Wednesday, October 12, 2005

North by Northwest

We took a long weekend and headed out to Seattle last Thursday. I was very excited, I really fell in love with the Pacific Northwest when I spent the summer of '99 in Portland. This was my first visit to the region since leaving Portland, and while I had been to Seattle before, I only spent about a day there.

We stayed with Michelle's sister and her boyfriend, who live in a house in the Wallingford neighborhood, which is a few miles north of downtown. On a clear day, their front yard affords you with views of the Seattle skyline, the Cascade Mountains, and the Olympic Mountains. There aren't too many clear days in Seattle this time of year, but we managed to catch a glimpse of all three during our visit.

On Friday morning, we all headed up the street from breakfast at a place called Julio's. I ordered huevos rancheros, which I found somewhat uninspired, but nourishing. After breakfast, our hosts went to work and we walked down the street to the Gas Works Park.



The gas works was once used by the city to convert coal into natural gas, but is no longer operational. Instead of tearing down all of the machinery, they decided to preserve some of it and turn the land into a park. It gives the park a really cool post-apocalyptic look. The park is located on the shore of Lake Union and offers some great views of downtown Seattle.

From the gas works, we headed over to Fremont, which is supposedly Seattle's funky, ex-hippie neighborhood. It definitely had that kind of vibe going on, though not as much as I would have expected.

They have their own spaceship in Fremont



They also have a troll under a bridge, which is pretty funky



Fremont is also the self-proclaimed center of the universe, in case you weren't aware



It also features a huge statue of Lenin, which is more than the People's Republic of Cambridge can say. Still, I would have expected a town where you will see multiple VW microbusses on the road every day to have a little bit more substantial and eclectic counterculture haven. I didn't notice a single head shop or Marxist bookstore in our walk around Fremont.

Of course, what Fremont lacked in loony left weirdness, it made up for in hospitality. I made a purchase at Jive Time, a small used record store, and the clerk was without a doubt the least-jaded used record store clerk I have ever come across. He actually seemed happy that I wandered into his store and paid $8 for a used copy of a CD that I just noticed is selling for $23.99 at Amazon.

Up next: A visit to the spa.

4 comments:

Emily Santiago said...
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Jim Eng said...
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slytyguy said...
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Joe Powel said...
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