Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Pike Place Market

I've officially lived in Seattle for about 3 weeks now and, being basic, I've been to Pike Place Market multiple times.  Situated close to downtown and by the water, Pike Place Market is one of the famous, and touristy, destinations in Seattle.  In fact, I've overheard people walking through the crowds whilst remarking, "Ugh, tourists."  I brought my camera with me when Ana came to visit me so I 100% acted the tourist.  I live here now, though, so do I still count?

Pike Place Market is, as the name suggests, a huge conglomeration of food and merchants.  What I love about the market is the amount of local, small businesses.  Whilst it's more expensive, I much prefer buying from small businesses over large corporations.  There are locally sourced vegetables, jams, olive oils, honeys . . . really, anything you can eat!  The merchants are happy to let you try their products, too. I walked away this week with some blackberry basil jam and honey infused with stems of lavender.  

I had to snap photos of the vegetable stalls because there were so many colors.  I definitely plan to come back in the future for some farm fresh greens.  There are also flower stalls at the market.  Tulips are in season and the flowers are so much cheaper than what you would buy at a chain grocery store!  I don't have a vase yet, but you bet I'll be back here when I get one.  Is there anything more beautiful and comforting to have in your house than flora fresh from the earth?

One of our last stops was the famous Gum Wall.  When I was last here with Olivia, she told me that the wall had been scraped clean last year, but you'd ever be able to tell!  Ana and I bought some gum, chewed it, and stuck it on the wall.  When in Seattle, right?  Would you have done the same?  Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sunday #66: Hello, Seattle

Hello, friends, from the Pacific Northwest.  Since we last spoke, I've relocated from California to Washington.  I'm now a transplant to Seattle and it's been quite a busy two weeks.  I'll start from the beginning.  There's quite a bit to unpack so be prepared.


I took a flight on the last day of March from Los Angeles to Seattle.  I'd shipped about eight boxes with my job.  Other than that, I moved with the rest of my whole life in an 80 lb suitcase.  My new apartment wasn't ready for five days so I lived in an AirBnB and with friends.  The first few days were okay.  I was situated in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and got to explore a lot of the interesting businesses there (loads of coffee shops!).  Come day three, I had been hit with either a stomach virus or food poisoning which meant for a not so great several days as I recovered.  All the while, I'd had about two days after moving before I started at my new job!  Hooeey! 

Things started to settle down a bit once I moved into my new apartment and started to set up my new life.  The not so great thing about starting anew?  All the money one bleeds!  I'm largely set up now though I'm still sleeping on an air mattress until the real thing arrives.  However, I am living alone for the first time in my life.  Aside from now having to deal with my anxiety alone, it's been pretty nice.  I can make my apartment exactly to my liking and I'm currently pursuing a wood/rustic/marine theme.  My partner has my guitars at the moment, though, and I'm deeply missing them until they arrive because the acoustics here are amazing.  What's the point of living alone if you can't have solo concerts?


One of the hardest parts of the move was leaving everyone behind.  My partner and I are now long distance.  Though he'd left Los Angeles a month before I moved to Seattle, I felt his absence that much more once I moved out of our room.  It was also difficult to leave family and friends, but on the bright side, I am thankful to have made such meaningful connections.  I've started to write snail mail to the people I love.  New life -- may as well, right? 

Now, you know I don't like to dwell too heavily on the negatives here so I want to talk about the great things Seattle has to offer!  The air here is far better than Los Angeles.  My allergies are gone and I can't remember the last time I breathed this well.  All my life I've dreamt of living by the water and now I do.  I live in a quiet neighborhood which has a lovely local coffee shop and THREE Italian restaurants.  Dangerous for a pasta addict like myself!  My new place also has a lovely little open shelving area that opens into the kitchen which might be my favorite part of the apartment.  I'm currently filling it with knick knacks.

Seattle also brings new faces and I'm so happy to tell you that I finally got to meet Olivia!  We've talked about meeting for ages and now we live in the same city!  This Saturday, we met at Pike Place Market and had a great time hanging out.  She's one of the warmest souls I've met and made me feel incredibly welcome.  We meant to take photographs, but it was raining so hard that day that we went around buying from small, local businesses at the market.

There are other adjustments to make as well such as the new job, new responsibilities, and . . . the weather.  It rains ALL THE TIME in Seattle which is really nice for someone who misses the four seasons.  When it's not raining, it's often overcast, which actually makes for great light for photoshoots.  I did my first shoot out here with Seattle-based model Io today (we'd been following each other on Instagram and I ran into here one day in the city) which I'm excited to share soon.  Yes, I know, I have a backlog of shoots.  I'm hoping to do more shoots here on weekends!

I'm currently sitting on the floor of my apartment since I don't yet have a couch.  I'm gonna prepare for bed soon to get a start on the new week.  Talk soon!  Tell me what you did this weekend in the comments?

Sunday, April 01, 2018

The Big Changes

It's been a moment since I've been by here!  In lieu of the "usual" Sunday post, I want to talk about some of the major changes that have caused me to be largely absent from the blogosphere.  I am hoping that I will have a bit more free time nowadays because this blog was pretty much abandoned since the middle of February.  My apologies to those who have been leaving thoughtful comments and not received them in return -- I'm working on it!  Maybe you're wondering, "What's up with the radio silence?"  Or you're thinking, "Just get to the point!"  

Well, here goes.  In the past month and a half, I have . . .


From the middle of February onwards, I sort of vanished into a hole as dissertation writing took off.  It was a pretty stressful time.  I had some computer problems and lost some days worth of work (and they were productive ones) which meant rewriting parts of it.  However, I submitted my thesis in early March and defended it in a seminar later in the month.  Which means . . . I am now a Dr. who holds a PhD!  Hallelujah, at long last!  I was pleasantly touched by the amount of family and friends who came out to support me.  Becoming a Dr. is pretty momentous, but I was most moved by the warmth, love, and support I have.


I don't want to say I said my "goodbyes" because I intend to keep in touch with the people I met during my studies, both in and outside of my academic circle.  I left Pasadena on March 31 so there was a flurry of last minute meetups.  I'm sad to say I didn't get to see everyone!  I don't think you realize how many friends you have until it comes time to leave a place.  I'm grateful for every connection I've made, for what people have taught me, and for the kindness and generosity they've all shown.  The right kind of people will draw out the better parts of ourselves.  Leaving people is the hardest part of moving.  My partner started his new postdoctoral research position in Northern California as well so the partings started actually started quite a bit earlier.  Everything happens as one, you know?


New life, who dis?  As of yesterday, I have moved to Seattle!  I've signed a lease for a flat, but can't move in for a few more days.  For the moment, I'm splitting my time between an Airbnb and a friend's futon.  This is the first move of my life that I've made alone.  I start my new job tomorrow as a postdoctoral researcher in my advisor's new laboratories so this weekend is the last bit of my downtime!  I shipped a total of ten small boxes ahead of time and boarded a plane with an 80 lb suitcase.  Suffice to say that I'm glad I've been lifting.  

Where do we go from here?  Life is going to be hectic for a bit: I have to deal with moving in, getting started in the new lab, and research projects.  However, I'm hoping to have a bit more time on my hands with the exams, dissertation writing, and graduation requirements of my PhD program finished.  Hopefully, I'll be more present in the blogosphere, establishing photography work in Seattle, and more!  Talk soon.  Here's to new beginnings!