April 16, 2011

Seattle Outing

We have been working pretty hard lately. I had my trip, but poor Dan has been working around the clock. About two months ago, my sister told me about an artist coming to a gallery in Seattle. Dan said he would like to go see it, so today was the day. It wasn't too likely to rain and so we were ready to go.

After looking at the hours for the gallery (1p-6p) we decided to take a later boat over to Seattle. We parked and walked on. I planned on plenty of time for us to get to the ferry after stopping to get cash at the bank, but we still had to do that mad dash onto the ferry we always end up doing. Darn it.

Once off the boat on the other side, we caught a taxi to take us up to Belltown. We had him drop us off at 2nd and Bell where the gallery was. We saw the dog park on 3rd and Bell, but we didn't walk up to see it.

We found the location of the gallery and were disappointed to see they had closed the curtains on the windows so we couldn't even get a peek before they opened. Oh well. Soon enough.

From there we started to wander around to find lunch. I thought we'd go to a japanese place across from the gallery only to find it was closed for remodeling. We walked 3 blocks this way, 5 blocks back the other way and still couldn't find anything we could agree on. I wanted to eat at the Mexican restaurant, but Dan had eaten there before and wanted to try a new place. Dan wanted Italian, but I wanted something lighter.

Finally we decided to walk down to 1st Avenue and just pick something. So down one block and we turned right. About a block down I saw a partially obscured sign that looked like it said CHINA. *groan* I didn't want chinese food either. But as we got closer it said OHANA. It rang a couple of bells with me, but I thought I was reminded of something else non-food related.

When we got near the door, I looked in and saw the tiki bar decor and had a flash. Oh yeah! I remember reading about Ohana being one of the last tiki bars in Seattle and how great the food was. SOLD! :)

We sat down in the area of the restaurant that also has a sushi bar. We looked over the menu and there were a lot of things we talked about trying. I tried to get Dan to have the Spam Musubi, but he declined. I finally decided on a Ohana Bento Box. It had chicken teriyaki and "Ohana style" sides. Whatever that means.

Dan got a Tonkatsu. It was lightly breaded pork with a few different sides and a big bowl of BBQ sauce. My bento box came with the chicken, a spicy slaw type salad with things I couldn't identify. I also had rice and steamed greens of some kind and the mac salad. The salad was more like a potato salad with elbow macaroni in it. It was all fantastic.

Dan ordered a Sapporo and I had a guava juice with a splash of vodka. Wonderful lunch, good drinks and a fun atmosphere. The staff was just the right amount of attentive. Not overly pesky, but always around when we needed something. I would absolutely go there again. Nothing fancy, but a fun place to eat something a bit different from all the other restaurants in town.

After lunch we wandered back up to 2nd and Bell to find the RoqLaRue open. It was a very small exhibit. I had been hoping for something a bit bigger, but the art was all very interesting. We started on one side of the gallery where they had a variety of different artists displayed. There was this one sculpture of a dog head that was really interesting to us. Very strange, but somehow visually appealing. Dan fell in love with this big painting. I'm not sure how to describe it. But it was really interesting.

Then we moved over to the Travis Louie paintings. There were about 11-12 paintings that all featured some kind of monster creature along with a person in Victorian dress. There were little stories next to some of the paintings with descriptions of how the people came to take in these monsters as pets. It was very whimsical and I loved it. I am expecting my own Troll Head or Northern Henry for my birthday this year. You can see the paintings at the link above.

When we had seen everything, we moved over to the section where the Kris Kuksi pieces were. There were only four pieces on display. The first one was "Czarina Promenade". It was really detailed and every time we went back to look at it, we saw something different.

We saw "Andromeda" on the wall and both agreed we would like to see it displayed on a table instead, but we were able to twist around and stand sideways to see everything in it. I'm not sure which way the artist wanted it displayed, but I still think it would be better viewed from above and on a vertical surface.

I think the next one was "Missionary Module" that had the strong religion and war symbology I've seen in other pieces of his when I looked Kuski up online. The big guy on the front with his hands on the controls was a little scary looking, but it made the piece more interesting when incorporated with the rest of it all.

I think my favorite was "Ode to Hurculaneum". The detail was fantastic. Dan thought a lot of the imagery was disturbing, but I like that. :) It was a gorgeous piece and I told Dan he could buy it for me. Unfortunately it was not only sold already, but it was just a bit outside of our price range. :)

We left the gallery with nothing specific in mind to do. We discussed walking up towards Seattle Center and the Space Needle. We also talked about continuing the art theme and going to the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Garden. We've been talking about going there for years, but haven't been in the area with time to spare, so we chose that.

We walked the 10-11 blocks to the park and went into the building to get a map and guide to the sculptures. We walked outside and some kind of band with kettle drums and other instruments was playing and a bunch of people were dancing there. Dan wanted to get down to the sculpture and play with the camera. We sat down on one of the edges of the tiered lawn and looked at the map and planned our route. I sent Dan on to take pictures of "The Wave" while I stayed on the grass listening too the music.

