Ballard Farmer's Market on Sunday
Every Sunday, rain or shine, an open street market operates in Ballard. Combined with the regular eccentric stores that line Ballard Avenue, you will find not just food (though naturally a good farmer's market provides a lot of good local food) but also a number of craft items as well.
Originally, Fremont was the location of the Sunday market, but according to local folklore (not ot mention the market web site) by 1999 the Fremont Market had grown so large that it finally burst in two, thus sending many of the crafts and a few of the farmers over to Ballard.
The market web site includes just about everything you need to know, including a blog and a section about "What's Fresh This Week".
The market is located between 20th Avenue NW and 22nd Avenue NW, south of Market Street.
- Arts and Culture
Ballard Locks Visitor's Center
There are a number of facilities that are part of what is called the "Ballard Locks"(though officially is called the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks): this includes the Locks themselves and the Carl English Botanical Gardens.
This tip covers the small museum and visitor's center display on the second floor of a building near the entrance to area of the locks that is open to the public.
The displays in the visitor's center are free of charge to enter and visit, but are not extremely extensive. There are:
1. History of various proposals to link Lake Washington to Puget Sound, including maps of the various routes proposed, and a brief mention of one of the failed efforts by a private group of investors to dig a tunnel to connect the two bodies of water.
2. A display devoted to Hiram M. Chittenden, who is described as a "visionary leader" of the effort to build the locks where they are today.
3. Tools, materials, and methods used to build the locks including some of the very large casting molds used to create various massive parts required, historic photographs with description of what is going on, and mock-ups of a few of the facilities required (such as the blacksmith shop of the efforts).
4. Scale models of the ships that go through the locks.
5. Natural resources found near the locks, including the salmon and other fish that go through the fish ladder, and other discussion of natural resources.
6. A discussion of how the locks work, including a small cross-sectional model view of the water levels and the locks and a description of the contols used to raise and lower the water levels.
7. A small theatre with various programs that show history and present day construction and operation of the locks.
I found the visitor's center to have some interesting information about the history of the locks, but the presentation would be better if these were actually located at the locks themselves. There are quite a lot of people that simply walk right by the visitor's center entrance without stopping in to see what is here, and thus miss the more extensive history and operational description of what is observed when watching the locks in action.
At the same time, reserving the room with all the treasures in it for those who actually look for it is probably better for the displays, as it means only those who really want to learn more about the locks visit this part of the facility.
While there were very few visitors to this room of historical and operational displays while I was there, the locks themselves were packed with people, and it would have been a bit harder to gain any historical perspective had those crowds been milling about in the historical displays.
My Hiram M. Chittenden Locks tip - as this is listed as a Seattle "Things to Do" activity in the existing VirtualTourist system, that is where I have put my entry as well.
My Carl English Botanical Gardens tip
My Commodore Park tip (this park is on the south side of the locks, and while maintained by the city of Seattle is basically part of the Locks complex, and provides viewing from the south side of ships entering the locks).
- Historical Travel