Mysterious Footwear

I’ve written about this many times over the years, but it continues to intrigue me.

four shoesI come across pairs of unoccupied shoes all over the city. These obviously aren’t random shoes that have fallen out of some passerby’s backpack. These are pairs of matching shoes, carefully placed together along sidewalks or on top of low walls. It’s a fairly common thing.

Today, on my walk home from Capitol Hill Station, I happen upon two pairs of shoes, set at the base of a traffic sign. (The sign, by the way, was remarkably free of graffiti.)

My theory is  that it’s some kind of shoe exchange – shoes set out for those who need them, like a Little Free Library for footwear.

I’ve tagged this post with “Seattle”, but I have no idea if this is a phenomenon restricted to my city.

No Convention, But Plenty Of Walking

Yesterday, I sent Phillip a text message saying that I was going to the Black Lives Matter march today, instead of NorWesCon. His reply was: “Awesome!”

Right before I left our apartment this afternoon, Phillip sent me another text message: “Photos or it didn’t happen”

I rode Link light rail to Westlake, where the rally started. I had a hot dog from Dog In The Park while I listened to speeches and music. I had fun reading everyone’s signs – there were many voices and groups there. The park was jammed with people, so we were constantly bumping into each other to let people pass. It was, indeed, awesome. Sakura-Con was going on nearby, so every once in a while, people in cosplay would squeeze through the crowd. It was fun and exciting.

Westlake rally


I was expecting rain, so I wore a heavy coat. I was hoping to buy a black beanie at the rally, so I didn’t wear a hat. The sun was shining, there was no rain, and I was much too hot in my coat. They were selling beanies up at the stage, but I never got up there.

When the rally ended, the march began. I hadn’t read, beforehand, what the parade route would be. I was surprised. It was the most interesting route I’d ever been a part of.

From Westlake, we marched south on 5th Avenue. Then we turned west onto Union Street. Then we marched south on 2nd Avenue. Then we turned east onto the rather steep, uphill Marion Street. Then we turned north on 4th Avenue, and marched past Westlake. Then we turned east on Virginia Street.

The marched ended on the steps of the US District Courthouse, where a second rally took place. Then the parade route made sense. If we had marched directly from Westlake to the Courthouse, the march would have been just two blocks long.

Courthouse rally

Courthouse panorama

I stayed for most of the second rally. Then I walked back to Westlake Mall. I hadn’t been there in a long time, and I was surprised to find that the entire food court was gone. I found a Taco del Mar in the mall, however, and I had a taco salad.

Then I rode light rail back to Capitol Hill, and walked home.

I am exhausted, but it’s a good kind of exhausted.

A New Way Home

Since I was coming home to an empty apartment this evening, I decided to experiment with a new commute home.

I walked south along 5th Avenue, through Pioneer Square, under Yesler Way, and into the International District. It’s a part of town I’ve never walked through before. Obviously, I saw sights I’d never seen before – government buildings and apartments, with mix of old and new architecture. It was a nice walk – not very hilly.

I was about two blocks away when I saw two streetcars arrive, and depart, at the stop at 5th & Jackson.

I got to the streetcar stop. The arrival sign said the next one was due in 10 minutes. OneBusAway agreed. They were both right.

I rode on the “Japantown” streetcar, which, until today, I thought was rather pretty. Well, I still think it’s pretty, but the problem today was that I chose the seat next to the window with the big flower on it. I’d never noticed this before, but those decals are not transparent. That big flower blocks almost all of the view. All of those inkbrush lines do, really, but that flower is the worst window blocker.

Japantown Streetcar

This photo wasn’t taken today. That’s the flower, however.

The streetcar was full when I got on. Otherwise, I would have switched to a different seat. I kept glancing back for a free seat after every stop, but I soon resigned myself to a viewless ride. Oh, I could see out, through the gaps in the design, but I wasn’t pleased with the design choice.

I glanced at my watch when I boarded the streetcar at 5th & Jackson. I glanced again when I exited at Broadway & Denny. The streetcar ride took around 20 minutes. That’s about twice what a light rail ride from Pioneer Square Station to Capitol Hill Station takes, but the views are better – when you can see through the window, that is. I didn’t factor in the time I spent walking.

I stopped off at the library, where a third hold had come in.