In the International District

Though rain is predicted, the early morning was sunny but chilly.  I arrived early for our sketch outing in the International District.  I decided to make this sculptural fountain the sketch for the ID station in my series of public art in Light rail stations. As such, I added the blue and white symbol for the station.  I didn’t really like what was in the tunnel.  This is on the plaza over the tunnel station.  I successfully managed to simplify it by not including details of the buildings in the background.

Cascadia: A sculptural Interpretation of the Basaltic Lava Flows; 1999-2000 by John Hoge“The installation references the cataclysmic events that shaped the stark landscape of central and southeastern Washington.  The basalt formations in this region date to the Miocene period, beginning about 17 million years ago and continuing over a period of 11 million years.”  

On to our meeting spot at the Panama Hotel.  It is a National Historic Landmark for its association with the immigration of Japanese.  The Hashidate-Yu Sento, located in the basement of the building is one of only 2 surviving Japanese Public Bathhouses in the USA.

I’d long wanted to sketch the sign.  Since it still wasn’t raining, I seized the chance to do so.

More from the website:  “The Historic Panama Hotel built in 1910 by Sabro Ozasa, a Japanese Architect and graduate of the University of Washington. Through the years it has served as a home for generations of Japanese immigrants, Alaskan fisherman and International travelers.”

Natalie told me it is also a location in the novel, At the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

And:   “The mystery of the Panama Hotel lies beneath its weathered lobby, at the bottom of 19 creaky wooden steps, beyond a heavy glass door.  In a dimly lighted basement, belongings of a generation are frozen in time: kimonos delicately folded in a heavy trunk; worn suitcases adorned with stickers from Yokohama and Kobe; and a 1942 copy of the North American Times newspaper with a blaring headline, ‘Evacuation of Japanese due within 10 days.’  It is an accidental time capsule, this dusty basement in Seattle’s International District.

The mystery of the Panama Hotel lies beneath its weathered lobby, at the bottom of 19 creaky wooden steps, beyond a heavy glass door.

In a dimly lighted basement, belongings of a generation are frozen in time: kimonos delicately folded in a heavy trunk; worn suitcases adorned with stickers from Yokohama and Kobe; and a 1942 copy of the North American Times newspaper with a blaring headline, ‘Evacuation of Japanese due within 10 days.’ 

It is an accidental time capsule, this dusty basement in Seattle’s International District. ”  More  http://www.panamahotel.net/article2.htm

I walked around the corner nearby, looking for a vantage point from which to sketch another interesting sign.  I saw this single shoe, left at the cross walk.  It made me wonder about the circumstances that resulted in it being left there.

Then it started to rain.  Time to go back inside the Panama Hotel Tea Room.

Steve and Tom sketching

Natalie sketching

We were a much smaller group today.

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About redharparts

Born in Michigan. Attended undergrad and graduate universities there. I've lived in England, Germany, Southern California and now Washington (state). I'm a retired Medical Social Worker with a past specialty in Oncology. I've enjoyed exploring historical re-creation through the SCA. I costume in several fandoms. Lately I've returned to Art and have taken up Urban Sketching, a version of en plein air painting.
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4 Responses to In the International District

  1. beverlydyer says:

    When I see your outings, it makes me want to look for a local group here in North Carolina.

  2. joantav says:

    Glad you were able to sketch the Panama Hotel before the rain started. I read the novel and remember it. The tea room looks like a nice place to sketch. Are you and the group missing Tina?

    • redharparts says:

      I think this was my third time at the Panama Hotel. Other times I sketched inside but this time I had that view of the sign I’d wanted to get for quite a while. Nearly everyone else sketched in the tea room.

      Yes, it feels like Tina has been gone for so long! But I’ve been seeing her travelogue on line.

      • joantav says:

        I’ve been following her too. She went to places I’ve been and loved so it is great to see them through her eyes and pen.

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