Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Madison and Harrison/Denny-Blaine

Yesterday, my husband and I took a 7.7 mile walk in the Madison Park and Harrison/Denny-Blaine neighborhoods. We walked streets east of Madison from E Blaine to Lake Washington Blvd E.

There are commercial areas with restaurants and shops on each end of the stretch of Madison we walked. Close to the northeastern area (I think it's referred as Madison Park Village), there are large condos. Other areas have mostly single family homes. The streets near the lake are flat but the land slopes up fairly steeply going west. Most of the streets have sidewalks and curbs and many streets have underground utilities.

To say that this is a "tidy" neighborhood is an understatement - many streets were closer to "manicured." With its upscale atmosphere, spectacular views and proximity to the UW, it's no wonder that Hill-Crest Mansion (the UW president's residence) is located here.

Walking west on Valley, we could see the dome of Holy Names Academy. Walking east, we saw three areas of public shore access. One was just north of the Seattle Tennis Club,

one was at Highland and 42nd

and the other was near Lee and 42nd.

This neighborhood is home to Fire Station No. 34 (which is hoping to expand),

Washington Pioneer Hall which houses the Fiske Genealogical Library and the Pioneer Museum. (The museum is open to the public on the second Sunday of each month from 1-4 pm - admission is free.)

and the Bush School.

This area abuts Broadmoor (with its manned guardhouse) and Madison Park Beach (pictured in an earlier post).

We passed a mailbox (near Madison and 36th), sidewalks with tiled street names, majestic trees, a staircase from E Mercer down to Lake Washington Blvd and 32nd Avenue, a sign letting us know we were under video surveillance and cross-walk flags we could use to stop traffic on Madison.

We saw lots of gardeners, a dog walker (with four dogs), an older gentleman with a newspaper under his arm an a few women out walking. The closer we got to the commercial areas, the more people we saw.

Like some streets on Capitol Hill, this area made me wonder what Seattle life was like when these homes were built and who lived here.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Mann Neighborhood of the Central District

Today was bright and sunny as my husband, the Seattle Sketcher (Seattle Times, Facebook) and I walked in the Mann neighborhood of the Central District. We walked streets that I had not already walked between 23rd and 29th Avenues from E Cherry to Union Street. We walked 3.5 miles with the Sketcher; then he went to sketch some of the things we had seen while my husband and I walked another 1.3 miles to complete some streets we had missed.

This is a neighborhood of older but architecturally pleasing homes. The area has sidewalks and curbs and some lovely trees. Most of the properties are well kept, a few are not. The area is not hilly but we did climb one staircase at 29th and Union.

Union, Cherry, 23rd and Martin Luther King Jr Way are wider streets with commercial areas. We passed a Post Office, about four Ethiopian restaurants, a Casey Family Programs building, a Grocery Outlet, the King Deli, Fatima Grocery (advertising Halal meat) and Catfish Corner (with an MLK Jr quote and mural on its side wall). We did see quite a few bars on business windows. We also saw the Green Plate Special Rain Garden

This neighborhood is home to the tiny Gerber Park, a YWCA, some transmission towers, a few rain barrels,

what looked like an old abandoned corner store,

a few murals, including Squid vs. Whale by Karl Addison and Pixel.Tron, the Spring Street P-Patch,

the Greater Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, the Spiritual Israel Church and its Army, the Emerald City Community Seventh Day Adventist Church,

the Seattle Young People's Project (and its mural),

garden art,

the Umojafest Peace Center and Peace Garden,

the old Horace Mann School (report of recent protest at this site). The area did appear to be gentrifying but if there is any tension, it was not apparent on this quiet, pleasant morning.

The area abuts Nora's Woods (pictured in an earlier posting), Garfield Community Center and Medgar Evers Pool (just north of Garfield High School).

It was pleasant walking with the Seattle Sketcher, Gabriel Campanario, and hearing something of his work. I had purchased his book, The Art of Urban Sketching, and have really been enjoying it. The Sketcher will be signing copies at the University Book Store (U District) on March 12th at 7 PM.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Southwest Greenwood and Northwest Phinney

It was raining when my husband and I left for our walk today and we ran into slush on our way but during our walk, the skies were dry and we even saw the sun once or twice. We took a 5 mile walk along streets from NW 70th to NW 80th between 3rd and 8th Avenues NW (stopping to visit two estate sales along the way).

This is a mostly residential area with sidewalks, curbs and all types of gardens. Home are mostly modest and well kept with houses looking more expensive as we walked south.

We passed the 6th Avenue Pocket Park,

the Barking Dog Alehouse, the Take 5 Urban Market,

and van,

a house being raised, a Lab/Cor building, a tree encased in old CDs, some tree swings and some palm trees.

This was an easy walk along level streets.