This is the author of this blog, Teri White Carns. I also have Chicken Lady at Locust Lane (which years ago I set up as my basic WordPress blog), roadtripteri, and Wheatavore blogs. I’m going to be adding a couple of hundred posts (from my Wheatavore blog on Google’s Blogger) to the WordPress blogs (roadtripteri and Chicken Lady) over the next few weeks. Despite reading a 600-page book on WordPress and combing websites for advice, I have not entirely figured out how to keep from spamming you with so many new posts about travels and wheat. If you are getting all of this new content, I’ll do my best to discontinue you if you like, at least for the time being. You should be able to unsubscribe on your own. But if you like travel notes, food history, and interesting stories about wheat and bread, stick around! Thanks — Teri
A single green fly
makes love to dandelion
sun, small universe.
Mt.Susitna (Sleeping Lady) at sunset, March 23, 2014 (about 9:00 p.m.).
Gray May Saturday morning — it’s perfect for walking to the Spenard Farmers Market. Along the way we bought a small loaf of blueberry quick bread ($1) from a fellow raising money for the Three Barons’ Renaissance Fair. They also had a car wash, in the Veterans Lodge parking lot, but not a lot of business.
At Pack Rat Antiques in the old McKay Hardware building, I restricted myself to buying a little guinea hen figure for Micki and candy cigarettes for Jim. The young woman who rang up the purchases said that a new Italian restaurant had opened at Metro mall; Originale. We said we’d check it out.
Antonio, the Greek baker, said that he would have a booth at the market, so we headed straight for the baklava.
New this year was the Mobile Mending Co. booth that had two sewing machines set up, an ironing board and iron, and an array of threads. The owner said that she would mend anything on the spot — but had two hours of work already lined up.
Mobile Mending Co. booth at Spenard Farmers’ Market. She had more business than she could handle.
The farmers were selling plants, mainly, although some of the other Saturday markets feature greens from this year (often greenhouse grown) and potatoes and root vegetables stored from last year.
Walking back, we encountered a Native guy who was sitting back by the trees at the corner of Denali and Benson with his cardboard sign. He asked us for a cigarette, and when we said sorry, we didn’t have any, he didn’t ask for money. We thought we looked more like people who would have money but not cigarettes; he took us for fellow travelers, perhaps, who would be a better touch for smokes than dollars.
At Originale, I scoped out the menu on the chalkboard and asked about vegetarian options. The young woman pointed to the column labeled “Vegetarian” and said, “That’s it. Tomato and cheese, and tuna.” “Oh,” I said, “Tuna’s not really vegetarian, is it?” “Hmph. Depends. For some people it is.” The store has neat shelves of chocolates, pasta, sauces, white anchovies, peppers, and more, all imported from Italy. The hours are 10-6, M-F; 10-5 on Saturday and closed on Sunday – pretty much corresponding to the Metro Bookstore hours through which one must go to get to the restaurant. Note – is this the new thing in Anchorage? Title Wave has replaced the bagel place with Yak and Yeti; Metro Books has replaced their organic food café with an upscale Italian place.
Our route home took us past a welcome sight — the first forget-me-nots of the spring.
