It wasn’t supposed to be like that.
Brilliant sun and a cloudless sky marked my days in Seattle. Like San Francisco and Vancouver (see my post here), Seattle has that feeling that the gold rush just went bust. Yes, it is a highly successful town, but there’s something seedy about it – the SROs, seedy hotels, wanderers.
Pike Place Market was full of tourists. I found Piroshky, Piroshky, a Russian pastry place, where I could have a more savory breakfast, picking a sauerkraut, cabbage, carrot, and onion stuffed piroshky from among the heady goodness on offer. But beyond the market, I’m not sure where the tourists went.
I wandered to the train station, surprisingly getting two for one. The 1906 King Street Station, out of which Amtrak’s Cascades, Empire Builder, and Coast Starlight trains operate, was getting a much needed makeover. Inside the waiting room, acoustical tiles had been removed from the dropped ceiling frame, revealing the incredible plaster work above. I exited the station, staring at a building across the street that indicated a transit past. Union Station, built in 1911, houses a grand swoop of a main hall, as well as the offices of Sound Transit, the commuter service. No trains have called there since 1971. I love that – trains don’t stop somewhere, they call.
Thankfully, friendly folks at the Seattle Art Museum took those of us working there under their wing, and I got to see more of Seattle. We went up to Capitol Hill (just a ruse, it was named Capitol Hill to lure the Capitol building there, but alas, it didn’t happen) to a bar with an alien art show (complete with interactive abuction lighting foot pedal!!) and to Cafe Presse, French and fabulous.