Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tacoma, Chihuly, Seattle, Pike Place and the Space Needle

Since we were in Tacoma when we went to bed last night, all we had to do was get downtown Tacoma. We entered the city by passing by two large, blue glass pieces of art on either side of the street. A Chihuly!

 We had heard that the glass artist, Dale Chihuly, is from Tacoma, and some of his major work is to be seen downtown and in the Museum of Glass there. We had been to see Chihuly's work at an exhibit in our home city, and there is a piece of his work at our local university.

Unfortunately, on Monday the Museum of Glass and the Tacoma Art Museum are both closed.  Nevertheless we parked our car in a lot and walked up the steps to the Glass Museum, and we were glad that we did.  The steps led us to the Glass Bridge that crosses over the expressway in Tacoma. On one wall there are what I would call shelves and windows, and in each one is a piece of Chihuly's glass. This is called "Venetian Wall."  I am not going to verbalize and emote over this, because as a wise woman once said, "A picture is worth a thousand words." The windows are not spotlessly clear, unfortunately, so some of the pieces are seen through a foggy glass. The Glass Museum is the silvery cone-shaped building.         
On the other side of the bridge is the old Union Station which has been renovated and is now the Federal Court House.  We could see the Chihulys through the windows!  After presenting our identification to the guard, we wandered all over the old station/courthouse and enjoyed yet another exhibit of Dale Chihuly's glass work. 


Another trip across the glass bridge, all the while looking at these vases, bottles, and what-evers in the windows/shelves!

Thelma led us the short distance to Pike Place, which is a huge downtown market. I think you can buy just about anything there. We roamed and wandered for nearly two hours, stopping long enough to enjoy a plate of calamari and some samples of the largest peaches and nectarines that we've ever seen.  The food was unbelievable!  Flowers in enormous bouquets were for sale for what we considered bargain prices. The fish and other seafood lay on tables in full glory, and occasionally the fish sellers would shout out to each other, and an enormous fish would be thrown across the entire fish department, and get caught by the other worker.  This was fun to watch, but hard to photograph!  Enjoy Pike Place through my pictures!  There is far too much to describe, frankly.


                                                Yes, that is a piano................................


The very first Starbuck's Coffee shop is right in the heart of all of this.  Musicians seem to be out front of it most of the time, and crowds of people line up to say they have been in there for a cup of coffee.
And now for my seafood photos...............

The whole thing was an extravaganza of wonderfulness.  People of every race and nationality were buzzing around, shopping and staring.  Did we buy anything?  Yes, we did.  We each have a new tee shirt, and I bought a denim apron for all that cooking I do, with "Pike Place" and some Native American designs on it.  In a used book store, I found a wonderful hardback copy of Mountain Time, by my new favorite author, Ivan Doig, and it's a signed copy!  Great souvenir, no?
The only other place we actually needed to visit while in Seattle was The Space Needle, which was built for the World's Fair of 1962.  By the time we arrived there and got our car in a lot, we were pretty worn out, but we trudged all over the park. Yet another Chihuly exhibit is taking place there right now, but we were Chihulied out, if there is such a thing.  We did shoot photos of the works that we could see.

                                                     This is a Chihuly glass flower.
We absolutely loved  the sculptures called "Sonic Bloom," which is a group of enormous flowers that have solar cells in them.  They  make a humming sound all day long, on and off, and during the night they glimmer with light, all powered by the sun.  I want one!

There is a large building that looks as if it is made of metal in different colors. The sides are wavy. We found out that it is a rock and roll museum of some sort, and the shape of the building is supposed to represent a bashed Jimmy Hendrix guitar.  If this is not true and we were misled, just delete this paragraph. It sounded plausible to me...................but the young men who were telling me this (employees of this place, I might add.) were sort of smiling at me as if they knew I was not from Seattle...............
There is a Peace Park, which was peaceful and inviting, and some other sculptures, such as this one.
As for the Space Needle, the main event of this park,  it is amazing. It looks exactly the way I expected it to look.  We stood and watched the little elevator thingies go up and down the sides of it, taking people to look all over the city of Seattle, from an observation tower 520 feet in the air.  It's a landmark of this city.
I heard you. 
 You asked, "Did you go up the Space Needle?" 
 You already know the answer to that!
I don't fly, either.  
Copyright: KP Gillenwater 2013