View of Seattle skyline from Regina and Deke’s apartment; the orange things that look like a cluster of salmon eggs in the bottom left corner are buoys. The Space Needle, and the construction cranes for South Lake Union buildings are at the south end of Lake Union.Jim and Teri headed for Seattle on February 13 to spend much of the next eleven days working on a friend’s ballet of “Dante’s Inferno.” She drafted Jim to be a demon (non-dancing); Anthea was already working as the webmaster and production assistant. I tried and tried to make one email with the whole trip in it, but it got stuffed way too full. So here’s an account of some of our non-ballet doings, and next up will be a review of rehearsals and the ballet.Valentine’s Day in Seattle
The weather was quite acceptable, for Seattle in February, and we had much of the day to wander around the city seeing our favorite spots. Everywhere, people were carrying bouquets of flowers. On the University of Washington campus, this guy had the flower and was writing the note to go with it. Note the sandals with bare feet — an indication of the pleasant weather (but also a puddle beneath the bench — it wasn’t entirely dry).The shelves at Bartell’s Drug on University Avenue (UW campus) were stripped nearly bare by 4:30 in the afternoon.There were plenty of flowers at Pike Street Market, along the streets, growing in planters. Going from Anchorage in the winter to Seattle has something of the quality of Dorothy finding herself in Technicolor Oz.Regina and I spent some of the evening (Jim and Anthea were at rehearsal) singing sea shanties on a fine wooden boat at Lake Union with a group of Seattleites who assemble monthly. Sea shanties were work songs originally, designed to provide rhythms for hauling ropes, swabbing decks, and other repetitive tasks. “Wae, Hae, blow the man down,” a popular shanty, was sung by Popeye (in a 1937 cartoon), Chip and Dale (in a Donald Duck cartoon, 1957), Pirates of the Carribbean (Disney), and is the basis for the SpongeBob SquarePants theme. The Seattle shanty singers mix familiar staples that everyone belts out lustily, many more esoteric tunes, and two or three original compositions (sometimes from Regina).Saturday, Tacoma in the rainOn Saturday, February 15, we went to Tacoma for a memorial service for one the Carns neighbors from Longview days. It was a chance to remember a very fine engineer (Bill Hoss), to see family and friends, and to experience Northwest liquid gold — rain. Six deer clustered near the front door at the home where the memorial service was held, feeding on the grass and bushes. They were sure of their exalted position, and entirely uninterested in all of the people coming and going.Hellebores were blooming throughout the Northwest, despite unseasonable cold and several inches of snow during the days just before we arrived.We were back in Bellevue for a several hour rehearsal on Saturday evening.A ballerina’s foot at rest.Masks, most created and made by Glenna Burmer of Burmer Music, LLC. The green one is my favorite. [Photo by permission.]Sunday, February 16We started the day as many good Seattleites do, with breakfast out. Here are Regina and Deke at the Portage Bay Cafe, which is very up to date — the Porcetta and eggs special featured locally-foraged nettles, fennel pollen and seed, and free-range eggs, pork, and potatoes (the free-range potatoes are hard to come by, but are especially tender).Jim and Anthea, fortifying themselves for the ballet rehearsal ahead on Sunday.Jim, demonized, at Sunday rehearsal.Monday, February 17We did laundry at the Lost Sock Laundromat (it would be hard to lose a sock there because very helpful people were keeping a close eye out for people like me who couldn’t figure out the coin slots quickly enough to suit them). On Capitol Hill we walked past a yard entirely covered in carefully cultivated moss. For afternoon entertainment, Jim and Anthea spent several hours at rehearsal in Bellevue, and I set out to take the measure of the Bellevue Square shopping mall.Emerald green moss, an entire yard full.The Microsoft store was a popular spot on the first floor of the Bellevue Square Mall; the Apple store was equally popular on the floor above.These shoes caught my eye; there were many people taking a break from the bustle of the mall, but few with such splendid feet.Bellevue skyline at early sunset.Tuesday, February 18, PortlandThe dancers and demons got a day off, and Jim and I seized the chance to go to Portland. The weather seized the chance to dump another couple of inches of rain on the Pacific Northwest. The main attractions in Portland were Powell’s Bookstore and friends; we didn’t take as many photos.The view, during most of the 3 1/2 hour drive to Portland.I-5 is a major truck road, running from Canada to Mexico, with logging trucks common in the Northwest stretches. We often had trucks ahead, trucks behind, and trucks passing on the left. For those of you who regularly drive the freeways, this is unexceptional, but it is always a surprise