Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Alki Art Fair

For all the grousing people do about the weather around here, we've had some gorgeous weekends lately, allowing us to fully enjoy local events. We had a gorgeous 4th of July; perfect weather for the Seafair Pirate landing; and most recently, a magnificent weekend for the Art Fair at Alki Beach.

Look, not a cloud in the sky! Unusual for around here.

We had perfect weather and a perfect setting for an art show.

People got here any way they could.

No Seattle grey in evidence here.

Even a paddle boarder stopped by.

Another wonderful day in the neighborhood!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Life at Alki Beach: Pirates and Pole Vaulters - Aaaargh!!

The Seafair Pirates landed at Alki Beach recently, marking the beginning of Seattle's month-long Seafair celebration. While pirate invasions are not considered a good thing in other parts of the world, here it is an eagerly awaited event, for children especially.

'Twas a beautiful summer day at Alki Beach, temperature in the low 70s, ideal invasion weather!

Folks around here dress up for this event in traditional Northwest garb. This man sports a pirate hat and, of course, a fleece vest.
Here one of the littlest pirate fans gets a boost from Dad to watch for the pirate ship.
Even though it seemed to take a long time for the ship to get here, there was plenty to do in the meantime - like have a sword fight. 
Or watch the pole vaulting competition, which was going on at the same time. (I'm not sure why these two events play together at the same time each year.)

Seattle is a big time, maritime city and this is a perfect Seafair event to show that off. Here among the sailboats is a police boat that just "did a donut" in front of the crowd. (See the circular wake?)
In the background, the fire boat demonstrates waterworks.

Then, at last! The pirate boat approaches, in a cloud of smoke from canon fire (or something like it).

Within minutes, the boat reaches shore, lowering its ramp amid a flurry of fireworks. The crowd moves aside as the Seafair Pirates storm the shore!
 Aaargh!

The invaders run to the top of the hill overlooking the shore, with the crowd at their heels. 

Captain Kidd, in the red coat, and his crew stand at the top of the hill, surveying the crowd below. The Seattle Seafair Pirates, for all their costume and theater, are a benevolent bunch. They toss candy and trinkets to the children below. It's all great fun and something for families to look forward to every summer. All over the Alki neighborhood you see pirate flags, black with white skull and crossbones, attached to fences and stuck in flowerpots, where they will stay through wind and rain and snow until next year's pirate landing -- and new flags can be found.

For more information on the Seafair Pirates, visit their website. There you'll find out about upcoming "raids" at various locations in Seattle throughout the Seafair season. You'll also find out how you, too, can become a pirate. Wouldn't that be fun? Aarrgh!

For more information on what is going on in our West Seattle community, check the West Seattle Blog, hyper-local reporting at its best!

Related post:
Send In The Clowns

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Happy Summer!

I realize that the first day of summer was a couple of weeks ago. But I'm just now getting around to uploading photos I've taken recently and this one seems like one worth sharing. Not because it is an outstanding photo necessarily, but because it captures a somewhat historic event.

This shot was taken at Solstice Park in West Seattle at sunset on June 21, 2011. The park was created a few years ago as a place to witness and celebrate the sun's arrival at its northern and southernmost arcs across the sky. (Of course, as you can see, it is a pretty spectacular place to watch the sun set anytime, with Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains in the foreground.) A marker was set in the park, supposedly to line up with the path of the sun on Solstice days. But because of cloud cover, the sun has not been visible at sunset on the day of the Summer Solstice since the park's creation, and no one really knew if the marker did, in fact, line up.

So as the day approached, and the weather report sounded promising, we had high hopes that this would be the year to find out. As you can see, we did, indeed, have a clear view of the sunset this year. And according to Alice Enevoldson, astronomer and volunteer with NASA's Solar System Ambassadors Program, the sun did pretty much line up with the marker.

Given the fact that folks around here joke that summer doesn't REALLY start in Seattle until the day after the 4th of July, I think we got off to an early start this year. And this photo is proof -- an auspicious beginning all around.