robert zverina

photography >> Seattle: 47° 27' N 122° 18' W scanned 35mm prints





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View from 3843 Fremont Ave N #303, Seattle, 3rd floor corner apartment. Mt. Rainier, or Tahoma, or Tacoma, lies about 90 miles south of Seattle. The Mountain is visible most days from July - September, but its appearance at other times is a rare treat. At 14,410 feet high, it is a young (about 730,000 years old) active volcano which last erupted about 2,200 years ago.

The Experience Music Project (EMP) under construction at Seattle Center, October 29, 1998. Designed by Frank Gehry, without computers these shapes in steel would not be possible. (It looked better before they covered it with an amorphous multicolored windowless shell.) Initially devoted to rock music, since 2004 the EMP has somewhat inexplicably branched out to embrace science fiction enthusiasts in an attempt to increase attendance. Most Seattleites think it is overpriced and its live music venues suck.

Could this be a Unabomber sighting? Not a chance--this was taken about two and a half years after Ted Kaczyinski was arrested in April 1996. I had recently quit my job, given up my Manhattan apartment, and moved to Seattle sight unseen to be with the love of my life, Sarah Kavage. It was a long damp winter, a record-breaker with about 100 days in a row when it rained at least a little and was cloudy most of the time. This looks like a dry day, but it pays to be prepared. (Actually, I think this person was hosing down her house or something, thus the raincoat.)

Gasworks Park on Lake Union. Way back in 1906, a heavy industrial plant was built there to convert coal into gas. By the 1950's, it was no longer needed. In 1962, the City acquired it for a park--which I guess was cheaper than detoxifying it to make it habitable. The gas company actually got paid $45,000 to leave this mess behind.

This was taken at night with a Nikon FG set on tripod for long exposure. I was hoping to get the prettily illuminated Seattle skyline across the water, but instead it blew out for an interesting unintended effect--perhaps presaging the moment when a big bomb blows up in Elliott Bay?

A relatively light police presence during a peaceful protest; the bike cops are stationed to protect a chain store's windows. Just as often, phalanxes of badgeless out-of-town recruits in riot gear bind people with zip ties and abuse them with pepperspray. As demonstrated by the systematic police brutality of November 30, 1999 and subsequent human rights violations, the Seattle Police Department appears to be sworn to uphold corporate interests, not the Constitution of the United States. The SPD is particularly flagrant in its suppression of First Amendment guarantees of free speech and "the right of the people to peaceably assemble."

But, hey, the police don't have it easy--they too are exploited.

I call this one MESSED MIXAGES. There are so many billboards in Seattle, many (if not most) of them owned by Clear Channel. This is one of those spinner boards caught in an absurd in between moment. Look closely and you'll see advertisements for steak and the lottery, beef and easy money. The purpose of any advertisement is to sell you what you don't need.

In two syllables, the reason I moved to Seattle: Sa-rah. My first full day in Seattle (October 30, 1998) was kind of sunny so we went to the Space Needle. Here Sarah stands on Fremont Avenue, sporting her favorite sunglasses. I think she got them in New York and lost them not long after. Like so much evidence of our NYC existence, they just disappeared.