These are the observations that fill my thoughts passing under the “China Gateway” at the entrance into the I.D. I know so little of the actual history, and that small amount is owed largely, and with much thanks, to Wikipedia. What I do know, is the experience, and its one I have had on many different days, in many different seasons with only the streets and structures themselves ever somewhat the same. This is somehow the first time I have watched the daylight fade from these streets, however, and the drive into nightfall adds a fresh feel to them. The energy becomes palpable, from the buzz of the neon signs to the fiery changing of the shift in colors I can feel a rush and an appetite within me and surrounding me. As evening sets, I find my pace has hastened, but only from a mysterious excitement.
Eventually, I make it back through the ancient archway, snapping another shot and waving goodbye. I may have actually waved, I’m lightweight enough that the two Sapporo’s from earlier are driving me into strange, giggly behaviors. Crossing back across 5th Ave, I snap some more night shots of the King Street station, grimace as I review them and tuck my phone into my jacket. There’s a chill biting at me in the sturdy north wind that blows, so, I look back at the China Gateway – and the International District beyond – this time letting the mind’s eye attempt to capture the image. I smile in gratitude for the evening as I descend the stairs into the train station. Tomorrow is a bus to Portland, but tonight, I say thank you to the I.D. for this goodbye memory. This will not be our last rendezvous.