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Monday, April 20, 2009

Springtime In Japan Evoked At Annual Seattle Festival

"In Your Neighborhood" blogger Kim Thompson isn't the only one on this block whose been smitten by networking sites such as Facebook . In the last few months I've been delighted to discover the exodus of population groups whose college days are the stuff of several reunions gone by also means plenty of opportunities to re-connect with those high school classmates whose addresses and phone numbers had faded.

This last week I was able to contact and the arrange with a girlfriend I actually met for the first time at Kirkland Junior High School (now only a memory) and enjoy a quick mini-reunion with a fellow alumnus of a Lake Washington High School in the charming lakefront community of Kirkland, Washington named after a Peter Kirk who once had a dream to transform the area into the "Pittsburgh of the West".

While Kirk's vision of Pittsburgh never materialized, the town bearing his name has emerged from the sleepy little backwater suburb my classmate and I were more familiar (remember an eatery called The Happy Clam?) in the early seventies to a most lively destination spot and definitely more posh.

Although my classmate and I (who still remembers when J.C. Penny's had a spot downtown?) chose to get-together at the annual Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival at the Seattle Center on Sunday, our memories of those teen years on the other side of the lake were as close to our hearts as the billowing blossoms shown in the pictures that accompany this blog!

Above: Fully-loaded blooms such as this one made it very easy for visitors on foot to imagine they've just been swept off their feet and whisked away to a far off place. Photo copyright 2009 by Mizu Sugimura.

Above: Flowering trees provided a perfect frame for visitors heading to the Seattle Center last weekend to attend the annual Seatle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival. Photo copyright 2009 by Mizu Sugimura.

Above: Martial arts demonstrations entertained a crowd during last Sunday's festivities. Photo copyright 2009 by Mizu Sugimura.

Above: This beautifully dressed Japanese emperor doll eyed passersby from behind the security of his own glass wall. Photo copyright 2009 by Mizu Sugimura.

Above: Festival visitors took time to view a potpourri of colorful booths, exhibits and vendors including this display of bold calligraphy. Photo copyright 2009 by Mizu Sugimura.

Above: Other beautiful flowers graced the grounds at the Seattle Center and along with the cherry blossoms underscored a cheerful greeting that spring is at last upon us!


Lorraine Hart said...

Scrumptious pictures Mizu! My eyes lit up on the Emperor doll. I'm wondering why your beautiful artwork doesn't have a booth. Bloggers Art Festival anyone?

Stephanie Frieze said...

Gorgeous pictures, Mizu. This looks like an event I would have enjoyed. Frankly, I never heard anything about Pittsburg to recommend Kirkland modeling itself after it. I am glad that Kirkland turned out the way it did, but I, too remember when JC Penney and Benfranklin were downtown and it was a sleepy little fishing village that Bellevueites looked down their noses at during the 1960s.