Peonies at the Seattle Chinese Garden

It's been twenty years or so since its official opening. During that time, I didn't know that there was a Chinese garden in Seattle. I am not alone, I suspect. It seems it hasn't been well publicized for all the years it's been in existence. Locals are more likely to have gone to the Japanese Garden near... Continue Reading →

Seattle Restaurant Week: Etta’s Seafood

Every April and October, Seattle area diners look forward to Seattle Restaurant Week. The program actually extends over a two-week period (except Fridays and Saturdays) and features many restaurants that have agreed to offer a 3-course dinner for $30 per person (and, in a few cases, two-course lunch for $15). These prices can be great values when... Continue Reading →

Signs of Spring at Pike Place Market

The following images taken at Pike Place Market here in Seattle are more evidence that spring has arrived. The flower stalls especially are bursting with tulips. Local asparagus, artichokes, morels and fiddleheads are a joyful reminder that bountiful crops are beginning and will continue to appear through the fall.

Seward Park: Seattle’s Great Urban Walk

It's not so easy to find old-growth forest within Seattle city limits anymore, yet Seward Park has the Magnificent Forest featuring evergreen trees aged 200 years or more. The park was designed by the famous Olmstead brothers and remains a wonderful legacy of a time when city officials saw fit to set aside forested areas for public enjoyment. It occupies all... Continue Reading →

Chicken Wings in Black Bean Sauce

I love the funky savoriness of Chinese fermented black beans (douchi). I also love chicken wings. No big surprise then that I love them together. Rather than packaged, loose black beans (which need to be swirled in water and drained several times), for convenience I use the Master brand of fermented black beans bottled in oil. I find other prepared black bean... Continue Reading →

Rhododendron ‘Unique’—Harbinger of Spring

When the 'Unique' variety of rhododendron (R. campylocarpum hybrid) starts blossoming, it's the signal in the Pacific Northwest that the rhody season will be in full swing. It's extremely popular locally, not only for the flowers but more importantly its handsome ovate leaves and compact shape that make it a valuable landscaping specimen throughout the year. I... Continue Reading →

Hello to Nice Weather on the Little Si Trail (North Bend, WA)

There's nothing like the promise of a beautiful day, after an extended period of wet weather, to stimulate the desire to do something outdoors. Last Friday was such a day. We decided to hike on the Little Si Trail near North Bend, which strangely we'd never done for all the years we'd been living in western Washington. The trail is very... Continue Reading →

Wildflowers on the Little Si Trail

In the next few months, my wife and I will be conditioning ourselves for a trip to Peru and Bolivia later in the year. High-altitude hiking in the Andes will be punishing enough without even taking into consideration demand on legs, knees and lungs. Our first real hike of the year was yesterday, the popular Little Si Trail... Continue Reading →

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