Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Downtown Central Business District

My husband and I decided to go downtown today and have lunch at Blueacres. They had a special Dine Around Seattle lunch menu and we enjoyed a delicious lunch ending with a spectacular chocolate mousse. We'll need to walk more than today's 5.3 miles to work it off! We'll also need to return to complete the streets we missed. We concentrated on 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Avenues and left the streets for another day.

The 5.3 miles includes the distance we walked to and from the bus and some time spent scouting around in Macy's and Nordstrom's Rack (we didn't buy anything) and visiting the downtown library.

There were quite a few people walking around and waiting for buses but nowhere near the numbers who are downtown during the summer.

The library was packed (especially the computer center) and is just as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside.

We passed the new City Hall, the Rainier Club, Westlake Mall, the Rainier Tower, Benaroya Hall, the Seattle Art Museum and some interesting sculptures.

We walked to the Pioneer Square Bus Tunnel entrance and took the bus home.

The government and financial district was neither as populated nor as visually interesting as the commercial district but it is a nice, compact downtown and always an invigorating walk (even after eating chocolate mousse).

Monday, March 28, 2011

West Central Bryant

I was back in Bryant today walking the streets from 35th to 40th Avenue NE between NE 55th and 65th Streets. My 4.85 mile walk took me up and down the hills of this residential neighborhood.

The Wedgwood Mart is on the corner of 35th and 65th even though this is not technically in Wedgwood. 35th Avenue NE is residential the rest of the way down to 55th Street and there is a nice new sidewalk on the east side of the street.

The homes here appear to be a little older and a little bigger than the ones I saw yesterday but this area also has some pretty big newer homes mixed in.

A few homes along the eastern edge have a creek running through their yards and quite a few homeowners have landscaped their parking strips or are using them to grow vegetables.

One home's strip contained rock slabs with plaques from which I learned that "kindness can pluck the hair out of a lion's mustache" and "The wind (the gentle) rules the east. It is associated with the green dragon which is the early spring. The celestial mansion is February 1st, Candlemas Day, Purification."

A sign welcomed me to Utopia Heights which turned out to be an art studio, not another neighborhood.

A bus stop on 39th and 65th had a bench, a small landscaped area and a decorated shelter.

Most of the homes were very well kept but a few weren't and seemed out of place. The Cherry trees were blooming today and really added to this quiet residential area.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Eastern Bryant

We had sun showers today as my husband and I took a 4.25 miles walk through the eastern portion of the Bryant neighborhood. We walked the streets between 40th and 45th Avenues NE from NE 55th to NE 65th Streets.

Bryant Playground is located in the northwest corner across the street from PCC. Fire Station 38 is located in the southwest corner across the street from Metropolitan Market. A chinese restaurant, a veterinary hospital and a professional office are located on 55th Street as are apartments and condos. Other than that, this appears to be a neighborhood of single family homes.

There are not too many tall trees and most of the streets have sidewalks and curbs.

We saw families playing in the park, a few people out gardening and a few homes for sale. We also saw many homes which appeared to have been remodeled or replaced with larger homes. We saw one lot where a house appeared to have recently been demolished and the presence of a port-a-potty seemed to indicate that new construction was about to start.

This appears to be a quiet neighborhood where homeowners take care of their houses and gardens and where smaller homes are being replaced with larger ones.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

South Laurelhurst

Yesterday and today, my husband and I finished walking the streets of Laurelhurst by completing all the streets south of NE 41st Street.

This is a residential area with lots of water views. The only disappointments were the traffic noise audible in Webster Point (the southern tip) and some mossy and uneven sidewalks. I had my first fall during one of these walks when I tripped over an uneven piece of sidewalk. Luckily, my husband grabbed my hand and I didn't fall too hard. Other than that, the homes, gardens and views were lovely and we discovered some public access to the water along 43rd avenue NE.

This is an area of overlapping street and avenue numbers, multi-street intersections and twisting streets. Even with a map, it's sometimes hard to tell just where you are.

It looks as if some older homes have been and are being replaced by newer ones; the modern designs don't seem to fit in with the existing traditional styles.

There is some King County property (with a keep out sign) west of Surber Drive and the Center for Urban Horticulture is just west of that. We ended today's walk by checking out the center and walked about 9 miles.