Tag Archives: Local

[Seattle Sights] A Pleasant Post-Apocalyptic Walk Through Gas Works Park

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“All of us humans have myriad other species to thank. Without them, we couldn’t exist. It’s that simple, and we can’t afford to ignore them, anymore than I can afford to neglect my precious wife–nor the sweet mother Earth that births and holds us all. Without us, Earth will abide and endure; without her, however, we could not even be.” 
― Alan Weisman, The World Without Us

Ever since moving to Seattle just a few weeks ago, it’s as if someone has toggled a switch in my personality; or maybe, it’s simply been unswitched. Much like a piece of electronics that you have to turn off to get working again, it feels as though my brain, soul and heart desperately needed the peace and quiet of Corvallis to get back into a roaring, working mode. After ten years of a go-go-go lifestyle in Los Angeles, it felt not just good – but necessary – to get back to basics; to remove the external noise and exorbitant amount of influences and return to my personal baseline. It’s a baseline that’s devoid of self-doubt and low-esteem, yet eager for adventure with an open mind and wide eyes, ready to swallow scenery and waft in wanderlust from each and every corner of this beautiful, new state – both figuratively and literally.

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After falling head over heels for the city during the week of new years eve, it took us less than two months to get a job in the city and find a new place to call home. And now after two weeks of living here, it truly feels like home. There’s a natural ebb and flow to the world around, and instead of fighting against the current we’re giving into the ride; so far, it’s been a beautiful one. The weather has been in our favor with the sun shining down and barely any clouds in the sky; it’s a brisk Spring, but it’s clear and lovely. Now that I’ve gotten to know the area a bit better, I’ve made a point of gallivanting around and exploring the greenery the city has to offer; one of my first stops – the post-apocalyptic looking Gas Works Park located in near the Fremont area, on the North Shore of Lake Union.

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A former coal gasification plant from Seattle’s Gas Light Company from 1906-56, Gas Works Park has seen a splendid second life as a refurbished public play area – and is possibly best known as the location of the glorious paintball fight with Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You (because, childhood). Both a Seattle and Washington State landmark, Gas Works Park spans well over 20 acres, the park boasts a stunning landscape featuring f rolling, green hills – culminating in Kite Hill, which – you guessed it – is great for flying kites, ample shoreline and a panoramic view of Downtown Seattle.

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Now that the coal aspect is defunct, the industrial pieces have been preserved, as well as “taken back”, by nature. Once you can look past the chain-link fence, pieces of metal that once roared into animate life all their own now feature vines, shrubs and trees weaving and winding their way through what’s left of the plant, and various amounts of graffiti art tagged around every corner. As the sunlight shifts and shines through the complex, the air breathes life into a scene that at one time was anything but truly living; making it easy to fathom that plenty of post-apocalyptic entertainment, ranging from TV shows like Incorporated and movies ranging from Divergent  to The Hunger Games, garnered their inspiration from scenes such as this. With ample room for roaming, running and recreation, Gas Works Park is a wonderful romp of urban decay sprawled in the midst of a booming tech economy.

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Though the water’s chemical makeup doesn’t bode well for swimmers, you can kayak or paddle board your way through Lake Union and take the area in, in all it’s splendor.

What are some of your favorite haunts in Seattle? Let me know in the comments below! For more on Gas Works Park, head to their website and socials:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Yelp

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[LA Life] South Pasadena Farmers’ Market Finds

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Though I’ve often joked that maturity is simply understanding when to be mature, the older I become, the more I understand about the ways of the world – or at least American culture.  I’m more aware of the impact of large corporations, menageries of manufacturers and big businesses on the smaller, more sustainable markets, local lore and mom and pop stores.  Even with streamlined supply chains and an eco-conscious attitude, there’s no greater feeling than being economically supportive of your outlying community and being an educated member of society; and this is coming from someone who works in Operations for Disney and Wal Mart – so, trust. Small businesses have an incredible influence on local economies, including increased opportunities for employment within the community, environmental sustainability and economic innovation.  The biggest plus about local businesses is understanding that your money is being recycled back into your neighborhood, and – in my personal opinion  -the greatest example of this is your local Farmers’ Market.

