. The show features oversized art books of letterpress poetry and linoleum block portraits, and oversized wood block prints of the ladies. You've most certainly seen Team Nerd work if you walk around the city much.
Zietgiest Coffee and Gallery
3rd and Jackson, Pioneer Square
6pm - 8pm

Works by Brandon Baker
This artist's wry sense of humor is reflected in his color-saturated, 'toon-like artwork of street-jaded creatures. He'll be showing paintings and will have t-shirts and magnets available.
Thursday is also his birthday! Check in to wish him a happy new year, if for no other reason.
Additional artists also showing at this venue.
Heaven Nightclub
172 Washington St

4pm - 10pm

Of course, my favorite haunt:

619 Western Ave building, of which I've already blogged.

Various hours by studio
generally starts early and runs late.

Plus one more, a little out of the usual First Thursday 'hood:

No Wimps: Art Inspired by Tattoo Culture
various artists including Ego, Shawn Barber, and Damon Conklin
This month's show at BLVD Gallery opens a week earlier than usual to kickoff the Seattle Tattoo Expo this weekend. Although the gallery isn't in the Pioneer Square area, it runs late tonight so you have time to wrap up at the square then catch a cab for a short ride up to Belltown to finish off your art walk night.
BLVD Gallery
2316 2nd Ave

619 love

Science: First Test of World's Largest Particle Accelerator Scheduled Sept 10th

Particle accelerators are a curious paradox: Build large to study small. Big bang, dark matter. Poetic science, I love you.

The first attempt to circulate a beam in the newly built Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will be made on September 10th. The LHC is the largest particle accelerator in the world (17 miles / 27 km) and is located 100 m below ground surface in Switzerland and France.

Check the CERN site for a countdown clock to the test and learn more about what they hope to discover using the LHC.

Or you can just watch this rap video from some crazy physics kids:

If this only leaves you wanting more, here's two books on physics written for folks like you and me:

Death by Black Hole by Neil deGrasse Tyson
A compilation of essays written by the director of the Hayden Planetarium and published in Natural History Magazine. Very approachable writing style, using pop culture references to tie fictional concepts to science facts and plausible theories.

The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene
This one takes the science and math to a more challenging level, but it is still understandable and not nearly as difficult a read as Brief History of Time by Hawking. (Has anyone EVER finished that book? I call bullshit. You physicists don't count.)

Photo credit: Installation of the world's largest silicon tracking detector. (Michael Hoch, © CERN)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Robert Zverina's Autobioanthropolography

Get yourself to the McLeod Residence and check out Robert Zverina's show "memory (w)hole." Trust me: it is fascinating, and you'll want to go back again to see more. What is so compelling?

Autobioanthropology is a word made up by Robert Z: autobiography + anthropology.

Robert Zverina's been creating mini-films with a digital pocket camera since Feb 2003. He's compiled the best of the short clips into 24 hours of video documentary of ordinary life. Clips range from 4 seconds to 30 seconds, the equipment's maximum recording time. The word autobioanthropolograhy is apt.

The video compilation is mesmerizing: you don't know how long each clip lasts and you have no idea what the next subject will be. A cat? A street scene? Making a purchase? Riding a train?
The briefness of each segment, punctuated with a 5-second empty interval between each, leaves you wanting just a little bit more -- yet also happily anticipating the next segment. Channel surfing ordinary life, if you will.

I watched about 20 minutes of the compilation at the show's opening last Friday. I plan to return to see more, and I'll likely also buy the DVD ($30) and play it on the TV when guests are over.

The second installation by Robert Zverina at the McLeod is 572 Pictures of the Day, which wallpapers the front gallery room. These are prints of online photo/text postings, from pre-blog time to present. He's been blogging before there was such a thing as blogging. No fancy blog s/w for this fella. Every page is hand-coded. (Hard core geek.)

The artist's statement on the memory (w)hole show:
In George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, history is constantly rewritten, with the old versions being tossed into the "memory hole"--an incinerator. memory (w)hole is a play on words that implies we inhabit a space between total recall and utter amnesia. This exhibit presents the largest compilation of Robert Zverina Short Films to date, with more than 24 hours of non-repeating microdocumentaries cycling chronologically in a comfortable cinema setting. In an adjacent gallery, 572 Picture of the Day web page printouts line the walls from floor to ceiling to form an "exploded book," a grand gesture in the futile struggle against forgetting.

Just for reading this far, I'll throw in a few fun facts about Robert Z:

  • He's a low-fi DJ: he plays 45s on a portable turntable

  • He's getting married in August in the country. Back country. He and the wife are having a block party/reception in the Fremont neighborhood to celebrate nups the following week.
Memory w(hole) runs at the McLeod Residence through the end of September.

Here's the dude himself taking a picture of me taking his picture. Hmmm. Maybe I'll be in something.

artist & dj Robert Zverina

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Nine Reasons to Not Date a Tyrannosauras Rex

Reason No 3: Couple photos never turn out very well
Reason No 4: Tokyo vacations are out.
Check the rest of the list here

I have no idea why I find this so funny! [shrug] It's not like I've ever dated a real dinosaur.

Monday, August 4, 2008

a few line drawings for me

Creative and sweet Starhead made a few simple line drawings for me last week. (Some of you may have an idea of why I asked for this subject in particular! Just you wait.)

When we met up last week for beers and artwork pickup, Starhead told me the story of his [brave little] toaster.

Last year Starhead joined up with Static Invasion to install big-ass static clings around the city. The clings were mobile: people could remove them and install them in new places around town. (peel and stick. over and over.) Starhead's contribution to the project was a toaster. Months later the toaster was spotted in an apartment window in a south city neighborhood. When Starhead learned of its location, he created a bunch of small toaster stickers. He placed them on the block where the big toaster cling was installed so it wouldn't be so lonely.

Starhead didn't hang around to see what the toaster's caretakers thought of his follow up. He hopes they found it entertaining that the artist randomly located the mobile artwork and then added to it for quiet public amusement.

Good times!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Blue Angels are playing at my house

over my place
Originally uploaded by JeanineAnderson
While the rest of Capitol Hill complains of the noise and bother, I am feeling like a kid next to the roller coaster. I wanna ride!
This is my first year living on the hill and I am thrilled to get the rumble in my tummy right from my front door.
Maybe it will get old for me by the end of the weekend and I'll turn into a Capitol HIll Blue Angels grumpster.
But for now, rock and roar on!