Not too many tourists visit Danny Park. I didn't plan to either. But it just happened so right before I left Seattle...
I was waiting for the shuttle bus to Vancouver at 8th and Bell. It suddenly came to me that, although I took plenty of photos from the top of Space Needle, I didn't have one photo of the Needle itself. (a philosophical dilemma?) So I walked around trying to find a clean shot, and I got it in Danny Park. The Park was small, low profile, but a good place to relax in the center of city.
See fish thrown through the...
See fish thrown through the air, drink the coffee by day and the microbrewed beer by night -- does life get much better? Coffee!! Yes, it is the home of Starbuck's but try Seattle's Best Coffee (really, that's the name of this chain!).
Belltown - between downtown and the Space Needle - has become a happening place in the last decade. And where the restauarants and bars have led, the yuppies have followed. Lots of new mid-rise condos have sprouted on what had been empty lots and unused warehouses. Fortunately, the city has planned wisely (for the most part), and there hasn't been the same kind of overbuilding here that you seem in some new urban neighborhoods - for example, Chicago's Streeterville. My friend Al lived in one of the new Belltown Condos before his recent marriage. It was interesting learning all about condo politics through him.
One of the things I always remember about Seattle is trying to find my way out of Pike Market so I could take the stairs down across the railroad tracks, under the elevated highway of Alaskan Way, and over to the piers along the waterfront. As a tourist, crossing under the Seattle highway always made me feel like I wasn't in the right area, like I shouldn't really be going there... like I was going to an industrial wasteland, and not the city's top attractions. However, this was the only way tourists and locals could access this part of the waterfront.
Unfortunately for Seattle, during the height of freeway construction in America in the 1950's, Seattle decided to construct a gigantic highway bypass system along its waterfront to accommodate the increasing use of automobiles. This highway was Alaskan Way. Despite having many of its tourist attractions located along this waterway, I felt like that the concrete of Alaskan Way overhead divided the downtown's waterfront from the city and took away from its charm. Surely, Seattle was picturesque, but as long as Alaskan Way existed where it did, I could always think of more attractive waterfronts. This waterfront certainly wasn't anything to write home about.
However, in the month of December in the year 2004, the Seattle mayor announced the plan to get rid of this eyesore called Alaskan Way on the downtown Seattle waterfront. Like the city of Boston, Seattle is planning to demolish the ugly elevated highway, burying it underground, tranforming the highway into a tunnel. This way the downtown core of Seattle will be opened up to the waterfront, connecting an integral part of the city with the rest of its landscape.
While the reconstruction of Alaskan Way is in part to replace the aging highway so that it's seismically stable, it'll also make Seattle's downtown waterfront more picturesque, and will only add to its attraction as a pedestrian-friendly city. Way to go Seattle!
You might be from the Pacific Northwest if:...
1. You know the state flower (Mildew).
2. You feel guilty throwing aluminum cans or paper in the trash.
3. Use the statement "sun break" and know what it means.
4. You know more than 10 ways to order coffee.
5. You know more people who own boats than air conditioners.
6. You feel overdressed wearing a suit to a nice restaurant.
7. You stand on a deserted corner in the rain
waiting for the "Walk" signal.
8. You consider that if it has no snow or has not recently erupted, it is not a real mountain.
9. You can taste the difference between Starbucks, Seattle's Best, and Veneto's.
10. You know the difference between Chinook, Coho, and Sockeye salmon.
11. You know how to pronounce Sequim, Puyallup, Issaquah, Oregon, and Willamette.
12. You consider swimming an indoor sport.
13. You can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese and Thai food.
14. In winter, you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark-while only working eight-hour days.
15. You never go camping without waterproof matches and a poncho.
16. You are not fazed by "Today's forecast: showers followed by rain," and "Tomorrow's forecast: rain followed by showers."
18. You have no concept of humidity without precipitation.
20. You can point to at least two volcanoes, even if you cannot see through the cloud cover.
21. You notice "the mountain is out" when it is a pretty day and you can actually see it.
22. You put on your shorts when the temperature gets above 50, but still wear your hiking boots and parka.
24. You have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain.
25. You think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or tourists.
26. You knew immediately that the view out of
Frasier's window was fake.
27. You buy new sunglasses every year, because you can't find the old ones after such a long time.
28. You measure distance in hours.
29. You often switch from "heat" to "a/c" in the same day.
30. You use a down comforter in the summer.