Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip Summer 2011 Day 7 Sunday July 31

This is the seventh of a series of posts dealing my eighth trip to Seattle as an adult. 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.  

I took some daylight photos of the parade aftermath after chatting briefly with one of the owners.  Overall, the streets had been cleaned up better than after the parade last year, but there was lots of trash at one of the pay seating areas near Seattle Center.  I returned to the hostel for breakfast.  I was going to take the 17 bus to Belltown, waiting near the Popsicle art piece, but after 12 minutes after the time the buis was supposed to arrive, I gave up and headed for another location where I knew I'd find a bus.  I saw a 15 bus and waved.  The driver saw me and waiting at the nearest stop, but somehow I became invisible to her and she started to move on.  Luckily the lights and people waiting at the next stop ensured I got this bus after all.  I got off slightly early by mistake, but still made my connection to the Hiram M. Chitteneden Locks.
[NOW: All busses taken this day (or planned to take) were Metro Transit.]

I didn't bother spending much time watching the locks (enabling nautical travel between fresh and saltwater), preferring to spend my time at the fish ladder, watching the "champion" salmon attempt to return home.  One was particularly big.  I spent a fair bit of time watching the fish and then walked to Ballard's shopping area.  As it turns out, the Seafoodfest happened a month earlier this year, but I still visited Sonic Boom Records and Moviecycle (a store that actually only sells DVDs, not rents them, and sells nothing else; bought DVDs there), checked out Ballard's Sunday Market, then walked to the remaining Arcane Comics location (the West Seattle one being closed) and Ballard's Blockbuster. I grabbed a lunch to go at Ballard's Burger King and walked to a bus stop; it was raining a bit around this time.  I got bored waiting for the bus and walked to Fremont, arriving before the bus.
[NOW: Moviecycle and Ballard’s Blpckbuster are now gone.]

I saw the plant dinosaurs art piece, the Fremont Sunday Market, the Fremont Rocket art pieces,  The VI Lenin state in front of a couple of restaurants, Jive Time Records (bought a couple DVDs), Ophelia's Books (pet the two cats and got permission to take pics of them; the owner admitted they were popular), the Center of the Universe signpost (giving distances to places nearby, elsewhere on the planet, and if memory serves places off planet and imaginary places), Rapunzel on the Fremont Bridge (neon art), the Waiting for the Interurban statue (the people/dogs waiting were dressed up for a few different occasions at once it looked like), J.P. Patches and Gertrude: Late for the Interurban statue (a tribute to the former Seattle children's show host/clown), and the Fremont Troll (statue made from Volkswagen) only got a few pics because kids were playing with it).

[NOW: The J.P. Patches statue is now a bit of a memorial due to the recent death of Chris Wedes, who played J.P..]

I walked to Gas Works Park (industrial complex turned into family park), which thankfully had some sort of all ages play area which resembles machinery and allowed my camera a chance to stay dry.  I  was next going to go to Seward Park, but didn't want to in the rain (might have been bumped off anyway), so walked, bus a bus (wrong one it turned out, thus walked some more) to the University District, passing East-West Books and the new location of Satisfaction Records (closed due to Sunday) along the way.
[NOW: Gas Works Park is in the Wallingford District.]

At the U District visited Scarecrow Video (bought a couple DVDs), Cinema Books (closed due to Sunday), Half Price Books (bought comics and I think a DVD or two), the Wall of Death art piece, Magus Books, Bulldog News (overrated but still decent newsstand), University Book Store (bought Vanilla Coke from its cafe), Book Kennel (closed due to Sunday).  After passing a guy asking people to punch him in the face for $5 (he kept telling people "You know you want to"; uh, that would be a "No") I visited the U District's Zanadu Comics/Comic Stop (yes, it's now part of two franchises), Neptune Comics, Twice Sold Tales former location (now under construction for a bank), Al's Music, and the Dreaming.

[NOW: Book Kennel is now gone. This Comic Stop has severed its ties with Zanadu Comics.]

I did another bus mad dash and caught the 30 bus to Seattle Center, passing through Fremont again along the way.  I spent time at the International Fountain there, mid way grabbing an Orange Julius meal and eating it at the fountain.  When I left I passed a rendition of Macbeth and some presentation in Spanish that attracted huge crowds.  I returned to the hostel, dropped off stuff, charged batteries, and crossed a bridge on Bell to the waterfront. I finally realized at the end of this bridge there's an amazing lookout over the water, so you get great harbour shots of the city.  I went downstairs, walked along the waterfront to the downtown core, walked up the Harbour steps (a shopping area on a staircase), and walked to the Pioneer District.  There I passed the original location of Elliot Bay Book Company (still vacant) and Occidental Park (no greenery; some art pieces there but basically skid row), then returned downtown where I bought beer at Kress. I returned to the hostel, dropped off the beer, visited Belltown Video (actually sells books and pricey comics; didn't buy any though) and then, tired, returned to the hostel.

[NOW: Orange Julius has been evicted from Seattle Center Armory, or Center House as it was known as during this visit. Belltown Video is now closed.]

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