Monday, July 21, 2008


All the rumors are confirmed.  Seattle really is pretty cool.  We're staying in Fremont, which, in my opinion, is the coolest of the cool neighborhoods, and for that, I'd like to thank Paul's friend, Scott.  The stretch of groovy stores and restaurants affectionately calls itself "The Center of the World" (there is even a sign declaring it so with arrows pointing to other significant world landmarks, such as the Bermuda Triangle and The Guggenheim, indicating their distance from Fremont in miles).  My favorite thing in this neighborhood might be the Fremont Troll, a huge whimsical sculpture under the Aurora bridge, fashioned after the troll in "Three Billy Goats Gruff."  He's really cute.  Other cool 'art meets life' things are everywhere in Fremont.  You'll see the picture of the tree with wooden chairs hung over its branches.  That should give you a little bit of the flavor.  

On our first day in Seattle we checked out the U District, which is the Washington University Campus.  We also stopped in Capitol Hill, watch the salmon swim upstream at the fish ladder and saw a beautiful sunset at Golden Gardens (thanks to Lauren's suggestion).  The fish ladder was really interesting and had me racking my brains for bits and pieces of my fourth grade science lessons.  The sunset was just breath-taking (see pics if you don't believe me).  The harbor is also shocking because I've never seen so many boats anchored in one place.  There's a blurry (we'll call it artsy) photo of the masts in the water above.

Today I opted out of the nine mile hike up to the glacier lake and just soaked in a little more Seattle.  The coffee in all cafes is pretty delicious, there are Thai places everywhere and bookstores abound.  Really, it's hard to find something wrong. There is a definite hippie vibe, and biking is like breathing over here.   

I, on the other hand, got very familiar with the public transportation system.  Though it's convenient, it's just not as frequent and easy as New York's.  Of course, the monorail was down this weekend...AND it's the "Bite of Seattle" festival, which turns downtown into an insane madhouse, so maybe that contributed to the general headache.  Seattle Center is really very cool and more fun than your typical city's "downtown" district.  I think the multicolored metallic Frank Gehry building (which houses the Seattle Music Experience) really helps enliven the mood.  I couldn't get a really good picture of it though because it's just too mammoth for the camera screen to feasibly capture.  

I also visited the Pike Street Market (we'll be there again tomorrow) and took a picture with a lovely King Salmon (I made that up, but I assume that's what the fish was) and an obliging fish market man who went out of his way in offering the picture.  I bought fruit from a produce guy and cherries are perfectly in season. Walking through the market's alleys and corridors itself is just a lot of fun.  Probably natives don't think so though, judging from our host's strong aversion to going down to Pike Street with us.  

I'm sure the city will have more in store for us tomorrow, but here's a "bite" of our Seattle experience so far.  

(Oh, and we saw Dark Knight and Heath Ledger was amazing.  I suppose this is not the place to discuss that right now, but it really made me pretty sad and I need to see it again).  

More updates as of 7/22/08:

On my last day in Seattle I once again visited the Pike Street Fish Market. I held a fish, as you can see in the pictures, and actually watched the whole throwing/catching of our scaled friends. It's certainly quite a spectacle. The monkfish has a long string attacked to his tail and the men working at the pier pull the rope to move the fish and scare small children (and me). That was a lot of fun. Another highlight was my visit to the ORIGINAL Starbucks. The line was out the door. I guess that was to be expected. The monorail was also fixed before I left Seattle, so I actually got to ride it and get the scenic view of the city via public transportation. The seafood on Pike Street was also very good. I got the non-fried crab cakes at "The Athenian." Recommended.

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