Mary Lambert is an Incredible Artist who Must be Heard

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis The HeistLast October a video hit YouTube and absolutely exploded. I intended to do a writeup about it back then but life was busy at the time and I just didn’t get around to it. The video was a single from the debut of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis‘s first full-length album, The Heist. It’s one of the best albums I’ve heard in a good while.

The video is titled, “Same Love,” and is about the experiences Macklemore, Ben Haggerty, encountered in his life in regards to homosexuality and how it has shaped his beliefs on equality. The song is amazing, giving me chills running across my arms as I remember back to scenes in the video.

Macklemore explained that the song also came out of his own frustration with hip hop’s positions on homosexuality. “Misogyny and homophobia are the two acceptable means of oppression in hip hop culture. It’s 2012. There needs to be some accountability. I think that as a society we’re evolving and I think that hip hop has always been a representation of what’s going on in the world right now.” Wiki

In the song you hear an incredible female vocalist named Mary Lambert. She is to me the Adele of America. Not just because they have a similar look but because their lyrics and voice are magnificently emotive and powerful. They sing from the heart, from their real-life experiences. They are each beautiful in their own right but it’s their powerful storytelling that stole my attention.

Portrait of Mary Lambert by Seattle photographer Lauren Colton

Portrait of Mary Lambert by Seattle photographer Lauren Colton.

Mary Lambert is a Seattle local, singer-songwriter and spoken-word artist. Her songs are known to tackle women’s issues and speak to a level of honesty and depth that few of her contemporaries have ever explored. Her songs remind me of those by Antony and the Johnsons without the orchestral flourishes. Go check them out as well. Continue reading

We’re having a Seattle Tweetup!

I arrived from Texas and Orlando into San Francisco around midnight last night. Eight and a half hours later I was back at the airport but this time headed to Seattle. And this time for the sole purpose of having a great time going on adventures in the Emerald City.

Klout #2daysinseattle

The great people from the Seattle Department of Tourism and Klout have provided Ryan and I, along with Aaron and his friend, a free, all-expense trip to Seattle to explore the city and share our experiences with everyone we know. It’s called Two Days in Seattle. Ryan and I have already arrived at the Silver Cloud Hotel and Aaron is on his way!

Tomorrow night we’re hoping to get a group of people together for a meetup. Aaron’s got the details on his blog post here, but I’ll paste them below as well. Hope to see you all there!

Saturday, July 21st 7:30pm
Grim’s, Butterfly Lounge & The Woods
1512 11th Avenue, Seattle, CA 98122

We’ll also be doing dinner ahead of the meetup. If you want to join, just shoot me or Aaron a tweet and we’ll let you know where and when! Can’t wait to meet and explore your city.

You’re welcome to RSVP to the Facebook event. Follow the hashtag #2DaysinSeattle and the @2DaysinSeattle account to keep up with what we’re doing up here. Also you can follow Aaron (what you aren’t already?!) on Twitter.

Gas Works Park in Seattle

People Flying Kites at Gas Works Park in Seattle, WAOne of the places everyone tells you to visit when you are in Seattle is the “abandoned” coal conversion plant once owned by the Seattle Gas Light Company. Back in the early 1900s, workers would convert coal harvested from the ground into crude oil. Contrary to what many people think, Gas Works Park wasn’t an old natural gas processing plant. In fact, it was the natural gas boom in the 1950s that made this plant obsolete.

My dad actually used to work for a company called Syntroleum in Oklahoma that did something similar, only they converted coal into clean-burning diesel. Fun fact huh?

With natural gas becoming a viable replacement for crude oil, or so they thought, in the 1950s, the plant fell dormant. In the 1960s the city of Seattle converted the old rusty plant into a tetanus-free park.

Seattle Skyline across Lake Union from Gas Works ParkSitting at the banks of Lake Union, from the park you can watch sailboats cruise through the water and seaplanes taking off and landing (which is super cool). Just, whatever you do, won’t swim in the water around the park, or eat certain fish from the water around there. Apparently it’s toxic. Oops.

Ryan and I picked up the makings of a picnic and enjoyed some quiet time together having lunch in the park, followed by a leisurely stroll through the structures and greens around them. The park was full of dogs running after frisbees, a couple getting their engagement photos taken, cyclists riding and other people shamelessly copying Ryan and my picnic idea. The photo at the very top is the kite hill. A hill where people, you guessed it, fly kites.

And there you have it. a post about Gas Works Park that features absolute zero photos of the actual “gas works” of the park. We’ll save that for next time.

The Seattle Public Library is a Beautiful Building

One of the things that stuck out during our trip to Seattle was the architecture. When I think of cities that have really awesome or unique architecture, in America, I think of places like Chicago, New York City, Washington DC and Charleston North Carolina.

I never think of Seattle and architecture in the same sentence. Well, at least, I didn’t.

What’s great about visiting a city where you have a friend is getting the not for tourists guide to a city. Whether it’s hitting up hole-in-the-wall diners or visiting the local library, there are all these little treasures you wouldn’t ordinarily get to see.

In this case, it’s the library. The Seattle Public Library is awesome. At the top you’re catching a glimpse of what it is like to look down from the highest point in the library, down to the ground floor stacks. I think we were 10 stories up when I took that photo. Being that high up got Sam and I both a little anxious. But the views were worth it. Continue reading

Exploring Pike Place Market

Ryan and I are having a great time visiting Sam and Gatsby here in Seattle.

Gatsby, Ryan and Sam

Gatsby, Ryan and Sam

Last night was Ethiopian dinner followed by wine and music at the apartment. Today we walked up to the Public Market Center, wandered around, bought some wine, baguette and some good cheese. Tried out some of the local fare, more walking and had a great time doing it.

Tonight we’re meeting up for dinner with our friend Akiko and tomorrow, who knows. Maybe a trip to Pioneer Square or a photo walk. The weather today has been pretty rainy so breaking out the camera happens pretty sparingly.

Imagine that, raining in Seattle. But I don’t mind, makes for a beautiful and lush city.