Gasworks Park

This 20 acre point on Lake Union was cleared in 1906 to construct a plant to manufacture gas from coal – later converted to crude oil. Import of natural gas in the 1950’s made the plant obsolete. The city acquired the site for a park in 1962. The park was opened to the public in 1975. The boiler house has been converted to a picnic shelter with tables, fire grills and an open area. The former exhauster-compressor building, now a children’s play barn, features a maze of brightly painted machinery.


Click for larger image


Click for larger image


Click for larger image


Click for larger image

You know, food tastes much better when you’re revolving


Click for larger version

The ultimate destination on Tuesday was the Seattle Space Needle.

Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, The Space Needle is 605 feet (184 m) high and 138 feet (42 m) wide at its widest point and weighs 9,550 tons. In other words it quite large. Not Eiffel Tower large, but large enough.

The building you see in the first picture is the Experience Music Project, a construct designed by Frank Gehry who is well known for such notable architectural marvels like the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.

Upon arrival we were ushered into an elevator and whisked to the observation deck. The weather is so good and the sky is so clear we had a great view of the surrounding area. Puget Sound, Mt. Rainier, the downtown cityscape was all in clear view.


Click for larger version


Click for larger version

We didn’t have much time on the observation deck before we were notified that our table was ready.
Moving into the dining room we were seated in short order and I just took in the view.

The restaurant revolves once every 47 minutes so during the course of the meal you get the full panorama plus a little extra.
Our reservation put us there in time to enjoy the single most spectacular sunset I have ever had the pleasure to witness.


Click for larger version


Click for larger version

Once the sun goes down the restaurant transforms into a very cool space


Click for larger version

We all had a lovely dinner followed by the most interesting desert I have ever experienced, the World Famous Lunar Orbiter which is basically an ice cream sunday that spews smoke all over your table when it is served. It’s really quite fun and it even makes a 60’s sounding space noise that’s hard to describe. It’s been a Space Needle favorite since it opened.

After dinner we retired back to the observation deck and enjoyed the view


Click for larger version

A spectacular evening reconnecting with old friends…

Fremont Troll

My friend Rich and his family took me on a whirlwhind Seattle tour before dinner last night and one of the “must see” attractions is, apparently, the Freemont Troll.

The troll is located under the under the north end of the Aurora Bridge and you just don’t fully grasp the enormity of the sculpture when you first see it.

That is, until you realize that it’s a REAL Volkswagon Beetle in his hand…

Who Needs The Kwik-E Mart?

As you may have heard or read about, many 7-11’s around the country have been remodelled to look like The Kwik-E Mart from the animated television show The Simpsons.

As you could probably guess, this is part of a nationwide promotion for the upcoming Simpsons movie.

Sadly, the closest one to home is in Dallas. There is, however, one here in Seattle.

My old friend Rich who I haven’t seen in over 15 years suggested we swing by before our reunion dinner at the Seattle Space Needle.

Ok, I know I am a dork/nerd/geek but I don’t care. I was pretty excited to see this place.

Apu greeted us as we entered

Ok, he doesn’t LOOK like Apu, but I think he DOES sort of look like Hank Azaria who does the voice work for the Apu character. “Apu” was having the time of his life, getting photographed and declaring himself WORLD FAMOUS! Customers were coming in and taking his picture and offering money to buy his uniform. And yes, as we left he said “Thank you, come again!” We died laughing. It was like going to a rock concert featuring a band you love and hearing them play your favorite song as the encore.

The store was stocked to overflowing with many products you would expect to find at the local Kwik-E Mart.

Krusty-O’s

Donuts with sprinkles

Buzz Cola

A Squishee machine!

And sundry items of various humor

I was tempted by many things, but settled on a single Buzz Cola and a Radioactive Man #1

Best – Promo – Ever

Seattle – First Impressions

Arrived in Seattle with no problem. Got checked into the hotel and had some time to casually look around a bit.
I’m happy to report the whereabouts of all the missing Texas sunshine.

Yay for being in an environmentally conscious blue state!
Cab from the airport was natural gas powered, company office uses real coffee cups and does not have ANY plastic utensils of any kind.
Each desk has a trash can AND a recycle bin. Seattle makes Austin look like an eco-terrorist.

Did the Underground Seattle tour.

That was interesting. I heartily recommend it for any history buffs visiting this city. No gnomes or trolls, I swear!

Back above ground, it’s pigs everywhere. No, not living swine. You know how in Houston we have those painted bulls? And more recently the painted boots? In Seattle it’s pigs…

No one I have talked to can explain why a pig…

Later in my wanderings I discovered this street sign:

That wouldn’t work in Houston. Our drivers can’t seem to read the most rudimentary speed limit signs or interpret street-lights. How would they ever understand where to park with a sign like this? Of course it could be intended as a deterrent to those who might be wanting to drive/flee/move or relocate to Canada…

There’s a seaplane port outside my hotel window

Lastly, I am seeing a lot of Native American art and artifacts. On my way to dinner last night I caught sight of this awesome totem pole. Pardon the size: