Friday, May 5, 2017

Pacific Northwest Trip 2015 Day 11 Wednesday July 22: Seattle Including Greenwood Parade

This is the 11th of a series of posts dealing with my 2015 trip to Portland, Seattle, and vicinity. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports (typos, bits I don’t feel like making public). Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of two years later or to add further clarification.  These are indicated by “NOW”.

Forgot to mention: Federal Way-on yesterday was originally part of a later day's itinerary, Tuesday's itinerary completing earlier than expected. The only thing remaining from the second day is Seward Park, which was too overcast to do yesterday.

As I was putting my mini-notebook away last night I noticed a walking tour focussing on the seedier elements of the city was about to begin and it was free so I joined in. It ended at a pub but I didn't feel like spending money on drinks, and the pub apparently requires a passport for out of state people (mine is well hidden in my locker at the hostel) so I decided to bail at that point, as did a number of others.

This morning I did a walk to the waterfront, which is heavily under construction. At Seattle Ferry Terminal, Subway is where the McDonald's used to be (temporarily a separate entrance area due to the construction) but it doesn't open early morning so it's not a viable alternative on my way back.  I walked down to CenturyLink field. Fencing prevented me from climbing the steps there to get shots of the Pioneer Square Distract. I considered walking to nearly Safeco Field but I was getting tired so I wandered back to the hostel instead.

[NOW: The hostel I stayed at was City Hostel Seattle. The above was written in the morning. The rest was written in the evening.]

I did a short walk around the block before breakfast and then walked downtown to Westlake Station in the Downtown Transit Center. I dashed to the 41 bus (all buses this day King County Metro Transit) and took it to Northgate Transit Center. I walked along Northgate Mall (one of the few remaining malls that calls itself a mall and not a Centre/Town Centre/Shopping Centre/Place, etc.) and visited Barnes & Noble. Heading east and then south I got a drink at 7-11 and then some DVDs at Reckless Video. As I returned to Northgate Transit Center I saw some of the construction on the upcoming light rail stop. I took a 75 bus to the University of Washington. In the U District I visited the Wall of Death (sign held up by spikes), Half Price Books (got DVDs), and Scarecrow Video (ditto; it's now a non-profit and that's what's keeping it alive). I took photos of the former location of Cinema Books but the only sign of what it once was, was a giant movie photo among the packed boxes. I ate lunch at Jack in the Box; it was my first meal there so I didn't realize until it was too late that a medium meal is an upsize. I visited the Dreaming comic shop, Al's Music Video Games, the former location of Comic Stop, Neptune Music, University Bookstore, Bulldog News, and Magus Bookstore.

[NOW: Seattle’s last Half Price Books is now closed.]

I took a 71 bus to near Warren Magnuson Park; the 75 takes you closer but I was glad I took the 71 because the stop is at the top of a hill, so you get a nice view of the park and Lake Washington. I took a while to cross from the street side to the Lake Washington side of the park but managed to get in a lake swim when I did. I wandered there a while and returned via the north side so I could see the Sound Garden through the fence (it was the inspiration for the Sound Garden band name). No wind so no sound this time. I crossed through a garden called the P-Patch to the street; this is near the lengthy off leash area; the view of Sound Garden is in the off leash area. I took a 75 bus back to Northgate Mall, then a walk to Greenwood that was longer than expected. I walked along the parade route for the Greenwood Parade about to start, grabbing dinner at Subway at one point. I sat near the start of the parade.

The parade was more subdued than usual. The motorcycle cops and Keystone Kops seemed to be going through the motions, the Seafair Clowns and Pirates were okay (the pirates shot their cannon as usual). Ronald McDonald made a valiant effort to drum up some excitement but being a corporate mascot, people weren't responding as well as the actor would likely have liked. The Western Vigilantes bouncing trunk was cute as usual. No horses, dogs, or Lincoln’s Toe Truck this year.

After seeing the end of the parade, I headed south towards a nearby bus stop after the rerouting. As with 2013, no sign of clowns outside Bleachers Pub sadly. This time I tried something different: one year a 5 bus arrived promptly, but it's usually a long wait after the Greenwood Parade. So this time I dashed to Aurora Street, and an E Rapidride bus arrived soon after. I took it to near Seattle Center. The International Fountain was still closed. Physically tired. Luckily only really long day (tomorrow) then three quieter days before the trip home.

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