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Trivia Quiz for “Dracula” by Bram Stoker

Trivia Quiz for Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897)

For West Seattle “Classic Novels (and Movies)” book club, 10/17/21

1. The authority as author. Published during the heyday of positivism, Dracula is composed of textual material taken from numerous sources that appear authoritative. The preface describes it as “simple fact”. Which is not a source?

a. personal diaries of eye-witnesses

b. business correspondence between shipping agents and lawyers

c. an omniscient narrator, uninvolved in the action

d. telegrams and newspaper articles

e. a ship captain’s log of a journey

2. Maxims. Like many nineteenth-century authors, Bram Stoker tucks numerous precepts or words of wisdom into the narration. Which of the following is not in the novel?

a. “A stranger in a strange land, he is no one.”

b. “As blood-suckers go, you can trust leeches and bats more than wimmin.”

c. “The old centuries had, and have, powers of their own which mere ‘modernity’ cannot kill.”

d. “For life be, after all, only a waitin’ for somethin’ else than what we’re doin, and death be all that we can rightly depend on.”

3. The weird place. Stoker underlines the strangeness of Transylvania in many ways. Which of the following is not in the novel?

a. The local people make a gesture by raising both arms in a cross, and put a lot of cumin in their food, to ward off what they call “the evil eye”.

b. This is where “the whirlpool of European races” fought for dominance.

c. The national dish, a chicken done up with paprika, is said to be “very good but thirsty”.

d. The land is inhabited by people described as “Czseks and Slovaks, all in picturesque attire, but … goitre was painfully prevalent.”

4. The strange host. Count Dracula is also described as possessing odd attributes, including all but one of the following. Which is not in the book?

a. He is seen to “crawl down the castle wall over the dreadful abyss, face down with his cloak spreading out around him like great wings… just as a lizard moves along a wall.”

b. One witness declares: “There was no reflection of him in the mirror!”

c. In telling the history of his family, Count Dracula speaks as if he had been present at all the battles, using the pronoun “we,” like a king.

d. Although old-fashioned in many respects, he promotes the idea, shared with the “New Women” writers, that “men and women should be allowed to see each other asleep before proposing or accepting marriage.”

5. Psychological tools. Inspired by the rise of psychology and psychopharmacology, Stoker makes use of numerous phenomena prized by Freud and his colleagues, to eke out meaning from the strange occurrences. Which of the following are not mentioned?

a. dreams        

b. hypnosis     

c. drugs such as morphia, given through hypodermic injection 

d. electroshock therapy          

e. the study of idées fixes or obsessions

6. High-Tech Potentials. Stoker’s characters marvel over the improved technology which makes their work possible. Which of the following inventions is not mentioned in the book?

a. the X-ray    

b. the typewriter         

c. the steam engine    

d. the blood transfusion       

7. Dracula and his quotable quotes. For the modern reader, Dracula seems to be full of clichés, but that may simply be because so many later authors, film-makers, and artists have borrowed from Stoker’s work. Which of the following quotes is not spoken by the Vampire?

a. [Upon hearing the howling of wolves]: “Listen to them, the children of the night!”

b. [After warning someone against opening locked doors]: “Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man’s face. It cannot be concealed.”

c. [On seeing a man shaving]: “Take care how you cut yourself. It is more dangerous than you think in this country.”

d. [After a brutal episode in his nation’s history]: “What good are peasants without a leader?”   

8. Local color. Which of the following products are not discovered and discussed by the English characters in their exploration of Transylvanian culture?

a. licorice       

b. garlic          

c. “slivovitz” (plum brandy)  

d. “impletata” (stuffed eggplant)

9. Female power: a warning?  Women are a force to be reckoned with in this novel and a motivating element in the final climax. Which of the following is not in the book?

a. At one time, a white-clad woman known as the “bloofer lady” was abducting children from Hampstead Heath at night; they were found with wounds on their throats.

b. Upon opening a door in Dracula Castle, a visitor finds “three terrible women licking their lips.”

c. “Alas! I am unclean,” notes one character with bite marks on her throat. But she lives on…

d. The women characters, as demure as they appear, all have the “extraordinary habit” of playing with knives.

