Sunday, September 23, 2012

Central Area

Today, my husband and I walked streets in the Central Area. We walked 5 miles along streets that were in the Madrona, Leschi, Mann and Minor neighborhoods. We were filling in streets we'd missed from 20th to 33rd between Marion and Alder so I won't mention many of the highlights of prior walks in these areas.

This area is dominated by Garfield High School, with its ball fields (which were posted as being a weapons free zone) and the new Quincy Jones Performance Center,

Garfield Community Center and Medgar Evers Pool.

This area is home to Little Ethiopia and has lots of Ethiopian restaurants, Hawkins Garden P-Patch Community Garden,

Powell Barnett Park with its lovely green space,

playground and even castle-like restrooms,

the small, triangular Gerber Park,

Trinity Faith Temple (we could hear music coming from the unadorned building),

Zion United Church of Prayer, Madrona Presbyterian Church (both pictured in prior posts) and 23rd and Cherry Fellowship Hall.

These neighborhoods are all close together but each has its own vibe. Madrona, Leschi and Mann had many pampered houses and gardens. Minor's pampering varied street by street and even house by house.

Along the way, we spotted a keyboard tree,

Seven Star Women's Kung Fu, an old phone booth in a front yard,

some impressive trees,

trees wrapped in an assortment of fabrics,

a mutt mitt dispenser,

what looked like a sleeping porch (with a hammock and netting)

and an unexpected footpath and staircase at Arlington and 31st.

We observed lots of athletes using the ball fields and tennis courts and biking along the streets. We also encountered our first pitbull; thankfully, it was behind a fence and didn't seem menacing.

Seattle Sounders Game at CenturyLink Field

Last night, my husband and I went to CenturyLink Field for our first Sounders game. We took the bus (which was full of Sounders fans), our seats were in the 300 level and we walked around to participate in pre-game activities so we wound up walking 3.3 miles. I didn't walk any new streets but the arena itself was like a neighborhood and the fans were like great neighbors.

Before the game, we got free Sounders scarves for completing forms, observed all kinds of activities,

enjoyed a great view of the Seattle skyline,

admired the arena and even got to go onto the field (thanks to passes provided by a blog reader).

As the team entered, we were impressed by the chants and arm motions of the fans seated behind the south goal. I wish this blog had an audio track because the chanting was amazing.

The service men and women who rolled out the American flag and the band were truly impressive.

The enthusiastic fans won my heart and the next time I come to a game, I'm going to join in the March to the Match from Occidental Park.

There were very few empty seats, almost 40,000 fans attended, so it was no wonder that it took a while to exit the arena and to cross the street to the bus tunnel. Once again, our bus was packed with fans who were polite and orderly. The only sour note was that the Sounders lost to San Jose (2-1) but they made a great effort and the game was exciting right to the end.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Downtown and Belltown

Today's walk was hilly so I didn't mind the cooler, cloudy weather as I went downtown to run chores and walk in the Belltown neighborhood and some nearby streets.

My walk started walking down Union Street where a sign to "Buy One Get One for $100" caught my eye. It was the related to men's suits and sport coats so it made sense but it was still startling.

Continuing on, I passed the long established Byrnie Utz Hats, the Emerald City Shoe Repair (with its distinctive logo), Gelatiamo, Wild Ginger, Benaroya Hall (whose plain outside belies the great spaces within), the Triple Door, the new Target City store (which includes a grocery section)

and saw some window washers rappelling down the side of a building, all the while having a great view of the Great Wheel; the wheel was running but there was no line on this overcast day.

I walked down a few staircases to the waterfront

where I admired the old waterfront trolley stations, wishing that they were still being used.

I observed parking under the viaduct and wondered what parking will be available when it comes down and whether the walking/biking trail along the trolly tracks will be part of the new scheme.

At Bell Street, I noticed Wave Rave Cave sculpture under the viaduct (what I read at this link makes me want to return at night to see the lights)

and a bridge to a cruise ship pier on Alaskan Way.

On the way to Belltown, I passed vacant lots where buildings will be going up, the Art Institute of Seattle, the World Trade Center Seattle, the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology and the Old Spaghetti Factory.

In Belltown, I spotted the Labor Temple, lots of dry cleaners, sidewalk cafes, pubs and restaurants, including the Cyclops,

 Macrina's Bakery, the Sarajevo Lounge, the Belltown Pub,

and Vita Bella Cafe.

I noticed the UW Medicine Belltown Clinic, an ivy covered building housing JQB Ltd Yacht Design and two new artistic manhole covers; one at 2nd and Cedar

and the other at 3rd and Clay.

From Denny and from Broad, I spotted Seattle Center attractions including the Space Needle, the Experience Music Project, the Monorail and the arches of the Pacific Science Center. (I'll include pictures when I return to walk in Seattle Center.)

This area is home to the lovely Belltown P-Patch and Cottages,
lots of old and new apartments and condos,

the City Church

and a nice plaza at Tilikum Place where Cedar, Denny, 5th and 4th meet; it has a nice memorial to Chief Sealth.

The plaza is surrounded by the Monorail and some nice looking restaurants.

Walking around and under the Olympic Sculpture Park, noting my favorite sculpture, people weeding, the Neukom Vivarium and more sculpture near an office complex.

I noticed people on Segways, murals

and, after crossing under Aurora to catch the bus, a solar trash compactor.

This was a walked packed with sights.