for those of us from the far north whose main roads are all two lanes.Wednesday, February 19By Wednesday, the skies turned blue again for the drive back to Seattle. This shows the skyline from near Boeing Field, going north. On the far left, bottom corner are the red cranes at the docks, then the arcs of the sports stadium, then the skyline. The Space Needle is just to the right of the stadium girders, and the Smith Tower (once Seattle’s tallest building) is the pyramid-topped skinny white building to the lower right.SuperBowl may have been a couple of weeks in the past, but SeaHawks pride was still evident everywhere.The 520 floating bridge across Lake Washington from Seattle to Bellevue; we saw quite a lot of it. An eagle lived at the west end, and usually sitting on a light post or flying across the road when we saw it.Thursday, February 20Thursday marked a full day of rehearsals for Jim and Anthea (who was the webmaster, production assistant and assistant stage manager for the ballet). I spent my time walking around downtown Bellevue. It’s a city of tall glass buildings and straight lines, softened by clouds, and sometimes trees.Buildings reflected in buildings.Warmups in the theater. Ron Tice (choreographer) to the left on stage, and marvelous Gordon the stage manager to the right. The dancers seemed to be rarely at rest — they were always warming up, dancing, or moving just a bit, even while waiting, like birch leaves.Cyclamens (shooting stars), with daffodils and primroses in a planter at the Bravern Shopping Center/residences near the theater.Part of a Chihuly chandelier in the Lincoln Place complex in downtown Bellevue.Not all of the Bellevue dancers were rehearsing for the ballet. These girls were in the Bellevue Square Microsoft store, dancing along with the Disney princesses on the TV screen. The older girls were excellent, the little one, getting a good start.Friday, February 21Friday was opening night for the ballet. We had time in the morning to stop by Regina’s for espresso, get to Capitol Hill to spend a little while at Elliott Bay Bookstore, and eat an early lunch at our favorite Tutta Bella pizza place near the University.Artsy selfie, me outside a weathered thrift shop window on Capitol Hill, mirror inside.Saturday, February 22Two shows on Saturday, leaving us the morning to get to Uwajimaya in the International District for Japanese cards and books. A few Seattle days were sunny. More, like Saturday, were rainy or foggy or both.The photos of the Space Needle always show it unobstructed by wires, signs, stoplights, and the like. This is its more typical environment, a bit hazy in the fog.Downtown Seattle, fog in the distance.
Sunday, February 23Regina and Deke and a couple of their friends wanted to try out the amphibious Duck ride, one of the ultimate tourist experiences in Seattle. I agreed to go along; Anthea and Jim preferred to husband their resources for the ballet. Although the trip had its embarrassingly tourist-y moments, we got new views of the city from Lake Union, and a chance to banter with the driver. Plus, we learned lots of useful things. Such as, Elvis made a movie in Seattle in 1962 at the time of the World’s Fair. He brought his Cadillac and had it washed daily at the Pink Elephant Car Wash (a going concern still today); he put some of the staff in his movie. The Beatles stayed in the Edgewater Hotel (at Pier 67 on Elliott Bay) in 1964, smuggled in by an ambulance. They fished from the windows in Room 272 (the hotel is built at the water’s edge on the Seattle docks) as did Led Zeppelin who the driver said left a shark in the bathtub, causing the hotel to forbid further fishing from the windows. [The hotel website says that the Rolling Stones, KISS, and Frank Zappa also stayed there.]The hour and a half was bitter cold. The Duck is designed for warm, dry weather; we had neither, although the rain wasn’t really trying hard. Matt, the driver, clearly knew what he was in for — note the hat. He is trying to encourage us to clap our hands and sing. We are not cooperating. He was knowledgeable and entertaining.
Cormorants and very expensive houseboats (there’s no other kind) on Lake Union.
Looking east on Lake Union, yachts and more houseboats on a gray day.
A flowering tree, at the end of the Duck ride. Not all in Seattle was glum and gray.
Monday, February 24For our last Seattle day, done with dance, we stocked up on chocolate at Trader Joe’s, and spent a couple of hours at the new Museum of History and industry on Lake Union. Jeff Bezos of Amazon paid for much of the first floor which emphasized technology; a variety of donors contributed to the second floor.An early version of the logging truck that we saw on the road to Portland.
We shared the museum with a dozen groups of kids on field trips.
A lot of Alaska history was in the museum too, from salmon to gold. Sometimes Alaskans have the feeling that the rest of the country still feels this way about the state.
February 25 — Return to AnchorageHere’s how we know that we’re home.