10. Dracula’s strength and weakness. Count Dracula has superhuman powers, but certain limitations contain him too.  Which one of the following statements is untrue?

a. Despite his Satanic leanings, Dracula can be repulsed by people bearing Judeo-Christian ornaments, such as a crucifix or Star of David.

b. He can summon fog and storm and snow and wolves, but only at night.

c. He can travel abroad, but only in a box of earth and with the help of accomplices.

d. Despite his ability to crawl up the side of buildings and transform into a bat, Dracula can only do so after sunset and before dawn.

Answers

1. c.

2. b. (This one’s my own invention!–jdv)

3. a.

4. d.

5. d.

6. a.

7. b. (This is from Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray)

8. a.

9. d.

10. a.

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Next week: NAACP event features “Respect” wall-hangings!

I’m thrilled that my work will be included in the items auctioned by the King County NAACP during the Live Virtual Event next week! Two “Respect” wall-hangings–“For Him” (left) and “For Her” (right) will be featured. Details below!

Here’s to the great work done by the NAACP in Washington state and nation-wide!

1. “Respect” wall-hanging “For Him” (left, above)

2. “Respect” wall-hanging “For Her” (right, above)

The “Respect” wall-hangings: civil rights artwork for the home!

There are many symbols stitched in these wall hangings, such as the three little birds which conjure up Bob Marley’s song, the state names, and the two pockets which represent resourcefulness, grit, and homegrown American sweetness. The artworks represent an effort to honor Black culture in the USA, so that the history of struggles, the ongoing connection to Africa, and hopes for the future live on.

Both feature fabric from today’s leading designers—the historical vignettes of dignified African Americans are made of “Harlem Toile de Jouy” by Sheila Bridges and the silhouettes of Afro-wearing women by Aphrochic—both of Brooklyn, NY.

– Three patches declare our political statement: 1) a portrait in yellow and black of slain civil rights leader Malcolm X, 2) a cheery reminder of Bob Marley’s song “One Love,” and 3) the slogan “Respect Existence or Expect Resistance.”

– The back of “For Him” is made of plain red cotton; “For Her” is made of a blue and green African print resembling a palm tree or long-necked woman. Both are bordered with Japanese block prints from Hosekibako, an elegant resale shop in Seattle’s Int’l District; “For Him” features white cotton with brown bamboo and flowers; “For Her” features a dark blue cotton with large black lilies.

– Materials: cotton, satin, denim, flannel

– Size:  Height: 37”; Width: 57”; Depth: 1/3:

– Polyester batting (1/3” thick) assures lightweight warmth and a cozy feel.

– Quilted the old-fashioned way, with tiny knots of embroidery floss, tied on the back.

– The final binding is stitched on by hand, with tiny stitches to keep it safe and sound.

– Each wall-hanging has a cloth “sleeve” at the top, for easy mounting (with a stick or dowel and a couple nails).

Made in Seattle by Honey Girl Books and Gifts LLC: a woman-owned business, estab. 2018, by Seattle native Julia Douthwaite Viglione (daughter of G.K. “Jeff” Douthwaite, former WA state legislator and civil rights advocate).

https://www.etsy.com/shop/HoneyGirlBooksGifts

Respect wall-hangings, backs, “For Him” (left) and “For Her” (right)

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a quilt is born today!

I’m feeling a spring in my step today, as I wrap up the work on “Respect” quilt no. 12!

It will be available for sale soon, via the “Great Futures Gala and Auction” of the King County Boys and Girls Club, to be held online October 23, 2021.

Here’s to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America!

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Announcing the HGBG T-shirt model search (and fund-raiser for Fusion Kung Fu)!

Hello clever people who read this blog!

To evade the ever-building gloom of rain in the PNW, we’re launching the coolest look for fall: the HGBG T-shirt! The Ts are modeled here by me and Honey Girl on this cloudy morning.

First ever HGBG – FUSION KUNG FU Fund-raiser

FREE T FOR THE FIRST 10 MODELS!

