Drawn the Road Again http://drawntheroadagain.com An illustrated travel blog by Chandler O'Leary Fri, 28 Jul 2017 12:00:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 Rec-ommended http://drawntheroadagain.com/rec-ommended/ http://drawntheroadagain.com/rec-ommended/#comments Fri, 28 Jul 2017 12:00:14 +0000 http://drawntheroadagain.com/?p=5232 More]]> This post is part of an ongoing series called 66 Fridays, which explores the wonders of old Route 66. Click on the preceding “66 Fridays” link to view all posts in the series, or visit the initial overview post here.

This beauty has stood proud over Sunset Boulevard since 1924, once advertising a bowling alley and billiards parlor. It was one of the very first mixed-use (residential and commercial) spaces in Los Angeles, but like so many other historic landmarks, it fell into disrepair over time.

Route 66 sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Fortunately, it was declared a Los Angeles Historical Cultural Monument in 1998, and carefully restored in the intervening years. The building was recently sold again, but thanks to its status, the Jensen’s bowler will continue throwing strike after strike, on into the future.

]]>
http://drawntheroadagain.com/rec-ommended/feed/ 1
SODO stumper http://drawntheroadagain.com/sodo-stumper/ http://drawntheroadagain.com/sodo-stumper/#respond Wed, 26 Jul 2017 12:00:59 +0000 http://drawntheroadagain.com/?p=5220 More]]> One of my favorite things about Seattle (at least, while they’re still around to love) are the old wooden wharf buildings that still define the SODO neighborhood, among other places. There’s something about all that wooden clapboard and all those clerestory windows that just speak to my soul. This building is particularly intriguing because it has a layer of intrigue to it. Look more closely…

Seattle sketch by Chandler O'Leary

…and you’ll see what adorns the façade. This is definitely a modern neon sign, and not a relic like the rest of the structure, but it’s a real beauty. And it’s a complete mystery—nobody seems to know what Sailor’s Rest is. It’s not a restaurant or bar, not a shop, not a tattoo parlor, not anything that might seem to go with this sign. (My guess would be design firm or something similar, but this is just wild speculation.) I did a little digging, but all I could find was a generic business listing for an LLC. Still, I’m not arguing, because whoever they are, they’ve fixed up an old building beautifully, and they’ve added a real gem to Seattle’s neon collection.

Thumbs up, sailors!

]]>
http://drawntheroadagain.com/sodo-stumper/feed/ 0
Portland palms http://drawntheroadagain.com/portland-palms/ http://drawntheroadagain.com/portland-palms/#respond Mon, 24 Jul 2017 12:00:37 +0000 http://drawntheroadagain.com/?p=5234 Now, unlike the Wagon Wheel Motel on Route 66, I haven’t stayed here, so can’t vouch for the place as a whole. But its spiffy new paint job and its place on my other favorite historic highway give it a permanent place in my heart, nonetheless.

]]>
http://drawntheroadagain.com/portland-palms/feed/ 0
Fox tales http://drawntheroadagain.com/fox-tales/ http://drawntheroadagain.com/fox-tales/#respond Wed, 19 Jul 2017 12:00:11 +0000 http://drawntheroadagain.com/?p=5233 More]]> Every time I visit San Juan Island, my collection of fox sketches grows. They’re inescapable there, as much a part of the landscape now as the treeless prairies they prowl at Cattle Point.

San Juan Island sketch by Chandler O'Leary

They’re not native to the island, though. In the 1890s, settlers introduced rabbits here for game, and apparently failed to foresee the obvious consequences. Of course, the rabbits did what rabbits do, and in the following decades island residents introduced red foxes to try to make a dent in the rabbit hordes. What has followed ever since is a population tug-of-war: some years the rabbits get out of control again, and the foxes have plenty to feast upon. Then the rabbits decline and the foxes get overpopulated and start dying off…the cycle repeats every few years or so.

San Juan Island sketch by Chandler O'Leary

For the past five years or so, I’m guessing the island’s been in a fox cycle, because I have yet to see a rabbit on my visits there (though Orcas and Whidbey Islands are both overrun). And unfortunately, tourists tend to feed the foxes, which doesn’t help matters. But whenever I feel like studying fox anatomy, all I have to do is head down to Cattle Point, pull over at a certain overlook, and wait. It never takes long for someone to show up to have their portrait painted.

Save

Save

]]>
http://drawntheroadagain.com/fox-tales/feed/ 0
Seaside splendor http://drawntheroadagain.com/seaside-splendor/ Mon, 17 Jul 2017 12:00:24 +0000 http://drawntheroadagain.com/?p=5222 More]]> You already know that San Juan Island is perhaps my favorite place on earth, and the California poppies that grow wild at Cattle Point are just one of the many reasons why. I actually started this sketch on an earlier trip, and came back to this spot exactly one year later to finish it. And it’s a good thing I did, because after the super-wet winter we had on the West Coast, I’ve never seen quite this many poppies in bloom before. After I finished the sketch, I just sat there on the hillside for another half hour or so, not wanting to break the spell of such a perfect moment.

]]>
Major beef http://drawntheroadagain.com/major-beef/ Fri, 14 Jul 2017 12:00:05 +0000 http://drawntheroadagain.com/?p=5224 More]]> This post is part of an ongoing series called 66 Fridays, which explores the wonders of old Route 66. Click on the preceding “66 Fridays” link to view all posts in the series, or visit the initial overview post here.

