Gray and Red in Seattle

I always thought Petula Clark had it right, “when you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can always go.. downtown!” I liked the song back in the sixties and even then as a kid I’d hop on a bus downtown for 20 cents.  With another dollar or two I could shop and eat at Woolworths and have a full day of cheap entertainment.  Little did I know at the time  I would spend more than 30 years working in downtown Seattle, whether lonely or not.  It wasn’t always as great as the song, but it wasn’t bad either. The work was mostly interesting, my coworkers mostly pleasant, and the coffee always good and plentiful, especially as the years went by and a Starbucks appeared in every lobby.

This week I headed downtown to attend the retirement party of a former coworker.  It had been a while. My husband dropped me off at the light rail and I emerged from the tunnel in downtown Seattle 30 minutes later.  It was icy cold but I walked to the Sculpture Park soaking in the sights and sounds, both old and new, around town. Today the vibe was gray and red. 

The wheel was a nice addition to the waterfront and provides something new for the tourists to do. The ferries still run faithfully back and forth across the Sound while the red cranes add background color.

By the time I made it to the Olympic Sculpture Park tiny snowflakes were falling, my face was frozen and I wondered why I’d left my hat and gloves at home.  I hurried through the park but still caught the Space Needle through the Eagle.

Honestly, the Space Needle doesn’t look quite like itself these days. while being renovated with a glass floor underneath the revolving restaurant. Guess I won’t be eating there again – though truth be told I only dined there 3 times in as many decades.

I picked up the pace for the long walk back but still found a giant cherry popsicle –  my kind of sculpture.

I found more pops of color at Westlake where food trucks are now a thing.

Nearing my destination, I came across the Seattle Public Library and finally appreciated its peculiar shape.

I made it to the Seattle Municipal Tower where my own party had been on the 40th floor some six years earlier.  I stopped at the window just as I had many times before on the way to my office.  On a clear day you can see Mt. Rainier; early in the morning the sunrise is spectacular, as it was in this photo before I retired.

I wished my friend well – the best computer programmer we ever had I told him.  It was a short party of cake and words (this is government after all) and soon the working folks were off to a meeting and invited me to come along.  No thanks, I said, I have no interest in attending a configuration meeting.  Neither do we, they laughed!  And so, we parted, I happy to be retired, they probably wishing they were. Okay, I admit I occasionally miss working; the camaraderie, lunches out, walks on the waterfront; and the satisfaction of accomplishments that can be measured.  Still, I wouldn’t go back.  Except for another lunch, which I promised them I would do this spring.

~ Susanne

27 Comments on “Gray and Red in Seattle

  1. Okay, the giant popsicle got me! And red, oh so red! I thought you must have photoshopped it in, how is it even standing, must have a brace behind. Incredible building photo with all the lines. Funny, how each town has it’s own peculiar, interesting objects that stand out.

  2. You photographic eye is definitely developing, Susanne. Some great shots here, and finding the splashes of red in the grey was just perfect.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. Great photos…I have not been impressed with downtown Seattle my last few times there, but when you find the right places, it can indeed be magical

    • thanks John .. I know what you mean.. I actually liked the popsicle sculpture and Westlake Park more than the Sculpture Park.. but I probably didn’t stay long enough to appreciate it.. too cold! 🙂

  4. The World’s Fair in Seattle was so exciting to me as a teenager, especially the Space Needle. What an optimistic future that Fair promised.

    • I was pretty young but have vague memories of attending the fair. Fortunately we still enjoy the Space Needle and Pacific Science Center that remain.

  5. Some great photos there – the popsicle, the library buildings and the food truck at Westlake, especially. There is so much atmosphere in the food truck shot and the contrast between the bright red and the grey works really well. I also like the effect of the popsicle against the tree branches and the angles you chose for the library pics 🙂

    • Thanks Ros! It was fun to walk through town and see new things and old things in a new way! The red helped to brighten up the cold gray day. 🙂

  6. Wow I love the red popsicle!! I have never been to Seattle but it looks like a pretty place. I feel the exact same way about being retired after 30 years of teaching! 😀

    • I think the popsicle was my favorite too! It’s fairly new (2011) and I’d never seen it before. Seattle is a pretty nice place, especially the surrounding mountains and Puget Sound, if you can live with the rain. I grew up here so I’m used to it. Happy that we understand each other on retirement! 🙂

  7. Beautiful pictures! Seattle seems like a city with a lot of character.

  8. I’ve never been to Seattle, but it’s on my bucket list. My nephew works there and my in-laws have visited the city, and they all rave about it. I love the popsicle!!

    • Thanks for your comment! It’s a beautiful city and fun to visit especially in summer and fall. It’s even better if you can get to some of the nearby national parks while you’re here. 🙂

  9. Beautiful photos. I love that song Downtown by Petula Clark. It reminded me of my childhood time in my home country. Thanks for sharing.

  10. I have family in Seattle. I love your city in July and August! I need sun and Seattle’s miniature “sun breaks” much of the rest of the year don’t do it for me. The popsicle looks fun. Like the Picasso in Chicago.

    • Thanks for your comment! 🙂We do have a few good months, often into October. But I agree our rain and gray skies aren’t for everyone. I often need to escape somewhere sunny during the winter.

  11. Reminds me of my month in Seattle in February one year (via Amtrak both ways). Montana was cold, too, ha!

  12. Love the contrast in the image with the red “Ice Lolly”…Like you, Susanne I love meeting with friends who are still working but love my retirement 🙂

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