Like in most large metropolitan areas, Los Angeles plays host a menagerie of places to foray into food shopping, with a niche for every type of  nutrition freak.  I’ll be the first to admit that at my last apartment in the Fairfax District,  I was a bit spoiled: I was just a stone’s throw from Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Farm Fresh, Erewhon and even the fabled Farmer’s Market at The Grove – but where did I find myself doing most of my food shopping? Locally owned grocery stores like Cochran Produce had a lock on fresh fruits, hearty vegetables and tasty herbs while Dimond Bakery opened at 5am and sold out of their salacious sourdough baguettes before 8am, every damn day; it was such a lovely set up that leaving the area was a bit difficult.  When I moved to Eagle Rock, I was excited to see that I could walk to the local Trader Joe’s but the local Farmers’ Market barely reached a whole city block and hardly merited shutting down the street.  So, believe you me when I say that I’m thrilled that Danny discovered an amazing Farmers’ Market that’s just a hop, skip and a 10 minute drive away .

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The South Pasadena Farmers’ Market lays claim to the area right next to the Gold Line South Pasadena Station, and runs every Thursday afternoon from 4pm – 8pm in the Spring and Summer, and 4-7pm during the Fall and Winter.  The market itself is rain or shine, but in LA you can be pretty sure it’s almost all shine.   Hands down, it’s one of my new favorite weekly activities and I’m already giddy about going back.  Last week, we loaded up on micro greens, farm raised pork + bacon, duck eggs, delicious pressed juices from Pulp Story Juice and a menagerie of mushrooms from LAFungi.

The weekly event is fully equipped with fun for the whole family – featuring a quaint park perfect for picnics, live music, food trucks ranging from mouth watering oysters from the Shucks Oyster Truck to properly roasted corn from and sushi and snacks from Mama Musubi and farm to table fruits, veggies, poultry, exotic herbs, milk, cheese, olive oils, pressed juices and bacon – yeah, farm to table bacon: put that on your stove and grill it.

Your local Farmers’ Market is the perfect opportunity to support small businesses and get to know your community.  Next time, invite your squad and make it a group outing – and who knows, if you keep frequenting the events you might even make some friends while you’re there.

If one local Farmers’ Market is good – more are obviously better; so, now I’m on the prowl for a local haunt for every day of the week.  I’ve heard that there usually aren’t many on Monday or Tuesday, but what I’ve learned living in Los Angeles is that anything’s possible Keep it locked to The Bouncy Kitty for more Farmers’ Market Finds and if you’re still curious about the South Pasadena Farmer’s Market, head to their website or socials:

Website | Yelp | Facebook 

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[Oh Snap] Eagle Rockin’ and Eagle Walkin’ v8

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These past few weeks have left me in an emotional haze, like a Winter fog has eclipsed my mind while my body meets a stalemate, marinating in the quicksand. Thoughts seems to swirl in a thousand separate, cascading ways before reaching any remotely reasonable destination. It’s not you, it’s not life – it’s me; tt’s me and my idiosyncratic thoughts merging with my wayward anxieties.  This year has brought about a lot of change: all of it necessary, most of it good but on the whole I realized there’s a lot that I’m still processing.

There are connections that have disintegrated, but then there are friendships that have been borne of that same radioactive relationship rubble. Job dissatisfaction isn’t uncommon, but then again balancing two careers on equal but opposite ends of the entertainment industry is. Life goes full circle, yes, but what no one relays is those circles are concentric. Like rungs around a tree, the golden ratio and the Fibonacci sequence –  life builds, blossoms and builds again.  I’ve found that a basic level of routine is inspiring, and nature is indisputably nurture. With the change in seasons, I’ve found myself waking up earlier and roused to leave the comfort of my home.

There’s something about witnessing the sunshine ebbing and flowing between clouds as scattered rain cleans the air and the feeling of freshly fallen leaves crisply crunching beneath my weathered sandals that grounds me back within the moment.  No anxiety around the unforeseen future, no fear of the fleeting past – just a grasp on the breadth and depth of each moment.  I find comfort within the confines of creativity, both wrapping my world in wordplay and taking pictures of the nuanced wonder that I’ve discovered lately.

