Category: Weirdo

Like peas n’ carrotsWinter vegetables from Olympia and Puyallup Valley, WA

Food storage sketch by Chandler O'Leary

The air has gone from crisp to cold. The leaves are thinning on the trees. And apparently half the vegetables in Washington are currently in our root cellar. I think that means it’s November. We’ve already dipped into the pumpkins for tomorrow’s festivities—and if you find yourself in the States at the moment, here’s wishing… More

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Sturdy GertieTacoma, WA

Tacoma Narrows Bridge sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Seventy-five years ago today, the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed in a spectacular tangle of twisted cables and swaying concrete. You can actually watch “Galloping Gertie” meet her doom on film (complete with cheeseball movie reel narration, sped-up footage and sound effects), readily accessible thanks to the magic of the internet. The only casualty was… More

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Little GiantSan Francisco, CA

San Francisco sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Just a couple of blocks from Mission Dolores is a tiny, inanimate hero—one that saved the Mission District from ruin over a century ago. The story of San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake is a famous one, but not everyone knows that it’s actually the fire which immediately followed that did most of the damage. With the… More

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Blushing brontosaurusVernal, UT

Pink dinosaur sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Vernal is the known as the gateway to Dinosaur National Monument. And don’t get me wrong, I’m always game for a national park—but I would have come all that way just to see the pink concrete dinosaur. (Priorities, right?)

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Vort daglige brødPoulsbo, WA

Poulsbo, WA sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Like the town of Solvang in California, there’s a Scandinavian town in my neck of the woods, too. Except in contrast to Solvang, I love Poulsbo. Even though it’s a bit of a tourist trap, Poulsbo feels more humble, more down-home, more real. Its Norwegian roots run deep—I have even heard Norwegian spoken on the… More

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Soup’s onBuellton, CA

Pea Soup Andersen's sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Now this is more like it. Solvang might have seemed a little too much like a polished Disneyland for my taste, but in the next town over was something much more my speed. Though its name has changed slightly over the years, Pea Soup Andersen’s has been a Santa Ynez Valley institution for over 90… More

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Cheese DanishSolvang, CA

Solvang sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I think you know by now that I’m a fan of roadside attractions—anything cheesy, hokey, corny and kitschy has a special place in my heart. But I need to clarify something: I’m pretty snobbish about my kitsch. It’s got to be either bizarre but well-executed, or so bad it’s good, or of epic scale—or else… More

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Mixed-metaphor missionSolvang, CA

Mission Santa Inés sketch by Chandler O'Leary

This is the eighth installment of my Mission Mondays series, exploring all 21 Spanish Missions along the California coast. You can read more about this series, and see a sketch map of all the missions, at this post. For most of the missions along El Camino Real, the mission itself is the main feature (and… More

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Capital capitolsBaton Rouge, LA

Baton Rouge old and new capitols sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Mary-Alice and I were only in Baton Rouge long enough to grab a quick lunch and glimpse the city’s (fraternal) twin capitols—but that was long enough for me to add the city to must-return places. The new capitol—while lovely—mostly just reminded me of the Superman Building in Providence. It was the old capitol, however, that… More

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