May 18, 2023

Seattle Part Dieu…

So, after a takeout dinner of excellent Lamb Biryani from Kanak Indian Quisine, I fell into bed and slept the good sleep. Only I was still on East Coast time, so my eyes opened automatically at 5:00 a.m. local (8:00 a.m. EDT). That’s about as long as I’m going to sleep nowadays. Years of getting up at 5:30 a.m. have left their mark.

After taking a shower, I dressed and headed out toward our meeting. Stopping in at Cafe Madeline for breakfast, it’s early and I’m the only one in the place, thank goodness. Service is, as they say, sub-optimal. Luckily, there was plenty of time, so it wasn’t a big deal. The food was actually quite good, so I’ll give them a thumbs up. It was fairly early and this is a courthouse kind of place, so I suspect they really aren’t set up for breakfast clientele.

Our meeting went off without a hitch, and I was free by 1:00 p.m. One of my co-workers had suggested to do the Underground Seattle tour as it was quite interesting. Attempting to book tickets online I found they insisted on a lot of information that I really didn’t want to provide to book tickets, so I decided I would just get a ticket at the door.

Walking over there and entering it was quite a surprise to find the in-person price was quite a bit higher than the on-line price. Making a comment about it to the clerk about it got me the eye-roll which was a nice start. Anyway, we congregated in a small room where the tour guide gave us the introduction. He indicated that he had been doing tours for some 33 years, but when not doing that he was an actor. We definitely got that from his presentation.

The local history was interesting, but the most notable part of the “Underground Seattle” tour is most of it is above ground. Perhaps 25% is actually in the catacombs even though the guide indicated that there was a lot more. Kind of disappointing actually.

Anywho, We got finished the tour and by this point the weather was really quite poor. Raining, cold, etc. Luckily I had on my NorthFace Renewed insulated raincoat, which kept me toasty warm and dry. I discovered NorthFace Renewed some time back and I’ve bought several items from them. It’s a great deal as the clothing sold is about half of the normal price, and you can return the stuff for free. Highly recommended if you are in the market for this type of clothing.

This trip was the first time I’ve had to use the new (to me) Fujinon XF16-80mm F4 R OIS WR. As we talked about last time, the XF16-80 was purchased from Map Camera in Tokyo with the funds from the sale of the X100s. Last year during my trip to England/Greece, the Fujinon  XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS had acquitted itself fairly well, but there many times where a little bit wider or little bit longer would have been very useful.

The Measurebater’s out there (predominantly at DPReview) will tell you the XF 16-80 is slow, soft, yadda, yadda, yadda. To be honest I don’t care. My interest is in the imagery and I don’t examine images at 200% to see how sharp a camera/lens combo is. Some of the best images I’ve ever seen were technically pretty bad.

The one thing that was reassuring is both the camera, the XT-2 and the lens are billed at being water resistant. There was an episode in London where the sky’s opened up, and I had to run for cover as I was worried about the XF18-55 not being water resistant. So while the rain in Seattle was fairly light, I had no concerns about being out in it with the camera. That was a big plus.

After the Underground Seattle tour, I just ambled around on my way back to the hotel and the lens was the perfect range for the inner city. Wide enough to get what I wanted, but long enough to bring some things of interest just a little closer. The lens is a bit bigger and heavier than the XF18-55. Enough to be notable in handling, and what cases the camera and lens will fit in.

So, enough yammering, and let’s get to the imagery. As has been the case, there are many more than are presented here. You can see the rest here.

We made our way through Occidental Square. Interesting place. The tour guide gave us a short history, and commented that the city was squeezing the businesses in the area to encourage folks to come back to work as all of them had been sent home to remote work during the pandemic. Many large cities are struggling with this and with the number of closed storefronts in Seattle, the lack of business in the area was showing.

I’m a bit of a fan of the “Clown Shoe“, and this example parked on the street was in amazing condition.

Continuing our tour we had a walk through the Waterfall Garden, an urban oasis. This was one of the few times when I wished for something a little bit wider.

On another one of our descents into the underground, we came across this sign of a local business long gone.

And back up again headed to another one of the catacombs.

And our final set of underground structures:

This old fuse/switch box was sitting rather forlornly on the floor wanting it’s picture taken. How could I resist?

And finally we were done and back at Occidental Square. This memorial to the lost fire fighters was at the southern end.

Continuing back to the hotel, through the Square was this. Have no earthly idea what it’s all about.

I thought this sign was cool.

This lovely little urban park is in front of the Social Security office in Seattle. Unfortunately, there was a young man sitting in the middle of sidewalk in front of the park, in the rain, with his spoon and hypodermic needle. Sad…

And this was there in all it’s glory. Adam has been the subject of some interesting discussion,

And a completely unintentional “selfie”…

On my way back to the hotel, I stopped by Bento World Sushi and Teriyaki for some sushi to take back the hotel. It was very reasonably priced and very good. Unfortunately there is no place to stand inside while waiting for your order, so I had to stand outside in the rain while waiting. Truth be told, it was worth it.

It was getting dark, so I tried to get some shots of Seattle at night through the window. A tripod would definitely have helped.

So, that’s all for this trip to Seattle.

To be honest, my travelling days for work are done. As of May 5, 2023, I’m retired. Done, finished, caput. Whew. We’ll talk in great detail about that next time.

And I’ve turned commenting off. All the comments received were definitely not in the spirit of things.

If you’re reading this and want to reach out to me, it’s pretty simple. My name @ website.