My wife and I recently returned from our first trip to Seattle, and we only needed an umbrella during half of our trip. We were there for my wife's conference, and while she was listening to lectures, I set out to photograph the city made so popular by grunge music, and that cafe up there....Star-something. While our hotel was in the business district, we spent most of our time in and around Pike Place. I am pretty sure I was the first tourist to take this shot.
Of course our first stop after seeing the mongers NOT toss fish at the market, was the famous gum wall in Post Alley. While I'm sure you have all seen the other 4, this did make it on the 2009 Top 5 Germiest Tourist Attractions list. The story goes that the owner of the Market Theater did not like patrons chewing gum in the theatre, so they started sticking it on the wall outside. I heard a similar story about the construction of the pyramid at Giza. The wall across from the great wall of gum currently only has two pieces of gum on it.....stuck on the "No gum this side....thank you" sign.
Also located just a stone's throw from the fish market is.....the FIRST Starbucks cafe. There is always a line to get in, and street performers vie for the position just out side the door. This woman MAY have been swaying to the gospel choir outside the cafe, but I'm pretty sure she just REALLY likes Starbucks. To be honest, the coffee is not "thank you lord" good, in my humble opinion. I found it strange that a barista at one of our local Starbucks could not tell me where the Peet's was located. It was two blocks away.
Just up the street a ways, across from Victor Steinbrueck Park (I believe......but it's not clear to me), there were a couple of street performers singing something that I imagine was music from the south. I don't remember, as they were just finishing up as I grabbed this photograph. Do you think that is where he keeps his cell phone.......if he has one?
I'm not sure if this bird was just singing along........or if it was mocking them.
The only time we left the Pike Place area was when we walked to the Space Needle. It was constructed for the 1962 World's Fair, and was the collaboration of businessman Edward Carlson, and architect John Graham. Carlson liked the idea of a giant balloon tied to the ground, and Graham was totally into flying saucers back then. The resulting building is 158 meters tall (without the antenna spire), it sways 1 inch per every 10mph gust, and was built in less than 10 months. That last part sounds impossible today. Three people have committed suicide by jumping from the Needle....but that was back in the 70's.
More impressive than the Space Needle, is the Frank Ghery building located near the needle. The Experience Music Project is just that......an experience. One critic of the building described it as "something that crawled out of the sea, rolled over, and died." Forbes magazine declared it one of the world's 10 Ugliest Buildings. I personally found it to be fascinating, and enjoyed the use of different colors on the facade.
Realizing that there were a few more adventures to cover from our Seattle trip, I've decided to finish our story in the next blog installment. Come back next time when we answer the question, "Is that a REAL Popsicle?"