wandering capitol hill

Oliver Fern and I wandered a long but fairly compact route through the heart of central Capitol Hill this morning. My choice of walk-around lens was a little quirky in that I tried to mainly stick with a 105 mm prime (I also had a 50 mm on my person)- I never felt like I had the reach I wanted in the places that were most interesting to me.  Still, it was an enjoyable stroll in the sunshine. Oliver walked at least a mile at the tail end of our excursion. And it was pure walking for the joy of walking: He was like a horse with blinders on, not really paying attention to his surroundings. He would pause for the occasional recognition of giant excavators.

I’m not a fan (or enemy) of Starbucks but I like the store’s sign on Olive Way, which if my memory serves me correct was only installed after the store’s remodel a few years ago though it sort of has that retro style that makes it look older. I’ve never been here for a coffee, despite passing by it perhaps a thousand times (usually riding the #43 bus). I only drink my coffee black so I tend to restrict myself to smaller places around town if I’m going to splurge. If I’m not mistaken, the Starbucks coffeehouse here is the former location of the original Red Robin restaurant? That’s the grand-sounding Biltmore apartment building in the background.

This was our western turnaround. I felt a tad self-conscious shooting here because the Space Needle is in view- I could sense the furtive disapproval of the hipsterati about me. But it’s not the Space Needle I care about. The fact of the matter is you’ve got one of the city’s intriguing intersections here. It’s where Denny (or is it Olive Way because of where I was standing?) starts its plunge to the Regrade. It’s a very pedestrian, foot-oriented place, but also a little intimidating because of the cars and buses roaring up and down the steep hills. This is one of Capitol Hill’s important western gateways. And really, I think it’s one of the best urban views of The Brothers, the landmark peak in the eastern range of the Olympic Mountains.

Great news from this afternoon: My now-repaired, regular ballhead finally arrived from Really Right Stuff. I dragged my feet like crazy sending it down to California to get fixed. It’s an enormous relief to have it back.

7 thoughts on “wandering capitol hill

  1. Really great black and whites, Jason. I’m ashamed to share that I have not picked up my camera since Christmas Day! Work stress and this brutal midwest winter has zapped me of any desire to be creative! I walk around the neighborhood with you and Oliver Fern would surely cure me from my funk. These are really nice shots.

    • Hi Pete. Thanks, I’m glad you like these b/w scenes. As for your not picking up a camera for the past couple months- I could hardly blame you. Who wants to get out shooting when every step it seems you’re at a high risk of falling into a deep snow bank with your camera? Or having your shutter permanently freeze from the wind chill? Or being attacked by a Wampa? My parents have been supplying me with regular pictures from their winter near Lake Michigan/Muskegon and it has been impressive. They live down a dirt road and it seems every other day I hear a new story about someone’s pickup truck in the ditch. My nieces and nephews have missed so much school from snow days, I’m getting the feeling they don’t enjoy the time off quite as ecstatically (pretty soon they may have to make up the lost time at the end of the school year, when of course no one can concentrate on anything but the flowers).

  2. Striking black and whites. Nice to see the views around town. That is a nice view of the Brothers from Denny/Olive.

    • Hi Kelsie, long time-no talk! I’ve watched your daily camp pictures with relish.
      Ah, you noticed my new ticker. I was concerned my old tag-line made me sound like sort of a pothead and since visitors to my page are already forced to view Jabba the Hutt in conjunction with various random, unrelated topics…..is it any wonder I have the quietest blog on WordPress? I guess you could say the ticker is my latest invention to somehow reduce my consumption of ridiculous amounts of ice cream to a more normal level, heaping bowls of the stuff are the centerpiece of my life-long struggle with food. It adds a certain much-needed tension to my blog, haha!

  3. Love these! The contrast is perfect (I guess I should say… for my taste, the contrast is perfect..everyone likes different things). But, heck, it’s my comment here, right, so I declare the contrast perfect. 🙂

    • Thanks, I appreciate your comment about the contrast. I’ve been pointedly more curious lately in exploring b/w as a medium. It’s an interesting challenge for me because I’ve probably always had a tendency toward richly saturated color images in my photography. The scenes above were taken on a pretty blue sky day but I started out on my walk with the idea I wanted to see things for b/w…….

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