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Old October 30th, 2011, 12:06 AM   #1
hauntedheadnc
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Wearing out my shoes in Seattle (I)

After a few fun-filled days in Vancouver, we set out for Seattle by train and that in and of itself was a nice experience. Smooth, comfortable ride, nice scenery... Amtrak catches a lot of hell, but it's a nice way to get from point A to point B.

However, I'm sorry to say that we were immediately able to tell when we had crossed the border -- and I'm not talking about the Homeland Security people or NTSB or whoever the hell they were who boarded the train and asked for ID. Upon arrival in Seattle, considered one of the fittest cities in America, we were still able to notice an exponential increase in the number of fat people. This was in addition to a visible increase in the number of Black people, Hispanic people, visibly poor people, and people who exhibited two or more of these characteristics. As he is wont to do, while we were walking around -- and God, how we walked around -- my boyfriend kept a running tally of the number of Black people he saw wearing suits or driving nice cars. There was a perhaps surprising reason for this which I will reveal later...

Now personally, I enjoyed Seattle more than Vancouver. There seemed to be more to do, and more to do that was free or cheap. The quality and amount of art that you can see for free in Seattle alone was astounding. On a negative note, however, Seattle's transit system was not nearly as user-friendly as Vancouver's. In Vancouver, we rose buses, trains, and ferries on the cheap and went all the hell over town. At one point we even rode a bus through the darkest wilds of North Vancouver (where, to judge from the architecture, the 80's are alive and well and send their love) and then crossed the Lion's Gate Bridge on the way back downtown. In Seattle, we attempted to ride a bus through the free-fare zone downtown on the way to our hotel in Belltown. When it turned north toward the convention center and away from our destination, we asked the driver what bus we would need to take to get from there to Belltown, only to have the driver tell us he didn't know where Belltown was. Perhaps he was just being a dick. I don't know, and don't care, but we avoided transit for the rest of the trip until, by necessity, it came down to a choice between riding a bus from Fremont to downtown, or else lie down on the sidewalk and die. We also rode the train from Westlake Station to SeaTac on our last night there because neither of us felt like paying upwards of $40 for a cab.

And now, pictures.



King Street Station is a very nice welcome to Seattle. After seeing this, thanks to that bus driver, we had to walk two miles in the rain dragging our luggage.





The hotel was located on the fringes of Belltown, away from the trendy part, and close to two homeless shelters. This meant that whenever we emerged, we were treated to the spectacle of schizophrenics out on the sidewalks shrieking at one another -- or possibly at no one at all. Trying to guess was half the fun! Anyway though, our room wasn't ready so we ditched our luggage and set out on foot. Setting out on foot would soon become a very common theme to our days.









Our first stop was the Frye Art Museum. To get there, we marched right up Spring Street which, if you will recall (and you don't, so don't lie) was the location of a very large, carnivorous mansion called Rose Red in the Stephen King miniseries of the same name. Tragically, we were unable to locate any carnivorous houses either there or elsewhere in the vicinity.

And yes, I know that Rose Red was complete fiction. I was not one of those stupid people (this really happened) who called the Seattle tourism bureau trying to find out more about it.

Later, I learned that the Frye Museum is located in a neighborhood called First Hill, which happens to be where three huge hospitals are located. Who knew?











Here at St. James Cathedral, my boyfriend opened a side door to see if we could get inside to take a look at the interior. He encountered instead a bride fussing with her hair. Whoops.















































Our hotel room overlooked the hotel's courtyard.



















On Sunday, I got a rare chance to be one of those visitors at a church who gets to stand up and tell where they're from while everyone murmurs appreciatively about how far you had to come to attend. It's my boyfriend's and my tradition to stop at Starbucks before we go to church here at home. In Seattle we did the same, although we stopped at the original Starbucks, which was a rather nice change of pace.







Pig. Lol. It was hopeless to try to get a picture of the pig by herself because as soon as one group of tourists stopped groping her, another group stepped up.

















Inside the Seattle Art Museum. We didn't get to see all of the museum, or even the central exhibit that we'd come to look at. Frankly, after so many galleries, we were experiencing art fatigue and so left to see other parts of the city. We meant to come back, but didn't get the chance, sadly.

















































I thought the manhole covers in downtown Seattle were interesting. I noticed three different decorative designs.









Seattle's International District/Chinatown was an even more sedate affair than Vancouver's. It was also my impression that it was on the verge of dispersing, the way that New York's ethnic neighborhoods move elsewhere over time and only leave their names behind. The International District seemed to need more of a focus, but it was a nice place over all anyway.



































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Old October 30th, 2011, 04:49 AM   #2
mhays
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Wow, great photos!

The ID/Chinatown is a mix of dispersing and gradually filling in. It's been a restaurant center for generations. Some buildings have been renovated or built new. But too many older buildings are empty upstairs, sometimes due to code requirements.

I couldn't have told you the answer on buses to Belltown either, and I live in Belltown. I just walk in the rain mostly. But a variety of routes go through, many on 3rd (18, 15, 2, 3, 13, 26....probably wrong on some). Others are on 4th northbound.
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 07:11 PM   #3
hauntedheadnc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhays View Post
Wow, great photos!

The ID/Chinatown is a mix of dispersing and gradually filling in. It's been a restaurant center for generations. Some buildings have been renovated or built new. But too many older buildings are empty upstairs, sometimes due to code requirements.

I couldn't have told you the answer on buses to Belltown either, and I live in Belltown. I just walk in the rain mostly. But a variety of routes go through, many on 3rd (18, 15, 2, 3, 13, 26....probably wrong on some). Others are on 4th northbound.
The people at the hotel were more knowledgeable about the bus system, thankfully. That came in handy later when we walked to Fremont because after a hike like that, we were in no mood to hike all the way back.
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 08:57 PM   #4
Nightsky
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Seattle has a nice atmosphere!
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 10:24 PM   #5
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great!
I'd been to Seattle several times but I'd never seen some
in your photos and oh boy, that was a long walk you did.
thanks anyways for sharing.
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