I.D. Yourself

I.D. Yourself

Know those folks who’ve lived somewhere their whole lives yet have never actually gone to any number of local destinations often flocked to by out-of-towners? Enter Seattle’s International District, the city’s politically correct and culturally expanded answer to China Town. Having made nothing more than subterranean visits via the underground bus line while commuting to and from school many years ago, it was apparent the time had last arrived to change that.

So, we hopped that once familiar mode of transportation, to find we’d boarded a fan bus filled with blue and green. If the exterior design of the vehicle didn’t give it away, the loud chatter of true blue soon-to-be spectators certainly did. Packed with Seahawks fans galore, Shan and I somehow managed to land the last two seats.

First stop after a short walk up a long hill, was the garden.

First stop after a short walk up a long hill, was the garden. The Danny Woo Community Garden. Love! Accompanied by a thunderous noise from the packed stadium beyond, we made our way up a series of switchbacked steps masked by an intricate weaving of tree branches above, a nice shield from the drizzling rain. Among the best encounters:

This I tell you, was a slam dancin’ chicken if ever there was one! Repeatedly jumping up, bouncing off the mesh only to do it again and again in a funktified flicken chicken rhythm. This bird may well contain the twelfth herb or spice to add to a certain iconic bucket.

KFC

Add this whatchamacallit to the list! A new favorite! Reminiscent of those muppety martians best known for their yip-yip, yep-yep schtick. Them, or Strawberry Shortcake with dreads.

Muppet Approved

And it’s been a while, but was thoroughly reminded- sunflowers are amazing! A flower that can stand taller than me with a wide round face shining right down? Seems like it’d make for a great dance partner in the vein of Fred Astaire and the coat rack he took for a spin.

Sunflower

I’d like to know the story behind this little trinket. Who tied it here, and why, and is it still there today?

Trinket

On the way back down, walked through that same woven canopy of tree branches, this time encountering many an apple tree. An ode to that lovely movie In Dreams with all its creepy apple goodness. Yes, I like to visit Vivian like an old friend. A few years back, a particularly dark and stormy night- Bean long since zonked out- found Shane watching this very film, one in a long list awaiting him as he loves Downey, Jr. near as much as I, yes, more in fact. The wind howled again and again up through our chimney rattling the structure within and adding great creep to the fest. Writing out on the couch, I glanced over at the bowl of apples on the dining room table and thought hard of rolling one into Bean’s room right past Shane perched on the bed with the desire to freak him out. Or crack him up. Either/or.

Vivian's Apples

As we moved along, up one street and down the other, I kept an eye out for any examples of fine architectural detail. We ended up at the Wing Luke Museum (of the Asian Pacific American Experience) where a tour of a building that once housed many workers seeking opportunity ensued. Such sparse rooms, modest single beds, a wooden chair, some lucky enough for a dresser and mirror. I noted that even those with the very least still had a record player. As it should be.

After a spicy noodley lunch concoction, a walk by a number of bakeries proved to be too enticing, and in we went where we found the prettiest of confections, a mooncake. They were prevalent the night before at the mid-autumn festival. Filled with red bean or lotus seed paste, I was less than overwhelmed and with some guilt chucked the rest. Still, it was a familiar flavor, though from where I’ve yet to have ever placed.

Mooncake

We passed a dining classic hanging at the ready, kung pop chicken. A little chewy, I hear. Had to duck undercover temporarily when the weather proved a bit foul from a quick downpour of rain. In looking up to find where we’d perched, we found yet another dining classic. Here they are now, peeking.

Rubber Chickens

Peking Ducks

The bus ride back required a several mile walk on our part in transferring from one line to another so late in the day. The walk held its own host of delights including this bit of enchantment nestled amid the green. Toad, I’ve found your stool! You’re welcome. And lastly, in unusual souvenirs, pocketed a sliver of sidewalk to accompany all the rainbows. ♦

Toadstool

Where the Sidewalk Ends

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