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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Home, Sweet Home

6/4/15 View from NE 70th Street overpass

Whenever I return from international travel, I see my home town with fresh eyes. (I was in France; please see my sketches and post on the global Urban Sketchers blog.) This may be due to simple relief; as much as I love to travel (and I dearly do), I love coming home even more. (After five hotel rooms over the course of two weeks, is there nothing more comforting than sleeping in your own bed and showering in your own normal bathroom?)

Yet it’s more than just relief. After being bombarded with so many new and different sights and experiences in another country, I find myself wondering how a foreigner visiting my home town would see these familiar streets and buildings. In the same way that I was charmed by La Roque’s storybook architecture and impressed by the Amphitheatre in Arles – things that those towns’ citizens walk by each day without a thought – would a visitor to Seattle be intrigued by construction cranes on every corner or dazzled by the bright yellow sheathing of new buildings going up?

This sunny afternoon I walked out on the Northeast 70th Street I-5 overpass and faced east. I could see the Calvary Christian Assembly Church, the Roosevelt Light Rail Station’s yellow construction crane, a new building with its yellow underwear exposed and (at the far left of my sketch) a bit of another construction crane. Below me, northbound rush-hour traffic on I-5 was noisy, stinky and somewhat nerve-wracking.

Home, sweet home.

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