With a double decker freeway built right along a good portion of its waterfront, Seattle is reminiscing of San Francisco before its Embarcadero Freeway was removed. San Francisco’s Embarcadero Freeway obscured much of the San Francisco skyline. But the freeway was removed after suffering substantial damage during the Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989, resulting in opening up the area’s views and allowing sunlight to reach the ground. A renaissance then occurred in the newly uncovered district.
If Seattle could find a transportation alternative to its waterfront freeway, its waterfront would be rejuvenated. Views would be reestablished, light would again illuminate the sidewalks, and business would thrive. But where would the cars go?
The waterfront area, particularly around piers 55 and 56, can get very crowded and noisy in the summer. The dreadful Alaska Way, apart from being an ugly eyesore on Seattle's waterfront, also helps add to the noise level in this level.
To escape the crowds a little, detour into Waterfront Park, which is actually a pier with seating at the end and some relatively wide open space. A perch here affords pleasant views of the maritime activity in the sound and gives you time to catch your piece and munch on a take-away snack.
Favorite thing: One of my favorite things about Seattle was walking along the waterfront. It's even better on a good, clear day. The summer I experienced in Seattle was always sunny and warm. So just stroll along and take in all the waterfront has to offer. If you walk far enough you can see quite a bit. You can catch a ferry (I didn't) or see one of the little touristy shooping areas.
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!
Victor Steinbrueck Park is at the northern tip of Pike Place Market. It has very relaxed atmosphere. In the grass area you often see people reading, sun tanning, or taking a break from biking or jogging. The Park is decorated with totem poles to celebrate native culture. There are also some homeless people hanging around the Park.
The photo shows downtown skyline as seen from Victor Steinbrueck Park. It was a clear and sunny day, and you can see Mt. Rainer in the photo. You have to enlarge the photo and look hard. It's above the stadium buildings to the right.
bring both for seattles weather holds sunny breaks inbettween the rian showers...walking in the rain can be fun an less crowded .
Fondest memory: invite a friend , see the sound as you listen to the waves ...meet new folk , we friendly here just say hi ! an will welcome yall !
Favorite thing: Biking around San Juan Island is a lot of fun.It is pretty hilly, but not as crowded as those islands on the east coast. The views are great. You can see the Olympic mountains and mt. Baker with their white caps.
If you had never been to Seattle before, you absoulutely have to see the city view from Alki at night and watch the ferries glide elegantly over the water. It is so gorgeous!
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of Seattle was when I first moved here. I lived in this 1 bdrm. apt. with 5 people. It was on the corner of Olive St. in Seattle. I saw for the first time a person with paint on their face, and freaked out! I literally cried, I was so scared. Coming from a little town with a pop. of 400, it was some serious shock!
Only go in restaurants that are self-service. Otherwise you may have to tangle with Seattle waiters.
Fondest memory: The best policy is to trip them up before they get a chance to upset you.