Saturday, June 2, 2018

Pacific Northwest Trip 2017 Day 14 Saturday July 29: Seattle: West Seattle, Torchlight Parade


This is the 14th of a series of posts dealing with my 2017 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”.

This is the worst Seattle trip I've been on, though hopefully it won't end as badly as 2008. As with yesterday it was okay today until later in the day. Last night I overheard that staff telling drop-ins that Green Tortoise had called and they were full as well. It is unwise to be a drop-in in Seattle or any major city in July.

[NOW: The hostel I stayed at was City Hostel Seattle.]

I got up around 5:45tish and walked along the parade route, photographing the setup. I learned that the area on the middle of the road by Westlake Center that I had been calling the VIP seating area is actually called the Grandstand. After doing this twice I returned to the hostel for breakfast and then resumed my walk around the route. At a point where I was tiring of doing this, as I'd hoped from past years, some of the floats came by6 escorted by the police. So it was kind of like getting a sneak preview, albeit going the opposite direction in daytime.

I went to Pike Place Market including Rachel the Pig and the collectables store from a few days ago, Rummage Around. I found that Lionheart Books was still there after all. 

I took a C Rapidride bus (all buses this day King County  Metro Transit) to Alaska Junction in West Seattle (West Seattle is part of Seattle, as per Ballard/Fremont/Wallingford). I bought a DVD set at Easy Street Records and also visited Pegasus Book Exchange and Merryweather Books. Back at the junction I noticed that my cell had somehow gotten seven minutes fast and so I adjusted. I took a 50 bus to Alki beach.

[NOW: Merryweather Books has now closed.]

There I visited the Birthplace of Seattle marker and the mini Statue of Liberty. There was some sort of event with tents at the beach, plus some sort of customer appreciation at Alki Bathhouse (no idea why it's called a bathhouse; no tubs etc. inside). I had lunch at Pepperdock Records, sitting outside to get a view of the beach and fresh air. A group of youths chose that spot to start talking about how unhealthy eating meat and drinking pop was, seemingly oblivious to me. I went across to the beach to lie on the hot sand, and people started to play their music too loud (if I want that I can go to Thetis Lake in Greater Victoria). Despite the music being too loud, I was pretty immobile for a little bit, likely due to the feet issue, but finally was able to move again.

I took a 775-becoming-773 bus to a spot where I transferred to a C Rapidride bus back to downtown Seattle. To my knowledge it had been around since I started doing my trips but never visited, so I finally visited Seattle Mystery Bookshop. As expected the limited range of subject meant no books for me but curiosity satisfied.

[NOW: Seattle Mystery Bookshop is now closed.]

I wandered around the parade route, passing the pool table that someone always brings to the parade.  I briefly stopped at the hostel to switch some batteries At Seattle Center, as per a few days ago (forgot to mention), Darth Vader and a Stormtrooper were there. The latter's armour was sun-yellowed. I checked out some floats' starting position there before relaxing at the International Fountain. While there I got a free blueberry fig from an Alaska airlines guy.

I did another walk along the parade route.  This time the people who bring a bunk, lamp, fridge I think, etc. were there. I again did a battery switch at the hostel. I grabbed dinner at Subway at KOMO Center. I had a feeling that the woman switched my sub with the people before me but thought I must be mistaken. I was hard to find seating where I could see the runners before the parade (apparently like me they skipped last year). There I noticed that the sandwiches had indeed been switched; still, other than the dressing (I like mine with no dressing) it wasn't bad, and I didn't want to lose my spot. I took photos of the joggers. The Repent guys were there again with the loudspeaker. The MC and the police did their part to quiet them down.

[NOW: I previously saw the Repent guys at the Greenwood Parade the previous Wednesday.]

I sensed something was off with the mother beside be so I went through great lengths to ensure her kids who were running around the road weren't in any of my shots. Despite this she complained to the police who said, "I need you to stop talking pictures of kids. Can you do that for me?" I explained that I hadn't but I don't think he believed me; I should have shown him the photos. Of course with the magic cameras that shoot in directions they're pointing away from, if a mother says it's true her accusations must be true. I moved on. while a brief away from the parade route having a meltdown a biker make a point of telling me "You're a loser." I found another spot without further incident though I remain in an agitated state to this moment.

[NOW: Keep in mind that by “to this moment” I mean when I wrote the first draft of this report last year. That is also why some of what I wrote above has some venom to it. I could have deleted/edited it but want to convey my state of mind from back then.]

The motorcycle point started the parade. There were various horses; five sets of multiple horses plus a single ride. The second set danced to music, one or two horses getting really into it.  As with two years ago, King County Metro Transit was giving out free bus passes (one ride; made sure I snagged it for tomorrow) Also saw the Lake City Western Vigilantes and later the Seattle Seafair Clowns. I got another "coin" from the Seattle Seafair Pirates, still firing their cannon from the Moby Duck. I also saw the Lincoln Toe Truck, shaped like a toe of course. Just as I was finishing this a staff member at the hostel saw I was agitated so we chatted for a bit so I feel a bit better now. Still on a scale of 1 to 10 I give this trip a 2 for both meanings of the number 2.

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