Seattle, October 2002
I flew out to Seattle to help my son, Sean, move back to Minnesota. My parents drove me to the airport very early in the morning, but not early enough to miss bumper-to-bumper traffic in the Twin Cities. I arrived at the airport with barely a minute to spare, and ran to catch my plane before the doors closed. Once on board, a flight attendant announced that there were some First Class seats available for an extra $75. My hand shot into the air: Pick me! Pick Me! The comfort of First Class helped to assuage my stress, which was pretty high by this time.
Sean picked me up at the airport, and we made a plan for getting his things packed and transported to Minnesota. In between packing, Sean took me to see some of the sights, including the Space Needle, Pike’s Market, and a bar or two.
Although we didn’t take the Space Needle, we enjoyed some of the other attractions at Seattle Center. There is the Experience Music Project, built only two years earlier, which celebrates modern film and and music, of special interest to Sean.
I loved the International Fountain, built for the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle, or Century 21 Exposition, and remodeled in 1995 to be more child friendly, with a splash area surrounding the fountain. It’s a popular attraction for visitors and residents of all ages.
We also visited the Seattle Japanese Garden, a 3.5 acre formal park built in 1960. Kiyoshi Inoshita and Juki Iida designed the project and supervised the construction. Most of the construction workers were local Japanese-American gardeners. Many of the granite rocks were brought in from the nearby Snowqualmi Pass. Located within the Washington Park Arboretum, it is a peaceful sanctuary in the city.
When I look through my photos, they are definitely of good quality, plus I wasn’t quite as fanatical about taking an excessive number of shots. Today’s digital camera could be cited as enabling this bad habit of mine. When I had to pay for processing, I was much more selective.
Pike Place Market was another delightful destination. This farmer’s market was established in 1907, the anchor of the historic district of Pike Place Neighborhood. The market includes food, of course, but also artwork and crafts by local artisans.The Pike Place Fish Market is known for fish throwing. Once a customer purchases a fish, it is tossed by a fishmonger to another employee to wrap the fish. This practice is accompanied by loud shouting back and forth.
There was not enough time to fully appreciate the attractions of Seattle, as we needed to get on the road. I’ll have to go back some day.