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Fire ripped through the Olympia Oyster House, a long-time landmark early this morning. Originally an oyster-shucking business at the turn of the century, it became a restaurant in 1940. The 80's brought the addition of a sports bar and blue neon decor. The Oyster house holds a special spot in my heart since we held our wedding rehearsal dinner there a looong time ago.
Took the red eye to Brooklyn and Manhattan the first of July to visit
family. Arrived at 5:30 am hopped on the AirTrain to Penn Station. It
was 6:30 am, about 90 degrees. Thought I'd take the subway to Brooklyn
and cooked below ground drawing this sketch.
Thankfully my daughter sent me a text saying she was on her way by car
to pick me up, so I headed above ground - 33rd and 7th I think - and had
a few minutes to do this very quick sketch of the Empire State
I did a few more -a sort of visual diary - some of which I'll post through the week.
stayed in Brooklyn Heights, Willowtown specifically, a sweet apartment
in a lovely neighborhood with a canopy of trees lending shade to the 90
degree/90% humidity. It was the first suburb in America where Manhattan
residents escaped the intensity of the city in the early 1800s.
Hopefully our current American suburbs will grow to be as charming. This
one also had charming cafes, mid-block churches and even a fire
station amidst the brownstones. Found it on Airbnb.
Sunny's is a legendary bar in Red Hook, Brooklyn, but according to the the New York Times, "To
merely call Sunny’s a bar is to shortchange it. The place feels like a
delicious secret, with its century’s worth of knickknacks, joyous
multigenerational bluegrass jamborees and unassuming intimacy." In
short, it's legendary.
Hurricane Sandy hit last November, Red Hook took a huge hit, and
Sunny's sits on the downhill side, just a block from the East River.
It's basement has a dirt floor. Thousands have rallied to raise funds to reopen Sunnys. At the same time, the owner, Sunny
Balzano, has been living with cancer for the past 12 years. Still the
patrons are loyal and I've heard the place hosts "speakeasy" bluegrass
show occasionally. The green truck is a constant, by the way.
Made my way up to Seattle with the intention of hitting the Solstice Parade first then take in Honk Fest West at Gasworks. It was definitely Seattle's day in the sun. It took me 1.5 hours to get from Spokane Street to Nickerson Street. Fortunately I had the foresight to bring my bike, park near Seattle Pacific and bike over to Freemont. I pushed my bike through the crowd to get over to Gasworks where Honk Fest West was gathering steam. Captured these two scenes as quickly as I could.
I walked the Highline three days in a row. Such a lovely park and so New York. If you're not familiar, the Highline
is an elevated park built on an abandoned railroad track from the
Meatpacking District to near Chelsea. If you're interested you can read more.
Partly I love it because it's so different from any park I've been to.
Also it's been beautifully designed and thirdly, it was a grass roots
project instigated by some people in the neighborhood. I did this
sketch on my third walk. Because it was my birthday I felt justified to
ask my companions to indulge me and wait while I sketched. As it
happened there was plenty of people watching to be done. The Highline
been dubbed "The new Times Square" and if you judge by the numbers, that
day 's visitors certainly rivaled it's predecessor.