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seattle

9/6/2006 – 9/9/2006

The first time I landed my feet in Washington State, Northwestern of United States, everything felt very different compared to what I’ve seen in the East Coast area. The nature, the architecture, the city, the people, I don’t think the food that much different though.

The nature was very beautiful.
Very hilly and mountainous which reminds me of my hometown Bandung.
Water everywhere, wherever you look, rich blue water with the mountain back dropped, gorgeous.
Don’t forget the everlasting green. Big trees, small trees, flowers all year long.
We were there on last of summer, so the weather was very nice. Not too cold, not too hot. The sun was shining almost all the time, which made us forget Seattle is a rainy city. Until the last day we were there, we saw what I thought was the real face of Seattle. Cloudy, gloomy, and wet all daylong.

The architecture was also different.
Due to the climate which is rainy, the buildings has to have a long over hanged roof, just like Indonesians have, which makes the looks of the buildings completely different from the East Coast’s ones.
I’m not sure why, but there are more materials used in building compare to ‘brick only’ in East Coast, that makes them more exciting and various in shapes and in facades.

The city
This was the first big enough city I’ve visited in US that doesn’t have a mass rapid transportation. They do have busses. They do have a monorail that connects Seattle Center, one of the main attractions in the city, to downtown area that sadly didn’t work when we were there. Riding a car was not a bad idea there surprisingly, parking spaces were quiet easy to find and not too expensive.
I didn’t see anything too special about the city beside the hilly contour that makes you can see everything especially water from almost everywhere.
It’s not a hustle bustle kind of city. It’s very calming and relaxing compare to Chicago, although the downtown area is bigger than Baltimore. You can see by the way the people drive which almost never go above the speed limit.
One other thing that lack was the waterfront. With so much water, I couldn’t find a popular waterfront where people can just hang around without having to eat in a restaurant or having their own boathouses.

The people. As a Baltimorean, the first thing I noticed was the lack of African Americans. I saw more Asian than African Americans and probably even Southern Americans. With so many Asians they even has a Japanese garden in the city.
One more obvious thing was less obese people.

Where did I go?
Seattle Arena where the Space Needle and Gehry’s Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum are.
Spots to take a picture of the city which in Queen Anne and Alki Beach.
The famous ‘traditional’ Pike Place Market where you can see ‘the flying fish’, the fishes thrown away to customers.
The first Starbucks store
Campus of University of Washington
Mount Rainier that has an everlasting snow.

Will I be back?
Insya Allah (in God’s will). To visit Om Indra and Om Tony with their lovely family, Koolhas’s Public Library, and feel the clean and calming atmosphere of the city and surroundings.

 

Pictures taken by Riyadhi

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chicago

10/28/2006 – 10/30/2006

architecturally breathtaking
just like in the books
i wish i’d been here when i was in school. i could’ve had a better grade 😀
for all of you who adores architecture, this is definitily one of the places to go.

city wise very convenient.
public transportation everywhere almost every time even on weekends.
parks and plazas with interesting features everywhere
wide, clean, and safe pedestrians
a very clean river that you feel like swimming to
the low parts would be no cheap market that i can go to for a shopping spree
and some parts of the city has no night life even on weekends that makes you wonder if there’s anybody lives in that area

recommended
1. play in the millennium park during daytime and nighttime. the cloud gate is just great.
2. taking an architectural boat trip
3. climb up the big john looking at sears tower
4. visit IIT, home of mies van de rohe’s carson hall
5. go to FLW’s work. i went to robie house, just great.
6. eat deep dish pizza
7. grab some garrett popcorn
8. enjoy the artful parks
9. don’t bother to bring any car. enjoy the buses and trains and feet.

i would do, but couldn’t. hopefully next time.
1. visit art institute of chicago
2. go to oak park, other FLW’s project.
3. visit chicago on summer to see fountains working
4. play in the beach
5. visit the zoo