On Wednesday, November 2, 2016, I flew to Seattle to attend and present at a training for the National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives. The trip was so short that I never adjusted to the time and was up every day by 4 a.m.
Prior to my departure, I booked a photo tour with Totally Seattle Tours for the break of dawn on Friday morning when I would be free for a few hours. This was a great decision. Kay Rodriguez, the tour guide, knows Seattle intimately and freely shares her love of photographing the area. She took us to locales where we could see the iconic Seattle sites.
To get beautiful and spectacular views of Seattle as the sun rises, Kerry Park was the perfect place to begin our Tour. From Kerry Park, one gets magnificent views of the Seattle skyline with the famous Space Needle, downtown, the beautiful Puget Sound and West Seattle. On clear days, like Friday, one also gets a view of Mountain Rainer in the distance.
Our next stop was Marshall Park, a green oasis that offers a slightly different but still magnificent view of the Puget Sound and the Cascades in the distance. At this point, there was a thick fog in the horizon, that to my eyes, made for challenging but fun photo taking.
We next visited the Fremont Troll, a big, fearsome, car-crushing bruiser, who took up residence under the north end of the Aurora bridge on Halloween 1990. The Troll was sculpted by four Seattle area artists. The head-and-shoulders sculpture is 18 feet tall. The shaggy haired troll glares southward with his shiny metal eye. Could that be a hubcap? In his left hand, he crushes an old style Volkswagen Beetle, which originally contained a time capsule of Elvis memorabilia that was removed after the car was vandalized and the California license plate was stolen. He was quite the sight to behold.
Gas Works Park in Seattle is a 19.1-acre public park on the site of the former Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant. It is a wonderful spot to walk, fly kites and view history. I thoroughly enjoyed the visit there. The view from the top of the hill, where there is a spectacular sun dial, was a favorite as was the sheer size of the gasification machinery.
What would a visit to a new locale be without a visit to a Frederick Law Olmsted park? Those of you who have visited Rochester have been to at least one of his parks. Highland Park, which abuts onto Bellevue Drive, was designed by him. New Yorkers, of course, enjoy Olmstead’s great creation, Central Park. At Washington Park, I especially enjoyed walking the gorgeous Japanese tea garden. Given the season, the colors are extremely vibrant and almost surreal.
Our final stop was to the Seattle Public Library, designed by Rem Koolhaas. The library, which opened in 2004, is an impressive building that combines futuristic lines with the functionality of a library. Allegedly, before completing the design of the building, Koolhaas met with representatives of Microsoft, Amazon and other organizations to discuss the future of books and the library. In a modern world dominated by the Internet and digital media, conventional book seemed headed for oblivion. However, after many months of investigation Koolhaas concluded that the "book" was very far from being a thing of the past. Koolhaas created a fourth floor soothing red room as a transition to 'spirals'. Instead of books on different shelves and floors, the spiral incline allows a continuous row of books that make them " easy to navigate.” Check out the pics below of both the outside and inside of the library.
Finally, the growth in Seattle is staggering. There are currently 65 major construction projects in the city. Everywhere one goes, old and new interact.