Saturday, March 6, 2010

Down the Rabbit Hole

My friend dropped me off in Old Town Thursday because I had time to kill between meetings and I was going to annihilate that time in a coffee shop. I planned to show you that shop as a revival of my Coffee Shop Quest. But the shop (Seattle's Best on Raymond) had apparently bit the recession dust some time ago (I'm so out of it) and my friend had driven away.

I generally don't fret at happy accidents. This is why I always have a) book; b) laptop; or c) a camera with me. Thursday I had all of the above.

I thought I'd try the Fuller Seminary Bookstore coffee shop (Coffee By the Books), so I started walking. If I hadn't I never would have come upon the buildings at 159 N. Marengo Avenue where this sculpture by Billy Al Bengston (called Puka o ka moku (Port Cochere)) draws you down the passageway, making you feel like Alice just after she sipped the "Drink Me" potion.

Here's a detail of half the sculpture.

The sun was setting so my pictures are a bit dark. But look down the passageway: what's that blue thing?

More by Billy Al Bengston. This one's called Pua'l wai (fountain).

If I hadn't been walking I wouldn't have known about the art, or about the walkway that cuts through from Marengo to Memorial Park. Honestly, did you know? Am I the last one to figure this out?

By the time I got to the Coffee By the Books it was two minutes 'til closing. The place is too small for setting up my laptop and sitting anyway.

19 comments:

Dina said...

Just ask Alice, and Petrea . . . I think they'll know.

Lori Lynn said...

It's fun to discover things in one's own town! I just discovered our nature preserve! We are never bored when we have our camera handy either.

I kinda like the darker photos.
LL

Bellis said...

How intriguing! I've noticed the big red flowers before, but not the sculpture with the blue base (how could anyone miss it?), and I didn't know there was a way into Memorial Park - doesn't it have to cross the semi-underground metro rail lines at some stage? Perhaps you fell asleep in the hot sun and dreamt it?

altadenahiker said...

Curiouser and Curiouser.

Petrea said...

Oh thank you, Dina. Maybe I can get some Jefferson Airplane/Starship stuck in my head today to replace the awful pop song that's stuck in there now.

Lori Lynn, you must be a bit in love with taking pictures like I am.

Bellis, it does have to cross. But now that I look at the satellite picture (the 159 N. Marengo link) I'm beginning to wonder. I didn't walk all the way through and there's a tree blocking the strategic spot. The walkway could lead to the park or just to steps to the Metro. So--

Karin is right, as usual.

Dina said...

Oh good. But now it is stuck in my head too.

Tash said...

"What is the use of a book, without pictures or conversations?"
...how well you've done with both on your walk of discovery.
I recall the plant (in its righted position) as being very seductive...at least in Hawaii

altadenahiker said...

And please resume the coffee shop/office quest.

(I love Tash's quote. I reread the Alices just last year.)

Petrea said...

Dina, the pop song's still in there and now the two are battling it out.

Tash, I've seen that plant in gardens around here, too. I don't know what it's called.

Thanks, Hiker. I hope to resume the quest, I enjoyed it. I fully intended to and was stymied!

Jill Davis Doughtie said...

My new favorite in Old Town is Cafe Alibi -- right by the bridal dress shop. It's under new management. I think it's run by a family now. The coffee and tea are great, and the people who run the shop are wonderful. And there's lots of space for laptops!

Petrea said...

Thanks for that, Jill. I've always liked the setting of that place, but for a time I never knew if and when it would be open. New management may just be the key.

Bellis said...

Anthurium. Also known as the "boy flower", according to Wikipedia.

altadenahiker said...

The boy flower? The male ego never ceases to amaze.

Katie said...

Yay for happening upon a new section of town and bumping big public art displays! Trippy indeed.

Petrea said...

Now, don't jump to conclusions, Hiker. We don't know who named it. And it's not called the "Big man flower."

Trippy is the word for it. I may walk by there tomorrow and find I imagined the whole thing.

Laurie said...

WHat a cool discovery! I'm laughing about Boy Flower.

WV: squave. That art is definitely not squave.

Shell Sherree said...

You do love those serendipitous adventures ~ such a happy way to be, Petrea!

Louis la Vache said...

Serendipity...
;-)

Petrea said...

I do love serendipity, especially when it isn't squave. But squave will do, if it's serendipitous.