Seattle Curiosities

So my roommate has this book with the title of it being “Seattle Curiosities”. Now I have not read it so I do not know the contents of it but I have thought about that title so much and think I could fill the book with it. So here goes (this could help prepare my family before their visit too):

Unlike most downtowns I have been to I feel like the intellectuals, or the typical “downtown” people, are not what you would expect. Quite the opposite actually. In Seattle (except for 1st Street near my office) the majority of the techies and business people are in Everett, Bellevue, and Redmond (Boeing, Amazon, Microsoft) and not actually in downtown Seattle. Instead the downtown area is overrun by tourists and even more so by homeless, near homeless, or those completely off their rocker. You do not want to find yourself waiting for the bus (especially the 358) at 3rd and Pine after say 7pm.

Tattoos. So many everywhere. Along with eccentric clothing, piercings, dyed hair, drag, tie-dyed. I think it is good that I lived in Ann Arbor to prepare myself.

The variety of people. Every neighborhood has such distinct character and personality yet they are so different.

The motels and trashy things along Aurora. I really don’t get how these businesses are surviving but I wish they wouldn’t and actually I have heard that they are going out of business and being removed. I feel perfectly safe at my place but do not like the kinds of folk the bus route attracts from farther down Aurora. And now that my bike was stolen it makes me even more skeptical of these businesses.

Why you can’t eat on the bus but you can have dogs on the bus. Maybe that is like comparing apples to oranges but it just seems strange to me.

The bus/subway tunnels. Is there any place else in the world that subways share their tunnels with buses? I actually think it is quite ingenius, at least for now until the light rail becomes a larger network and runs more frequently. Passengers get to be protected in a nice station and the buses don’t have to compete with the regular foot and road traffic. It still is just a sight to see a train come through and then a minute later five buses drive in.

Bus and subway tunnel in one.

How or why you would want to be a vegetarian or vegan in this city with all of the wonderful seafood, yet there are a lot of them.

The colorful houses and businesses. I remember that was the first thing I thought when I rode in on the Light Rail for my interview. I just thought the city was sooooo colorful. With the green grass and then the vibrantly painted buildings and the blueness of the water…maybe it was just that I was leaving Michigan in March so it was quite a contrast.

Houses really close to my neighborhood.

Houseboats…and why would you pay so flipping much for them. They look floating trailers to me.
Houseboats are obscurities to me.

The floating bridges. Seattle has two bridges that float! They connect Seattle to Mercer Island and Bellevue and get a lot of traffic. It is a crazy sight with bridges on stilts by the land and then they dip down to rest in the water. The newly proposed East Link will actually have one of the trains running on one of these bridges. So my main question is that if we are designing for a high sensitivity for seismic behavior for the tracks and the underground station, isn’t there any concern for what might happen when an earthquake hits and creates huge waves along these bridges?
I-90 floating bridge

The controversy over the proposed viaduct. So the current viaduct is apparently not safe enough to withstand the next earthquake yet people don’t want to rebuild it, or they want it built but only if it is a tunnel and doesn’t block the view of the beautiful waterfront, or just repair and upgrade the current viaduct, or build one exactly the same but new. I’m sooo confused on where people stand on this controversy but it has people all up in arms about it and really bashing the Seattle mayor (no one likes him by the way), and anyone I tell that I do tunneling asks me if I am responsible for this project. My answer: “No, thank God!”

The Fremont troll statues, the popsicle statue, the decorated palm tree under I-5, many other “landmarks”.

Fremont troll under the Aurora Bridge (aka my house)


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