Mt. Redoubt, the active volcano, showing over the airport runways near sunset.
It’s been several days since there was time to sort through pictures and impressions from the hours and places that we’ve been. This is a summary of the riches.
Leaving Antioch, June 20, 2015
Fathers’ Day in Seattle, June 21, 2015
After that, Jim headed off on his own, and Anthea and I helped Regina choose a hat. In Finland, all people who earn a PhD are given a tophat and a sword. We went to Bernie Utz’s on Union Street to try on tophats.
Monday, June 22 — Thursday, June 25 — Anchorage
Selling flowers at the South Pasadena Farmers Market.
After six straight days of intense attention to studies, it was time for a short break. Jim and I drove to Santa Monica for an interlude at the National Council of Jewish Women Thrift Shop there, an all-time favorite. The staff people are a delight, they have great stuff, and lots of it. Then a quick lunch at home (aka hotel), a class on using Word to format papers for Antioch, and we were off to South Pasadena to meet a nephew and his wife for dinner at the Farmers Market.
Hazy San Bernadino Mountains on the way to South Pasadena. There are forest fires burning here, as there are in Alaska north and south of Anchorage, but today’s haze was probably due to the atmosphere and not smoke.
An important feature of travel in LA today, especially on the west side of the city (our side), was that President Obama was visiting. That meant that numerous roads and freeway sections were either closed, or limited in access. We took the coward’s way out, and headed to South Pasadena without taking any freeways. That worked fine, and we kept assuring ourselves that it was just as fast as the freeways would have been. Except that we got lost in South Pasadena and took as extra 45 minutes to go about five miles. That’s life in LA. Yes, we had maps and smartphones, but there were two intersections of Meridian Street and Mission, both close to train tracks, and both near Fremont.
But — life is good. We parked directly in front of Buster’s Cafe on Mission Street, across from the Market, and had one of the best-ever chocolate milk shakes with espresso.
People on the lawn across from the South Pasadena Historical Museum on Meridian Avenue.
Wares at the Market — broccoli and cauliflower,
Uncle Irving’s breads (one of several bakeries),
fresh figs (you know I bought a box of those, and we shared them for dinner),
apricots, oranges, apples, berries, cherries, greens, veggies, mushrooms . . .
We stopped in at the Museum, and took a look at the photos and artifacts from the ostrich farming days early in South Pasadena’s history.
The Cawston Ostrich Farm (apparently the only one) had many thousands of ostriches, whose feathers were plucked by the millions in the 1890s for hats, boas, and other feather decorations. The eggs were used to make curios, but the birds themselves weren’t eaten.
The volunteer who showed us around claimed that this boa was a hundred years old.
Near the museum was a stone structure with a memorial plaque.
Long lines for dinners — tamales, sushi, crepes, corn on the cob (Joe, a true Iowan, started with that for an appetizer), and more. We bought food from the various vendors,
and found a shady spot on the lawn in front of the South Pasadena Public Library for a picnic dinner.
A market basket with flowers, carrots, and more. After dinner we split up, Joe and Jen to shop, and us to begin the long journey back to Culver City.
We stopped briefly to listen to a band that had settled in — small boy on the drums, an accordion, a keyboard, and a bass fiddle. Behind the band is a twelve-foot (?) high metal sculpture of a striding man.
On the way west, the sky settled into sunset and then dusk, with a crescent moon.
Market flowers – blooming leeks, and marigolds.
Evening rainbow caught in the mountains across Kachemak Bay from Land’s End [Photo, TWCarns]
Sandhill crane and half-grown chick at Beluga Slough (there were two adults and two young ones, but couldn’t get them all in the same picture) [Photo, TWCarns]
Bluebells at Beluga Slough [Photo, TWCarns]
Raven on driftwood at Bishop’s Beach [Photo, TWCarns]
Homer Spit from Bishop’s Beach [Photo, TWCarns]
Homer peony (these are becoming big business in the area because the growing conditions turn out to be ideal). [Photo, TWCarns]
Luke, Kathy, Lauren at Land’s End beach. [Photo, TWCarns]