Monthly Archives: April 2008

Fighting Crime, with Candy

fireball

Joni just got an Atomic Fireball Stella. Doesn’t she look like a superhero on it?

I keep looking at this photo and chuckling because it makes me want to write a comic book: The Red Hot Adventures of Atomic Girl. She scoots city to city on a two-stroke, handing out fireballs to frightened children, her flaming cape streaming behind her.

Then I found this poster. Coincidence? I think not.

vespasuperman

The moral of the story? The fastest way to become a superhero is to get a scooter and a great pair of boots.
I’m on it.

Pies del Mar

Sitting on the sticky kitchen floor of an Allston party years ago, I carefully arranged the Spanish magnetic poetry in neat lines. I was telling the boy sitting cross-legged beside me how in a former life, I was a mermaid. Fins and all. He found the word mar, “sea,” and slid it over to my side of the fridge. I lined it up to form the most beautiful Allston party poetry I had ever seen: SueƱo con pies del mar. I dream with feet of the sea.

My love affair with magnetic poetry has continued, and I found a particularly interesting version at the Red Balloon Company in Capitol Hill last weekend. I realized the cowls of my Vespa needed to be peppered with words. People have been leaving me messages; I park my bike and come out of the coffee shop to discover some racy iambic pantameter.

I was going to post a photo I took, but Aphrodite is famous! So you can go see her on Chuck Pefley’s One a Day site. I am honored to have her featured by such a talented photographer. In fact, I’m blushing.

130 Peanut Butter Sandwiches

So I got this great idea last night. I was in a picnic mood, despite this weather (you can tell it’s spring because the weather changed from 40 degrees and rain… to 50 degrees and rain). I started looking through the Seattle Parks web site in search of good places to have a picnic. I’m an old fashioned picnic kind of girl — give me a red and white checkered blanket and one of those wicker baskets with the tops that hold a stack of sandwiches. Toss in an old school Thermos for good measure. Some green apples.

Turns out Seattle has hundreds of parks. I knew we had a lot of them, but when I pulled up the alphabetical list, the results were staggering. I know a challenge when I see one. I’ve decided to try and picnic in every Seattle park on the map.

I compiled a list of parks, and had to make a few cuts. First, I decided that my initial quest would only include parks one acre or larger. This city, while good-intentioned, has a habit of branding any highway median with grass a “park.” I also removed green belts and parkways from the list, because they’re not really parks in my mind. What I found particularly interesting was the wide array of descriptors used to define parcels of land. There are gardens, ravines, overlooks, viewpoints, green spaces, open spaces and natural spaces. Does an open space not need to be green? Or a natural space not need to be open? Or is this a tomato/tomahto sort of distinction?

I’m sure I will find these answers and more as I begin to plot my season of peanut butter and jelly consumption. I also intend to take a photo at each of the parks. Or perhaps I’ll draw a scene from it — I’ve got these watercolor pencils I’ve been wanting to break in.

My other requirement, in addition to the one acre cutoff, is that there must be either sand or grass to sit on. This immediately disqualifies such sparkling locales as the I5 Collonade Park, thank heavens — that place overwhelms me with desolation whenever I see that anemic palm struggling toward the cracks of light in between the highway overpasses.

I’ve been totally digging Volunteer Park as my backyard. Who the heck needs a yard when you’ve got 50 acres, two koi ponds, a Dahlia garden, conservatory with rare orchids, a resevoir and a grassy knoll with a pine-framed view of the Space Needle, all two blocks from your house? Volunteer Park in the afternoon is packed with puppies, which makes the end of my run supersweet. I trot the Interlaken Loop, which is a little over three miles through a green canopy of trees and mossy, car-free pavement, and end my tour at the Park to stretch.

After visiting the school of koi, whom I’ve named, I plop down in the grass and am attacked by a dozen squirming puppies. A group of neighborhoodies bring their new pups there to socialize and exercise and chew on something besides furniture. A lot of them are from PAWS or the Seattle Animal Shelter, which makes me happy. There’s an Aussie puppy with one blue eye and one brown that I tried to steal last week but he broke free of my sweatshirt at the last second and I was busted.

While Volunteer Park is the apex of Seattle green spaces, I know there are a few dozen others that put up a tough competition. Discovery, Magnuson, Seward, Gasworks and Carkeek top the list. And of course Alki and Golden Gardens, arguably my favorite places in Seattle.

Having removed the playgrounds and highway medians, I’ve come to a list of 130 parks to start. If I’m feeling ambitious later on, I may include the other 75 or so parks that come in under an acre. I’m enlisting the help of a chrome front rack for my Vespa to carry my vintage picnic basket. I plan to picnic in style.

