I See Smokestacks

Wes and I decided that last weekend would be a good weekend for adventures, so we had them. Aidan and I started things off right by plundering Half Price Books’s 20% off sale (Half Price Books is a local used bookstore). We bought twenty books and a couple movies for $30, not bad, huh?

Then, I took Aidan to the off-leash dog park. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a friendly black Great Dane wander over to your toddler and give him a kiss. I have to admire my son’s chutzpah, to stand there mouth open for a kiss while a horse of a dog licks him. Fearless, that one.

On Saturday we took Aidan to the water so he could throws rocks into the lake and chase ducks and seagulls. Of course, I neglected to dress him for the occasion so he had no choice but to stand on the shore and only look at the water. Apparently packing sandals for a kid who’s going to the beach is just too much to ask of me.

On Sunday we skirted Seattle Center (to avoid Bumbershoot crowds) and explored Pioneer Square. I love Pioneer Square. It’s kinda seedy in some places, and definitely not somewhere I’d ever want to be alone at night, but during the day it makes for marvelous exploration. There are alleys galore, and that’s something that suits me right down to my toes.

You see, I love alleys. I have a preoccupation with them, actually. I’d probably get very, very distracted if I ever lived in New York. For me, each alley is a story, and I’m always looking for that story.

For example, we finished our walk down by the pier and turned up one street too early, so we cut across an alley to get back to the street we’d parked on. In that alley was an old door that said “Seattle Steam Corporation.” Weird, right? There was a huge old smokestack coming out of the top of the building, and a weathered yellow sign to the right of the front door that read, “Fallout Shelter.”

Shoot, that story practically writes itself.

Of course, this weekend wasn’t all fallout shelters and friendly Great Danes. There was a crazy homeless guy walking down the same street as us screaming profanities, and an unfortunate nap in the car that resulted in an apoplectic toddler. I think I’m going to blame the crazy homeless guy for that too.

As I said, it was a good weekend for adventures. We might have done too good a job at having them though, because I’m finding it more difficult than usual to focus on getting my stuff done today. Despite what my lazy brain is telling me, I know I will not, in fact, be more productive if I watch a few episodes of Mad Men while Aidan naps.

Oh, shucks. It looks like Don Draper disagrees.

3 thoughts on “I See Smokestacks

  1. I also like alleys! I live in Chicago, where there are a TON of alleys. The alley behind my apartment is a charming area, filled with cat-sized rats, my very own jibberish-yelling homeless man, and ridiculously speedy drivers.
    But seriously, my husband and I often choose to walk through the alleys because you can almost always find neat stuff in them! Sometimes it’s furniture, sometimes it’s just something neat that we photograph, and more often than not something crazy happens in an alley that then becomes an awesome story we can tell all of our friends.
    Like the time I walked down my apartment stairs (which end right in an alley) to find a group of 5 homeless men hanging out on our stairs, smoking cigarettes and drinkin’ beer. I feel slightly bad about it, but I avoided those back stairs for at least a month afterwards for fear that they’d be there again.
    Or there’s the time that my husband lied to the cops when they asked if he’d seen our neighborhood homeless man in the alley. The man was hiding under our stairs. The upside to this story is that the man doesn’t yell at us on the street anymore! (I’ll just say that the cops were looking for him because someone said he was harassing them – but he just yells, he doesn’t actually hurt anyone – he doesn’t even swear! And, being that I live way too close to Wrigleyville, it was probably a baseball game tourist who doesn’t know how to avoid eye contact with the shirtless man yelling in the middle of the street. It seems that this eye-avoidance is an art all Chicagoans [and other big city-ans] have managed to perfect.)

    Okay, this was way longer than I intended it to be. I’m on my lunch break at work and I’ve drank a whole mug of coffee in 15 minutes – I think I’m a little hyper.
    Have a good rest of your day!

  2. A: Just wanted to say that I love the blog redesign. :) My favorite version yet.

    B: I also loved the writing in this post, and then the writing in Stephanie’s comment. We’re getting fancy schmancy up in here. :)

  3. -Stephanie, Thanks for the alley and homeless people stories! I agree about the whole eye avoidance skill city dwellers seem to be born with. Though to be fair, I have the skill too even though I’ve only ever lived in the suburbs, but that’s only because my Mom told me a gang member would shoot me if I ever looked him in the eye. My mother believes in being prepared.

    -Txtingmrdarcy, Thank you! I’ve given up dyeing my hair for awhile so I must make do with playing around with my blog :) Is this post fancier than normal? My goodness, I had no idea…

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