Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Airport Art – SeaTac Airport

Way way down at the end of B concourse, someone has painted the windows. It looks Christmas-y to me, or at the very least, wintery, but I can’t imagine they painted this beautiful painting just for a temporary display, so it must be permanent, or semi-permanent. Having pieces like this on display for people – public art – thrills my heart. It caught the eye, even of people rushing from the plane to their next gate. Even if it were only a second or two, it’s worth it, isn’t it, to have art in unexpected places?

I don’t understand exactly how this all fits together. There are three pieces, the forest and eagle, the night sky with constellations, and the people dreaming in their cottage bed. I tried to get an overview, and then broke it down into sections so you could see it better.

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Even posting the photos, I see new details. It is as if the artist is playing a game with us, challenging us to spot the countless little details s/he included to catch our eye and delight us unexpectedly. Look at the little owls in the trees to the right of the cabin! Look at the way the artist disguised/included the doors on the left as part of the mural! Look at the stars, drifting down toward earth – or are they becoming snowflakes? Look at the comfortable couple, wrapped up warmly on a cold winter’s night. Look at the sun and the moon in their carriage, the moon pouring out the milky way stars . . . so many details! Draco the dragon! Ursa Major! I love the scope of this mural!

December 18, 2008 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Communication, ExPat Life, Interconnected, Public Art, Seattle, Travel | 3 Comments

Jailed for Headscarf?

It’s a good think I read this article all the way through before I published it. I thought it was about a woman getting arrested for wearing hijab. She was not arrested for wearing hijab. Read the last sentence in the article. She was turned away from the courtroom for wearing hijab – that’s bad enough. She was arrested when she swore at the bailiff (an officer of the court who preserves a dignified atmosphere in the courtroom, or tries to.)

I suspect this policy is more a gang thing – prohibiting headgear that would cause an outbreak of violence in the court – but that it was enforced in ignorance and protest against this Muslim-American woman. They released her quickly once threatened with investigation.

Muslim Headscarf Arrest

Sikhs won the right to wear their headgear while serving in the US military, as a religious right. I am betting Muslim women can win the right to wear hijab – it just needs to be tested in the courts. I do not think they can win the right to wear niqab, or other face coverings into the court – it isn’t a religious requirement, and the safety of the court can’t be protected if you don’t know who you are letting into the courtroom.

ATLANTA (Dec. 17) – A Muslim woman arrested for refusing to take off her head scarf at a courthouse security checkpoint said Wednesday that she felt her human and civil rights were violated.
‘Stripped of My … Human Rights’

A Georgia judge ordered Lisa Valentine, above at her home in Douglasville, to serve 10 days in jail for refusing to take her head scarf off in court Tuesday. The Muslim, who had violated a policy that prohibits any headgear, was released Wednesday after an advocacy group called for a federal probe into the matter.

A judge ordered Lisa Valentine, 40, to serve 10 days in jail for contempt of court, said police in Douglasville, a city of about 20,000 people on Atlanta’s west suburban outskirts.

Valentine violated a court policy that prohibits people from wearing any headgear in court, police said after they arrested her Tuesday.

Kelley Jackson, a spokeswoman for Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker, said state law doesn’t permit or prohibit head scarfs.

“It’s at the discretion of the judge and the sheriffs and is up to the security officers in the court house to enforce their decision,” she said.

Valentine, who recently moved to Georgia from New Haven, Conn., said the incident reminded her of stories she’d heard of the civil rights-era South.

“I just felt stripped of my civil, my human rights,” she said Wednesday from her home. She said she was unexpectedly released after the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations urged federal authorities to investigate the incident as well as others in Georgia.

The group cited a report that the same judge removed a woman and her 14-year-old daughter from the courtroom last week because they were wearing Muslim head scarves.

Jail officials declined to say why she was freed and municipal Court Judge Keith Rollins said that “it would not be appropriate” for him to comment on the case.

Last year, a judge in Valdosta in southern Georgia barred a Muslim woman from entering a courtroom because she would not remove her head scarf. There have been similar cases in other states, including Michigan, where a Muslim woman in Detroit filed a federal lawsuit in February 2007 after a judge dismissed her small-claims court case when she refused to remove a head and face veil.

Valentine’s husband, Omar Hall, said his wife was accompanying her nephew to a traffic citation hearing when officials stopped her at the metal detector and told her she would not be allowed in the courtroom with the head scarf, known as a hijab.

Hall said Valentine, an insurance underwriter, told the bailiff that she had been in courtrooms before with the scarf on and that removing it would be a religious violation. When she turned to leave and uttered an expletive, Hall said a bailiff handcuffed her and took her before the judge.

Associated Press writer Kate Brumback in Atlanta contributed to this report.

December 18, 2008 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Family Issues, Free Speech, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Political Issues, Technical Issue, Women's Issues | , | 4 Comments

Anthony’s At the Airport

We like the Anthony’s chain of seafood restaurants in the Seattle area, and we did not know they had one at the Seattle airport. We got there early, our flight was delayed, so we decided to have breakfast. There were all kinds of options, but when we saw the Anthony’s, we knew that was where we wanted to eat.

First, as you walk in, the floor is sort of sea-like, beach and sea-like, all done in stone and concrete and glass, but in waves. I was so fascinated by having all that beauty underfoot that I completely forgot to take any photos, but it thrilled me to have artwork so beautifully utilitarian. I can’t imagine who designed it, but it delighted my heart.

And, speaking of hearts, AdventureMan and I were disgustingly good. We just got our blood tests back and while our cholesterol levels have improved, we are still borderline, and want to be careful. I am not a big fan of oatmeal, but when it is smothered in brown sugar and pecans and blueberries it is a whole different ball game.

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AdventureMan had the granola with bananas and blueberries – and said it was a “Yumm.”
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We loved the windows of the restaurant – it reminded us of the old Saarinen TWA wing at JFK airport, with it’s soaring ceilings and feeling of flight.

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I love the care taken with the details – even the teacups:

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And the reminder that Anthony’s – even at the airport – sticks close to the sea:
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December 18, 2008 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Diet / Weight Loss, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Food, Health Issues, Seattle | 1 Comment