Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Please Seperate Plastics from Paper

Um, can anyone say laid back? My impression of Seattle is that it marches to it's own beat, it's decidely lovely and there seems to be little of the usual passive aggressive undertones you find in many cities.

Perhaps temper that with the fact that this is literally 'the end of the line'. Long distance freight trains that come here end here. If you happen to be a railroad hobo, there isn't much farther for you to go unless you don't mind getting wet. There are a lot of homeless people in Seattle, and the liberal minded north west is kinder than other parts of the US. It's a unique problem as many arrived homeless. And with that way of life, the city has more than it's fair share of vagrants. It's disturbing how easy they blend into the city, how easy it is for them to become invisible.

All that said, its a refreshing place. The Puget Sound figures hugely in the cities geography. Its a nice reminder that we haven't destroyed all of nature just yet. It's a city dedicated to reusing, recycling, free-cycling and composting. This might explain why most of the people I've seen, at least downtown, appear to be tourists. The locals are all at home seperating plastics from glass and tending to water filtration systems.

I've taken a walk up to the diverse Capitol Hill, Seattle's equivalent of New York's Village. With a big dose of artsy-ness, there are lots of cafe's, bars, clubs and book stores, a smattering of tattoo parlours and a heady mixture of liberalism. Don't tell anyone from Alabama though, they'll 'send up the boys' and sort this place out in no time.

The city home of the long running comedy 'Frasier', Seattle also boasts the Elliot Bay Bookstore. It is not only an incredible warren of wooden bookshelves, but it's cafe was the model for the one appearing in the tv show itself. It's also exactly what a bookstore should be. Afterhours (read 'lock-in') poetry readings wouldn't be out of place here. Once they release you, check out all that nearby Pioneer Square has to offer.

Amuse yourself along the harbour front, dip into the buzz of Pike Place Market and walk a short distance down 1st Avenue and your in the Seattle Art Museum.

You'll find flavours to suit every taste bud so there is little chance of losing weight if your an expanding gastronome such as myself. You can try and work it off by taking advantage of this citys walking and biking trails and if your destination is across the city, unusually, you can take your bike on the bus.

If your at all human, its hard not to like Seattle.


Rosemary said...

Are you employed by the tourist board or something?!

And just because you're on holiday doesn't mean you can lose all sense of grammar!!

TheKenster said...

How did a city like Seattle give birth to Grunge? Did a train-load of homeless people get off the train, sit around, do a bunch of drugs and hey-presto?

I bet there is a Museum of Grunge hidden somewhere between the tattoo parlours and coffee shops....

Simon said...

Nice tips for Seattle... I wrote about your post here because I thought it was pretty useful for other travel-types: ...although New York? Past it? Bold claim, man, bold claim..!