04 August 2009

"Building character" in Seattle and Tacoma

I came up to visit friends in Seattle for a week - when you're unemployed, it doesn't much matter where you go or for how long - and I picked a good weekend to visit. The last week in July / first weekend in August is when Seattle hosts Seafair, which is a celebration of all things related to their many waterways. In the weeks, and even months, before Seafair, there are parades and various events to build anticipation, and at the beginning of the week, several military ships arrive that are opened up to the public for tours. The highlight of the whole shebang is the air shows that take place over the weekend, interspersed with hydroplane boat races. Most of these photos are on my camera, so I'll need to post them later, but here are some pictures from Seafair and my other excursions to hold you over.

1. I brought my bike up here with me and I'm glad I did as I've had some lovely bike rides around the city. One took me around the top of Lake Union, past GasWorks park, and over a drawbridge into Downtown Seattle.

GasWorks park used to be some sort of industrial park, but they took it and made it into a lovely public park. The infrastructure of the industry that was here still remains.

The route around Lake Union took me past the Westlake marina district, which was full of all sorts of boats and houseboats.

2. Over the weekend, when I wasn't watching planes, I went to Tacoma to visit the Glass Museum. This adventure was worth it simply to sit in the glass-making workshop to see how they make glass. I probably could have sat there for hours.

Gratuituous architectural photo of the outside of the Glass Museum.

Inside the "Hot Shop", where they blow glass. It was, indeed, quite hot, but it was also really cool! (hardee har har)

3. This is the one photo currently available from Seafair. See the Blue Angels streaking across the middle of the photo, just above the boats? Awesome.

4. More gratuitous architecture photos. This is the Chapel of St. Ignatius, designed by Steven Holl. It's nice. That's about all I can muster right now, as dinner awaits me. More later.

5. Last but not least... I mentioned I brought my bike with me, and this allowed me the opportunity to take a long bike ride today on Seattle's famous Burke-Gilman trail. I took frequent stops because I got distracted, both by the need to hydrate and by the need to look at the lovely houses along the edge of Lake Washington, on the eastern side of the trail where I rode. I found this house right after I turned around in the middle of my 21-mile trip. Shortly after I took this picture, I took a rather nasty spill on a rough edge of the trail that kind of snunk up on me. I was lucky in that I just landed on one knee and bruised the inside of the other. I got up, made a tourniquet for the bloody knee, shook it off, and rode another 7.5 miles. I call these types of incidents - and the subsequent scars - "building character". I am sharing with you the photo of the house I saw but not the picture of my battered knee, because it's gross.

This house is obviously designed, but not lived in, by an architect.

Back to Portland tomorrow!

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