Friday, September 19, 2014

QUICK TOUR OF ABERDEEN, WA.

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Earlier this month, I met my cousin David as an adult.  (I'd last seen him as a child of about six or seven years old).  I had a second opportunity to spend a bit of time with him as we were passing through Aberdeen on our way south. We needed some work done on the motor home, so Jim stayed while David gave me a quick tour of Aberdeen and took me to lunch. He must have intuitively known I like art, and the piece above is part of the "Imaginary Menagerie" of Aberdeen, Washington, an art project that started in 1998.
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This is Bull Snout. Notice the cage backs up to a utility box.
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The same artist who made the sculptures around town, also painted these utility boxes on  downtown street corners. They may have been made and painted by a group of artists.
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What is really interesting about this art project, is the playful sense of  humor at work here. I can soundly report this city has a sense of humor.
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Meet Aberbeanie.
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What a hoot.
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And this is Aberbeanie's utility box.
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My favorite, though, it has suffered some damage; the fishing rod is broken off. But, hey, a fish going fishing?
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Aha!  She is fishing for a human, the unexpected reversal  needs no plaque to evoke a laugh. Here is a List of the Rare & Endangered Species around town:

Humptulips Hornbee, Sand Squatter, Chinhook Salmon, Pile Python, Bald Beagle, Barkbeetle Beggar, Grizzly Hare, Bull Snout, Aberbeanie, Hoquiam Honker, Spotted Howl, Mud Puffer, Wishkah Winker. And, a new installation in 2014 of Spine Wart.
A slide show of all of them can be seen at the website link below:
http://artistsonthemap.com/


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The City Arts Commission has an aggressive city beautification project, like this new mural and various businesses that house local artists work. Aberdeen's former logging and fishing industries, especially logging, collapsed and tourism is on the rise.  David took me high above the city for a view of the whole area that covers Aberdeen and Hoquiam.  The clean air here is invigorating. And another appeal in this area is beautiful nature hikes, and parks. A signature of the Pacific Northwest.
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We stopped by Jim's Farm Store where a beautiful display of pumpkins catches your eye.
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Nor could I believe the size of some of the produce in this store. The sweet potato would feed a family of five. David was tempted to "baby" it enough to last until Thanksgiving.
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And, if you are looking for fresh earrings, why...mini Italian squash could fill the bill. I think David and the Arts Commission have something in common. He is uncommonly witty and funny. And the farm store had prices I haven't seen in a long time. Wow! I loaded up. They had organic fuji apples, 79 cents a lb and one apple four times the size of a normal fuji. Or you could get new crop fujis for the same price. Great tomatoes for 89 cents a pound. I won't go on and on. Just check it out.
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He gave me a brief history of the city, where once this modern Billy's Bar & Grill was owned and run by a gansta type who actually had a trapdoor on the floor of the bar and tripped it and dumped people he didn't like into the river. Hmmm!  I wish we'd had time to stop there to seek out the ghosts of the past. Can you hear the music, Na,na,na,nah, na, na, nah na, wreeek. (That is a weak attempt to imitate Rod Serling's program.) And, in the picture, I missed any "ladies of persuasive affections" that might be hanging around. Hey, we managed to fit in a lot in two hours, including doubling back to the restaurant because I thought I'd lost my phone.
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We ate Thai food in Hoquiam, but I didn't take a picture of the restaurant so I've forgotten the place. Blue collar cities are known to have many ethnic variety restaurants, similar to Stockton, CA. Such great choices here. It is nice to know I have a fun cousin on the West Coast, within range of our continual wanderings in the Motor Home.

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