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Oct. 13: Seattle Center

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Inside and Outside King Street Station

12/12/21 King Street Station from 4th S. & S. Jackson St. 

It was bitterly windy, 38 degrees and likely to rain. Although staying home and having a second cup of coffee seemed like a better idea, I put on my warmest, waterproof down parka, boots and fingerless gloves before I headed out for King Street Station to meet with USk Seattle today. My initial reluctance faded, however, when I saw that we had another great turnout, despite the cold. USk Seattle members are nothing if not hardy!

Surprisingly, the sun came out briefly, so I went outside to see if I could stand the cold. Although I’ve sketched the station many times, I tend to choose a head-on view from directly across the street. With morning light on one side, it made more sense to cross kitty-corner and catch that light.

By the time I finished, the sun had disappeared, and all my fingers unprotected by fingerless gloves were getting numb, so I retreated to the station’s ornate upper level. In the past, I’ve attempted ambitious compositions from up there (especially as a newbie who didn’t know better), but this time I kept them small and full of sketchers.

Station upper level

With only a half-hour left before the throwdown, I was planning to head downstairs to sketch more people on the main station level, but a window at one end caught my eye. It gave me an ideal view of several tents across the street – only a few of the many, many tents surrounding the station area. By “ideal,” I mean that I was warm, safe and comfortable, none of which these residents were. Feeling voyeuristic and even opportunistic, I nonetheless couldn’t resist a sketch. Having rushed inside earlier after standing on the sidewalk for only 30 minutes, I felt guilty and wondered what it was like to spend a night on the sidewalk sheltered only by flimsy tents intended for casual camping. Night after night.

The individual on the left may look like he was checking his phone, but he was actually sweeping the area around his home.

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