Last summer I visited Seattle and it quickly became one of my favorite U.S. cities. We saw none of the dreary rain the place is famous for, so we spent hours walking outside in the glorious sunshine. Unfortunately, I seem to be missing quite a few of my pictures, so instead of a full report I'll just share a few snapshots.
We stayed at a cheap but serviceable motel called Marco Polo (where beloved rock star Kurt Cobain stayed in his final days) located in the quirky neighborhood of Fremont. We had fun exploring the place up and down. Lurking underneath the Aurora Bridge...
... is the Fremont Troll, an 18-foot monster that clutches a Volkswagen Beetle in one hand and snatches up tourists with the other.
In Fremont, we encountered what appeared to be a wedding party awaiting transportation. It turns out that the artwork Waiting for the Interurban is constantly being dressed up, so it will look different whenever you see it. Anyone can have a go at it, but etiquette dictates that decorations are allowed to stay for one week.
In downtown Seattle, in a brick alleyway beneath the market, is a particularly gross tourist draw. For some reason, in the mid-90s, the practice of sticking gum all over the walls began. The alley was thoroughly cleaned more than once, but the gum kept reappearing. Eventually, the market officials changed their minds and let Gum Wall exist as a tourist attraction.
You can find gum spelling out words, forming little pictures, or dangling from window sills like multi-colored stalactites. It is ever-changing and growing. (I opted not to contribute.)
The neighborhood called Queen Anne, north of downtown, has attractions like the Experience Music Project Museum, house in the shiny Frank Gehry-designed building.
The International Fountain, with its hundreds of nozzles shooting sprays of water in synchronization with music, is a huge hit with kids.
In the Upper Queen Anne neighborhood, Kerry Park boasts the best views of downtown Seattle, dominated by the iconic Space Needle. On a clear day, snow-capped Mount Rainier can be seen looming in the distance.
In the neighborhood called Wallingford is a strange little place. Gas Works Park sits on the site of a former coal gasification plant that began operating in 1906. In the 1950s, the plant became obsolete with the import of natural gas and closed. The site was a complete toxic wasteland, but the city cleaned it up and converted it into a park. Landscape architect Richard Haag, rather than demolish the old machinery, incorporated it into his design. Gas Works Park opened to the public in 1975.
The park has pleasant views of Lake Union and downtown Seattle.
Most interesting, NYCGirl, & killer shots of the downtown with the mountain so beautifully floating in the background.
I'm curious about the Music Project Museum. The red part & the white giant clamshell part are both pieces of the museums, correct? Is that a regular intra-urban monorail running through it, or another part of the museum?
You guys aren't alone in your opinions about the EMP Museum. It's not critically acclaimed like other high-profile Gehry works. I don't love it, but I do think it was a bit harsh when a NYT critic described it as "something that crawled out of the sea, rolled over, and died."
Yes, Bixa, that's the monorail running through it. Pretty cool, huh?
Fumo, I thought about your Washington reports while we were there. After Seattle, we passed through Skagit Valley, but this was in August so the flowers weren't in season, of course. I'd love to see those tulip fields one day.