The Op ShOp.

Jane Horowitz brings in the last of the items on the sidewalk outside of the OpShOp. © Ryan Schierling

Seattle P-I columnist Robert Jamieson, Jr. penned an article last Thursday that broke my heart. The OpShOp, a Lower Queen Anne establishment for the last seven years, was being pushed out. It pains me to see any small business in my neighborhood struggling, but Jane Horowitz's OpShOp was not your ordinary small business.

Jane took over for a consignment shop seven years ago, and has since become a neighborhood hub of generosity, of charity, and of help for those who need it most. Her mantra of "pay with your head or with your heart" benefitted everyone, including the
John Hay Elementary School, who received donations above and beyond the rent payment. Jane was also a savior for those without many means. She'd get homeless folks in and out of her shop, and she knew them by name, providing shoes or coats or sometimes just a hug and the assurance that things would be better eventually. But with budgets and wallets tightening lately, apparently charity has taken a bit of a hit. And the landlord's letter asked Jane to leave because "the shop invites 'a different element.'" To which Jane replied, "huge blessings to that element."

Julie met Jane about six years ago, shortly after Julie moved to the neighborhood. I met Jane through Julie a few years later. As far as we're concerned, she and her husband Elliott and their kids are family. Which is why this story is so important.

There will be more opportunities. There will be more OpShops. But there's only one Jane Horowitz. And we are
very thankful for her.

(L) Jane sweeps out the store before leaving for good Wednesday night. (R) Jane Horowitz. © Ryan Schierling


40 degrees of separation.

Flying back into Seattle. © Ryan Schierling

Going from 88-degree temperatures and sunshine in L.A. to 48-degree temps and rain in Seattle is one of the most depressing things I can think of right now. So, I'm going to that happy place in my mind...

Rubio's fish tacos. Rubio's fish tacos. Rubio's fish tacos.


98109 meets 90021.

(L) Thanks, from UTI crew. 3rd Street in the Arts District. (R) Palm tree cell tower with the Biscuit Co. lofts in the background, from the 6th Street bridge. Los Angeles. © Ryan Schierling

We spent two days at the beach and two days with Bill and Pamela at their place in the "biscuit." On our way to eat lunch at Phillipe's, we stopped to check out some fresh graffiti going up on one of the buildings on 3rd Street. Bill's been documenting his neighborhood since they moved to L.A. this last summer and has a wonderful series called "90021" that you should check out on his blog.

It was a fantastic trip, and it was great to see Bill and Pamela again (and Azul, their little blue Chartreux). 



Andy Jenkins, Girl Skateboards art director. © Ryan Schierling

Even though I'd never met Andy Jenkins, I knew him through his work.

From 1984 until 1989, Andy was the editor of Freestylin' Magazine, a periodical that, as a teenager, probably held more sway over me than my own loving parents. Along with Mark Lewman and Spike Jonze, the "master cluster" put together month after glossy month of everything cool in the freestyle BMX world. It was a much-needed lifeline straight from southern California to my hometown of Emporia, Kansas.

Then, in 1989, freestyle – and the industry around it – kind of dried up. And so did the magazine that had lovingly documented it from the beginning.

Eventually, everyone moved on. Andy went to Girl Skateboards as an art director. Lew went to work with ad agency Lambesis. Spike made some music videos, commercials and more than a few movies that you've most likely seen.

Fast forward 20 years.

When Julie and I finalized our trip to L.A., I knew I wanted to meet up with Andy and give him some prints, shake his hand and say thank you for all of the good times lived vicariously through his efforts at Freestylin' Magazine. After meeting at Girl, we had lunch in San Pedro. And before he went back to work, he asked if I'd gotten a copy of the very limited-edition "Freestylin' : Generation F" book, a case-bound 9"x12" retrospective of Freestylin' magazine's five year run.

Honestly, I never thought I'd even see one.

Thanks again, Andy. For everything.

A few clowns short of a circus.

Downtown Los Angeles. © Ryan Schierling


Sand, surf, sanguine sun.

Hermosa Beach. © Ryan Schierling

We're in southern California for a few days, and while the mercury is in the high 80s, the air quality is less than optimum because of the wildfires to the north and east of us. The particulate matter in the air has lent a strange, vaguely ominous reddish cast to the sunlight, and a light dusting of fine ash covered the rental car when we woke up in Hermosa Beach this morning. 

But, hey... I'm not complaining. It's the beach.

Which is better than the 45-degree temperatures and sideways rain back in Seattle.


The colors of fall.

Bowling bags outside the OpShop on 1st Avenue North. © Ryan Schierling

It seems like every year at this time, things start to get waterlogged and heavy around here both physically and mentally. Leaves fall, then rain falls, then leaves turn to fibrous slop on the sidewalks. The light goes away and motivation wanes. All you want to do is hole up and eat hearty soups and breads and watch movies while tucked under blankets. The cats pile onto the bed at night. Everyone wants to hibernate just a bit. And so each year at this time, we try to get out of the Pacific Northwest for a brief respite. Some sunshine. A little bit of naturally-occurring vitamin D. 

J and I will be in Los Angeles this weekend, to visit friends and eat proper Mexican food. At some point, I might take a photo or two that doesn't involve anything monochromatic, or wet, or something inside of my house/inside of a studio that's artificially lit.


One if by land, two if by sea.

The middle of nowhere; the middle of the Indian Ocean. © Ryan Schierling

Every photograph has a story that leaves you wondering what's just outside the frame. 

There are volumes that go along with this pair of photographs, but you'll have to meet me in person, shake my hand and sit down for a few drinks before I'll tell them to you.



It's time for change. © Ryan Schierling

Fall's back.

Leaves on parked cars. © Ryan Schierling

We got up and took advantage of our extra hour of daylight (and a surprise break in the rain) by walking down to the market for coffee and pain au chocolate.