Friday, June 8, 2018

An Afternoon in Downtown Seattle [13/18]

Downtown is the central business district of Seattle and it is fairly compact compared with other city centers on the West Coast of the USA because of its geographical situation. It is hemmed in on the north and east by hills, on the west by Elliott Bay, and on the south by reclaimed land that was once tidal flats. We visited it after our stay at the Space Needle. All in all we were really fascinated by Seattle. It's a city that can be easily explored by foot and there is so much to see and to do. The area is also home to the landmark Pike Place Market, the oldest continually-operating farmer's market in the USA and the core of activity in the area.


The first stop was Pike Place Market. It is a public market overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle. The Market opened in 1907 and is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers' markets in the United States. It is a place of business for many small farmers, craftspeople and merchants. Named after the central street, Pike Place runs northwest from Pike Street to Virginia Street. With more than 10 million visitors annually, Pike Place Market is Seattle's most popular tourist destination and is the 33rd most visited tourist attraction in the world.

The Market is built on the edge of a steep hill, and consists of several lower levels located below the main level. Each features a variety of unique shops such as antique dealers, comic book and collectible shops, small family-owned restaurants, and one of the oldest head shops in Seattle. The upper street level contains fishmongers, fresh produce stands and craft stalls operating in the covered arcades. Local farmers and craftspeople sell year-round in the arcades from tables they rent from the Market on a daily basis, in accordance with the Market's mission and founding goal: allowing consumers to "Meet the Producer". It's all very colorful and inviting.






With about 65,000 now living in Seattle's core neighborhoods, Downtown Seattle's population is growing. Downtown saw a 10 percent increase in the number of occupied housing units and an 8 percent increase in population between 2010 and 2014, outpacing growth in the city as a whole. In 1989, building heights in Downtown and adjoining Seattle suburbs were tightly restricted following a voter initiative. These restrictions were dramatically loosened in 2006, leading to the increase in Downtown high-rise construction. This policy change has divided commentators between those who support the increased density and those who criticize it as "Manhattanization."


We even saw this unusual building and I wasn't sure if the bottom part was being constructed or if it is supposed to look like that. Just like in New York City, looking up at the skyscrapers is amazing and humbling.



We had an amazing pizza at MOD (Made on Demand). You can pick and choose the ingredients, type of crust, sauce. There is a wide variety of choices and the pizzas are freshly made. Perfect for a quick bite while traveling through the city.




As the home of Seattle’s retail core, downtown is where you’ll find the famed Nordstrom flagship store (though prices here are very high), along with specialty shops like Byrnie Utz Hats (the oldest hat shop in the city) and Paper Hammer (flush with letterpress cards). Grab quick bites at spots like Piroshky Piroshky (Russian pastries) and Pike Place Chowder.






The Market Theater Gum Wall is a brick wall covered in used chewing gum, in an alleyway in downtown Seattle. It is located in Post Alley under Pike Place Market. It was named one of the top 5 germiest tourist attractions in 2009, second to the Blarney Stone. On November 3, 2015, it was announced by the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority that for the first time in 20 years the gum wall would be receiving a total scrub down for maintenance and steam cleaning, to prevent further erosion of the bricks on the walls from the sugar in the gum.





In the next part I will part with Selma, as she will be heading home, but my journey continues. Look out for our final part next week.


End of Part Thirteen
To be continued...

13 comments:

  1. Nicely done. Even the pizza looked great.

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    Replies
    1. It was. The pizza place is also highly rated on the internet.

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  2. That gum wall is a little freakish...but colorful. So it was totally cleaned in 2015, and all that gum has been applied since then? Your pictures of the market and surrounding areas are beautiful. That pizza looked wonderful.

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  3. the only Seattle I have seen is in all the movies they make there, I must say you have given a much better VIEW of the city.

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    1. Thanks Sandra. Glad you liked the images.

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  4. Seattle is one of my favorite cities. The coffee and seafood there are terrific, and we have a number of friends who live there which makes it even more special. Great photos of the downtown area.

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    1. That's great. During my month in the states i have visited the city twice. It was a great experience both times.

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  5. Feeling overwhelmed just looking at your pictures!!! :o

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  6. I've been in a GUM Alley somewhere else, I will have to look.
    We did the underground tour in Seattle.

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