Monday, June 30, 2014

Am I in Seattle?

I am moving to Portland, ME.  (More on that in another post.)  I was apartment hunting, and when I went to see a potential apartment I realized that the Portland neighborhood of Munjoy Hill was eerily like Upper Queen Anne in Seattle.  I have photographic proof!

First of all, you must be familiar with Kerry Park in Seattle.  It's a park with an amazing view of downtown Seattle and Elliott Bay.  It's the view you see on a lot of Seattle postcards.

Kerry Park in Seattle:

The little park I found in the neighborhood of Munjoy Hill in Portland:

View of Seattle from Kerry Park:

View of Portland from this little park (keep in mind that Portland, ME, is a shorter city than Seattle, and doesn't have a volcano in the background):

Holy COW is it hard to find a view of Elliott Bay from Kerry Park!  Everyone is so enamored of the skyline, I guess, that they ignore the Bay, which is just as beautiful.  Anyway, I have NO idea who these people are; it's just the best image I found.  View of Elliott Bay from Kerry Park (the Bay is to the right of the skyline):

View of Back Cove from the little park (water is to the right of the skyline):

Okay, if you are in Kerry Park and facing the Seattle skyline, to the left is a set of stairs to take you down to the street; it's too steep for a path or street:

Same thing at this little Portland park:

At the bottom of the Kerry Park steps is a playground with a field, and then a great big house next to the field (I can't find a picture that includes the house):

No playground, but field next to a big house at the bottom of the Portland park steps (and, if I recall correctly, the house next to the Kerry Park steps is also blue):

Now, if you are at Kerry Park in Seattle, facing the skyline, and head to your left, you get to Queen Anne Avenue about a block or two away.  Queen Anne Avenue at that point is where all of the stores, restaurants, cafes, etc. are.

Same thing at this park in Portland!  Face the skyline, head left, and…TA-DA!

Anyway, I can't wait to move to Munjoy Hill in Portland, ME.  Obviously, I will feel right at home!  I hope I can remember which city I'm in.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Riding (Walking) the (Now-Defunct) Rails!

One of my favorite places in Newburyport is the Rail Trail.  I walk it all the time.  It's one of those trails that used to be a railroad, but is now defunct and turned into a trail.  Since I'm moving (more on that later), I took lots of pictures to share.

There are several place to access the Rail Trail.  I usually get on here, where the trail crosses a road not far from my house.

There are homes on either side of the trail for part of it.

As you can see, it's a paved path.  There are always lots of cyclists and rollerbladers.

As I said, there are many places to access the trail.  The trail is in a sort of gully.  When one accesses the trail from a street, there is always a set of stairs heading down to the trail, as well as a ramp for anyone with wheels.

There is lots of sculpture along the trail which I really enjoy, because most of it actually looks like something.  The one below is "Wishbone," and it actually looks like a wishbone!

There are lots of signs that tell about the railroad of yore.  It's really interesting, like these stones.

It's hard to read, but this shows an old picture of the roundhouse, where the trains used to turn around.  I love the pictures they include.

I don't really get this sculpture.  I guess it has to do with the trail being used for biking?  It is at the end of a bike ramp down to the path.  But I do like turning the wheel using the pedal.  I love interactive sculpture.

This sculpture cracks me up!  Someone stole the nameplate, but it's pretty obvious.  A guy and his dogs made from bike parts!  Just FYI, there are always a million dogs being walked on the path.

The path crosses an old railroad bridge.  The street below is Low Street, one of the few access points where the ramp goes up.  Go figure.  Ha!

I don't really get this sculpture.  Torrential Flight?  For anyone who doesn't know me well, I like art that is what it says.  I guess I'm not imaginative enough to appreciate a lot of modern art, or anything very interpretive.

I do like this one.  It's pretty cool, and I get it.

Newburyport is very cool in that it has a windmill that supplies a lot of energy.  I always marvel at it.  The windmill is so much bigger than it looks.  This is a view from the trail.  See the top?

This is a door at the very top.  I once saw a man up there, and he didn't even fill the door.  That perspective gives you an idea of how tall the windmill really is.  It's huge.

There are lots of fun little gardens along the trail that local groups care for and plant.

One of my favorite parts of the trail (this won't be a shock to any of you), is the ice cream shop right off the trail!  I think it's both hilarious and genius that they actually put a sign on the trail to indicate the path to ice cream.  It's very good ice cream, by the way.

As you can see, they get lots of business off the trail!

Another sculpture I like.  It's obvious!

What's really fun is that the Rail Trail ends at one end at the  -- get ready -- actual train station!  I've taken this train several times.  It goes straight to Boston, and I'd rather take the train than drive.  It's mostly a commuter train, though.  You should see the parking lots during the week.  They're packed.

Okay, we're turning around now…

First, a couple of things I didn't show above because people were in the picture.

This is probably one of my favorite sculptures on the trail.  I love that the artist named him, and even more that he named him Clyde.

On this walk, I found one of these orange and black caterpillars!  I haven't seen these since I last lived in Pittsburgh!  I loved these caterpillars, even though they do terrible things.  Just so you know, I moved this little guy off the path so he wouldn't get smushed.  Plus, I love to feel their prickly little bodies and watch them curl up in a ball.  So part altruistic and part selfish.

I adore this little train.  It took a long time for me to get a picture of it without swarms of kids playing on it.  I get on it, too, so I can't blame them.

Decorated walls.  I really enjoy that.  There are a lot of decorated bridges in Phoenix, and Seattle had some fun ones on overpasses.  It's cool that cities add art to things that would otherwise be boring and/or ugly.

A picture of the old train station.

Along this part of the trail there are a bunch of birdhouses.  I don't know who made them or why, but I just love them!  Once you start looking for them, they are all over the place.  These are only a few examples.

Yikes!  A horrible event, but I'll admit that I love the picture.

Eventually the Rail Trail crosses another bridge and heads down to the Merrimack River.

Looking at the above picture, if you head up to the right, you come across a seating area and this sculpture.

This is a picture of that area from below.

If you head left and down, you get here:

You also get to this sculpture.

I do not get the title.  Personally, I'd call it Hugs & Kisses.  It looks like Xs and Os, and it's red!  Sadly, no one asked me.

This sculpture creeps me out big time.  I do not like it, Sam I Am.

Then the path continues along the river.  It's not the Rail Trail anymore.  I don't know what it's officially called.  I call it the River Trail.

I would love to live in one of those condos.  Sadly, I don't believe they were built for public servants.  Ha!

The path continues along the river, and various boat-loading and -unloading ramps (which I'm sure have a more official name) are seagull resting places when the ramps aren't in use.

Also, ducks!  All over the place!

This is the end of the trail in this direction.  The excellent thing is that I live one block from this end of the trail.  I'm a lucky girl.

Later, walking the River Trail in the other direction!