The Mother Road has no shortage of good steakhouses, but nothing quite matches the spectacle of the Big Texan in Amarillo.

Big Texan sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I mean, we know that everything is bigger in Texas, but this place aims to prove it (and proclaim it, if you look closely at the signage in the above sketch!).

Big Texan sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Even the swimming pool (yes, a steakhouse with a swimming pool…the place is also a motel) is a reminder of just where you stand.

Big Texan sketch by Chandler O'Leary

The main dining room is done in the grand tradition of Meat Halls of the American West

Big Texan sketch by Chandler O'Leary

…but the Tailor and I found ourselves seated in a cozy, quiet nook. Yet even here, we had that big steer head and hot pink flocked wallpaper to remind us that this is how Texas does quiet nooks.

And that is just fine and dandy with me, thank you very much.

Save

]]>
Just ducky http://drawntheroadagain.com/just-ducky/ http://drawntheroadagain.com/just-ducky/#comments Wed, 12 Jul 2017 12:00:30 +0000 http://drawntheroadagain.com/?p=5229 More]]> Speaking of nautical things that are here today, gone tomorrow, this big gal was just a brief visitor to my town, but she certainly brightened up an otherwise grey day.

World's Largest Rubber Ducky sketch by Chandler O'Leary

It seems that all of Tacoma shared my feelings on this—it was all anyone could talk about that weekend. It wasn’t just her sheer size (sixty feet tall!)…

World's Largest Rubber Ducky sketch by Chandler O'Leary

…but her cheerful incongruity.

World's Largest Rubber Ducky sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Yet once she was towed out into the bay, suddenly she became the right scale again: a little duck in a really, really big bathtub.

]]>
http://drawntheroadagain.com/just-ducky/feed/ 1
Sleeping with the fishes http://drawntheroadagain.com/sleeping-with-the-fishes/ http://drawntheroadagain.com/sleeping-with-the-fishes/#comments Mon, 10 Jul 2017 12:00:12 +0000 http://drawntheroadagain.com/?p=5203 More]]> When it comes to Seattle, it seems like an increasing number of my sketches and posts are about things that are going away…or already gone. I already can’t keep up with my “wishlist” of sketch destinations—but in the fastest-growing city in the country, my race to draw disappearing things is a constant losing battle. By the time I got around to Linc’s Tackle, I knew it was on its way out. Sure enough, if you drive by there now you’ll find an empty storefront. In a year, you might find a shiny nondescript condo building.

Linc’s was far more than something that made me smile whenever I passed it (“Let’s get ready for squid fishing!”). It was an institution: a multi-generation, family-owned business begun by immigrants—that classic American-dream story. Originally called Togo’s Tackle, its owner, Linc Beppu, was imprisoned with his family at the Camp Minidoka internment camp during World War II. The Beppus were among the few Japanese-American families to return to xenophobic Seattle after the war. They reopened their tackle shop with a new name: Linc’s. Jerry Beppu, Linc’s son, has run the shop since his dad’s retirement—he himself retired at the end of last year and sold the building.

I’ll never fault anyone for retiring after a lifetime of hard work. Yet the city I love seems to be retiring, as well. Linc’s was one of the countless tiny touchstones that make Seattle…Seattle. Those little cultural clues, the last remnants of Old Seattle, are disappearing one-by-one.

This, perhaps more than anything else, is why I keep sketching—why I keep telling these stories. And maybe on some subconscious level, this is why I make all my drawings in ink and watercolor. After all, pen and paint aren’t so easy to erase.

]]>
http://drawntheroadagain.com/sleeping-with-the-fishes/feed/ 2
Heckuva hick http://drawntheroadagain.com/heckuva-hick/ Fri, 07 Jul 2017 12:00:17 +0000 http://drawntheroadagain.com/?p=5187 More]]> This post is part of an ongoing series called 66 Fridays, which explores the wonders of old Route 66. Click on the preceding “66 Fridays” link to view all posts in the series, or visit the initial overview post here.

Unlike Bill Johnson’s in Phoenix or Frank’s in San Antonio, the Missouri Hick is still open for business.

Missouri Hick BBQ sketch by Chandler O'Leary

And hallelujah for that, because it’s hard to find better barbecue than this.

Missouri Hick BBQ sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Plus, I am a sucker for anywhere that takes local quirks, dials them up to eleven and turns them into decor.

Missouri Hick BBQ sketch by Chandler O'Leary

The place was just about empty, as we didn’t roll into town until just before closing time (we had come a long, long way since our early breakfast in Chicago that morning, and even our afternoon snack was hours in the past).

Missouri Hick BBQ sketch by Chandler O'Leary

But luckily for us, they were still happy to feed us—and we were more than happy to chow down.

]]>
Hog wild http://drawntheroadagain.com/hog-wild/ http://drawntheroadagain.com/hog-wild/#comments Wed, 05 Jul 2017 12:00:37 +0000 http://drawntheroadagain.com/?p=5182 San Antonio is home to another defunct barbecue joint—but while I’m sad I can’t buy a pulled-pork sandwich here, I’m more interested in the building itself. That’s because this here pig…is actually a duck!

Now if only there were a duck-shaped duck that actually sold barbecued duck…that would be a find.

]]>
http://drawntheroadagain.com/hog-wild/feed/ 2