Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

Spiky green vegetable. Can you guess what it is?

We found this at the Pike’s Street Market in Seattle, which is marvelous, by the way.  I had never seen one, so I wondered if some of you green connoisseurs might recognize this interesting vegetable.

Here’s the recipe, but somehow I missed the name in the excitement of filling the screen with little Christmas Tree vegetables.

So guess away.

P.S. I’m not the only one who likes to photograph these exotic veggies.  Click on the link and you will learn what they are!

Ute Smile also posted an article about this amazing vegetable.

Living Elegantly in Palm Desert

4th and Lenora, Seattle, Washington

The contrast between where I was this past week-end and where I was the week-end before reassured me about the flexibility of human-kind.  From Friday through Monday (It didn’t rain on Thursday.) I listened to traffic swish through soggy downtown Seattle streets 15 stories below my hotel room, several sirens wailing in concert, and stared out into the drippy gray sky at the construction site so much taller than my room, and the Space Needle off in the distance a mile or two, which lights up in the misty night like an alien Christmas Tree.

my starting point, Shadow Mountain Resort and Club

Just a week before I basked in a quiet resort, set far from the busy buzz of traffic, with two wonderful friends in the sunny California desert snowbird mecca of Palm Desert in a one story condo off the street with a patio that looked out on a pool and spa shared by 4-5 condo owners.  “Palm Desert is a city in Riverside CountyCaliforniaUnited States, in the Coachella Valley, approximately 11 miles (18 km) east of Palm Springs.”  Wikipedia

The week-end activities were relaxing, and I never got lost once (another story for my Seattle adventures!!)  While one friend slept in, another went running. To keep physically active take pictures of expensive, elegant desert homes for all of you, I ambled along sun-kissed streets that pointed towards the Santa Rosa Mountains (I think).  You may not know it yet, but I have NO sense of direction!  Actually there are several ranges surrounding Palm Desert.  I just didn’t know which direction I was facing.  You can read about them by clicking the link above or downloading this PDF which I found on the City Of Palm Desert website.  By now you know more about Palm Desert than I do, but read on…

Most of the homes were built about the same time as the Space Needle (1962 World’s Fair) I would guess, and although they are low, and the Needle is high, they all have that modern, aliens-gave-us-the-floor-plan look.  These houses by themselves might not be so spectacular and alien, but coupled with the landscaping they captivated my imagination.

Outer-spacy, almost planetary, definitely alien-influenced

I didn’t know whether to be more interested in the houses or the landscaping.

In case you want to move to this Palm Desert neighborhood, one of the houses was for sale for just over 1 million dollars.  To console yourself if you would love to move here, but don’t have a spare million dollars, the summer temperature is regularly 117 degrees.  It was about 75-80 during the day while we were there in mid-November.

For these homeowners privacy prevails.   Unlike the homes in Berkeley or Shell Beach, anywhere on the coast, or in large cities, like Seattle, which are also outrageously expensive, all of the Palm Desert homes sprawled instead of spiraled upwards.  So if you have a fear of heights or tend to fall (smilingtoad), Palm Desert might be a preferable place to spend your millions rather than one of the aforementioned locations.

Need a place to park your car?

I’m thinking that driving might be important here in the desert.  I guarantee you that if you live in Seattle, you will NOT enjoy winter driving, but I veer off course.  It could be that folks living here don’t ACTUALLY drive their cars.  It may be that the garages that populate the landscape are for protection only.  Who knows, V., there might be three vintage cars parked inside, safe and clean from the driving sand storms.  Hmmmm….

oops, car showing!

Of course if you run out of room in the garage, you can always park in the driveway.  Or possibly they have company.  No need to park on the street here!

Peek-a-boo I see a car.

The problem is that if you leave your car in the driveway, the neighbors can see it, and it spoils the landscaping.  OK, I really don’t think that anyone would think of this yard art as spoiled.  Those mountains are real, by the way, not photoshopped in.  Seattle has mountains, too, you just can’t see them most of the time because the sky is so thick.

For Sale

I’ve already put my name on it, but it’s expensive enough to share.  This is the unit that is listed for a mere $1,000,000 + change.  I have never been a real fan of 60s architecture, sorry Mary, but after seeing these homes, I think I could move right in and be fairly satisfied not to remodel them to look Craftsmanish or English Tudorish.

With the ceramic border in the fence and roofline, this home made me think of a live-in swimming pool.  How great would that be?

There were lots more, but I don’t want to bore you.  Hope you enjoyed this amble in the park street of someone’s dreams.  Happy Thanksgiving in a few days.  I’m actually glad I live where I do.   Aren’t you glad V.?  (He dodged a bullet on that one!!!)

Seattle Warwick Hotel

From this downtown Seattle Warwick Hotel handicapped room, I was not hampered from taking a few pictures from the window from my 9th floor room.

I like this picture because it almost has a 1950s art look about it.  It was chilly, but not raining the first day of the National Council for Social Studies Conference.

You can see the rain spatters on this picture, and I don’t know if they are new or used spatters, but I like what they contribute to the picture.  Too bad I don’t know my buildings, or I had to throw away as much weight and paper that I could to fit everything in my suitcases.  I mistakenly thought to myself, “Well, I won’t need this MAP anymore.”  WRONG!  If I could only convey to you how little good maps do me – even though I understand perfectly how to read them.  The never seem to translate into taking the right turns.

I have to admit that this chair was a total turn-off, and obliterated my love of the views.  Fortunately for me, the staff took pity on my, and moved me to the 15th floor the next night where I enjoyed the benefits of a luxurious bath tub, and the following views.


Doesn’t this look fake?  But it came right out of my own Canon camera.  There were actually little people, elves, I think building that building you see in the foreground.  I should have recorded the sounds as well.  The view was so beautiful at night that I kept my curtains open – not the windows!  It was cold out there.

The helmeted elves started before it got light in the morning.  I don’t know how long they continued at night, but they were done when I got home.  Trust me I was careful how I dressed because the elves were pretty close – even in the dark.


Off to the left was this magnificent building.  The flash reflecting off the window again gives the whole picture an adorable fake look to me.

Better than the views – relief from the cold, damp winter walks.

Thanks Warwick staff.