VFYW: Skiing Taters, Flying Squirrels - Catch 'Em All!
For contest #362, we visit a spectacular ski area being colonized by foreigners.
(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.)
Here’s a celebratory note from the winner of last week’s contest:
Wooooo, that’s awesome! We’ve been quite stoked the last few days. Took some time to recover from the shock. If this is not something to brag about in a watercooler chat, I don’t know what is! :)
Another is more chagrined: “After getting cocky (and wrong) last week with my flippant 360 Istanbul guess, I’m feeling a little more humble this week.” From our UWS super-sleuth from NYC:
I’ve been lurking for the last couple of contests, but now I’m back — and I just have to tell you how delightful I found all the excellent contributions last week, and you always somehow manage to wrestle and curate them into an informative and enjoyable narrative. I was about to go to bed last Friday when I saw the email come in — next thing I knew, it was 2 am and I was revved up (no pun intended) from watching that heart-stopping car chase from Skyfall.
The post was so enjoyable that I was able to get over the humiliation of realizing that I hadn’t recognized the city ... even as I sat at my computer, not 10 feet away from the small but charming carpet I bought after some hard bargaining at the Grand Bazaar.
More reflections on last week from our super-sleuth in Milwaukee:
I was really happy to see the VFYW results show up after midnight, since I had signed up to volunteer at an overnight shelter with a plan to spend the wee hours doing it. Sure enough, it made the time fly. Boy, did I learn a lot! I had not known that Constantinople and Istanbul were the same city, nor any of the interesting stuff about its conquest. But I had read a recent article on Greek fire, with a Smithsonian video demonstrating it:
All I knew about the ancient Greek city of Byzantium was that Yeats revered it. This VFYW made me ask myself why, so I found his notes for his poem “Byzantium”:
Describe Byzantium as it is in the system towards the end of the first Christian millennium. A walking mummy. Flames at the street corners where the soul is purified, birds of hammered gold singing in the golden trees, in the harbour dolphins offering their backs to the waiting dead that they may carry them to Paradise.
As you can imagine, I was super enthused about those dolphins. But where did Yeats get the rest of this stuff? That question sent me down a rabbit hole about Byzantium, and I was especially taken with the story of Constantine Flavius using chariot racing fans to rebuild the walls after an earthquake. But I never did find out why Yeats thought mummies walked the streets. Perhaps from the stories of Justinian and Theodora wandering the palace without their heads?
This next sleuth still has Turkish cats on his mind:
If I had had enough guts, I would have submitted my gut guess that last week’s VFYW was Turkey. But I do have enough guts to share one of the coolest documentaries I’ve seen, focused on the unique relationship the Turkish people have with feral cats:
Enjoy, feline lovers!
Our super-sleuth in Ann Arbor has lived in
Turkey Türkye Türkiye:
I had to laugh about the renaming of the country. The government got sick and tired of constantly being treated to turkey jokes (so why do the Turks call the animal hindi?), and therefore they tried to have everybody use the Turkish version of the name. But evidently people now struggle with the orthography: it’s Türkiye, not Türkye. Is that a success? At least everybody knew how to spell Turkey!
A somber note from our super-sleuth in Southport:
Last week I struck up a conversation with a hotel shop clerk who I learned was from Turkey. I spontaneously took out my phone and showed her the contest window and she confirmed that it looked like Istanbul. Coincidentally, she and her 15-year-old son were leaving the next day for an extended trip back to her home country. Her son would be starting high school there, and she was going to stay a few months. I can’t stop thinking about them and the thousands of lives lost in this week’s horrible earthquake. I’m sure other readers have been feeling the same.
On to this week’s view, a previous winner:
I am really bad at mountain photos. I assume this is an active volcano because of the smoke above the crater and the fact that there doesn’t appear to be snow on the mountainside — but there is 3 feet of snow everywhere else. I can’t find any clues from the buildings, cars, trees, etc. After looking at way too many volcano lists and images in Canada, WA, OR and AK, I ran out of energy. So I’ll just guess Sitka, Alaska.
Our super-sleuth in Chattanooga notes, “Oddly there are no ski racks on the cars, so doesn’t seem like a ski resort.” But it is. A frequent sleuth writes, “I’m sitting inside with a splitting headache that’s keeping me from skiing, so instead I’m window hunting through a ski resort.” Another guesses simply, “Bend, Oregon.” Our LA super-sleuth in Eagle Rock teases the right location with an image:
At first glance I was like, “Mt. Hood!” I was only 4,518 miles off. I’ve done worse.
The A-frame building we’re looking at is cleverly half-hidden by the angle of the shot:
As is standard with the contest locations, I want to go to there.
From a busy sleuth in NYC:
I faithfully read the VFYW every Saturday morning, but work has really gotten in the way of my ability to do research. Yesterday when I saw the picture with all the powdery snow I thought, “It has to be out west, with all the accumulation they’ve had this season thankfully.” But I have no clue on what mountain.
Then this morning, fellow substack Free Press posted a piece from Livingston, Montana covering the “spy balloon.” Then it dawned on me: this view has to be Montana, because you tend to correlate the VFYW with current events. So I’m guessing Livingston.
Another sleuth gets all MTG:
The aerial views on Google Earth and Maps are pretty bad here, and seem way out of date. When Chini submits his photo from space with the window circled, it will confirm my new theory: it wasn’t a Chinese spy balloon, but a Chini spy balloon that he launched to get a head start on this view and views to come.
“Chini” is suspiciously similar to “China” … hmmmmm, has the VFYW been hacked all these years? Here’s Chini from his balloon:
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to The Weekly Dish to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.