erik lundegaard

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Sunday March 11, 2018

The View from the 520

Yesterday it got into the mid-50s and I went for a bikeride over the newly constructed 520 bridge. The Cascades were out. My iPhone camera doesn't do the shot justice. 

Cascade mountains Seattle

The bridge was crowded but not as crowded as when I did the same two months ago. You know where everyone was? Fremont Brewery. I biked by there, too, thinking I'd grab a quick drink, but the line indicated anything but quick. 

Today is supposed to be mid-60s. Get out, get out, wherever you are. 

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Posted at 07:42 AM on Mar 11, 2018 in category Seattle
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Thursday August 31, 2017

The False Equivalence of the Lenin Statue in the Confederate Memorial Debate

In the wake of Charlottesville, when toppling Confederate statues and memorials not only became the topic of the day but a good idea, Seattle's embattled mayor Ed Murray brought an odd wrinkle to the conversation. He suggested two memorials in Seattle come down: a 1926 Daughters of the Confederacy memorial to Southern vets, which was on private property in Lakeview Cemetery; and the famous statue of Vladimir Lenin, perpetually on display in lower Fremont ... which was also on private property. 

I was surprised to hear that the Confederate memorial even existed. Confederate Vets? In Seattle? But whatever: It was on private property. We had no say. Lenin, too. What bugged me, though, was that Murray put the two in the same category. Was he striving for objectivity? One of theirs, one of ours? If so, like many a journalist before him, he simply found a false equivalence.

The Confederate memorial was created to honor the Confederacy. The Lenin statue, brought here from a defeated Russia and placed where it was, on a nondescript street corner, wasn't set up to honor anything. The opposite, really. From the beginning, it's been steeped in absurdity and irony. Existing where it does, it carries with it an Ozymandias-like warning:

'Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains ... except for a gyro joint and some Italian sandwich shoppe
And naked cyclists once a year

This week in The Stranger I found out somebody agrees with me: a Russian to boot. He adds a coda: Look on the dildo on my head, ye mighty, and despair.

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Posted at 11:08 AM on Aug 31, 2017 in category Seattle
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Wednesday August 30, 2017

Puddle-Wonderful

Flying into Seattle last night in the haze made all of our waterways—from Lake Washington to Puget Sound—seem like giant puddles.

the puddles of Seattle

And the goat-footed balloonMan whistles far and wee.

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Posted at 01:11 PM on Aug 30, 2017 in category Seattle
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Thursday May 19, 2016

SIFF-List 2016: from 'Weiner' to 'Wiener-Dog'

Diane Kruger in Disorder (Maryland)

Yes, Diane Kruger made it easier to choose “Disorder” (orig. title: “Maryland”).

Today the Seattle International Film Festival opens with Woody Allen's “Cafe Society.” Should be fun barring protests from Frank Sinatra lookalikes.

It's always both fun (and time-consuming) figuring out which movies to see at SIFF. I usually get a 20-pack in the fall and in the spring I figure out how to use them. This year I rolled the dice with the list below: 

If you hear anything good (or bad), let me know. 

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Posted at 10:28 AM on May 19, 2016 in category Seattle
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Thursday July 30, 2015

'Blue Angels, Ugh'

I was biking into the Bellevue office today for a team-building event when I was stopped on the I-90 bridge by the police. Not for speeding (wucka) but because the bridge was closed to pedestrians and bicycles. Cars were still able to cross for another 15 minutes, then they too were banned for a few hours. The Blue Angels were in town and were practicing over Lake Washington. 

This happens every year so I should have anticipated it. 

Alternate routes? Cars can go the 520 bridge, or drive I-5 south to Renton. On a bike, you're kind of screwed. The 520 bridge doesn't allow for bikes and going north or south around the lake takes a good long while. So I missed the event.  

Why don't they let traffic across I-90 during the Angels practice runs? I guess because they don't want drivers being startled and getting into accidents and suing the city and whatnot. As for how this applies to foot and bicycle traffic, I'm not sure. Wouldn't the lack of cars, for example, be a giveaway to anyone crossing the bridge? Couldn't the same police officers that told me I couldn't cross the bridge stop me and tell me to watch out for Blue Angels? Look! Here they come! FOOOOOOOSH! 

When I texted my predicament to Patricia, she texted back the feeling of a lot of Seattlites at this time of year: “Blue Angels, ugh.”

It's very Seattle being Seattle. We have some of the worst traffic in the country, yet several times a year we close down this major thoroughfare in the middle of the day. We also have drawbridges over the ship canal, and we'll raise and lower these on a dime for boats going from Lake Washington to Puget Sound and back, stopping traffic in both directions. Except during rush hour, which we quaintly designate as something like 4:30-6 PM.

First world problems, I know. In some parts of the world, when similar jets scream overhead they drop things.

I did stick around for a bit today; and while everyone else was watching the Blue Angels I took photos of the bridge without any traffic on it. All that concrete.

 Blue Angels stop I-90 traffic again

Bike cops patrol the empty I-90 bridge before letting on foot traffic. 

I-90 bridge during Blue Angels

A view you don't normally get on foot. 

 I-90 bridge during Blue Angels practice

'And here you are; and it's a beautiful day.' 

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Posted at 03:34 PM on Jul 30, 2015 in category Seattle
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