Conditions:

1. You agree to model an HGBG T for use in HGBG advertising (no names, your photo will simply serve as a model of the T-shirt on our two websites: https://www.honeygirlbooks.com/ and https://www.etsy.com/shop/HoneyGirlBooksGifts ).

2. In order to participate in the FREE T-shirt give-away (FIRST 10 PEOPLE ONLY):

a. You request a free T-shirt by email to juliawsea@gmail.com.

b. In your letter of request, you agree to email me at least one photo of you wearing the HGBG T-shirt, in jpeg format (cellphone photo), within 48 hours of receiving the T. You designate the preferred size: Youth Medium; Adult Small; Adult Medium; Adult Large; or Adult Extra-large. You provide me with a mailing address.

RESULTS:

a. You keep your word, and thereby not only look cool in person and online, but also feel good about life and spread positive energy through the universe.

b. (FIRST TEN ONLY): Your generosity will prompt a donation of $100 to the Go Fund Me campaign underway for Fusion Kung Fu and Movement Arts: an awesome woman-owned martial arts school in Seattle (where I am learning the Japanese art of Aikido, as in the photo below, of an Aikido uniform with a Fusion hoodie).

BTW: This is how we keep cultures alive, by taking matters into our own hands. This is an example of an alternative economy that serves a local community and the brave folks who run small businesses. In this case, both businesses are run by women. That this fund-raiser serves to keep our bodies and minds in top form, by propagating the strong yet peaceful practices of Aikido and T’ai chi, is simply icing on the cake.

P.S. Thanks to Luvvie Ajayi Jones and her book, Professional Troublemaker, which gave me the courage to launch this campaign with photos of myself. –embarrassed yet proud emoji !!!

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battling cynicism, starting with me (w/thanks to Emerson

It is hard to keep your head up, remain optimistic, and have faith in our fellow human beings when you read the daily newspaper. That is why I drink my coffee with wise voices from the past, and merely glance through the news. (No imminent end, good.)

This morning, my gloom has been accompanied by Ralph Waldo Emerson. He just inspired me to stop spending money on Etsy ads (screw you, Etsy), stop feeling guilty over rebuffing an obnoxious person who can’t take a hint (screw you, DS), and kick aside my usual low-grade depression. Must remember this feeling, and combat the darkness. Fight back. Give a shit.

What the hell do I care. Read on if you dare. Take it to heart if you’re really brave, if you think you can. And don’t tell me what you think. Just do your own life and get off the internet asap!

“Expect me not to show cause why I seek or why I exclude company.

I do not wish to expiate, but to live. My life is for itself and not for a spectacle. I much prefer that it should be of a lower strain, so it be genuine and equal, than that it should be glittering and unsteady.

Few and mean as my gifts may be, I actually am, and do not need for my own assurance or the assurance of my fellows any secondary testimony.

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great [wo]man is [s]he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” Essays: First Series in The Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. Brooks Atkinson (New York: The Modern Library, 1968), 149-150.

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Trivia quiz for “Not Without Laughter” by Langston Hughes

Trivia Quiz for Not Without Laughter by Langston Hughes (1930)

For West Seattle “Classic Novels (and Movies)” book club, 9/19/21

1. The Growing Child’s Perspective.  On women, love and marriage. Which of the following quips about women is not in the novel?

a. “X was an intensely dreary girl … who had failed so far to marry, and seemed to have no biological reason for existing.”

b. “I ain’t never seen a yaller dude yet that meant a dark woman no good.”

c. “She knew how it was, of course, that her husband hadn’t written before. That was all right now.”

d. “Treat ‘em like chickens, son. Throw ‘em a little corn and they’ll run after you, but don’t give ‘em too much. If you do, they’ll stop layin’ and expect you to wait on ‘em.”

