Trip Diary – Seattle IV

Outdoor & Indoor sculptures at the Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum
Outdoor & Indoor sculptures at the Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum

Slightly later than intended, one last post on Seattle. I started this out as a narrative, but it was just too long and I could tell I wasn’t going to finish it. So, a list with some annotations will have to suffice. Anyway, despite what you may think, I did in fact do more than just walk from cafe to restaurant to bar every day.

  • More photos than you care to look at are here.
  • Rat City Rollergirls home team championships! I don’t get to actually watch much roller derby these days so this was really fun, especially as I got to meet up with a friend who moved from Baltimore to Texas not long ago . . . she was in Seattle doing some wedding planning.
  • Argosy Tours harbor tour with my boss, very enjoyable.
  • I was in and around Seattle Center several times for various things, including part of the Northwest Folklife Festival.
  • I spent a day walking around Capitol Hill, the neighborhood I stayed in. I poked in and out of several shops, including Elliott Bay Books, the CakeSpy Shop and Stitches, Seattle’s great indie fabric store.
  • Naturally, I went to the Seattle Public Library’s Central Library, which was awesome. I did the audio tour, and took my time. I spent quite a bit of time shopping for gifts (and a couple of things for myself) at the Friends shop, which is very cool – it’s just a space made of shelves, but they’re modeled after compact shelving in libraries. (If you’ve ever been in a major university library, these are the kinds of shelves that you sometimes have to move, with a crank or a button depending on their age, to make a space to walk between them.) So when the shop is closed, all they have to do is close up the shelves and it’s in a little self-contained box. There are so many interesting things about the main branch – even if you’re not a librarian it’s worth popping in for a bit just to take in the atmosphere and look at the amazing details and cool art they have everywhere.
  • Chihuly Garden and Glass opened the week I arrived, and as Dale Chihuly is one of my favorite artists I was excited to get to go. The exhibits are beautifully staged, and the museum is set up to draw you through several stages of his development and career, watching how his work has changed overtime. You end up in the garden, which is lovely.
  • I of course went to the Space Needle, though I was told by more than one person that the view is better (and cheaper) from the Columbia Tower office building*. My ticket got me two admissions within 24 hours, so I got to see the view during the day and at night, which was nice. The night I was there, some lucky high school was having their prom in the restaurant and they had access to the observation deck.
  • I did the EMP museum, which was very cool. Lots of interesting interactive stuff that I didn’t get in to, but looked like fun if you were inclined to record yourself and etc. They had an exhibit on horror film that I actually spent quite a lot of time in as they had some interesting juxtapositions of critiques of an early film and then a later film that echoes or builds on it in some way.
  • I went through Pike Place Market a few times, just to take it all in. If you don’t like public markets you won’t at all be interested, but I like that kind of stuff so I detoured through it several times.
  • I wandered around Olympic Sculpture Park for a while, which has great art scattered around a park with phenomenal views out across the water.

All in all it was an awesome, awesome trip and I’m so glad I was able to do it. If you’ve ever had any desire to visit Seattle – do what you need to do to make it happen. It’s a great city and I did not want to leave!

*Part of why I didn’t take that advice was that when my boss and I bought our tickets for the harbor tour, I instead purchased a Seattle City Pass. I hadn’t been planning on doing this, since I was only planning on doing two of the things in the booklet. But since the City Pass includes a harbor tour coupon, I went for it. Financially, this was barely worth it for me. However, I did get to skip the ticket line at the Space Needle, so that was nice. I’d say that if you’re definitely planning on doing at least three of the things included in the book, check the math and consider getting the City Pass. But if you’re not sure, don’t. I saw that some of the attractions offered combo tickets (harbor cruise & aquarium deal, Chihuly & Space Needle, for example) so look for that instead.