Friday, March 8, 2013

Lower Queen Anne

The streets of Lower Queen Anne proved to be a real workout today as I walked 7.5 miles in the area just north of Seattle Center between 3rd Avenue W and 5th Avenue N. This area is dominated by staircases and views of the Space Needle.

Residentially, it is a real mix of grand old homes (mostly in the northern and eastern section),

newer apartments and condos, midcentury buildings, lovely old apartment buildings

and retirement communities. The newest, Merrill Gardens, is built on the site of the Seattle Public Schools Administration Center (1949-2002) and the Mercer Grammar School (1890-1940) on part of the Thomas Mercer Donation Land Claim of 1852.

Mercer Street borders on Seattle Center and is the location of Teatro ZinZanni, Metropolitan Market, Bartells,

Mercer Street Books, shops and restaurants including T.S. McHughs (which is special to me because my mother was a McHugh and because it is the place where I won the Irish Soda Bread contest a few years ago).

This stretch of Roy Street is mostly commercial with pubs and restaurants

but it is also the home to St. Paul's Episcopal Church

and Counterbalance Park at the corner of Queen Anne Avenue N.

Along the way, I spotted a welcoming bench near an ivy-covered utility pole,

Ward Springs Park (at 4th and Ward) built on a site that once provided all the water to Queen Anne (the historic pump house remains),

a Dick's that is not a drive in,

the Uptown Cinema (a SIFF cinema),

the MarQueen Hotel,

a building (at 2nd and Valley) that looked like a church but which appears to be a Re-evaluation Counseling Center,

a grassy lawn behind an apartment building (viewable through a fence)

and what appeared to be a crime scene at the corner of 4th and Mercer. I did not take a picture but there were police cars, lots of traffic cones and yellow tape and, in the street, a yellow tarp from which a shod foot protruded. I've never seen anything quite like that on one of my walks and I hope not to see anything like it in the future.

All in all, it was quite a walk.

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