My list of parks follows, presently in size order by acreage (largest first).

That’s a whole lotta PB&J.

  • Discovery Park
  • Green Lake Park
  • Warren G. Magnuson Park
  • Seward Park
  • Carkeek Park
  • Washington Park and Arboretum
  • West Duwamish GS: Puget Park
  • Magnolia Tidelands Park
  • Puget Park
  • Alki Beach Park
  • Lincoln Park
  • Woodland Park
  • Golden Gardens Park
  • Westcrest Park
  • Genesee Park
  • Schmitz Preserve Park
  • Jefferson Park
  • Interlaken Park
  • Ravenna Park
  • Volunteer Park
  • Lakeridge Park
  • Kubota Gardens
  • Longfellow Creek Greenspace
  • Fauntleroy Park
  • Madrona Park
  • Pigeon Point Park
  • Colman Park
  • Matthews Beach Park
  • Mount Baker Park
  • Northacres Park
  • Me-Kwa-Mooks Park
  • Gas Works Park
  • Pritchard Island Beach
  • Leschi Park
  • Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook
  • Frink Park
  • Hamilton Viewpoint Park
  • Sam Smith Park
  • Kinnear Park
  • Roxhill Park
  • Magnolia Park
  • Lake Union Park
  • Lawton Park
  • Charles Richey Sr Viewpoint
  • Dr. Jose Rizal Park
  • Martha Washington Park
  • North Beach Park
  • Pipers Creek Natural Area
  • David Rodgers Park
  • Llandover Woods Greenspace
  • Olympic Sculpture Park
  • Puget Boulevard Commons
  • Seola Park
  • Kiwanis Ravine Overlook
  • Marra-Desimone Park
  • Cowen Park
  • Madison Park
  • Dearborn Park
  • Licton Springs Park
  • Arroyos Natural Area
  • Cal Anderson Park
  • Smith Cove Park
  • Boren Park
  • Solstice Park
  • East Montlake Park
  • Kiwanis Memorial Preserve Park
  • Burke-Gilman Playground Park
  • East Portal Viewpoint
  • Denny Park
  • Seacrest Park
  • Puget Creek Greenspace
  • Jimi Hendrix Park
  • John C. Little, Sr. Park
  • Pratt Park
  • Judge Charles M. Stokes Overlook
  • Freeway Park
  • Myrtle Edwards Park
  • Waterfront Park
  • Lakeview Park
  • Madison Park North Beach
  • Powell Barnett Park
  • Martin Luther King JR Memorial Park
  • Lowman Beach Park
  • Mineral Springs Park
  • Commodore Park
  • Harborview Park
  • Leschi-Lake Dell Natural Area
  • Hitt’s Hill Park
  • Ravenna-Eckstein Park
  • Maple School Ravine
  • Me-Kwa-Mooks Natural Area
  • Bitter Lake Reservior Open Space
  • Sturtevant Ravine
  • Salmon Bay Park
  • Inverness Ravine Park
  • Sunset Hill Park
  • Woodland Park Rose Garden
  • Chinook Beach Park
  • Ursula Judkins Viewpoint
  • College Street Ravine
  • Greenwood Park
  • Roanoke Park
  • Cedar Park
  • Columbia Park
  • Dr. Blanche Lavizzo Park
  • Sturgus Park
  • Taejon Park
  • Lewis Park
  • Viretta Park
  • Belvedere Park
  • Northgate Park
  • Benvenuto Viewpoint
  • Bradner Gardens Park
  • Bhy Kracke Park
  • Duwamish Waterway Park
  • McCurdy (Horace) Park
  • Orchard Street Ravine
  • Thorndyke Park
  • Ballard Commons Park
  • Wolf Creek Ravine Natural Area
  • City Hall Park
  • Greg Davis Park
  • Albert Davis Park
  • 12th West & West Howe Park
  • Twelfth Avenue South Viewpoint
  • Mount Claire Park
  • Kobe Terrace
  • Mayfair Park
  • Pelly Place Natural Area
  • South Park Meadow

Stella Beauty School

rt_cigar

RogerTango is my hero.

We had Stella Beauty School on Sunday in my garage. It gave me a slew of big ideas that I’m beginning to implement. One of them is starting a site to encourage scooter DIY, especially for girls. Which means I may be retiring Wishville, cause I gots too many cooks in my kitchen right now if you know what I mean. Between class, clubs, work, external web projects, internal web projects and running, this fish is filled to the gills.
For now I’ll leave you with the eternal words of Sigmund Freud: “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”