Somewhere that we would have spent more time though couldn’t due to the ongoing saga of the premadonna Betty, Seattle is a place of Culture, Music, Art and HILLS!
Having parked out in the suburb of Capitol Hill due to it being free we glided downhill on the push bikes into downtown. Map in hand we’d been swarmed by hundreds of people in various costumes, none of which we recognised. Seattle is host to the PAX video game convention. Some of these get ups were out of this world and portrayed the hardcore passion of some of these fans, including one particularly creepy 6’8” guy in a post-apocalyptic get up, gas mask and all.
Taking great coffee at Cafe Ladro on the advice of the tourist ambassador, with maps marked we sped off needing to cover Seattle pretty much in a day. First spot was Pike Place Market. Sitting down to eat some of the famous Dungress Crab at Crab Pot Jack’s Fish Spot we were thrown the line ‘What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?’ by the jovial gentleman behind the counter. ‘A stick!’ we replied in unison. Engaging in a conversation with Jerry about Music, living in London and concerts we soon dug into a refreshingly tasty Crab Salad for about a $6 cost. A taste for a fraction of the cost of the tiny $14 sandwiches the suckers around the corner were forking out for.
Directly opposite the southern entrance of the market is the first ever Starbuck’s with the original logo in place.
Down the ramp and around an inconspicuous corner the grossness of Post Alley and its gum laden walls confronts you. Still an interesting place to visit and photograph all the same and on a hot day gum that’s on the edge of anything melts to leave a colourful, chewy stalactite frozen in time much like wax from a candle.
Next it was down to the water front to duck into Ye Olde Curiosity Shop on the Waterfront (two headed calves, mummified remains and all), ride along to the Olympic Sculpture park to photograph the Space Needle then back to Pier 63 for a view back onto Seattle’s downtown. With time pressing on we walked the bikes (hills remember) back up past the library to the car. Being a long day we still only felt that we’d scraped the surface of Seattle. Being parked around the corner from Bruce and Brandon Lee’s graves we thought it was best to pay our respects as Matt was a fan of both of their work.
Heading out north toward Vancouver we felt compelled to check out the eclectic Fremont District. Some wise person had the forethought to produce a map of Fremont and there are dispensaries located throughout the area. Complete with restaurants, pubs, galleries, vintage and book shops it’s an all in one really. Stopping to take in a few of the art installations we viewed Late for the Interurban, the Lenin Statue, The Center of the Universe sign post (what, you didn’t know it was here?), an old 1953 Cold War Rocket and the Freemont Troll (a little hard to find though is on 36th street). In total there are 16 installations with loads of cooler than cool shops and trendy bars. Even the Freemont and Arora Bridges get funkafied.
Another quick stop at Gasworks Park, a hippy haven. This is a 19.1 acres public park on the site of the former Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant, located on the north shore of Lake Union that offers great views back onto Seattle a good stop if you have the transportation. You’ll find hippies, artist and families all chilling out here and even have the chance to purchase local art works.
Seattle thoroughly enjoyed, if only for a day, it was time to press on and head off to the Labour Day party, Van City.