Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Seattle's Olympic Sculpture Park

So Right!

Last week I had the good fortune of spending a couple of days in Seattle. After three months of searing Arizona heat, a day or two spent enjoying blue skies and 78° temperatures was tonic.

While I was grinning at my good fortune, my Seattle friends were complaining bitterly about "just one more Seattle summer that never arrived".

Since the parking for my rental car was paid for in the hotel, I decided to walk to my meetings. The walk was lovely. I walked from Lower Queen Anne, through the gentrification of Belltown, the eccentricity that is the Pike Place Public Market (including the original Starbucks,) and on to Pioneer Square. 

After a full productive day as I retraced my steps back to my hotel, I passed the Seattle Art Museum's (SAM) Olympic Sculpture Park just as the sun was setting. 

I don't know why, but I had never explored this park before. Shame on me.

It is another example of the Puget Sound's most famous computer bazillionaire's (Paul and Bill) being philanthropic.

The Park Neatly Knits Together Scraps of Post Industrial Land 
Zig Zagging Over Busy Roads and Rail Lines
Successfully Joining the Regrade With The Waterfront

As I explored the free (yes I said free) park I found the whole experience marvelous. Sadly, I was still "without camera" as my old Olympus croaked last week in Venice. So my pictures here are the best I could muster with my I-Phone.

The park itself spans over a major highway and the waterfront rail spurs all the way down to the waterfront. Along the way there are many sculptures and lots of red chairs (that you can pick up and move wherever you want!)

As I entered the park I passed many families setting out blankets for picnic dinners. Some brought food, others were buying dinner from the various food wagons in the park.

This Pig Can Party!

Me, I snagged a red chair, securing a spot next to "The Eagle" (Alexander Calder's 1971 giant orange steel sculpture) which graciously shielded me from the setting sun,) while affording a perfect venue to people watch as the sun drifted away.

A Perfect Place to Watch People and Soak Up A Sunset

Some of Seattle's Avionic Handiwork 
Emerges From Behind a Giant Sculpture

Thirty years ago I lived on the south slope of Queen Anne, just a few blocks from my hotel. In those formative (code: financially broke) days, I walked (rain or shine) to work. In 1979 this area was filled with sailor bars, barf, and plenty of squalor. Now it is filled with yuppies and art.

Go figure.

Blue Skies and Seattle's Most Famous Icon

The Scale of Some Of The Sculptures Was Astounding

Well I guess timing is indeed everything. And I honestly cannot think of anywhere I would have rather spent the waning hours of September 8th, 2011.

So, after an invigorating walk I ventured on to Kidd Valley in lower Queen Anne for a big old cheeseburger and bag of deep fried battered mushrooms.

Probobaly ingested a sufficient amount of grease to trim at least a year off my life.

Totally worth it!

Roadboy's Travel's © 2011


IniquitousFish said...

I love that pig.
I truly do.

Cassieopia said...

I remember your place there in Seattle. And I remember the original Starbucks in Pikes and going there before it went viral. There are some things about the passage of time I really like, and one of those is the sense of history and weight that even the simplest memories have.