2. On work, money and justice. Which of the following is not in Hughes’s novel?

a. “She was a good nurse… Sometimes they paid her and sometimes they didn’t.”

b. “On Thursdays she did the Reinarts’ washing, on Fridays she ironed it, and on Saturdays she sent it home, clean and beautifully white, and received as pay the sum of seventy-five cents.”

c. “’I was not thinking of the slave-trade,’ replied X; ‘governess-trade, I assure you, was all that I had in view; widely different certainly as to the guilt of those who carry it on.’”

d. “I reckon white folks does think right smart of me … They always likes you when you tries to do right.”

3. On secrets and misunderstandings. Which of the following is not in the novel?

a. “X had lived too long with three women not to have learned to hold his tongue about the private doings of each of them.  … he “saw it with his eyes, but not with his mouth.”

b. “Her longing for love had become an obsession.”

c. “X had discovered long ago that you could hear and see many things by not going to sleep when the family expected you to.”

d. “He had discovered already, though, that so-called jokes are often not really jokes at all, but rather unpleasant realities that hurt.”

4. The Savvy Youth’s Perspective.  As time passes, the narration begins questioning certain statements and truths. Which of the following lines is not in the book?

a. “It was all great fun, and innocent fun except when one stopped to think, as white folks did, that some of the blues lines had, not only double, but triple meanings.”

b. “X wondered how people got to be great, as, one by one, he made the spittoons bright.”

c. “’It’s too bad you aren’t white.’ … X had taken this to heart, not as an insult, but as a compliment.”

d. “How incredible that anyone should insist on living in that squalid building that would be demolished any day now.”

5. The Emerging Adult Perspective.  On religion, fighting, and doing good. Which of the following is not from Hughes’s book?

a. “I’m very ready to believe his character will improve, and acquire from hers the steadiness and delicacy of principle that it wants.”

b. “But I don’t want heaven! I want to live first! … I want to live!”

c. “To those who lived on the other side of the railroad and never realized the utter stupidity of the word ‘sin’, the Bottoms was vile and wicked.”

d. “‘To the uninitiated it would seem that a fight was imminent. But underneath, all was good-natured and friendly—and through and above everything went laughter. No matter how belligerent or lewd their talk was … these black men laughed.”

6.  Not Without Laughter as Migration Novel. A classic in the genre, it depicts an African-American family moving North from a small town to a big city, in hopes of a better life.  Circle the correct sequence of the child hero’s movement in the novel.

a. Stanton, KS to Chicago, IL            

b. New Orleans, LA to Stanton, KS, to Chicago, IL

c. Stanton, KS to Chicago, IL, to Stanton, KS          

d. Stanton, KS to Detroit, MI to Chicago, IL

7. The area where the hero lives in Chicago is nicknamed “The Black Belt”.      True / False

8. Poetry and music! Which of the following poetic descriptions is not from the novel?

a. “Earth and sky were fresh and clean after the heavy night-rain, and the young corn-shoots stood straight in the garden… There was the mingled scent of wet soil and golden pollen on the breeze that blew carelessly through the clear air.”

b. “The rose of the world was breathing out smell. It followed her through all her waking moments and caressed her in her sleep.”

c. “Funny how old folks like to sing that way, ain’t it?’ ‘It’s beautiful!’ X cried—for, vibrant and steady like a stream of living faith, their song filled the whole night: An’ we’ll understand it better by an’ by!’

d. “While the cynical banjo covered unplumbable depths with a plinking surface of staccato gaiety, like the sparkling bubbles that rise on deep water over a man who has just drowned himself.”

9. What kind of music does the author not describe or evoke in this book?

a. Gospel        

b. Jazz            

c. Country-Western               

d. Blues

10. Ambivalence Rules? The narration leaves the ending open, and judgment remains up to the reader. Which of the following uncomfortable statements is not from Hughes’s novel?

a. “He didn’t know that grown-up people cried, except at funerals … He didn’t know they ever cried alone, by themselves in their own houses.”

b. “White folks will see that the Negro can be trusted in war as well as peace. Times will be better after this for all of us.”

c. “I only had to break it, and I was rid of it forever. So simple! I’d never thought of it before.”

d. “They’re right, though, looking out for themselves… and yet I hate ‘em for it.”

ANSWERS

1. a. (That quote is from Nancy Mitford, The Pursuit of Love.)

