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Monday, July 22, 2013


Fun day in a new place. 
The Ivars sketch was done with my Lamy fountain pen on watercolor paper.

This one was done with a fine tip Sharpie (my Lamy pen ran out of ink) on a really absorbent rag paper 

And this, on the Edmond's beach. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Olympia Oyster House Destroyed by Fire

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.

Monday, July 15, 2013

After the Red-Eye

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 Building.

I did a few more -a sort of visual diary -  some of which I'll post through the week. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

America's First Suburb - Brooklyn Heights

We 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.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sunny's Bar in Red Hook, Brooklyn

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. 

When 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.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Honk Fest West

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. 

The Highline, NYC

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.