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*seattle, washington*

1 July 2011

It’s never sufficient to sum up a place in one paragraph. I also won’t attempt to do so, because I feel like we missed the essence of Seattle on our one night there in June last year. It’s frustrating for me to leave a city and not feel that I’ve walked, breathed, photographed and eaten in a way that enriches my understanding of a city’s heart. Perhaps we would have experienced it the way we wanted to with more research beforehand. I know that those who love the city, love it passionately, so this makes me think “something” or “somewhere” eluded us. We checked into our downtown hotel late on a Monday. After seeing the beautiful sunset over the water we searched for a restaurant. So easily adjusted to New York, we were not expecting to find so many places closed and the streets so deserted. We found ourselves in an area where I really didn’t feel comfortable looking so obviously like tourists. It was the only time on the holiday where I felt truly nervous about my surroundings. The next morning I resolved to start afresh with my first impressions of the city. It grew on me but I still think we missed visiting an area that truly resonated with us. By that I mean that I love to come to conclusions about what area would be one I’d live in. I would love your recommendations for what to see, eat and do in Seattle as it is quite possible we will find ourselves there again.

I am enamoured with the captures that I did make there with my mind and camera. My sense of taste can still recall the most amazing pear I’ve ever tasted from the fruit shop at the lively, historical, colourful Pike Place Markets. My diary of the trip shows my urban planning comments on the efficiency of the underground bus system and on the other hand decor commentary on the cute milk crates used as seats at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese!

The Amtrak Cascades train trip from Seattle to Vancouver WA was stunning, comfortable and I’d really recommend it. The sun was dropping slowly as we passed Tacoma’s famous bridge and many quaint houses built on the water. I would have loved to have slowly explored those homes with my camera and that lovely afternoon light. After disembarking the train we stood on ground level with the tracks waiting for our luggage. As the train moved away, it revealed the sun behind it that was shining its final rays on the day. It was surreal as we got into the big Dodge owned by our friends and drove down the one main street past our first small-town bail bonds lender. I’d never seen one and with the sun setting and being in a huge American car, I felt like I was in a movie.

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6 Responses
  1. July 1, 2011

    I know what you mean about feeling like you missed a city’s heart. For me, Chicago is that way. We drove through it, got lost in the Hispanic section, and I had a blood sugar crash. Somehow I missed whatever it was that makes Chicago magical.

    As for Seattle, we live fairly close, and I’ve been there several times. I was there at night on a band trip when a friend’s wallet was stolen. I marched in the King Dome right before they blew the roof off. I’ve walked along the pier, been up the Space Needle, seen the aquarium, been to the EMP and Pike Street Market. I’ve walked around in the rain. But I still think it feels kind of stand-offish. Cool. Unemotional. You can go there and get a really good cup of coffee; then you can leave again and not really care. It’s odd that way. That’s just my impression.

  2. July 1, 2011

    oooh i took some of the same shots when i was there 2 years ago! true story — i was never interested in photography until i went to seattle 2 years ago. i took my fiance’s years-old point-and-shoot (my first ever digital camera) and came back 4 days later bitten by the photography bug.

    i think you took some great pics, but sounds like you should definitely go back! plenty to explore.

  3. July 1, 2011

    Your photos are beautiful … and it sounds like you have the perfect reason to visit Seattle again some time.
    :)

  4. July 3, 2011

    These are beautifully shot. I am glad to have found your blog!

  5. July 3, 2011

    I have to say your photos are gorgeous and make me feel bad for never having considered going there. I think it is impossible to fall in love with every city, its what makes some places extra special.

  6. July 4, 2011

    Well, thank you for being sensitive to not having experienced my city in the single day you were here. Although, your photos do capture the taste of Seattle that Pike Place Market gives and I hope you enjoyed. I love the market! Even though I’ve been there countless times I always love to take visitors.

    I do think it helps to know a bit about a place beforehand. Just dropping into Seattle “cold” as it were would not give the best impression, nor would it in any city. Sounds like you were downtown after hours.

    Let me know next time you come. It’s a stunningly beautiful city with so much to do, we’ve never scratched the surface.

    xo – g

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