Seattle on Saturday Morning

Since I got my FitBit I’m thinking more in terms of steps and distances than a general hour-long workout — although I still do resistance training at the Downtown Y or downstairs in our building’s gym. My daily minimum is 8000 steps; I shoot for 10,000; a really good day is hitting 15,000 steps. That last is about 6.4 miles, takes a little over two hours, and theoretically burns 1330 calories. Being out and about in a gorgeous Seattle summer is easy; I’ll have to see how it plays out in winter when the chill rains return. The Y has a very small indoor track with 19 laps to the mile. If I had to crank out 6 miles there I’d be walking in circles and driving myself silly.

I didn’t have my camera out yesterday morning, because I went first to The Crumpet Shop for my ricotta cheese/lemon curd favorite, and took a second cup of coffee with me to sip as I walked the streets before the day’s heat really settled in. But here is what I saw:

People lined up at the SAM to see the YaYoi Kusama exhibit — I’d bet upwards of 200 waiting for the exhibit to open and a “first come-first served” ticket. The line stretched from the entrance all the way down the long block to University Ave. I’ve never seen so many people trying to get in to one of the visiting shows, and there have been many great ones. I was able to get a patron ticket for the early days of the exhibit, so got to see it without waiting in line and without huge crowds inside. Big benefit to be a patron member for these high-demand opportunities.

In Pioneer Square, extra chairs and tables were being set up for later in the day. There was a Mariner’s game, and later in the evening was the Torchlight Parade down 4th Ave.  It was a big day for people to be in downtown Seattle, and Pioneer Square is named in all the tour books as a “must-see” destination.

I walked past the Norwegian line dock about 9:30am, when the last of cruisers from the past week were coming off and the first in line for the new departure had already arrived. I never cease to be amazed at the diversity of people who cruise. Norwegian is a mid-market ship, so there are lots of extended families and groups of people who look like the folks who used to rent bungalows at the Jersey shore. Now they fly here coach and cruise to Alaska. Norwegian ships also have an elite area on board called “The Haven”, so there are plenty of chi-chi looking people as well:

Hidden away at the top of the ship is The Haven by Norwegian, home to our most luxurious, well-appointed and spacious accommodations. Not only will you have access to all the ship has to offer, you’ll enjoy the personal service of a concierge and 24-hour butler throughout your entire stay. On top of that, complete privacy and tranquility are just steps away on a sundeck reserved exclusively for guests of The Haven. From embarkation to debarkation, boarding of tenders to shore, onboard entertainment to dining times you will have priority. In your own ship within a ship, The Haven will make for a unique experience you’ll never forget.

Farther along Puget Sound, I passed a group holding a memorial service at water’s edge, with the celebrant about to dump someone’s ashes to be washed away in the gentle ebb and flow of the icy water. I don’t know what the legality of that is in Washington state; in some states, scattering ashes is restricted to certain places. But with all the marine life that dies naturally and decomposes in the Sound , I can’t think a small bag of somebody’s ashes makes much of a difference — especially if you hang on to the plastic bag and dispose of that elsewhere.

I got back to my building a bit after 11am, and met a young man in the elevator who was just moving in — so excited he was bouncing on the balls of his feet. He told me he’s going to work for Amazon — no surprise there — and Monday is his first day. And it’s his first real job. I thought briefly of my own first day of work — meeting up with my Peace Corps training group in Philadelphia — and thought about the long and circuitous and interesting road he has ahead.

What was your Saturday morning like?


8 thoughts on “Seattle on Saturday Morning

  1. My Saturday morning was not nearly so “eclectic.” I walked half a block to the nail salon. I know the gals hate it when they see me coming. Eighty-year-old toe nails are “tough.” But they found me a chair. And yes, my gal had to ask for help from a co-worker — in her Vietnamese (I think). I always wonder what are they REALLY saying. Appropriately, I was watching an old Seinfeld episode this evening where George’s dad (who astonishingly once worked in Korea!) goes with Elaine to the nail salon so he can be her “spy” and find out what they are saying about her. Of course, it ends disastrously. I guess I’d better be content to imagine they are being totally courteous — or wear ear plugs.

  2. We went to a friend’s house for an early breakfast potluck and watched as 14,000 runners and walkers completed the Bix 7 race. It is 7 miles long. Each year Joan Benoit Samuelson and Bill Rodgers come back to compete. They have each won in the past.

    The female and male winners in more recent years have been Kenyan natives. Incredible runners. Thousands of people line the streets to cheer the winners and the other participants to the finish line. It is so much fun.

    I walked the race once. It was far too crowded for me.

  3. for Louise: I think that’s hilarious — what ARE they talking about? At one point I was consulting in a nursing home where many of the direct patient care staff spoke languages other than English. The English speakers wanted to ban any conversation that was not in English, sure that their subordinates were talking about them. Many of the conversations were in Spanish, and I assured the worried ones, “They’re not talking about you. They’re talking about their husbands, about the adolescent children that are driving them crazy, about what’s on sale at the grocery store.” That wasn’t what carried the day, though. It was an LPN whose first language was Russian. Many of the patients were elderly people with Eastern European Jewish roots. The LPN soothed them by singing lullabies in Russian, which even the most addled among the patients seemed to remember — and if that was banned, she would lose an important tool. Her powerful words put an end to the “English only” movement.

  4. for Joyce: Sounds lovely. I’ve seen the Kenyan runners in the New York marathon — they are remarkable. They seem to fly along, as light as air on their feet.

  5. Not as busy as yours! Had my usual breakfast, which is the same every day – granola (actually just uncooked oatmeal) sliced nuts (usually almonds) with fruit (right now peaches, but usually blueberries) and low fat plain yogurt. Bob had an English muffin with peanut butter. He can’t understand how I can eat the SAME thing EVERY day. Then we went to the market where we picked up more peaches, corn, tomatoes and yellow and green squash. After that the gym where I walked on the treadmill for two and a half miles. That took me about half an hour. When I come to Seattle, I don’t know how I will ever keep up with you, but I know I will LOVE the crumpet place. Then came home, answered e-mails and did some more reading for a book discussion on Tuesday of Hillbilly Elegy. Saw a couple of articles in WP this morning that you will love. I know you read the paper. One was about DNA testing and babies switched by mistake at birth. I can’t remember the other one and so I will look it up later and let you know. Actually there were several, and I am sure you will be blogging about them soon.

  6. for Ada: In the crumpet place one of the options is Marmite — do you know what it is? Have you ever eaten it? They have it on the menu, but I’ve never heard anyone order it. The young people behind the counter who make up the orders laughingly say it’s an “acquired taste” — which usually means it tastes awful. 🙂 I do look forward to your coming to Seattle. We’ll have fun!

  7. I remember it being very, very salty. I haven’t had it in over 40 years, so memory might not be totally accurate.

  8. for Ada: Yes indeed, the lovely young servers from whom one orders told me it’s very salty indeed. Yeast paste. Sounds very unappealing to me.

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