13 August 2012

Seattle- the Emerald City


Seattle is the city of many things; Jimi Hendrix, Bill Gates, Sleepless in Seattle, Grey's Anatomy, The Space Needle and Starbucks' first coffee shop. To me Seattle is first and foremost a happening city, and rich in art, culture and history.
The photo above is from the wall of my dorm in the City Hostel Seattle. Calling themselves an art hostel; all the rooms are different and decorated by a variety of Seattle based artists. A tourist's first meeting with Seattle culture! 

View of Seattle from The Space Needle
It would be an exaggeration to say that Seattle is beautiful. It does however have plenty of charm and has a cool and relaxed feel to it, a great place to spend a couple of days.  

By the entrance to the Farmers' Market: Pike Place Market
The Pike Place Market is one of the oldest public farmers' markets in the US. It's open 362 days a year, and an important place of business for many small farmers, merchants and craftspeople. There's not much you won't find for sale in the big market building. Flowers, fresh food, arts and crafts, books,  music and movie- memorabilia, just to mention some. The first Starbucks has been a part of the market since 1971.
Iconic Pioneer Square











In the Great Seattle Fire in 1889 large parts of Seattle's wooden buildings were destroyed. Instead of rebuilding the city as it was, it was decided to rebuild the city in stone or brick, as well as lifting the city one to two stories up. The underground was quickly abandoned and later condemned for fear of plague. The Seattle Underground Tour takes you back underground to see some of the the alleys and passageways which were dug up to save and prove the significance of the Pioneer Square, Seattle's birthplace. 

The Space Needle at dusk
The Space Needle is an observation tower, a landmark and icon of Seattle. It stands 184 meters tall. From the observation deck you can observe the whole of Seattle including Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Elliott Bay and the surrounding islands. I went there just in time to see the sunset and the sky turn pink.       

Roots and Branches in the Guitar Gallery
Right by the Space Needle is the EMP museum, dedicated to popular music, science fiction and pop culture originating in Seattle. It displays a wide range of rock memorabilia. The picture above is from the Guitar Gallery. The sculpture; Roots and Branches is made up by instruments, mostly guitars. In the Sound Lab you can learn the basics of instruments, and On Stage is a simulator where you get the chance to see how it is to perform on stage. It's actually pretty realistic and all the booths were full when I was there. Apparently a lot of wannabe pop-stars out there. Fun for me who got to watch, definitely the high point of the museum.  

Café Nervosa in Frasier was modeled after The Elliott Bay café by Pioneer Square 













Seattle is also a great place to go out. For food, drinks or coffee; there are heaps of options. Try Belltown or Pioneer Square, and take part in a thriving Seattle.  







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