Category: City Mouse

A room with a viewTacoma, WA

Tacoma sketch by Chandler O'Leary

The Tailor and I haven’t done a whole lot of traveling this year, because we’ve spent most of our time since January searching for and finally buying our first home. After what has seemed like an eternity (though it has actually been a lightning-fast whirlwind!), we finally moved in a week ago. Now we’re surrounded… More

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Wrented wingsTopeka, KS

Topeka Wren sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I’m always up for the hokey and awkward when it comes to roadside attractions, but every now and again you find a true masterpiece. Case in point: the Topeka Wren (formerly the mascot for WREN radio in Lawrence, KS) nearly took my breath away. This bird is a couple decades older than your average roadside… More

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Kings of the roadMuffler Men, various points around United States

Muffler Man sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Well, if I’m going to spend all this time talking about roadside attractions, I would be remiss if I didn’t include the legendary Muffler Men—guardians of gas stations, presidents of photo ops. If you’ve ever taken a road trip, you’ve probably seen at least one of these guys along the way. These behemoths started appearing… More

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Short and stoutTacoma, WA and Zillah, WA

Bob's Java Jive sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I am pleased to tell you that Washington is the proud owner of not one, but two teapot-shaped buildings. (Well, one is a teapot and the other is a coffee pot, but since the designs—and even the colors—are nearly identical, I think that’s close enough.) The first might just be, as advertised, world-famous. Tacoma’s very… More

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Disappearing act(Former) Hostess Cake factory, Seattle, WA

Former Hostess Cake factory sketch by Chandler O'Leary

All cities grow, shrink or evolve over time—but as Seattle is in the midst of yet another building boom, the place is changing so rapidly that I can’t keep up. Landmarks and local mom-and-pops disappear in a puff of smoke—while presto-change-o, mammoth condos and office blocks pop up, seemingly overnight. Painted plywood fences mask building… More

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Boat sweet boatLake Union houseboat districts, Seattle, WA

Seattle houseboats sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Some cities have inner pockets that feel like worlds unto themselves—little enclaves that are either well-hidden, little-known, or inaccessible to the general public. The perfect example is Seattle’s numerous houseboat communities. I’d been dying to sketch the houseboats ever since I moved here, and on Sunday, I finally got my chance. Every two years the… More

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Corn-fedMinnesota State Fair

Minnesota State Fair sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Here’s what you do: you go to the Minnesota State Fair with at least four or five people in your party. Then everybody chooses one or two things to eat and shares with the group—that way, you get a small sample of a lot of different things. (Added bonus of sharing small bites: not suffering… More

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A Bushel and a PeckMinnesota State Fair

Minnesota State Fair sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Every year that I lived in Minneapolis I told myself I’d do a piece of crop art someday and enter it into the State Fair. Well, I never got around to the real thing, but I did draft an idea in my sketchbook! It really doesn’t matter, though—I’m just glad I got to spend so… More

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Fair weatherMinnesota State Fair

Minnesota State Fair sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Even though it’s been years since I lived in the Twin Cities, and the Great Minnesota Get-Together was a part of my summer tradition, I can’t bring myself to switch allegiance. No matter how much time goes by, to me there is no other state fair than the Minnesota State Fair. This year’s Fair is… More

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