Friday, December 30, 2011


Today, my husband and I finished off the Northeast section of Seattle by walking along the southwesternmost streets of the NE. We took a 4 mile walk in Wallingford. The Burke Gilman Trail and the Cheshiahud Loop run through this area near the edge of Lake Union. Streets slope down to a working waterfront. Some streets offer good views of the Seattle skyline.

It has lots of staircases, a Dunn Lumber store and a few warehouses.

It is home to North Passage Park,

some enthusiastic gardeners, the Gasworks Gallery and art studios,

the Wallingford Bible Fellowship,

the Poem Bench (on Eastern Avenue just north of 40th) where you can sit and read the poetry or quotes provided in rain-proof bins,

some interesting artwork,

a few more tree swings

and the University Receiving Substation which is across Northlake Way from

Ivar's Salmon House (which has a nice deck overlooking the water).

This area just west of I-5 is a real mix of industrial and residential with newer condos near the lake and older homes to the north. It has a friendly, unpretentious feel.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wallingford and Latona

Attempting to walk off all the Christmas cookies I ate during the past week, I walked 10.2 miles in the Wallingford and Latona neighborhoods today. I walked streets between 1st Avenue NE and I-5 from NE 40th to 65th Street plus 46th as far as Sunnyside Avenue N and Ravenna Blvd between 6th and 8th Avenue.

I started out by walking under I-5 along Ravenna Blvd then walking south along 6th Avenue NE where I saw the Freeway Estates Community Orchard abutting I-5.

The streets slope down towards I-5 which appears to follow the lowest elevation level until it rises to cross the ship canal. Some of the streets were steep enough to warrant sidewalks with ridges to prevent slipping. There is a renovated staircase at 40th Street.

Except for the areas along 65th and 45th plus short stretches of Latona and 50th, this is a residential area. Older homes are being replaced by newer, more dense housing but not to the extent I've seen in some neighborhoods.

This neighborhood includes two schools (John Stanford Elementary - the old Latona Elementary and McDonald Elementary) and one church (the Elim Baptist Church - the Spanish Baptist Church of Wallingford) with a preschool (Bethany Bear's).

I spotted a mailbox at 46th and Sunnyside.

This area is home to Ravenna Cottages, a doggie daycare, restaurants (Mona's, Krittika's) the Latona Pub, cafes (Irwin's, Lulu's, Muddy Cup), Mehndi Madness, a few tattoo parlors, Petosa's musical instrument shop, a colorful mural, some interesting Christmas decorations and more tree swings than I've seen on any other walk.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Last Sunday, my husband and I took a 5 mile walk along the streets of Fremont. We walked streets south of 39th from 3rd Avenue to Stone Way.

The self-proclaimed Center of the Universe, Fremont is home to some much-loved public art. The Troll under the Aurora Bridge,

Waiting for the Interurban,
the statue of Lenin (decked out for the holidays) and the rocket are among the most famous.

Along the canal, we passed Fremont Canal Park, some pretty impressive topiary, Adobe offices, and a lovely plaza above the canal and the Burke Gilman Trail. The Sunday Market was in progress but we didn't get a Christmas feeling there.

We passed more art including statues of J.P. Patches and Gertrude.

We saw art on buildings and a neon Rapunzel in one tower of the Fremont Bridge (where I spotted my first 'bike lane ends' sign). We passed History House, the Fremont branch of the Seattle Public Library, an indoor sun shop, an outdoor nursery and some tidy planter boxes. We finally got a Christmas feeling in Theo's Chocolate Factory where lots of people were tasting and buying lots of chocolates.

Fremont provides Zip car parking and is home to a distillery, the Fremont Baptist Church, the Don Page Cobbler shop, lots of restaurants and pubs, Fremont Studios, the Fremont Outdoor Cinema and the Lake Washington Rowing Club.

We left a few streets to complete on another walk. There is always lots to see in Fremont even if its character has gotten more prosperous over the years. It still hosts the Solstice Parade every year.

Friday, December 16, 2011


On Wednesday, my pastry-loving pal and I turned into soup slurpers when we had lunch at Calamity Jane's in the Georgetown neighborhood. We went to Georgetown to visit some art galleries housed in the Seattle Design Center. One of the galleries is devoted to the Northwest Watercolor Society and many impressive works were on display in that and the other galleries. An artist in one of the galleries recommended Calamity Jane's where we were served by a friendly waitress and had some delicious soup.

Sandwiched between I-5, the Duwamish River, Boeing Field and the West Seattle Bridge, Georgetown is a real mix of industrial, commercial and residential. Many of the streets are tree-lined

and we observed railroad tracks,

industrial buildings, design businesses, SANCA School of Circus Arts, the new Direction Missionary Baptist Church,

play fields, restaurants,

a small soup and sandwich shop,

a brewery, a post office, a chicken coup,

great yard art and some well-loved homes and gardens.

A homeowner chatted with us when we stopped to admire one of his trees. He let us walk in his back yard, told us some of the history of the area, about designing his parking strip and about installing the "Door of Perception" artwork. He recommended the annual Georgetown garden tour (which we hope to take in June) and the Georgetown Steam Plant Museum (which we plan to visit on another walk). As during our last visit to Georgetown, we met residents who love living here and are happy to share information about what Georgetown has to offer.

This was a great walk in a truly eclectic neighborhood and I'll be happy to return to Georgetown to walk along more of its streets.