Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spokane Do (Ouch. Sorry)

Two weeks ago I went to Spokane for a conference. I had driven through Spokane once, 16 years ago on a road trip out west. It was a blur between Missoula and Seattle. I was looking forward to spending a little more time there and experiencing a new place. What I didn't count on was being so busy with the conference that I didn't see the light of day for the first two days of it. I learned so much, though, that I felt like I got another college degree in those four days. The highlight was the keynote speaker, Reza Aslan, who I knew from his Daily Show appearances and writings on The Daily Beast. He is very personable, intelligent, funny, and real. I will go over my notes and let y'all know the key points of his talk. The most important thing I came away from it was that media will be key in making connections with younger generations, whether they be Muslim, Christian, American, Iranian, Palestinian, etc. Media such as film and internet are how people create identity and community and are key in bridging gaps.

My sister and Dad drove over from Oregon to spend the last two days with me. It was the perfect way to cap off a fascinating and (mentally) exhausting trip.

I was glad to be sitting in a window seat when we took off from Denver:

This is the Spokane river the runs through (it. Sorry. Can't help but make a film reference) the downtown.
I wasn't the only one drawn to the photogenic bridges and water:

Some found art tucked under the handrail of a pedestrian bridge:
Beautiful, intricate brickwork:

Is there a more lovely and descriptively-named tree than the Weeping Willow?

In contrast to the older, more natural architecture was this weird building:

Lots of public art in Riverside Park, including this fun, gigantic red wagon:
And these blocks:
And this cool sculpture built by the city's most famous artist, Harold Balazs:

My sister Kate and dad, Richard:
Looking east from my hotel window:
The conference ended on Saturday and that afternoon we explored the city. There was an Earth Day street fair happening and we came upon a display of rescued raptor birds. Confession: I LOVE BIRDS OF PREY. I think they are majestic, powerful, beautiful creatures. I love spotting hawks when I'm driving around in the country. I've only seen a few owls in the wild but feel extra lucky when I do. So you can imagine my excitement when I came upon this:

More downtown shots:

On our last afternoon, Kate and I stopped for picnic supplies (wine, cheese, rosemary crackers, smoked oysters, apples, chocolate) and we found a warm patch of sunlight on the banks of this river to spend probably one of the best afternoons in recent memory together:

My trip home was annoying (typical airline bullshit), cold, rainy and punctuated by killer cramps. That's the way it goes, eh?


Carrie said...

You mixed work and play well, Alannah. I'm looking forward to reading your notes on the speaker. I wish you could come to LR this weekend. We're grilling at my house on Sat.--dad's b-day.

kelly said...

Wonderful pictures... and I would like an owl please.