wandering amphibia

A few weeks in Seattle (part 2)

For the next part, I went walking around downtown Seattle and shooting random hippie shots. Sporting a Carl Zeiss Distagon 28mm lens on a Canon 6D, I pretended I knew something about subjects, positioning and framing (and bokeh).





A reminder of an amazing past… well, I’m not sure I’d ever want to stay in 75 cent rooms (or that they had any reasonable loyalty program):


A pond in the alley:


A painful mismatch of concepts:



A mix of old and new



It’s actually a pretty famous building in Seattle (the Smith Tower). It’s an interesting story – it kept being the tallest building, first west of Kansas, then on the West Coast, then of the city, then of Pioneer Square… and so on. Some enterpreneurial dotcom enterpreneur added a few floors to the top floor, as well, turning it into a private residence. Truly a la Hong Kong. Anyway, I couldn’t go in because it was closed for a private reception, but here are some shots from the outside.



Then I went to see some docks…



… some waterfalls …



Some bored people waiting for the locks to flood…


And some optimistic birds hoping for a fish to float by. Ideally pre-fileed by a boat propeller.



After this, it seemed appropriate to continue the touristy tour to visit a place that is entirely appropriate considering my hobbies and interests.

Enter… the Boeing factory!!!!!!!!!!!

Sadly, pictures inside were not permitted, but there was enough interesting stuff outside to take pictures of. Looks like some British Airways 777s and a Eva Airways 777 (probably here for maintenance, or brand new orders)…


And since Boeing is actively shoving the 787 down everyone’s throat, here are some newly built ones: an ANA, Air Canada, Hong Kong Airlines (where’d they get the money for one?…)


Some unpainted planes (did you know that unpainted Boeings are green???)


Seattle SeaHawks. I’d have thought it would be more appropriate to paint a Sikorsky SH-60 (conveniently named SeaHawk) into their livery, but Boeing saw fit to donate a 747. Shrug. I wonder if I can rename myself to SeaHawk and get a 747… I’ll even win something, to make it marketable.


Because you know. It’s an airport, and it totally makes sense to have a DC-3 flying around. (!!!!!!!) No it doesn’t. WTF?!?

Also, look at that Silk Way Airlines 747… it’s an Azerbaijani cargo airline that bailed out of the purchase in the end and stuck to their Russian planes.


Some shots from inside the museum. No secret tech here, so shots are freely allowed.


Eastern Airlines plane chop.




A hanging plane above another plane.


Do you have any idea how huge that engine is? I don’t either. It needs something for comparison next to it, and quite obviously I didn’t put anything there, so for all you know this could well be a miniature.


Going to my next destination, I came across this particular display of conspicuous consumption (as a means of reputability for the gentleman of leisure who, in this particular case, happens to be a Swiss entrepreneur) – the Vava II. The answer I’ve always wanted to give to “How big is yours?” – “97 metres”.




That’s a pretty lame vehicle to have parked next to such a massive extension of one’s manliness, but I suppose it must be the guard – the Batmobile probably got offloaded with the onboard crane sometime upon docking.

My final stop was the Pacific Science Museum, which was having an exhibition of how evil Russia did its spy business spying techniques, tools and tricks of the trade.




The Enigma Machine. This is very cool, and a relatively rare item – in the US, there are very few on display, so it was amazing to see a real example of it.


There were actually some objects which were not Russian!


Spy boat!


Evil Russian nucular weapons (hi, Jack Bauer.. and everyone else who says “nucular”, including half of the US presidents). Oh, and Soviet assassins! Because you know. Spies.


Secret spy camera!



Trotsky’s glasses and and you know, spy stuff. Trotsky murdered!


Trotsky’s watch. I really don’t know how this relates to the whole spy thing, but hey, it’s from Soviet Russia, so it’s got to be a spy object.


Axe that killed Trotsky. Because you know. Axes are a secret spy tool of Soviet assassins. In Mother Russia, assassin kill with axe!


Some James-Bondian objects. An umbrella with a gun, a cane with a stiletto knife, etc.


Checkpoint Charlie flag and a piece of the Berlin Wall. This was kind of cool.


Same piece of the Berlin Wall from the other side. Looks like a wall.


More scary Soviet stories.


Original of Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago.


Comes from – where else – the CIA Museum. Wonder if they embedded a listening device into it.


In Soviet Russia, spies drink brandy during time not busy spying!


Except accidentally become killed when spying. You know. Prophylactic reason.


Evil Russian spy ID. He even looks evil in the picture. SMERSH!!!


Copy of a dead drop. I wonder if the real one had a sign on the wall. The wall says “FOR THE MOTHERLAND!”


Someone’s ID.

_MG_6154 _MG_6155

Soviet assassin messenger pigeons. The predecessor of the DJI Phantom.


Guess they loved them so much they taxidermied them.


So the amusing part about the whole thing is it’s mostly Russian artefacts – it was a bit unfortunate that the CIA museum ponied up nothing of the Americans’ tricks of the trade. But oh well, it was educational in its own regard.

So that’s pretty much it for this Seattle stay. Next up… Hawaii!