Archive for Weather – Page 2

Thoughts on Formentera… and more.

I don’t remember how I first became aware of the Balearic Islands, but they seemed exotic to me. Dots in the Mediterranean. Ruled successively by Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, Moors, and Catalans. Spanish but not really Spanish. From that first awareness I felt a magnetic attraction. My first visit in the 1960’s, was a late honeymoon – several months after the ceremony. Abby had never been to Europe and we were looking for a special add-on experience. Something different.

On that first trip, we flew from New York to Barcelona, then on to Ibiza where we immediately boarded a lancha rapida to Formentera, the smallest and most remote of the Balearics. It was exotic. Palma, on the big island of Mallorca, was a full-on city. Ibiza was a jet-set hangout. No one had ever heard of Formentera. We were off the radar. read more

At Home in Palma…

I’m sorry Seattle… I’m really tired of long winters, gray skies, and the rain that’s coming soon. When we left Saigon four years ago I put together the Surviving Seattle blog in an effort to cope with it, but in my heart of hearts I’ve always been a blue sky, warm water, palm trees kind of guy and this month I’m falling in love with Palma de Mallorca.

I don’t want to oversell it. We just spent a month in Berlin, and I’m easily seduced. It’s not really apfels and oranges to compare Seattle and Berlin to Palma. They’re both northern temperate climates and though our Berlin weather was seasonably good outside dining wasn’t really in the cards. On the other hand, stepping off the airplane in Palma on Thursday – the day a storm nearly blew Berlin away – the early evening sky was dark blue, and it felt like Santa Monica. Indeed, parts of the taxi ride from the airport into Palma looked like Marina del Rey. I immediately thought of tapas and wine at an outside table. Sidewalk cafes were tugging at me. I’ll own it; Southern California has always felt like my natural habitat. Berlin was a treat, Seattle is exciting, but I could live in Palma. read more

Nashville: Skyline and All

“If you’re travelin’ in the north country fair

Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline

Remember me to one who lived there

For she was once a true love of mine.”

Both Bob Dylan and the Nashville skyline have changed since he wrote those words for the Nashville Skyline album in 1969. I loved the record (yes, it was a record in those days), and I loved his surprising shift from folk-protest to traditional country music including an off-pitch duet with Johnny Cash. Beyond that I didn’t know much about the city except that it was the home of the Grand Ole Opry. I had never been there and neither had M, but a chance meeting with a young couple at a Peter Cetera concert in Seattle got us thinking about a visit to their hometown. So, on impulse, with an Alaska Airlines companion ticket to burn, we booked the flight as just the right destination for an escape from our long wet winter in Seattle. read more

Escaping the Madness

Blue sky, hot weather, cactus, friendly natives, a sensational espresso bar, true Mexican food, and well-maintained bike trails. Tucson is the perfect getaway from the rainy, windy, chilly winter in Seattle. Never mind that we drove 4000 miles to get there and back. It was worth it.

With the electile dysfunction of 2016 and the media’s all-consuming interest in Trump and his band of proto-conservatives, Russian spies, Cypriot money launderers, rapacious Wall Street foreclosers, Alt-Right apologists, de-constructers, de-conflicters, feckless co-conspirators, and ne’er do well family members, it was a relief to struggle out of the swamp and disappear into the real landscape of America. read more

The Perfect Latte…

urth-cafe

“When you aim for perfection you discover it’s a moving target.”

Geoffrey Fisher – Archbishop of Canterbury (1945-1961)

There are many strictures and cautionary tales about the pursuit of perfection and though the target may be elusive sometimes it’s all about the chase.

The Surviving Seattle blog began in the fall of 2012 as an antidote to the weather I hate in the city I love. I was looking for strategies to mitigate against the gray overcast, constant rain, and penetrating cold. I love writing this column and for the most part it’s kept the weather from defeating my optimism. I’ve written about films and food, books and bikes, art and architecture – even politics – but I’ve barely touched on the thing that gets me up and ready to open the front door and face the gloom. What is it?  What keeps me charged up, optimistic, and hopeful? Of course, it’s COFFEE and my quest for the perfect cup. read more