Monday, June 24, 2019

Field Notes Releases Huskies Edition

Seeing double?

I’ve been a fan of Field Notes Brand pocket-size notebooks for years. The three-packs of paper-covered, stapled notebooks are available in standard editions that can be purchased any time as well as limited editions that are released quarterly. The company uses a variety of paper types, so I’ve found only a few editions that I like to sketch in, but I also use the other types for general notetaking. I carry one in my bag for memos and keep others around the house to track projects. They’re very handy.

When I first heard that Field Notes had collaborated with Graduate Hotels on a new edition, it didn’t mean much to me. It wasn’t until I saw images of the three notebook covers on Field Notes’ site that my eyes widened: Wasn’t that the interior of Suzzallo Library (parts of which I’ve sketched numerous times) on one of the covers? And hey . . . the building shown on a second book looked familiar, too! Then I read that the photographer had apparently shot the cover photos for this national chain in Seattle and Berkeley. . . it had to be Suzzallo! Indeed, two of the three cover images are of Suzzallo (the third shows a messy office piled with books – that one must be from Berkeley. I don’t know anything about the University of California, but surely the photographer could have found something more inspiring on that campus!).
A second book cover shows Suzzallo Library's exterior.

I ran right over to the University District, where a Graduate Hotel had opened last fall in the former Hotel Deca building. Although the Graduate chain renovated the interior, it retained many of the 1930s Art Deco details. It’s still a beautiful building.

After first explaining to the desk clerks what Field Notes were and that I was certain they had some for me to purchase (it took a while to find them in the storage room, and then another little while to figure out how to sell them to me), I was tickled to walk out with several packs. It’s not every day that Field Notes makes notebooks emblazoned with my alma mater!
The middle book's photo is the one apparently taken at
Berkeley... I'm ignoring that one.

Inside Suzzallo, I watched a young Asian woman in cap and gown with her proud immigrant parents posing for a professional photographer. Other grads in small groups took photos of themselves and each other. Although now I think of Suzzallo as the place where I struggle to capture its Gothic arches, I also always feel a wave of nostalgia for all the years I walked through its quiet, imposing hallways (I actually spent more time studying in the modern undergraduate library). Seeing the happy grads, I remembered fondly the slightly scary yet exhilarating feeling of leaving those hallowed halls for the last time as a student and marching into my future.

Officially this Field Notes edition is known as Graduate Hotels, but I’ll always think of it as the Huskies Edition. Go Dawgs!

Graduate Hotels has retained many of the 1931
building's original decor.


  1. Very interesting! I'd assumed at least one of the not-office shots was Berkeley. That's a beautiful library! (Coincidentally, both of my parents are Huskies.)

    1. If I were a Cal Bear, I'd be a bit annoyed by the Huskies dominance of this edition. ;-)


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