The Wave Olympic Sculpture Garden The Wave

Poor Dan! I was laughing, but he didn't look too amused. Every time he would frame up a shot just how he wanted it, this same family would wander into his picture. They weren't doing it maliciously, but that just made it more funny. He'd set up a shot, and the little girl would run through with her home made kite, dragging behind her. He'd move and line up another shot to have the mom run through with the kite dragging behind her. Then he'd get another shot and all three of them walked in and just stood there. Ah, we've all been there before. They left after a few minutes and Dan was able to get the shots he wanted.

I joined him and we walked through the park. Some of the pieces were beautiful, some were lost on me completely. I wasn't aware you could just put some old logs on wire and hang them from metal poles and that was art. Maybe I'm missing something in that piece.

The Wave Olympic Sculpture Garden

Some artists had more than one piece and I found it interesting that a couple of times we liked one, but not the other. Like two pieces right next to each other. One was very rustic and the other was shiny and modern. Even though neither of us usually enjoy modern work, we both loved that piece the best. Strange.

The Wave Olympic Sculpture Garden

The plaque next to this piece says: "Stainless steel, polished to a mirror finish. The idea is that from whatever angle you view it, the voids seem filled and the solids seem empty." I think you can see it really well in this picture.

The Wave Olympic Sculpture Garden

There is also a sculpture there that raised quite a bit of controversy when it was installed. It's right next to Pier 70 and the tourist area, so maybe there would have been less uproar if it was in the back or up in the middle of the garden instead. I don't know. Sorry we didn't take a picture of it for you.

The piece is a fountain. There are two naked figures on pillars in the middle of the fountain. One young boy and one grown man. Both figures have their arms outstretched to each other. The water in the fountain changes, sometimes obscuring the man, sometimes obscuring the boy, sometimes at the height of their bases so both are exposed. It does look a little pedophilic, but again, maybe I'm just missing something. I remember reading the artists vision was like a "Cat's Cradle" kind of thing where the father is unavailable to the son, and then the son is unavailable to the dad and when the water is low, we're supposed to feel them "striving to overcome a seemingly insurmountable divide." Or something.

The Wave Olympic Sculpture Garden
Um.. ma'am. Can you please not sit on the art?

I really enjoyed the "Neukom Vivarium" by Mark Dion. It's a giant fully-automatic, greenhouse looking structure. Inside is a nurse log they moved from the Cascades into the 80-foot terrarium. We have both seen a lot of nurse logs on our hikes over the years, but it was certainly something to see it in the heart of Seattle right on a major road, and the busy train tracks.

The Wave Olympic Sculpture Garden

There are a bunch of native plants around the log and several things have sprouted on the log already. I am pretty sure it was about 5 years ago they put this one together. There are some trees on the log that are already pretty close to the ceiling. We talked about what they would do once the trees reach the glass at the top. I think they should have someone come out to bonsai them. The docent said they had talked about that, but most likely the landscaping people would want to cut them down. :( The artist says, "Wouldn't it be great if we just let it grow and it became a whole new forest in the city?" That would be great, but probably not that feasible. Ha Ha

The Wave Olympic Sculpture Garden

I liked several pieces though. I was really attracted to the eyeball benches near the pervy fountain. I also like the giant typewriter eraser. I wonder how many of the other people in the park even knew what that sculpture was. Probably not a lot of people under 40 could identify one of those.

The Wave Olympic Sculpture Garden

Once we were done with the park, we were both getting tired. We decided to just walk back to the ferry along Alaskan on the waterfront. I had the cocktail with lunch and was really craving a diet coke. Near the cruise ship terminal, we spotted Anthony's at Pier 66 and went inside.

I've been wanting to go to this restaurant since we moved there. It's one of those places you hear buzz about all the time, but nobody ever seems to want to go there with me. :) It was too early for dinner, but late enough that we were pretty hungry.

Dan and I each ordered a soda and a cup of clam chowder. We also got an appetizer portion of their crab, shrimp and artichoke dip. YUM!! They have great chowder and that dip is my favorite and I haven't found a place that makes it "wrong". It was nice to just sit down and rest our feet for a bit. The fantastic food was a bonus.

After our "snack" (that later turned out to be our dinner, supplemented with some carrots and popcorn while we watched a movie that night), we headed back out on Alaskan and walked towards the ferry. It felt like it was getting further away the more we walked. I kept feeling pressure to get there in time for the 5:30pm boat and my pace was probably a bit faster than I wanted it to be. Dan kept telling me to relax and slow down as we couldn't even see the boat yet. But right after he said that, I saw the boat and picked up the pace again. :)

We got on the ferry without trouble and back on Bainbridge we got the car from the parking lot and headed home. We had a conflict over which way to go home as our usual route is closed because of the huge construction project downtown.

Good day and not a bit of rain!

Back to Main Page