Friday, January 6, 2012

Belltown (2 walks)

Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated my 1,000th mile by going out to lunch downtown and taking a 5 mile walk along downtown avenues - mostly in Belltown. Today, a literature-loving friend and I were going to a lecture at the MLA conference at the Sheraton and took the opportunity to walk about 5 miles - mostly along the east-west streets of Belltown. The two walks overlapped so it makes sense to blog about them together. Both days, I took the bus home from the Westlake tunnel station and stopped to admire the design and artwork.

This neighborhood is just outside the downtown retail core and is quite varied. The space needle keeps popping into view, the monorail and South Lake Union Trolly run through the area and public art is almost as prevalent as

views of the Sound.

It has expensive condos, a few hotels, more motels, a YWCA, the Matt Talbot Center, senior housing

It has lots of restaurants (including quite a few Tom Douglas restaurants), the 13 Coins,

La Fontana with its lovely courtyard, Top Pot Donuts,

Jazz Alley, the Crocodile, Hurricane and Recovery Cafes.

We passed Regrade Park,

parking availability signs and a new parking garage under construction (a bike-riding Downtown Ambassador answered our questions about the structure). We went into the really interesting Federal Army and Navy Surplus Store where you can get some great gear and I was told that about 50% of the merchandise was made in America.

and a toy store.

Macy's Department store abuts this area and we noticed that it still had some Christmas decorations up and that the building still bears the Bon Marche name.

One interesting discovery was a plaque commemorating the Crystal Pool on the Cristalla Building (which has a beautiful terra cotta facade).

The plaque claims that the pool was one of the city's most popular gathering places in the 1920's and 1930's and Seattle's primary aquatic center. The city pumped water up the hill from Puget Sound to fill the pool. There is always something new to learn about Seattle.

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