Gani and I have been in Seattle 9 months now. That’s a long time to have been in one place and not done the most touristy thing it offers. So last weekend, when our Minnesotan/Ukrainian friends Igor and Dina were in town and wanted to go up to the observation deck of the Space Needle, we decided to join them. As we were getting our tickets, we found out that they were also giving everyone complimentary tickets to the Chihuly Garden and Glass, a small museum/studio located within the grounds of the Space Needle. Meh, I thought, Who cares about boring glass art. But since it was free, I figured we would just take a quick look around if we had time.

So… the view from the top of the Space Needle:

It was OK, I guess. I’m not exactly one to romanticize urban skylines. (Probably a result of growing up in a concrete jungle.) Plus we were having yet another typical Seattle day—grey, overcast—so it wasn’t the most ideal for photos but I did enjoy just trying out the fancy little gizmos up there.

Then we went back down and headed to the Chihuly Garden and Glass. The moment I stepped into the exhibition area, my jaw literally dropped.

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The opening exhibit

The beauty of it all was just hypnotizing. I loved the neon colors and the compositions and how the reflections/refractions were all part of the entire “canvas”. Everything was so fragile and precious. It reminded me of how, as a child, I would observe colorful marbles or bits of mysteriously washed up sea glass. I could have stared at these glass pieces for hours. And there was something so strangely poetic about using black glass, as if Chihuly had gone beyond expecting or depending on the inherent property of transparency in creating his art.

And of course, the very use of glass in general. I had never given it much thought before but seeing how this inorganic material could be fashioned into such organic shapes was mesmerizing. In fact, there was an outdoor garden where he so cleverly integrates his artwork among actual plants. Ferns and vines and tendrils and bulbs… and glass? The dude is a genius. How have I never cared for him or his works?

To sum it up, here’s a #SeattleProTip: CHIHULY GARDEN AND GLASS—Don’t skip it. You’ll probably end up spending more time in that little place than in the Space Needle. I know we did.

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