Thursday, August 30, 2012

Minor Neighborhood of the Central District

My husband and I returned to the Minor neighborhood, today, to fill in streets I had missed on prior walks. Our 5.3 mile walk took us from Garfield High School to Seattle University and around Swedish Hospital's Cherry Hill Campus and the King County Youth Detention Facility. Even though some nice single family homes and residential streets remain, this appears to be a neighborhood where institutions are squeezing people into denser housing units. We observed land use action signs proposing two new 3-story medical buildings for Swedish and new height and boundary adjustments for Seattle University.

12th Avenue is a commercial street with lots of cafes and restaurants, the Seattle Men's and Women's Choruses. It will soon be the home of the 12th Avenue Square Park. According to a sign at this location and the Park's Department website:

"The 12th Ave Neighborhood Plan calls for developing 12 Ave into the 'main street' of the urban village. The James Ct woonerf, abutting 12th Ave, would help provide the kind of environment envisioned in the Neighborhood Plan.
The Opportunity Fund proposal envisioned the development of a woonerf along James Ct spanning between the 12th Ave Park to the south and the new Seattle University and Seneca group development to the north. A woonerf is a street where pedestrians and cyclists have legal priority over motorists. The techniques of shared spaces, traffic calming, and low speed limits are intended to improve pedestrian, bicycle, and automobile safety".

This area is home to the Lighthouse Temple Church of God in Christ,

Cherry Hill Baptist Church,

Zion United House of Prayer,

the Vietnamese Catholic Community,

the Gondar Mutual Association of Seattle (offering ESL and citizenship classes for the Ethopian/Gondar Community), a number of Ethiopian restaurants,

Seattle University's Athletic facilities and playfields and its Center for Service and Community Engagement

and Alder Academy of the Youth Detention Center

with its large Spirit of Youth bronze sculpture; it represents the Salish heritage in Washington and the diverse ethnic background of this community. The placement of this 'dorsal fin' presents a metaphor of the submerged and partially visible spirit.

This area borders Garfield High School, the new Quincy Jones Performance Center and the Garfield Community Center.

We observed a vegetable garden planted outside a parking lot,

the Northwest Kidney Centers, a house labeled Gustav's Salon (which is a hair salon)

and admired murals on a garage,

the old Providence buildings at Swedish's Cherry Hill Campus,

some bus shelter art and Ezell's Chicken. I had my first sampling of Ezell's chicken to celebrate hitting the half way mark of these walks:-)

This was a good walk on which to hit the 1600 mile count. I celebrated this mile marker by having my first Paseo pork Sandwich; it was every bit as good as I'd heard!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Central District's Minor Neighborhood

Today's walk in the Minor Neighborhood filled in missing streets and included quite a few streets I had already walked so I won't repeat the things I observed on an earlier walk in the area. My husband and I walked 5 miles.

Along Madison, we spotted a City Light substation.

Then we saw some transmission towers; a sign indicated that these were Richland Towers and gave a number for tower leasing information.

We noted a real mix of older single family homes an newer multiplexes.

We passed the Urban League,

Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences

and the Temple Center of Temple De Hirsch Sinai.

This area is home to quite a few restaurants including Skillet Diner

and Restaurant Zoe.

We passed Council House (senior housing), Spring Street Park and the grounds of T.T. Minor School.

We spotted a few staircases

but our biggest find was the Madison Poetry Project on the sidewalk outside Mount Zion Baptist Church along Madison. A poem was etched into pavers that were spaced along the sidewalk. The poem: "Come to - the mountain - MT Rainier MT Zion MT Baker - Rush down - the hills - Preaching Searching - this micro-universe - has rhythm, a daily beat -  Destination Home - Madison - Artery from the heart - Divides and Unites - Intersects the city - Sound to Lake - Our/Your - Neighborhood - Right here - was the first and longest - Trolley Turnaround - Water - Always - (Cross - Carefully these words lead to a street crossing) - Runs Downhill - Landmark" (these words leading to

 a marker). "We must go back to reclaim our past so we can move forward so we can understand why and how we came to be how we are today"

I have not yet found a website explaining this project or one giving information about a trolley turnaround here but I'll post a link if I find one.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Interbay and Elliott Bay Marina

Interbay may not have many residents but I saw lots of people out enjoying the sunshine and the amenities of Interbay today as I walked 7.8 miles around the neighborhood.

There are a few streets north of Dravus and west of 15th; they are mostly industrial or commercial. I saw a QFC, the Interbay Animal Hospital, a kitchen and bath showroom, Washington Hardwoods, Screenplay, Seattle Storm, Metro Dog, Denali Fitness, Quest Church

and the non-profit neighborhood cafe, Q Cafe, with its sign "cafe culture community"; it serves direct trade espresso and tea and supports arts, live music and community events.

South and west of Dravus, I spotted a large complex under construction right next to a Starbuck's and a Red Mill Burger shop.

Just south of this construction are the Interbay playfields where I saw soccer practice in action, a concession stand, a ticket booth (with a poster for SPU soccer camps) and a baseball/softball(?) field.

Walking south on 15th, I came to a Rapid Ride stop for the D line coming soon).

Continuing south, 15th looked more like a shady lane than the busy street it usually is.

Next, I came to the Interbay Golf Center (driving range, golf course, mini-golf and pro shop)

then was surprised by the size and beauty of the Interbay P-Patch

where a bench is dedicated to Claire "Pappy" Watkins, King of Compost,

paths between plots are named,

there is a lovely seating area

and a sign indicts that the 2012 grand total is currently 3252. (Does this mean pounds of food produced or donated to a food bank?)

I passed the Seattle Animal Shelter with Discounted Cruise Parking and the Interbay Business Center behind it.

The Interbay Urban Center is home to a few shops including Whole Foods where people were enjoying the outdoor seating area to eat lunch. Across 15th, I noted Brown Bear Car Wash and its sculptures of a family of bears.

I passed a lot with a proposal to erect a 3 story office building with parking. Across 15th, I spotted one of my favorite furniture consignment shops and the came to a Staples at W Garfield Street

where I turned west and crossed over the cruise ship piers

Continuing west, I came to the lovely Smith Cove Park. A plaque gave the history of Piers 90 and 91 whose possession went from Seattle to the Navy and back to Seattle again.

Further west, I came to Elliott Bay Marina with its fancy Palisade Restaurant, the Elliott Bay Station of the Seattle Yacht Club, Maggie Bluffs Marina Grill (where people were eating on the patio) and beautiful views of the Seattle skyline.

I observed someone enjoying the day in a hammock

and a house perched on top of the bluff

before walking a bike trail back north.

This walk was so much more than I had anticipated - Seattle never ceases to amaze me.