Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Commuter Cam: An Icy Walk to Work

The other day, I outlined my Commuter Cam (AKA Take Your Camera To Work) Project idea. Well, today I post the results!

When I left for work on Monday morning, it was to make an icy waddle to work. It had snowed lightly the night before, and the wet sidewalks were sheets of black ice. But, undaunted, I grabbed my camera, and begun my walk to work. Joining me for the first portion was my beautiful assistant (and wife) Sarah.

Here's our apartment, as viewed from across the street. It's a cute building, if you ignore our arguing neighbors. If you look closely, you'll notice the orange road-cones on the front steps. Those are there because they are retiling the front steps. They've been retiling the front steps since Thanksgiving. I'm fairly positive that they'll be retiling the steps when we move out.

Just a half dozen blocks away, making our way down Fourth, it is time to wave goodbye to Sarah. We make this walk together a couple times a week, even though it is brief. She's actually halfway to work now, I on the other hand, still have most of my commute ahead of me. Please ignore the psychadelic phallus behind here.

Making a right off Fourth, I begin my hike down to the SLUT (South Lake Union Streetcar). Just one block along, I hit this intersection. This is probably one of my favorite corners, just because its so "Seattle"... walking under the monorail, with the Space Needle in the background. With my old commute, I used to go out of my way to cut through Pike Place Market. A lot of locals avoid the market becuase its overrun with tourists. But, tourists remind me that I live somewhere cool. I like the idea that people come to my city on vacation.

This whole area is under construction. It's sort of incredible really. Between where I hop on the SLUT (snicker!) and Lake Union literally seems like one big construction site. It's weird to think that I'm watching a neighborhood basically get constructed from the ground up. And all because Paul Allen got bored. The main sign of all the construction is the cranes perched everywhere like... um... cranes. Y'know, the bird. I guess an analogy doesn't work that well when the two objects being compared have the same name.

Still, one friend recently said he counted 13 cranes while standing in one spot.

As I've mentioned, it snowed lightly on Sunday night, so the roads were icy and there were still signs of snow scattered here and there. This is a car lot I walk past each day. I was actually a little nervous taking this picture because the ground was so slick through here.

Hey look! Here comes the SLUT!

Honestly, I really like the SLUT. In fact, I like it so much I've started usually calling it the Streetcar. I mean, you don't call something you love a "slut" right? From where I hop on, its only about a 10 minute ride to the final stop where I get off (snicker!). A lot of people complain that the SLUTs route is sort of useless, and honestly they have a good point. But, I'm like the one person in Seattle who's commute matches it's short route. Plus, it gives me a change to grab some quick reading every morning and evening.

You can see the SLUT parked on the right hand side of this photo. It sits there for a few minutes before making its way back into downtown. After getting off the streetcar, I make my way down Fairview, with Lake Union on my left. This is a long straight walk.

At the end of the long straight stretch, the path drops down onto a dock that actually spans a section of the lake. The view from here always catchs my attention. That day the sun was hitting a snow covered Queen Anne and shining on the Aurora Bridge dramatically. Quite nice.

This is the dock-slash-sidewalk that spans the lake. Usually, its really nice to walk along. This morning, because of the icy, it was downright sketchy. I kept having fantasies of toppling over into the half-frozen waters of Lake Union. If you notice, up ahead, there is another guy taking pictures. He not only had a better vantage point, but as I watched, he caught a sea plane taking off of Lake Union. Oooh, that would have been a good photo. Jealous! Punk!

After taking this picture, I made my way up the staircase on the far side, where I heard a screech and crash. A pick up truck, slipping on the ice, had crashed into the back of another pick up truck... which in turn crashed into an SUV. I didn't take a picture because that seemed a little too voyeuristic. But, it made me glad that I was walking on this cold morning.

One last photo. This one is taken from the parking lot across the street from my office. I didn't take a picture of my actual office building because it sort of just look likes a warehouse, and the security guard would have given me the evil eye. So, instead, I figured I'd take another picture across Lake Union. The area around my office is a bunch of industrial shipyards and European car repair shops. Not the most scenic stuff... but photographic in its own right.

Well, that's my first attempt at the Commuter Cam Project. Hope you all found it vaguely interesting. Also, I look forward to seeing if anyone else took up my challenge. If you do, and if you post an entry about your commute, let me know and I'll post a link here on my Week In review or something. And, again, feel free to pass this one to others. I've got a morbid curiosity about peoples commutes.


Betsy said...

Very cool. I'll post mine later in the week.

ambika said...

Ty, the link is now fixed! Sorry about that.

littlemonstercallum said...

I really love your commute to work Tyler lots of great views, I especially like that last photo it's great! Thanks for the challenge.