Saturday, March 10, 2007
It was an interesting day. Once or twice a month I go to Seattle via the Bremerton to Seattle ferry. Starting in January I started walking around during the one hour ferry ride and photographing the trip, the ferry and the people (outdoors, respecting people's privacy indoors). You can see photos of the trips here, see WSF and the ferry name (Hyak, Kaleetan, and Spokane).
In past trips I've only been stopped once by an employee who asked, "What's you doin'?", to which I said, "Taking photographs.", and he said, "Ok." and walked away. Well this last Thursday I rode the ferry Spokane and continued the practice, see the photographs here. Well, as the ferry docked and the cars began to disembark, a senior ferry official (employees where jackets with WSF on them while senior ones wear dark blue coats) stepped up to the window to talk.
He said one of the passengers had reported I was taking "suspicious" photos of the ferry. He emphasized passenger, not employee, because all of the stuff I photograph is in plain public view for everyone to read or employees to see. Everything private is behind locked doors, but everything else is open to anyone to see, read and photograph, and the Washington State Ferry encourages photography, even submitting images to their Website, see their Web page.
I gave him my card and showed him the images in the camera. He smiled, waved to the crew directing traffic, and said, "Have a nice day." It seems people are more concerned about a wandering photographer than the employees. After that I went to the University of Washington Bookstore and for some more photography in the University District. I noticed a lot of construction going on and thought it would be a good photo walk, or so I thought. I parked and went to a corner to wait for the crosswalk sign.
I saw these two Seattle police on the other side. It turned out the crosswalk was closed but the sign wasn't visible from the direction I walked, it was pointed toward people coming down the other street. Well, they informed me it's a $100 ticket for jaywalking and in a construction zone. I looked back and asked where the sign was, and they pointed to it, but then said they've had a problem all day with people crossing from the direction I came from. They were smiling, seeing I'm a photographer, so I just walked on and they didn't do anything.
They weren't there to give tickets but simply watch and warn people. So, why I asked not put the sign where people will see it clearly and not walk across the street. They just shrugged and said it wasn't their job. Ok, but then don't complain if people don't pay attention. That kinda' killed a lot of interest to photograph, so after about 30 minutes of taking photos, I packed it and went on my way to the UW Bookstore, the Apple Store, and to the doctors appointment, the reason for the trip to Seattle.
In the University Village I saw the drinking fountain in the above photo. It seemed appropriate, some days you don't need a drinking fountain to get wet or rained on, either physically or verbally. Some days just happen, and you have to adjust your schedule and attitude. In the end the doctor's visit was anti-climatic, a pulled ligament where it's attached to the bone, and the only remedy is rest. And the drive home was twice as long as it's the typical Seattle-Tacoma commute in the rain. You just have to remember the goal is to get home, so don't do anything stupid.
So it was an interesting uneventful eventful day. I could have been held or arrested by State Police (who polices the ferries)and ticketed by the Seattle Police, but I wasn't. I call it living in paradise, and some days it isn't but it sure beats other places or the alternatives.