Category: Built to Last

Bathing beautySeattle, WA

Neon diving girl sketch by Chandler O'Leary

The Olympic Athletic Club diving girl isn’t vintage, but she sure looks like a throwback to me. Every time I find myself in Ballard—or even that general end of the city—I make sure my route takes me past her. I can definitely see her being a Seattle icon fifty years from now—our own Little Mermaid.

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The last homely houseCapstick, NS, Canada

Cape Breton sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Now this is a house in its own little world. This tidy little cottage was part of a pair of villages located at the northernmost tip of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia—which for all intents and purposes made it almost the last little house on the whole continent. Somehow, though, it didn’t feel lonely…. More

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Horton hears a houseVictoria, BC, Canada

Victoria, BC custom house sketch by Chandler O'Leary

This might just be my favorite building in all of Victoria—and not just just because of the architecture. What I love best about the old custom house is how it sits apart from its neighbors, neither bounded completely by streets or by water. The building is in the absolute heart of the city, yet somehow… More

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The swan song of the KalakalaTacoma, WA

Kalakala sketch by Chandler O'Leary

There are restoration success stories like Lucy…and then there are others without the happy ending. In my part of the world right now, a floating rust bucket is the talk of the town. That’s because at long last, an odyssey spanning nearly 90 years, thousands of miles and a whole lot of folly is about… More

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Say hello to my little friend

New Jersey shore sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Visiting the boardwalk along the Jersey Shore last week was just a side bonus. My real motivation for that day’s trip was to see someone else—whom you’ll meet in Friday’s post. In the meantime, though, here’s a clue. Any guesses?

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Boardwalk empireOcean City, NJ

Ocean City boardwalk sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Even if the bitterly cold breeze weren’t enough of a clue, I’d know what time of year it was by the fact that the boardwalk was completely empty last week. While it would have been nice to see the Shore in its summer glory, winter gave me the best chance to see the whole (apparently… More

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Frozen & festiveSaint Paul, MN

Saint Paul Winter Carnival sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I had to go back quite a few years to dig up this sketch—it’s been some time since I lived in a place where the new year meant a real, no-kidding winter. But no matter—I love changing the calendar no matter where I am. Whether you’re starting 2015 in an ice palace or a tropical… More

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Curtain callSeattle, WA

Pacific Northwest Ballet Nutcracker (with sets by Maurice Sendak) performance sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I’m sad to report that one of my favorite holiday traditions came to an end this weekend. For the past thirty-plus years, the Pacific Northwest Ballet has staged a unique version of The Nutcracker—complete with unusual choreography, nontraditional storytelling, and incredible kinetic theatre sets by one of my illustration heroes, Maurice Sendak. I’ve seen the… More

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