Even though I’ve lived in Eagle Rock for a year and a half, this was the first time I’d actually noticed this little sign right off of the 210 – and we finally found a hike that takes us up to the actual Eagle Rock! (But, more on that later)

In the past year, I’ve seen a drastic shift from traditional lawns to Desert landscaping that takes our current drought into consideration. This is one of my favorite lawns, and somehow the sun always seems to halo on me.

Just call me the cat whisperer, and this one was a beauty!


      Something to leave you with, because I just finished reading through ‘You Are Here‘ by Tinch Nhat Hanh and this part has truly stuck with me for the past week. If you’re looking for a good, quick read – I highly suggest it!

“When you look at the surface of the ocean, you can see waves coming up and going down. You can describe these waves in terms of high or low, big or small, more vigorous, more beautiful or less beautiful. You can describe a wave in terms of beginning and end, birth and death. That can be compared to the historical dimension. In the historical dimension, we are concerned with birth and death, more powerful, less powerful, more beautiful, less beautiful, beginning and end and so on.

Looking deeply, we can also see that the waves are at the same time water. A wave may like to seek its own true nature. The wave might suffer from fear, from complexes. A wave may say, “I am not as big as the other waves,” “I am oppressed,” “I am not as beautiful as the other waves,” “I have been born and I have to die.” The wave may suffer from these things, these ideas. But if the wave bends down and touches her true nature she will realize that she is water. Then her fear and complexes will disappear.

Water is free from the birth and death of a wave. Water is free from high and low, more beautiful and less beautiful. You can talk in terms of more beautiful and less beautiful, high or low, only in terms of waves. As far as water is concerned, all these concepts are invalid.

Our true nature is the nature of no birth and no death. We do not have to go anywhere in order to touch our true nature. The wave does not have to look for water because she is water. We do not have to look for God, we do not have to look for our ultimate dimension or nirvana, because we are nirvana, we are God.

You are what you area looking for. You are already what you want to become.

[LA Life] CERB Brings Their Fall Plant Sale to Eagle Rock City Hall on 11/7

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Known throughout the community for their eco-friendly initiatives and local landscape beautification projects, the Collaborative Eagle Rock Beautiful (CERB) is delighted to host their annual Fall plant sale on Saturday November 7th, 2015 at Eagle Rock City Hall.

From 9AM to 4PM, CERB invites the community to an informative fair focused on drought resistant  landscaping. With current drought restrictions, native plants and succulents can reduce residential water footprints by 60-90% while preserving resources such as soil, fertilizer and pesticides.  

Featuring a wide assortment of California natives and succulents, many plants featured at the Fall Plant Sale are locally sourced and harvested in Eagle Rock by CERB volunteers, students at Occidental College and members of the community.  A post-Halloween treat for the whole family, the plant fair features a Kids Zone full of children friendly activities as well as a variety of food trucks and other local entertainment.  All proceeds of the Fall Plant Sale will go to Collaborative Eagle Rock Beautiful to assist their local efforts of neighborhood maintenance and support their annual projects.  

Event Details:
Saturday, 11/7/15 from 9am to 4pm
Eagle Rock City Hall
2035 Colorado Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041

Since 2001, CERB has cemented its status as a local resource while working towards lasting change throughout the neighborhood.  Yearly events for CERB include neighborhood events such as A Taste of Eagle Rock, the maintenance of the Eagle Rock Canyon Hiking Trails and the promotion of drought resistant landscaping through active work on major street medians like Colorado and Eagle Rock Boulevard.

Join the Facebook event here and invite the neighbors.

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For more on CERB and their Fall Plant Sale, connect on social media:  

Website | Facebook | Twitter

About Collaborative Eagle Rock Beautiful

The Collaborative Eagle Rock Beautiful was established in 2001 by longtime Eagle Rock residents John Stillion and Esther Monk.  With almost two decades of service in the neighborhood, CERB has evolved into an esteemed non-profit organization fueled by local volunteers and resources for a homegrown effort in reducing fiscal dependence of city-funded maintenance programs. Curated within the community to discourage the removal of native trees, preserve local open space and inspire cohesive drought tolerant landscaping, CERB is devoted to leaving a lasting legacy through both action and awareness.