Monday, October 31, 2011

Beacon Hill

My gardening friend and I returned to the Atlantic neighborhood of the Central District today for a tour of the Lighthouse's Ethel L. Dupar Fragrant Garden. The lovely head gardener (named Helen) gave a wonderful tour of this garden whose raised beds are accessible to walkers, those in wheelchairs, sighted, blind, deaf and hearing individuals. The plants are fragrant, meant to be touched and many can be tasted. This was a tour well worth our time.

The rest of our 4 mile walk covered streets south of I-90 and north of South Hill Street from Rainier Avenue South to Martin Luther King Jr. Way South.

The fall colors were spectacular as we passed the Japanese Presbyterian Church,

We continued by the Northwest African American Museum and the Urban League Village at Coleman School,

with wonders everywhere we looked.

We walked across the I-90 lid as far as Sam Smith Park

a well-used off leash area for dogs (part of Sam Smith Park),

Mark Cooper House, some newer housing and the American Red Cross building. We stopped in to visit the Kusak Cut Glass semiannual sale

and, later, stopped at Stumptown Coffee Roasters on First Hill for an informative and enjoyable coffee tasting.

All in all, a great walk.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

University District

The weather was beautiful, today, as I took a 7 mile walk through the western edge of the University District. I walked streets between Campus Parkway and NE 55th Street from I-5 to Brooklyn Avenue NE.
Walking north along Roosevelt, I stopped to read the sign of the Portage Bay Grange Feed and Mercantile after noticing its chicken coop.

Near 45th and 11th, I saw large murals on the side of the Mac store.

The old University Baptist Church building is now the Mars Hill Church.

There is some kind of gaming lounge in an old tire store.

University Playground holds many wonders

from the items and quotes embedded in the entry pillars

to the gremlin in the kiddie area.

This area is home to the Seven Gables Theater,

Mossy Bottom Records, a tattoo parlor, a comedy club,

an organic produce store, Trader Joe's, Half Price Books, Cinema Books,

the University Branch of the Seattle Public Library (much more traditional inside and out than the Montlake branch I visited yesterday),

the Friendly Foam Shop (with some interesting art in its windows),

Kirsten Gallery (and its lovely back yard),

Blessed Sacrament Church (which was open so I stopped to admire the interior),

some interesting gardening and fence designs.

This neighborhood is a real mix of high density population and single family homes. It has sidewalks, curbs and, probably, parking problems. I saw a proposed land use action sign requesting permits to knock down two houses and one retail building and replace them with a 57 unit apartment building.

Montlake, Capitol Hill, First Hill, Downtown

An appointment, yesterday, on First Hill meant an 8.5 mile walk from the UW, across the Montlake Bridge, through Montlake, down 24th Avenue E to E Madison to Broadway.

I filled in some streets I had not yet walked in the northern tip of Montlake. This is a lovely area, marred only by the continuous sounds of traffic.

Besides some lovely homes, the western area houses the Seattle Yacht Club, West Montlake Park and the Northwest Fisheries Science Center.

The eastern area contains McCurdy Park, the Museum of History and Industry, the Arboretum Waterfront Trail and the East Montlake Park, with its totem pole - carved by Haida Chief John Dewey Wallace in Waterfall, Alaska in 1937 -

and its great location on the Montlake Cut.

Proceeding south, I passed bike lockers over the intersection with 520

and the Montlake branch of the Seattle Public Library. I stopped inside to admire this modern architecture and was surprised that the library was so small. I guess it is much bigger than the storefront library it recently replaced.

The Madison Temple Church of God in Christ is at the corner of 23rd Avenue E and E Madison Street.

Just down Madison is the Central Area Chamber of Commerce which looks to be in the De'Charlene Beauty and Barber College.

Further down Madison, I passed a Safeway with residences above, Planned Parenthood,

Mount Zion Baptist Church,

the future site of a small neighborhood park,

Trader Joe's with residence above, a memory care facility in an old mansion,

the Madison Market with residences above,

McGilvra Place Park and Seattle Academy.

After my appointment, I looked around for a bus to take me home and wound up walking down Madison to the bus tunnel on 3rd Avenue. This walk highlighted the diversity of Seattle and the rate at which some neighborhoods abutting the downtown core are changing.