This is the tenth of a series of posts dealing my seventh trip to Seattle as an adult and second of two trips that year. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of two years later or to add further clarification.
And (yawn) I'm off.
[NOW: The above was written in the morning; the rest I wrote in the evening.]
I walked to Pike Place Market including First and Pike News, then to the waterfront south to the Bainbridge/Bremerton ferry terminal, then north along the waterfront to Bell, then breakfast (got a few aerial views to/from the waterfront, e.g. a bridge at Bell).
[NOW: I think the ferry terminal is officially called Seattle Ferry Terminal and the bridge the Bell Street Bridge.]
I had breakfast then headed to the bus stop. I was waiting for a Sound Transit bus to Federal Way, and a Sound Transit with a number that wasn't supposed to stop at that stop showed up. Just as he was about to pull away I played a hunch and waved. My hunch was right: the number on the bus was wrong and it was indeed the b us I wanted (he had tried to change the number earlier but it hadn't taken).
I rode this bus to Federal Way Transit Center, then visited Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, Blockbuster (not yet open), Action City Comics (ditto), then a couple shops I thought were gone but now I have a different theory (see below), then Borders, then a new Pawn Pros, then Pawn X-Change.
[NOW: Federal Way’s Blockbuster is now gone. Borders is now defunct. I believe Pawn X-Change is now Cash America.]
I tried without success to find the Hollywood Video, then visited Spy Comics (a dog greeted me at the door; a black lab I think), where I bought a set of What If? trade paperbacks (the conceit of this Marvel title is that there's parallel universe where at pivotal moments things happened different than in the "real" Marvel Universe; because they're alternate realities it's possible, though it's rare, for these versions to meet the "real" versions).
[NOW: If it wasn't gone already by then, Hollywood Video is defunct now. Spy Comics is now Fantasium.]
I tried to visit Hollywood Video again but finally realized that 21st AVE S and 21st Ave SW are two different locations (this may be what happenbed to the other two places). I decided I'd devoted enough time to a store that was probably gone so dashed towards the bus top in time to wave my bus bye-bye. Luckily the next stop down there was an Arby's across the street so I simply used the time to have an early lunch.
I took a somewhat late bus to the south end of Milton (I asked the driver to let me off at that stop; too late I realized the driver didn't really know where Milton ended so she let me off a stop or tow earlier; she would have let me off a stop sooner still but I convinced her otherwise). From Milton (not much to described because it was the tail end of a highway of shops) I walked south into Edgewood where I visited Beehive Books & More (metaphysical, and more "More" than "Books"); the next bus was late, which was painful because there was a shop right at the stop where I could have gotten refreshments but didn't want to miss the bus.
I took a bus to the south end of Puyallup, where I visited Pawn X-Change, Blockbuster, Budget CDs (gone), Dollar Giant (got some cola), Borders, and, in South Hill Mall, fye (got a DVD set). I had a bit of a wait for the next bus due to more lateness and wash tempted to simply dash downhill, but I'm glad I didn't (it was still a long way and being downhill could easily have lost control and slipped). I finally got the bus back north to downtown Puyallup.
[NOW: I’m unsure if this Pawn X-Change has been converted to a Cash America. Puyallup’s Blockbuster is now gone. Borders, again, is defunct.]
I was 1/2 hour ahead of schedule, though my next bus would be the same due to it being hourly. That was fine; I had made a promise to myself last year that because the downtown area is so nice that this year I would wander around a lot more this year. I visited Comic Evolution (you could get comics for $1 each but only if you got at least a short box worth, which would have given me a hernia transporting home), then a pawn shop, then 7-11 for more pop. I took a lot of pics along the way, including its many, many art pieces, including a statue of a naked woman leaning back, as anatomically correct as the man-boy statue in Seattle's Olympic Sculpture Park; also a sculpture of a giant fork and knife, the former holding a giant strawberry. A guy in a car got mad at me for "talking a picture of him"; just how vain do you have to be to believe that with art pieces and atmospheric shops everywhere that *you're* the subject of the picture? Truthfully even after I got POed at me I never even bothered to look at him.
[NOW: Comic Evolution moved and later changed its name and went online only. The naked woman statue is Salutation. The cutlery/strawberry sculpture, no longer there, was called Berry Good.]
I took a bus to Sumner, where I visited A Good Book (the name notwithstanding, non-biblical; it's a general new/used store). I misread the schedule and returned sooner than I needed to, but it's a nice area and I might try to revisit next year.
[NOW: I still hope to return someday but I’ve since only passed through.]
I took another bus to Auburn, where I visited Comstock Books, which had at least three cats. I considered asking to take a pic of them, but one of the women there seemed as aloof as the cats themselves when I praised how lovely they were, so I decided against it.
I walked to the unsurprisingly closed down Hollywood Video (therefore the Lacey one gets the honour of being the last one I ever visited, due to the bankruptcy) then dashed back to the transit centre. Not sure if I missed my bus actually: just as I was arriving a Sounder light rail to Seattle arrived so I quickly dashed to the first ORCA reader I could find, politely got the people talking in front of it to move, tapped the car, and got on the train. It cost me a bit more and might have been a bit slower, but if I did miss my bus, this was still faster; plus it was far smoother and more relaxing than the bus.
I got off at King Street Station, tapped the ORCA card again so the correct fare could be calculated (and thus ensuring no $125 fine), immediately caught a bus downtown, and from there went to the trolley stop.
For you newbies, the South Lake Union streetcar was going to be called the South Lake Union Trolley. Before anyone realized what the acronym was, said acronym had a chance to become permanent. I never did find the ORCA reader, but I had enough time on the card for a transfer anyway so didn't worry about my conscience. I rode the, uh, trolley, longer than I'd planned because this being light rail, I forgot you had to actually request a stop for this streetcar.
I doubled-back and walked to Seattle Center (not sure if I saved time riding the, uh, streetcar, but it was an excuse just to do it this trip). I relaxed at the International Fountain for a long time, actually forgetting I hadn't had dinner. A little after 8 I decided I'd best get some food in me so I went to the sports-motif McDonald's which I hadn't been to for a while, before heading back to the hostel.