Public Spectacle on the Viaduct and Six Days of Snow

All of this happened in that hazy, dream-like pre-pandemic world that seemed so normal in February of 2019. First, on the second day of the month, the city hosted a huge spectacle on the Alaskan Way viaduct, which used to run along the city's waterfront. They had commissioned all sorts of musicians and artists to adorn the traffic-free car deck, set up interactive exhibits, and basically let the crowds run riot. It seemed like the whole city showed up for the party. And all of it just because they were tearing the viaduct down the next day. The city was losing a monumental, if domineering, piece of infrastructure, and everybody was jubilant over it.

And then, it was only two days later and the city got buried in a thick layer of snow. It came in amid heavy winds, and blew like confetti up the trunks of trees, as can be seen in many of my photos. This wasn't a typical snow storm either. Here in Seattle we get snow every two or three years, something like that. And when we get it the roads are never covered for more than two days. That's something like a golden rule in the region, and I think held for just about my entire life—fifty years spent in the area. But in that far-off idyll of February, 2019, the snow kept falling for six days.

It may sound funny to put it that way, but here in Seattle, having six days of snowfall was something like what I think you could call a minor apocalypse. The whole city seized up, and we nearly choked on our own hubris as we slowly froze to death and the local media fell all over themselves trying to give it ever more personal angles. And here, this post, to make a long story short, is my small record of the southeastern corner of the city's little affair.

oroboros on 7/10/2021 1:22:50 AM