2. c. (That quote is from Jane Austen, Emma.)

3. b. (A quote from Mitford, The Pursuit of Love.)

4. d. (That quote is from Clarice Lispector, Family Ties.)

5. a. (A quote from Emma, by Jane Austen.)

6. a.

7. True

8. b. (That quote is from Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God.)

9. c.

10. c. (That quote is from Nella Larsen, Passing.)

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Good things can be easy?… at Whiskey Creek it seems possible

“In real life, good things are allowed to be easy.”

–from today’s Modern Love essay in the NYT, by Coco Mellors.

The statement sounds false. Too simple. Too nicey-nice. But what if it were true?

The past four days at Whiskey Creek on the north side of the Olympic Peninsula, living in a small cabin located right above a rocky beach overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca, makes me think maybe that it could be true. In the media-saturated daily bad-news barrage that usually assaults us, we may neglect to realize that good things exist, and that the tides, waves, and currents which look so scary from shore, are doing nothing but rise and fall and wash along as they should. They pose no threat to us. That seaweed knows exactly what to do: it looks relaxed as its arms lazily stream this way then that… just floating, not flailing, just being not doing anything in particular.

And life moves along as it will. The kelp beds whose arms bob along the water’s surface are doing just fine. The driftwood bobs along fine too, until it bumps into the sand, rolls ashore, and becomes a hiding place for chipmunks and shore birds, sand fleas and other tiny creatures. Or rolls back into the surf with a big wave’s impact.

Nor do the herons suffer from the water’s ever-changing movements. They merely tiptoe their way on top of the kelp, like elegant green-footed ballerinas.

Life doesn’t have to be scary and stressful and alarming all the time.

Listen to the wind, the sky, and the voices of all those creatures who are with us here, day in day out. Hang out with them for a while, even if you have to concentrate to grasp their tunes, above the sirens, leaf-blowers, or TVs of our fellow humans muddling along in misery. They don’t own us.

Just ride the tides for a while. Good things do exist. And they are allowed to be easy.

Thank you Coco Mellors, and Whiskey Creek, for the reminder.

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Trivia Quiz for “The Pursuit of Love” by Nancy Mitford

Trivia Quiz for The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford (1945)

For West Seattle “Classic Novels (and Movies)” book club, 8/29/21

A. The Pursuit of Love and satire

1. Love and marriage. Some of the satire reveals the limitations of women’s lives in the 1920s and 1930s. Which of the following quips about women is not in the novel?

a. “X was an intensely dreary girl … who had failed so far to marry, and seemed to have no biological reason for existing.”

b. “Intelligent and energetic, but with no outlet for her energies, unhappy in her marriage, uninterested in her child, and inwardly oppressed with a sense of futility, she was in the mood either to take up some cause, or to embark upon a love affair.”

c. “No woman really minds hearing of the past affairs of her lover, it is the future alone that has the power to terrify.”

d. A male character says, “Starvation is good for women and beasts; it brings ‘em to heel.”

2. Politics and class. Arch comments on the English gentry run through The Pursuit of Love, though other classes, politics, and issues come under fire too. Which of the following quotes is not from the book?

a. “Uplifting the brother’s no easy job. I’m as busy as a cat with fleas, myself. Lord! How I hate sick people, and their stupid, meddling families, and smelly, dirty rooms, and climbing filthy steps in dark hallways.”

b. “That must be the great hold that hunting has over people, especially stupid people; it enforces an absolute concentration, both mental and physical.”

c. “I hate the lower classes … Ravening beasts, trying to get my money. Let them try, that’s all.”

d. “Left-wing people are always sad because they mind dreadfully about their causes, and the causes are always going so badly.”

B. The Characters

3. Which portraits of the narrator Fanny, and her cousin Linda, are not found in The Pursuit of Love?

a. “Her longing for love had become an obsession.”

b. “With my usual base habit of cowardice, I shrunk into my sloth, like a snail into its shell”

c. “As she had never in her life done so much as make her own bed, I could not imagine that Christian’s flat could be very tidy or comfortable if it was being run by her.”

d. “When I consider my life, day by day, hour by hour, it seems to be composed of a series of pinpricks.”

