Sunday, August 22, 2010
SEATTLE AND THE USEFUL FOOT
In my experience, the best way to get to know a city is on foot. (Foot pic is from Vancouver…)
In Seattle, we stayed in a great hotel, the Mediterranean, in the Queen Anne District. (Thank you Priceline.com for the $114 rate.) I liked the hotel but I really liked that you could walk just about anywhere you wanted. After a delicious Cajun lunch, we walked six blocks to Seattle Center.
Seattle Center is a large, car-free hunk of the city with theatres, green space, the Space Needle, the spacey Jimi Hendrix Experience Museum (a museum designed by Frank Gehry and dedicated to rock music from the Seattle area), an amusement park and a huge public sculpture that features a fountain that spouts or mists or dribbles in tandem with music.
Kids come to the fountain in their bathing suits in the summer and try to outwit the spouting patterns. One tweenager came in new jeans and a clean white shirt with what seemed to be his older brothers. The brothers egged him on to get closer to the fountain, which he did, dodging pulses and jets of water. But the music was dramatic and suddenly a blast came out from all directions and he was instantly soaked from his spiky gelled hair down to his new, white Nikes.
Pike’s Market, down by the water, was maybe a mile and a half away so we broke up the walk at a coffee shop. Seattlers (Seattllites? Seattlette’s?) love their coffee, and they also love book shops. We love them, too, and spent some time in one in Pike’s Market. But the best one was the anarchist bookstore. A punk rocker turned Dante on to Kurt Vonnegut there. The V section of the literature shelves has a card that reads something like “If you want a Vonnegut book ask at the counter.” Apparently Vonnegut was a popular shoplift item at the anarchist bookstore so they keep them behind the register.
Dante and Mark read Cat’s Cradle together on the train. At one point in the lounge car they laughed so hard they were wiping tears and could not finish the chapter.