31 March 2005

Urban Oasis: Portland Classical Chinese Garden

Chinatown lampposts
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
I first discovered the Classical Chinese Garden during November. Even then, it stood out as an oasis amidst all of it's concrete surroundings. I knew it would be a place to return to in all seasons.

Today I attended an event in downtown Portland on behalf of the foundation I work for. Since the weather was clear and dry, I decided to walk through Chinatown to see what was in bloom.

Inhabiting a single city block, the Ming-style Chinese Garden is an urban garden built around it's unifying center, Zither Lake. Over 500 tons of stone were shipped to Portland from Suzhou, China. One of my favorite features is the pebble mosaic courtyards and walkways which provide a visual connection throughout the garden.

21 March 2005

Urban Exploration: Seattle

Lock is full
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
After two consecutive nights in my own house, I was feeling the itch to expand beyond the circuit I normally travel. In the back of my mind was the memory of alder-smoked halibut and chocolate chip cinnamon rolls, so I grabbed my duffel bag and was on the road for Seattle.

This time, I wanted to explore some of the neighborhoods beyond downtown and the waterfront. First stop, the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard. It was interesting to watch the process of conveying boats between the salt water of the Puget Sound and the fresh water of the canal leading to Lake Union and Lake Washington.

The residential area of Fremont captured my attention in the afternoon. After popping in and out of several small shops, I stopped for some Greek food and to rest my feet before heading home.