Eagle’s Spirit Totem

Having some time between recent doctor appointments at the UW Medicine’s Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, I drew this totem created by master Tsimshian carver David Boxley as a tribute to his sister-in-law Cindy Sue James (1965-2016). Dedicated May 6, 2007, the totem honors her legacy and pays tribute to all cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers.

The top figure is the Eagle, or Laxskiik, of the Tsimshian Nation. Below is a shaman wearing a bear-claw headdress and representing doctors and caregivers battling cancer. At the base is Cindy Sue, serving as the foundation for her family and tenderly clutching the shoulders of her grandson, Dominic, 7, “the light of her life, from the day he was born.”

University Branch Library

This view of the main entrance to the University Branch Library is constrained by the summer foliage of the large trees that shelter and shade the surrounding lawn. Designed by the architecture firm Somervell and Coté and funded by a grant from the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, this library opened in 1910. Architect Fred Bassetti headed a major renovation of the structure in 1985–86 to meet earthquake standards and add handicapped access. In 2007, another renovation by Hoshide Williams Architects upgraded technology services and created more efficient circulation desk and work areas. The library is now a registered city landmark.

Below is another library funded by Carnegie’s 1908 grant, the Green Lake branch. also designed by Somervell and Coté.

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Mission San Juan Capistrano was first founded on October 30, 1775, by the Franciscan Fermin Lasuen, but was soon abandoned because of attacks by the Kumeyaay, Native American people who had settled the area and occupied the land for thousands of years. The mission was reestablished a year later by Father Junipero Serra, the seventh of nine missions he founded. These two views of a courtyard beside the Great Stone Church at the mission show first the rough outline of the drawing composition and then another, more developed 15-minute sketch.

The Showbox Theater

The original market structure built in 1917 at 1426 1st Avenue, across from the entranceway to Pike Place Market, was transformed in 1939 by Bjarne H. Moe, who designed the art-deco interior of the theater and added this marquee out front. Over the past six decades, the theater has provided a venue for musical acts from Vaudeville and jazz to grunge and hip-hop.

In 2018, Vancouver, BC-based Onni Group bought the property and announced plans to demolish the building and replace it with a 44-story residential tower. That same year, local preservation groups organized a campaign to secure a landmark nomination in an effort to save the Showbox. The Seattle City Council recently voted unanimously to extend temporarily the Pike Place Historic District to include the original Showbox building. This has, for a time, protected the building from demolition.

Hing Hay Park


On a bright, sunny but cold day, the International District celebrated the Chinese New Year at Hing Hay Park. The festivities had been delayed because of a snowstorm that hit Seattle a few weeks ago. This drawing was done before the day’s events started and before crowds of people would block this view. I chose to merely suggest the immediate surroundings of the park and instead highlight the gateway or “paifang”further down King Street.


Here is another drawing of the gateway done about 8 years ago.

Happy Lunar New Year

Happy Lunar New Year and welcome to the Year of the Pig. The pig occupies the 12th and last position in the Chinese Zodiac. Those born under this sign are said to be compassionate, generous, and honest.

Alaskan Way Viaduct

The Alaskan Way Viaduct, a two-level elevated freeway that is part of State Route 99, was built between 1949 and 1953 to carry traffic along Seattle’s waterfront. When the Nisqually earthquake hit in 2001, the viaduct suffered minor damage but raised concerns that another major earthquake could cause it to collapse. And so, after a lot of civic and political debate, the state and city decided to replace the viaduct. After considering rebuilding another elevated structure, a surface boulevard, or a cut-and-fill tunnel, the decision was made in 2009 to bore a 2-mile-long tunnel deep below downtown Seattle. After years of delays, boring finally began in 2013, and the completed tunnel is scheduled to be open to traffic in three weeks.

The Alaskan Way Viaduct was officially closed to traffic at 10 pm this past Friday, January 11, 2019. What I will miss, along with many others, I’m sure, are the fantastic views of Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountain Range to the west while traveling on the upper deck traveling north, especially at sunset.

Add-A-Ball Arcade

Just off the alley behind and beneath 315 North 36th Street in Fremont is Add-A-Ball, an old-style arcade filled with rows of pinball machines and other arcade games, including such classics as PacMan and Tetris. Quoting The Stranger, “It’s the basement you wish you could’ve had when you were 14, if you were 14 in 1983.”