Sunday, April 17, 2011


Okay, you got me dead to rights.

I have been known to whine and complain and rant about having to work the graveyard shift, especially when I have a 1-1/2 to 2 hour commute by train and bus each way.  

But I must admit--there are some perks.

For example, I get to experience firsthand the beautiful Emerald City lights.

On nights that I work, I get up at 7 PM from--more often than not--a three-hour fitful sleep, take a shower, maybe have something small to eat, and straighten up my room.  

After saying goodbye to a photo of my wife and adult children and petitioning a blessing for each of them, I leave the house and walk about six tenths of a mile to the Othello Link Light Rail Station.  

I remember feeling scared the first few weeks after moving into this neighborhood two years ago. Rainier Valley has long had a reputation for being a high crime area in Seattle.

But the tremendous grassroots efforts of the locals to urge the Seattle politicians to allocate more resources to this area, the resulting surge in affordable home construction, the remodeling of a Safeway grocery store in the Othello neighborhood, and the introduction of the Sound Transit Link Light Rail have all contributed to a welcome transition from what truly was once perceived as a ghetto into a respectable middle-class borough in southeast Seattle.

And, in my humble opinion, it truly does appear as if the crime rate has gone down.

Anyway, I remain vigilant while walking through this neighborhood at night, but I am not paranoid about what awaits me around each hedge or other blind spot.

After leaving the Othello Station, the train ride lasts about 16 minutes and travels through five stations--Columbia City, Mt. Baker, Beacon Hill, SODO (short for south of downtown), and Stadium--before arriving at my destination--the Chinatown/International District Station.

I ride an escalator to the street level and turn left, or in a westward direction, to 4th Avenue S. and S. Jackson where I will catch the 545 Sound Transit Bus to Redmond.

Last night, I paused and took a picture of the street level of this station.  I wanted to capture the Chinese lantern illusion created by the multitude of lamps.

Street Level of Chinatown/International District Station
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

Proceeding along, I pass this huge building with a clock at the top.  There is a huge auditorium within, and I have often seen huge crowds gathered here for proms, pep rallies, and other gala events.

Here is a night view of the north facade of this building.

Building at 4th Avenue S. and S. Jackson Street
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

Looking west, I can see an even larger building.  This is the King Street Station, once called the Union Station, that serves passengers traveling on both Amtrak and Sounder trains.  Looking much like a Northwest version of Big Ben, this architectural wonder--a throwback to 19th century America--makes my heart skip a beat (of course, having atrial fibrillation facilitates that phenomenon).  

The King Street Station
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

If you look in a southwesterly direction, you can see the majestic Qwest Stadium, home of the Seattle Seahawks.  The Seattle Sounders also play their home games here.  

The open stadium is a magnificent sight during the day but is even more picturesque at night.  It is bordered on each side by gargantuan arcs looking very much like bejeweled jade rainbows.  Certainly, it accentuates in both literal and figurative ways Seattle's clever nickname--the Emerald City.  

Qwest Stadium
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

Looking to the right, or in a northerly direction, you can see some of the city skyscape.

Seattle at Night
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

Another perk of working the graveyard shift is the ability to leave work early enough to catch a bus and get back to Seattle, a little sleepy-eyed but with enough wherewithal to photograph some interesting urban scenery.  Case in point:  Here is a link to a post I created in Hawaiian Odysseus 2 just before working on the one you're currently reading.

Anyway, here are some interesting shots I was fortunate enough to get before the sidewalks got too congested.

Church on Fifth Avenue
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

Or how about this next building?  Three quarters of it looks very much like a regular skyscraper, but its bottom one-fourth defies the law of gravity.  In my perception, it looks very much like one of those large graphite pencils they gave us in grade school standing on point.  Check this out!

Top Three Fourths of Architectural Phenomenon
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

Bottom Fourth of Building
An Impressive Architectural Feat!
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

Anyway, I'm sure you see what I mean.  I definitely have more passion and drive to take photographs and post on my two blogs than I do working the mundane graveyard shift in the bagel factory.

Hawaiian Odysseus addresses the restlessness of Everyman who hungers for the realization of his potential while being stuck in a dead end situation.

Even so, I recognize and truly do appreciate--even when it seems like I don't--every pebble, rock, or boulder in my path.  

The difference is, I know when it's time to move on.

Okay, just for grins--here's a reprise of the one shot I took this morning when I knew exactly where I was going to post it and what message I was going to convey.

Looking VERY Smart in Seattle!
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

Yours in good humor!

Hawaiian Odysseus



  1. It's an amazing architectural achievement, that's for sure! Thanks for your comment, Charlie! Keep submitting those fishing photos. Our readers love the fishing posts.