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The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

Topic: Downtown

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February 21, 2014 at 9:08 PM

Outdoor advertising trend not a good sign for the city

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Sketched Feb. 19, 2014

Almost five years ago, for my first Seattle Sketcher column, I drew a part of Aurora Avenue that a local politician had called “visual garbage.”

Now some of that blight seems to have spread downtown. Buildings are doubling as billboards, with giant ads plastered on their sides like big, ugly Band-Aids.

Take the Oxford Apartments at First Avenue and Stewart Street for example. As if a standalone billboard wasn’t enough, two other ads cover almost every brick in sight. Just around the block I found more “wallscapes” advertising iPhones, boots, cameras and rental car companies.

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0 Comments | More in Buildings | Topics: Downtown

February 14, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Zara brings Spanish flair for fashion to Seattle

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So much for the socks-with-sandals stereotype. Turns out some Seattleites do care about wearing stylish clothes, especially if they can find them at a good price.

I saw many fashion-hungry locals in Westlake Center on Thursday when Washington’s first Zara store opened. They cheered when doors opened at 10 a.m. Within minutes, lines formed at fitting rooms and cash registers.

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0 Comments | More in Businesses | Topics: Downtown

October 4, 2013 at 6:38 PM

End of the line for old bus station

Sketched Sept. 26, 2013 The days of the downtown Greyhound Bus Terminal are numbered. The entire city block where one of Seattle’s oldest transportation hubs has stood since 1927 is slated for redevelopment next year. Will we miss it? The significance of the building may be lost at first sight. The majority of the original brick…

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0 Comments | More in Buildings, History, Transportation | Topics: Downtown

June 28, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Could we make identifying taxis less taxing?

Abdi Dahir coordinates the flow of Yellow Cab taxis at King Street Station. The morning Amtrak Cascades from Vancouver, B.C., is about to arrive. —ooo— Sketched June 26, 2013 Some are painted a solid color: Yellow, orange or green. Others come in two hues, like blue and yellow. You’d think as an artist I would like such a colorful…

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0 Comments | More in Transportation | Topics: Downtown

April 16, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Art by the tracks at Westlake Station

Sketched March 26, 2013 With less than 10 minutes to spare before the next light rail train would arrive, I set out to sketch one of the striking underground murals that brightens the scene at Westlake Station. The whimsical porcelain enamel mural is so big (10 by 35 feet) that it’s actually best seen from the…

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0 Comments | More in Artspotting | Topics: Downtown

March 15, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Can old waterfront streetcars get back on track?

Sketched Feb. 27 and March 5, 2013 I’ve yet to talk to a person in Seattle who didn’t love the George Benson waterfront streetcars. Since 2005, they’ve been stored at a facility in Sodo where Metro kindly let this newspaper artist roam around. As I was sizing up the cavernous room, I stumbled upon a “RIDER ALERT”…

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0 Comments | More in Public transportation, Transportation | Topics: Downtown, Downtown waterfront

May 11, 2012 at 8:11 PM

A venerable tree that catches your eye

Sketched May 7, 2012 I rarely make trees the focus of my drawings, but the centenarian Japanese maple in front of Seattle City Hall is not your average specimen. Think of it as a fine piece of public art. The unusual tree, bigger and older than any other red-lace leaf maple you’d see around here, was brought…

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