4. Linda’s character comes across strongly. Which of the following does not describe her?

a. “There was something furious about her, even when she laughed, which she did a great deal…. Something reminiscent of pictures of Napoleon in youth, a sort of scowling intensity.”

b. “She was a delicate, as well as a highly nervous child … too much crying kept her awake at night, put her off her food, and did her harm.”

c. Like her brothers and sisters, she could not stand boredom.

d. At age 20, she went to Oxford to study Law before becoming a journalist, then a spy.

5. Uncle Matthew: Terrifying or Threadbare? Which of the following pass-times is not enjoyed by Uncle Matthew?

a. hunting his children

b. hating his enemies, other people’s children, and foreigners

c. cracking whips at dawn “with a noise greater than gun-fire”

d. studying ancient languages

6. The Bolter. Fanny paints a portrait of her absent mother as one who leads a life where wicked things are known and rules are flouted. Which of the following mysteries does she not know about?

a. abortion                  

b. Continental travel              

c. style   

d. the Masonic pledge and rituals

C. Romance amid the War and Daily Violence

7. Although hunting kills animals daily, brothers fight in wars, and bombs fall on London, there is relatively little sadness in this book. Which of the following is not from The Pursuit of Love?

a. “He rescued the hare, waded out again, his fine white breeches covered with green muck, and put it, wet and gasping, into Linda’s lap. It was the one romantic gesture of his life.”

b. “Love becomes greater and nobler in calamity.”

c. “When she thought about the war it seemed to her almost a relief that it had actually begun, in so far as a beginning is the first step towards an end.”

d. “Nobody is killed in air-raids, there is a great deal of noise and a great deal of mess, but people really don’t seem to get killed much.”

D. Snappy Style. Match the quote to the character it describes. The characters include: a. Lord John Fort William; b. Moira Kroesig; c. Uncle Matthew

8. “I have only read one book in my life, and that is White Fang. It’s so frightfully good I’ve never bothered to read another.”

9. “To think I ruined nine months of my life in order to have that.”

10. “Poor old thing, I suppose she likes him, but, I must say, if he was one’s dog one would have him put down.”

ANSWERS

1. d. That quote is from Daphne du Maurier, Jamaica Inn.

2. a. That quote is from Nella Larsen, Passing.

3. b. That quote is from Villette by Charlotte Brontë.

4. d. Linda did not study law, go to Oxford, nor pursue any profession.

5. d. Uncle Matthew, as we know from no. 8 below, only ever read one book: White Fang by Jack London.

6. d.

7. b. That quote is from Love in the Time of Cholera.

8. c. Uncle Matthew

9. b. Moira Kroesig

10. a. Lord John Fort William (Louisa’s husband)

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Tai chi retreat on beach! bliss from Bandon, Oregon

Dear reader,
No worries today. I’m in a tranquil place, as I just returned from a blissful time on the Oregon coast, at a small Tai chi retreat on the beach at Bandon. (An annual event, if you ever want to join us! organized by local martial arts teachers, from Fusion Kung Fu, Seattle.) It was a pristine setting, and an inspiring and spiritually moving experience. Sensually rich! to smell the sea air, watch the birds (pelicans!), to hear those crashing waves while practicing the graceful spiraling movements of Tai chi–and some Aikido– on cool wet sand: that’s one route to nirvana.

The lesson I brought home: our little frustrations are just that. Little snags in a movement that will not be stopped.

Only we control how we move through space, how we inhabit our bodies.

and, my inner geek cannot help sharing this inadvertently funny message from the Sunset Motel staff:

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A bit of Paris comes to Wallingford, for free!

I’m thrilled to contribute a “Paris révolutionnaire” pillow to the “Free Little Art Gallery” in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle. (Sorry it dwarfs the space, at 14″x14″, but this site really is tiny!)

Are there galleries like this in your city? would love to see more pics… a healthy art scene does such wonders for the soul…