Note from 2015: This was originally a page about Seattle on the 12 Cities, 1 Year website, which no longer exists. All the pages and posts from 12 Cities, 1 Year, can be found on this site or on Todd Bradley’s Galaxy. See the main 12 Cities post for more information. You can also search for Seattle posts.

Thoughts about Seattle

“The best thing about Seattle is that you can drive right through it.”

—Pete Eaton, Fan Dancity Fotos, Everett, Washington (referring to the difficulty of getting into, and especially out of, downtown Seattle)

For the record, Beth does not agree with this opinion. She liked Seattle a lot. Todd probably has more sympathy for this opinion after driving to Olympia and back.

What we’ve noticed about Seattle and its residents:

Neighborhoods in Seattle contain just about everything you could ever need. We decided it had something to do with the geography of the area. It’s easier to stay in a small neighborhood than to cross the lake or go up a big hill. My cousins confirmed this theory. They live in a neighborhood only a few minutes from Ballard by car, and they hardly ever go there.

Ballard is pretty white; Fremont seems that way as well. The International District/Chinatown, the first part of Seattle we encountered, has a large Asian population and is in general more diverse than Ballard.

People in Ballard wait for the light to change before crossing the street.

Homeless people sleep in the doorways along NW Market Street in Ballard, getting up and moving on about 8 or 9 in the morning. Beth prefers that level of tolerance to the “Missoula discourages panhandling” signs she saw while in Montana. (People in Missoula told her that homeless come to Missoula from all over the state.) She thinks Americans should leave that kind of poverty in plain sight so we don’t forget about it.

Things we did in Seattle:

  • Went up the Space Needle. It wasn’t nearly as bad as Beth had feared.
  • Went to the Sunday Ballard Farmers Market.
  • Joined Ballard Health Club: each of us got 1-month memberships. Beth got some training from Brandon Dorr, who works there with his wife.
  • Attended a team championship for the Tilted Thunder banked track roller derby team in Everett. While Beth was there, she met two photographers, Pete Eaton (Fan Dancity Fotos) and Steve Messerer (Eric von Flickr). Pete had never shot roller derby before; he usually takes pictures of ballroom dancers. Beth was the only female photographer at the bout.
  • Todd went to the Museum of Flight, adjacent to Boeing Field.
  • Walked part of the Lake Washington Loop with Beth’s cousin Peggy.
  • Went to the University Village mall, a very upscale mall. Beth walked into one shop and picked up a pair of shoes. They cost $300! They were blue; she’s been wanting blue shoes. They were beautiful! She put them down and walked out. Too much temptation.
  • The cupcake store at the UV mall rivals Cupcake Royale. Blue C Sushi, a conveyor-belt sushi place…well, let’s just say it’s no match for Magnolia in Lafayette, Colorado.
  • Went to the Ballard Locks and then had lunch at La Isla, a Puerto Rican restaurant on NW Market. Beth went back to the locks the next day and photographed them when it was foggy. While there, sitting downstairs at the fish ladder viewing area, she heard a man in bike cleats mention that the salmon start migrating in large numbers in the fall.
  • Attended a flat-track bout between the Rat City Roller Girls and the Puget Sound Outcasts, one of the 16 men’s teams in the nation. Three of the men fouled out or were ejected. Rat City stilled kicked their asses. One member of the Outcasts predicted that next year there would be 50 men’s teams, all flat track.
  • Beth chose Ray’s Boathouse for her birthday dinner. It’s on Puget Sound on the western end of Ballard.
  • Ate twice at Senor/Cafe Moose, a restaurant with all sorts of regional Mexican specialties. Beth reviewed it on Beth at Home and Abroad.
  • Attended a flat-track bout between Rat City All-Stars and Cincinnati. RCRG won.
  • Took the ferry to Bremerton and back.  Got to eat Belgian style fries and drink a lambic at Fritz.  And on the way back, we saw all the lights of Seattle.
  • Toured Fremont as part of the Fremont Walking Tour of public art.  Saw the rocket, the Lenin statue, “Waiting for the Interurban,” and the famous troll under the bridge.
  • Elevated to the top floor of the library and walked down the innovative spiral of book stacks. Enjoyed the amazing architecture.
  • Beth walked down from the library to the edge of the water, and then walked back up 7 blocks, trying to get to the top of the hill. At the entrance for I-5, she noticed somewhat smaller hills around 9th or 10th and decided she had done enough. She still doesn’t know how long it would take to walk all the way up what used to be the bluffs above the mudflats, now covered by downtown Seattle.

 Things we didn’t do:

  • Take the duck tour
  • Buy a kilt at the Utilikilt store
  • Visit Sierra Designs and the original REI
  • Tour the art museum

Comments from the original page on 12 Cities, 1 Year

  1. Todd: Lisa suggested this: I don’t want to forget about the Ballard Trolls…it is a little town up from Seattle…there are locks there and under some bridges there are some troll sculptures…it is a very cool artsy place when you are up this way
  2. Betty Bradley: Tacoma is so close, you need to take the time to visit their glass museum.
  3. Dan: I’d suggest going on one of the duck boat tours around the city – I did that a while back and it was a lot of fun!
  4. Derrell: You didn’t get a kilt? You fool!
  5. Steve: Beth, it was great meeting you when you were in town. I’m still taking derby photos and getting slightly better…slightly.
  6. Beth: Steve, I must confess, to my shame, that I haven’t finished editing the derby photos from Seattle. I’m still planning to post them on Flickr, but I got overwhelmed by the number of photos I took. Yours look good.


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