This weekend I took a trip with J. to Seattle. This was the first time I had visited without staying with family. And because we were there for only two full days, there wasn’t much time to see them either. Regardless, the trip only clarified my belief that Seattle is the city for me, at least in American. It matches the size and vistas of San Francisco, though not as dramatically. And while it is a large sprawling city, it’s outlying neighborhoods are have more character. In the Bay Area, all of the suburbs seem hollow and disconnected. They seem to have an inferiority complex, except for Sausalito.
Portland is a great town, but what does it have going for it? A grimy river that you can’t really do anything with but drive over. Yes, the surrounding areas are pretty, but those are an hour out by car. In 5 months of living here, I am happy. But I feel like I have seen everything there is to see.
Seattle is not only full of more city, but it also sculpts that city around a dramatic and beautiful landscape. For those that like water, it abounds in the Sound, lakes, rivers. Mountains are in close view, as is undeveloped natural landscape and a large gallery of parks.
Every time I visit, my appetite is whetted for more.
A trip in photos:
All of the ingredients ready for my first batch of som tom. (clockwise from top left: garlic, tomato, lime, green beans, thai chilis, green papaya. Not pictured: sugar, fish sauce)
View of hill and downtown Seattle from Gas Works Park on Lake Union.
Industrial structures at Gas Works Park. They are painted rust color to preserve their old appearance and prevent even more real rust.
Observation room view of salmon swimming up the fish ladder at Chittenden Locks.
A view of pleasure craft in the lock getting lowered to the level of Puget Sound.
Train approaching at Carkeek Park.
Looking West from the beach of Carkeek Park. Puget Sound with the Olypmic mountains in the distance.
Barnacles on the rocks at Carkeek Park. The large ones were alive and would
retract if a shadow passed over them. There is something deeply unsettling about seeing a barnacle move, it’s like a sore come to life.
View of Seattle in the morning.
Geoducks: the most disgusting seafood imaginable. Looks like an elephant penis with a shell. These girthy clams are native to the Northern Pacific Coast and can grow to over ten pounds and 100 years old. Find more about Geoducks here
Canoeing on lake Washington.
View of Mt. Rainier from the canoe.
Lots of sun, lots of water. Portland is a two-bit dump compared to the sprawling and scenic city on the Sound.