VFYW: Baked Beans, Beer, Herring Farts
For contest #360, we find ourselves in a sleepy, stinky seaport.
(For the View From Your Window contest, the results below exceed the content limit for Substack’s email service, so to ensure that you see the full results, click the headline above.)
From a recent winner in Trenton:
Early this week, like a surprise late Christmas gift, we received our prize copy of A View From Your Window, whose cover is even more attractive than we had imagined. It’s labeled “By readers of the Daily Dish,” and since we arrived relatively late to this VFYW party, we have to extend our gratitude to all the readers who made it happen!
November 2009, when we published the book, doesn’t seem that long ago — but damn, 13 years. The VFYW book is exactly the same age as my niece (minus a month):
Another sleuth looks back to last week’s contest:
For some reason I never saw the contest photo until the solution column appeared. I knew instantly that it was Stockholm — because of the prototypical Swedish-winter light (or lack of it). I spent most of 1961 (yes, the year Vasa was raised from the depths) in Stockholm and remember the city and the beautiful countryside with fondness — at least the summer months. I actually attended the Nobel Banquet and ceremonies that year, as well as the funeral of Dag Hammarskjold in nearby Uppsala.
Of course I realize that my ancient reminiscences are of no interest to anyone. But I do think it rather intriguing that it is possible to identify a place, not seen for many decades, simply because of the light — the unchanging light that will eternally reveal it (barring fluctuations in air pollution) …
Last week’s winner serves up a fun find:
This might amuse you. My friend and teammate visited me this week — the week after we were selected winners of contest #359. (Thank you for the free annual subscriptions for the whole team.) We were celebrating with drinks, and he was using an AI chatbot to see if it could answer any questions regarding some landscaping needs I have in my yard. Out of pure fun he asked the AI chatbot for the answer to this week’s contest. The result:
AI is no match for a VFYW sleuth. Here’s another fun find from our musical sleuth in Indy:
A friend of mine sent me this today: “Wonders of Street View.” I found some cool things while googling VFYW but nothing as great as some of the Street Views here.
She later adds:
Your comment about Muriel’s Wedding, OMG! I completely forgot about that movie using ABBA songs. That clip is fantastic! That movie is notorious in our house. My husband and I saw it in the theaters when it came out and he absolutely hated it! I loved it. (He hates “weird” movies :) My son must have gotten my weird-movie gene because that dude loves weird movies. And that clip!
What’s funny about the other sleuth’s recommendation of the band Opeth is that they came up a lot in my review of bands, but as the sleuth said, “I doubt there’s much overlap between Dishheads and metalheads.”
And thanks for your band recommendation of The Knife. I didn’t realize “Heartbeats” by Jose Gonzalez was a remake!
The Gonzalez version was used in one of my favorite advertisements — featured years ago on the Daily Dish as a Cool Ad Watch:
On to this week, the super-sleuth in Warrensburg sees what I did there: “I can only assume this view is meant as a tie-in to Andrew's incisive essay on the darkly beautiful film, The Banshees of Inisherin!” Hmm but how exactly? Read on.
From a sleuth in Alexandria:
I thought I had this one at first glance, but after spending some time with it, I’m not sure. It immediately made me think of Valdez, AK, which I visited about 10 years ago. I have a photo looking across the water from the town, which has a fishing boat marina, at the tanks that mark the terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. The tanks are even similar colors — faded green and white.
But after looking more closely, the orientation of the tanks is off, the body of water too small in this picture, the hills aren’t high enough, and the white house and deciduous trees in the distance do not look like Alaska. So I started looking for terminals of other pipelines, but there are so many. And it could be oil, or LNG, or something else. It could be New Jersey, or Lake Erie, but I’m still going for Pacific Coast — somewhere in lower latitudes, perhaps outside of Seattle.
Another heads south:
Hello! My guess for this week is the port of Texas City, TX. I was there recently and noticed a ton of those petroleum tanks next to the harbor. The port looks similar to this view:
But I realize that this is a common sight all through that region and into Louisiana, with fishing boats next to the big tankers. Nevertheless, thank you for the fun challenge.
Our frequent sleuth in Mableton also thinks we’re in the South:
Cuddly Hubby and I both immediately thought Gulf Coast — Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, or Florida. After not knowing what a lobster boat was for contest #344 (Georgetown, Maine), we are both wondering if those are shrimp boats in the foreground?
I wondered if the light green color on the storage tanks indicates their contents? Yes, there is a color-coding system. This is a case where English is a problem. If you search for “green tanks” you get results for environmentally-friendly tanks as well as tanks painted green. Similarly, if you try “tank farm and shrimp boats,” results show shrimpers who are farming the shrimp in tanks not fishing, rather than what I want: a picture of shrimp boats parked in front of a green tank farm. “Fuel tank farm and shrimp boat” also failed to yield the desired results.
Next I tried Google Earth. Maybe if I look at the satellite view I’ll see something? Louisiana has a surprisingly clean coastline — I guess they value their bayou? Very little construction right at the water. I found W-1 Tank Battery Seaplane Base on an inlet. It has five pale-green storage tanks, though not in the configuration we see in our view. A search of “aviation fuel storage tanks” just shows more white tanks. Drat!
I’ll go with somewhere in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, not too far from Cockler Point. Looks like a great place to live during the seafood festival. Do we get a recipe for Cajun seafood this week from our allergic-to-caviar food sleuth? Or maybe he can tell us how to eat a bucket of crayfish? (A food expert allergic to caviar sounds like a GURPS character.)
A previous winner finds another view of the dock in question:
This thumbnail from a pro photographer’s website (Bob Orsillo) showed up during my search, and it has some features in common with the VFYW photo, notably the blue lining on the pier warehouse walls.
From a previous winner:
For the first time, I saw the VFYW photo and I thought, “I think I know where this is!” Up in the San Juan Islands in the northwest corner of Washington state, specifically on Fidalgo Island, there is an oil refinery that often has a gas flare —flames that shoot out of a safety relief valve that refineries use to burn off excess material, which is better for the environment than just releasing the hydrocarbons directly into the atmosphere. I want so badly for this to be the refinery in Anacortes.
My husband and I planned to drive up north from Seattle to investigate and figure out exactly where the window was, but our trip was thwarted when we both came down with Covid. So I have to go by memory — curse you, Coronavirus!
One summer we rented a house for a family reunion on Samish Island, very near Fidalgo/Anacortes. We drove up and down Chuckanut Drive — a beautiful, scenic byway that goes north into Bellingham, and it’s the epitome of what I think of when I think of Washington. Water, snow-capped mountains, lush trees, a winding road. Here’s a video of the drive:
But there is also something you don’t think of when you are in the Pacific Northwest: a huge oil refinery. Here is the Marathon Refinery on Marsh Point on Fidalgo Island with Mount Baker in the background:
You can see the green storage tanks on the left of this photo that look to be the same ones in the VFYW photo. The view is from the other side of Marsh Point, but I can’t tell exactly where the dock is that the photo has been taken from. Unfortunately Covid has wiped me out, so this is the best I can do this week.
Get well soon! Another sleuth gets to the right region:
Boston Harbor, Massachusetts? Heck I don’t know. But it looks like New England and the winter Atlantic. I kick myself when I don’t give some sort of answer. Last week I looked at the photo and said Stockholm but didn’t go further. Salût!
Chini goes much further to circle the right window:
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