Wednesday, April 13, 2011

International District

Today's walk was another short one - 2.9 miles including the distance walked inside shops. A friend and I went to the International District to walk and to have pastries and tea in the Fuji Bakery (6th and King). The pastries were very good; they had definite Asian and French influences. The tea was good too. There was a sign in the window which let patrons know that the bakery had raised over $1900 for earthquake and tsunami relief.

The International District is a colorful area with lots of restaurants and shops and I will be happy to return to complete the streets in this neighborhood. We only walked the streets between 5th and Maynard Avenues S from S Jackson Street to Royal Brougham Way.

While we were on Airport Way, we stopped at PFI to taste and buy cheese; the staff there is very helpful and recommended some really tasty cheeses. The store may be a little hard to find but it's definitely worth a visit.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

North College Park North of NSCC

Today's walk was pretty short, only 3.3 miles.

I was back in the neighborhood of North Seattle Community College and walked north from N 103rd Street to N Northgate Way from Densmore to I-5.

N Northgate Way is a very busy traffic street and I was extra careful between Corliss and Meridian because drivers did not seem to be expecting pedestrians. Those exiting and entering parking lots seemed to be so busy looking for oncoming cars and bicyclists that many of them did not seem to look in the other direction to see if a pedestrian might be walking from that direction. This stretch of Northgate Way is commercial with strip malls and Hotel Nexus.

Corliss Avenue N was not the safest place to walk either but it did have a good sized shoulder on its west side which I shared with a bicyclist.

Meridian seems to have lots of medical buildings, the Polyclinic, UW Medicine, the North Public Health Center and the Community Psychiatric Center.

Meridian is wide and has nicely maintained sidewalks. Well-kept condo developments are located along this avenue and there are some single family homes with lovely gardens further west.

Mineral Springs Park is a green enclave of about 4 acres located in this neighborhood. I wondered why it was surrounded by a tall mesh fence until I learned that it is home to a popular disc golf course.

Not a long walk but still one with a few rewarding surprises.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

North College Park South of NSCC

Today, I returned to North Seattle Community College and walked the streets south of the campus. I took a 5.9 mile walk along the streets from N 85th to N 92nd Street from Burke Avenue N to I-5 plus a few streets north and west of this area.

The streets closest to I-5 do not have sidewalks, are hillier and had more puddles than those further west. These streets also had a lot of skinny houses.

There is a sound wall next to I-5 in this area and homes are built right up to the wall.

I saw quite a few people jogging and lots of students getting on and off buses. I also saw lots of bicycle signs but no bicyclists on this rainy day.

I attempted to walk along N 85th Street between Meridian and I-5. There was no sidewalk but I could see a faint path through the grass so I went as far as I safely could but would never try to walk across the I-5 overpass - it would be too dangerous.

Bishop Blanchet High School is on the south side of N 85th and there is a staircase at N 88th just west of Meridian.

Close to I-5, traffic noise is ever present but once I was as far west as Burke Avenue N, it felt like a different neighborhood.

At 92nd and College Way, there are eight skinny houses, made to look like San Francisco homes. They have Victorian styles and colors but are fully detached so they are very skinny. I walked around the block looking to see where parking might have been provided and found garages in an alley behind the houses - there did not appear to be any backyards.

There were enough nice gardens and garden art to make this an enjoyable walk in the rain.

Downtown to Town Hall

Last night, my husband and I went to Town Hall to hear Michio Kaku speak. We only walked about 1.5 miles but we covered streets we had not recorded before so I'm adding it to the total.

We walked under the Convention Center and through Freeway Park. There was plenty of traffic and we saw lots of people walking to and from Town Hall.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

North College Park

I was at North Seattle Community College today so decided to take a walk in the North College Park area. Including the distance walked on campus, my walk was 4.6 miles and included the streets between Ashworth Avenue N and College Way N from N 92nd to N 103rd Street.

This is a fairly large geographic area but there are not too many streets because the college and Licton Springs Park take up a lot of the territory.

Houses here are not as grand or architecturally appealing as those I've seen on recent walks but most streets have sidewalks and curbs and many gardens are nice. This area is mostly level and has a peaceful feel in spite of the parking issues caused by its proximity to the college.

This area is home to the Police Department North Precinct building, St. Nectarios American Orthodox Church and a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. It borders on a Seattle City Light materials facility and Middle College High School building whose Indian-themed murals indicate the presence of the American Indian Heritage School.

Walking down Densmore by Licton Springs Park, I had a view of the downtown skyline. Then I spotted a boulder in the park with a medallion attached. It explained that this had been the habitat of the Pacific Chorus Frog and gave a brief history of efforts to restore it. The frogs are nocturnal so I didn't hear the chorus.

This was a nice walk with many pleasant surprises.