Posts Tagged ‘Seattle’

Seattle Art Museum

Image by born1945 via Flickr

Part of the Seattle Art Museum, the Asian collection has it’s own building on Capitol Hill. Sitting in the middle of beautiful Volunteer Park it’s housed in the original Seattle Art Museum building. Well worth a visit, you should take yourself there soon.

The grand entrance is flanked by flowers and camels. It reminded me of the lions at the Chicago Art Museum.

camel Seattle Asian Art Museum


The inside is open and lit with skylights and has some lovely iron work.

iron work

There is a mix of the ancient and modern, temple statues, blockprints, furniture, carvings, pottery and porcelins. Japanese, Chinese, East Indian, there is something for every taste. Pictured here is a bronze work depicting seaweed. It’s much more impressive than the photo shows.

How do you like this example of ikebana-flower arranging. The pot was really interesting and was the focus in this exhibit not the flowers actually.

ikebana Japanes pottery

There is more to see, but I’ll leave you with the elaborate embroidery of royal robes. Here are a couple of details for your enjoyment. More later.

embroiderydragon embroidery

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I’ve been in the Pacific Northwest for just over a year now and I thought it was time to compare and contrast. So here is my short list of differences between Downeast Maine (the area north and east of Bar Harbor) and the Seattle, Washington area. It’s just for fun.

Mt rainier


Category Maine Seattle
Seafood Lobster Salmon
Clouds Cumulus,Fluffy Stratocumulus,Silver
Mosquitos Too many 3
Black Flies #%$@#! 0
Rain Summer Winter
Fog 9 months Seldom
Mountains Gentle Craggy
Water Atlantic Puget Sound
Spring 2-3 days Yes
Whales Finback Grey
Snow Lots In mountains
Humidity High Low
Evergreens Tall Taller
Transport Pickup Bus, train
Dogs Big Little
Ship Cruise,Lobster boat Cruise,Container
Jobs Tourism Tech
Dessert Woopie pie Cupcake
Roadside plant Lupine Scotch broom
Drink Starbucks Coffee
Weather Talk about Complain about
National Park Acadia Olympic
People Direct Polite
Volcanoes No Yes

maine lobster boat and buoys

Why not compare where you live now with where you used to live? What was the most outstanding difference between them? 

all rights reserved© Diane Kern 2011



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A little while back I received an early birthday present of a cruise on Lake Washington. Being new to the area I enjoyed taking in the sights from a different vantage point.

It was a gray and cloudy day. Wait a minute, I learned from our Captain that Seattle doesn’t have gray days. We enjoy silver skys! Actually I have noticed a difference in the clouds from Maine to Washington. The clouds are a definite silver color here unlike the very white clouds in Maine.

Our vessel, Emerald Star, circumnavigated, how do you like that sailing lingo, Mercer Island on a two-hour cruise. No one was shipwrecked, although I did meet a professor.

You could sit outside on the deck, it was comfortably warm despite the sky, or you could find a seat inside. Either way you could enjoy appetizers, sandwiches and drinks.

The captain kept a running monologue of local sites and historical information that was both amusing and educational.

Of course there were plenty of fancy houses to see.

And it was fun to see the underside of I-90. I know. I am easily amused.

We saw Bellevue from a new perspective.

Bill Gates wasn’t home but here is his house.

There was one family that spent most of the time taking pictures of themselves. Families with small children tried to keep them from falling overboard. They were all successful. And the rest of us just enjoyed the ride.

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My week in Maine is almost at an end. Please don’t ask me how my vacation was. I spent every day working either in performances of Muse of Fire or trying to consolidate two storage units into one.

I report that both of these endevors were successful. But building and striking sets, loading sets in and out and then moving boxes and furniture back and forth has me feeling kind of tired.

The week was not without a little fun though. I was hosted during my stay by good friends who provided good conversation and tasty meals in addition to a comfy bed. I visited with folks I hadn’t seen in months. There was the obligatory visit to Schoodic Point, part of Acadia National Park-my favorite place in the world. And of course, Lobster Rolls.

The performances of Muse of Fire are a highlight of my year. The audience members once again rose to their feet in a spontaneous Standing O. That is always gratifying as this is not only a tremendous piece of theater but also an effort of the heart.

The most beautiful day was, of course, the day I had to spend indoors. Warm and sunny with a searingly blue sky. The clouds must have felt sorry for me. Take a look at this sad cloud face.

The rest of the week was cloudy with sunny breaks, as they would say back in Seattle. But I did not mind at all.The cool damp air felt really soothing to me. And I love the dark nights with bright stars and the quiet.

Tomorrow packing and sorting the things I want to bring back with me.

all rights reserved©Diane Kern 2010

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Once in a while something really special comes along. One such thing is the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace which stopped in Seattle on its world wide tour. I decided to visit on the penultimate day of the local stop.

I was totally unprepared for the experience. Not in an intellectual sense. After all I had done a little research and knew many facts about the Jade Buddha, the discovery of the 18 ton gem quality boulder in Canada, the carving in Thailand, its 8 foot height, the tour schedule and so on. (For more facts visit the official site)

I had planned to visit on a weekday in an attempt to avoid the inevitable crowds that gather at such an unusal sight. But my schedule prohibited. I found myself there on Saturday with hundreds and hundreds of people. Once I had negotiated the parking, no small feat in itself, I followed the crowds through the dragon gate into the courtyard. There had been a brief glimpse from the street as the traffic police pushed the cars by as fast as possible. But actually walking into the enclosure was overwhelming.

I was unprepared for the din of vendors, people, music both live and recorded. The riot of colors from flowers available for purchase to make an offering to the Buddha, souvenirs of all kinds, the pyramids of snack foods were amazing. The smells of cooking, flowers, incense and offerings of fruit wafted everywhere. Children were running happily through the courtyard while the older folk with their canes manuevered through the crowds which seemed to part before them almost magically. Some people had staked out a seat to watch the goings on or just to take a rest. As the sun came out umbrellas went up to shade the ladies. The whole scene reminded me of the Italian saint’s street festivals back in Connecticut, minus the firecrackers.

And there in the middle of it all, ensconced in a pavillion on the steps of the Co Lam Pagoda, surrounded by an amazing array of flowers was the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace. An oasis of calm in the midst of the happy chaos. People lined up along the edge of the courtyard waiting for their opportunity to light incense, make their offerings and give honor. It was a world separate from all the Buddha looked down upon.

There was no fighting that day, I never even heard a child cry during the hours I was there. There was happiness, reverence, peace, energy, and at that time and in that place there truly did seem to be universal peace.

Although this Buddha has departed for Portland, the next stop on the tour, the temple itself is worth a visit. There are many other things to see in the courtyard. I’m sure you would be welcome.


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