Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Capitol Hill South and East of Volunteer Park

A chore on Capitol Hill took me back to this lovely neighborhood for a 9.5 mile walk. I walked many of the streets between 14th and 24th Avenues E from Interlaken Park to E Republican.

With the exception of 19th Avenue, this is primarily a residential area. I think this is the area formerly referred to as Catholic Hill and the Catholic presence is still there in St. Joseph's Church and School, Holy Names Academy (whose dome is a landmark) and Jubilee Women's Center (founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace).

The church was open so I went in and was impressed by the interior.

as well as Trinity Christ Memorial Baptist Church

I spotted a mailbox at the corner of 19th and Prospect.

The part of this area east of Volunteer Park has large homes on large lots with alley access

and lovely, tree-lined streets.

This neighborhood knew how to slow down traffic even before traffic islands were in vogue; sidewalks continue and curve around into intersections creating dead-ends or one-lane passages.

Some of the homes close to 24th Avenue are built along a green meridian where a street may have been plotted but never built.

The far north area, near Interlaken Park has beautiful homes on very small lots.

The area south of Roy has apartments houses as well as single family homes and is not as grand as the area north of Roy.

This area has sidewalks and curbs and I saw lots of people out walking and gardening. I also saw quite a few buses, house-cleaning crews and baby strollers and people enjoying the shops along 19th (including coffee shops, restaurants, a cleaners, the Kingfish Cafe and the Moonjar Store).

This was a wonderful walk and well worth the time spent.

Monday, August 29, 2011

West Seattle - Alki and Genesee

My pastry-loving pal was free today so we went to West Seattle to have a pastry at Bakery Nouveau and take a 7.9 mile walk. We followed a random route along streets between Beach Drive SW and California SW from SW Spokane Street to SW Jacobsen Road.

One of the first things we saw was a DART (Dial A Ride Transit) bus that was most likely Route 773 to Seacrest Park and the water taxi to the downtown Seattle waterfront. This was at the corner of SW Alaska and California SW where we saw Junction tiles embedded in the sidewalk.

After some wonderful pastries at Bakery Nouveau, we started walking west where we met a state employee checking a European Moth trap (no moth here but he had found one recently in another part of town).

Streets and views were beautiful

and we saw an Asian gypsy moth trap a few blocks away.

After walking four blocks south along what may have been an alley between 50th and 51st Avenues SW, we wound our way down to the waterfront and walked the streets immediately west of Me-Kwa-Mooks Park. We climbed many dead end streets and enjoyed the greenery and the views. We saw a pet cemetery sign.

We passed Emma Schmitz Memorial Viewpoint,

La Rustica Restaurant

and the Shirley Bridge Bungalows

before finding a stairway which we climbed to Aikins Avenue SW and more lovely views

(including one of algae on the water).

We climbed a steep footpath from SW Spokane Street to SW Manning before winding our way back to our starting point.

There were lots of people walking along California and people out on their properties all along our walk. Whenever we stopped to inquire where we were or if streets dead-ended, people were very friendly and helpful.

This was a wonderful walk and I'm happy that I will be returning to walk more streets in this area.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Northgate and Bitter lake

Aurora Avenue was today's destination and I walked 7.5 miles in the neighborhoods immediately east and west of Aurora from N 98th to 130th Street.

This area is largely commercial and industrial with lots of truck yards and building storage areas. I noticed a number of fabricators, a large Comcast installation, the City of Seattle's Haller Lake Maintenance Facility, the Puget Sound Blood Center, the Seattle Milk Fund building, lots of car dealerships (and some former car lots now for sale), lots of motels, fast food outlets, auto-related businesses, adult businesses, two golf shops, Lowe's, Home Depot (where day laborers approached every car that slowed down) and Oak Tree Village (with its multiplex cinema, Asian food market and other shops).

Evergreen Washelli Cemetery is located in the middle of this stretch of Aurora and adds a nice touch of greenery to an otherwise paved area. I was impressed by the veterans' memorial cemetery within this cemetery (I've read that it was hoped it would be the Arlington of the West) with it's neat rows of too many stones and cannons that were once on the U.S.S. Constitution (Old Ironsides).

One or two block off Aurora, this neighborhood turns largely residential and some newer, denser housing has added sidewalks and a more tailored look (but this is the minority).

Streets adjacent to the cemetery are quiet and treed and some are really nice. I was impressed with the dead end streets just west of Evergreen Cemetery until I noticed a sign indicating that this was a prostitution and drug watch area and license numbers were being recorded.

The Interurban North Trail runs along the west side of the cemetery

Haller Lake Community Club is located just off 128th and Ashworth and has a large lot in the back with a sign indicating parking for renters and members only.

This area is home to Cyndy's House of Pancake (in business for 53 years), Fire Station 31,

Birhane Hiwot Eritrean Church,

a Burgermaster Drive In (which instructs the drivers to turn their lights on for service), two Aurora Avenue pedestrian overpasses

and a mural welcoming the traveler to historic Highway 99.

There were many things to see on this walk.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Capitol Hill - Montlake and Stevens Neighborhoods

My husband and I took a 5.9 mile walk through Interlaken Park today. It was a wonderful place to be on a warm and sunny day. We walked through the park and along Boyer Avenue E including many dead end streets off Boyer.

The road through the park may not be the safest place for walkers due to the lack of sidewalks but traffic was not heavy today and drivers appeared to be going around blind curves at a reasonable speed. There are hiking trails through the park.

This is a lovely area dominated by the park. Many houses are hidden on the dead end streets and the cliffs in the park. Some look out on Portage Bay. Stairways and paths into the park pop up in quiet areas.

The biggest surprise was the South Portage Bay Habitat near Everett Avenue E and the Montlake Playfield.

This was a great walk and the only negative aspect of the neighborhood is the noise from 520.