October 22nd, 2006

hills, colonnades, and gardens

One thing I forgot to mention in yesterday's entry is that a couple weeks ago I also tried sending a message to someone on Friendster, and again, my message was completely ignored. Hence my continued discouragement. Another thing I didn't mention, though, is that someone sent me a message on Yahoo Personals, back at the end of July. However, it wasn't a proper message, it was a free canned "icebreaker" message that simply said "I like your profile, tell me more." I looked at her profile and did not really like it in return. I could have sent a free quick reply in response, with a few different options for "sorry, not interested," but I never did. So if I'm willing to ignore messages, I should accept that others will do that to me as well, but of course it's not so easy when I'm the subject.

Today (Saturday) I went for another long walk. I needed to get more cat food, which I usually get at Mud Bay Granary, most often the store on Pine Street, otherwise the store just off Broadway. I'm sure there must be a pet store much closer to my home that carries the Wellness brand, and I should probably find it, but I do like that going to Mud Bay gives me a reason to go to Capitol Hill. This is the first time I've done the whole trip walking, though - previously I've either simply driven there, or else taken the bus downtown, walked up the hill, and then walked back downtown to catch the bus again.

I wanted to check out the I-5 Colonnade Park, which I knew about because I drove past it a few times last fall on the way to my real estate agent's office. So I decided to head around the north side of Lake Union to the University Bridge as my route to Capitol Hill. As its name indicates, the I-5 Colonnade Park is located beneath the highway; the webpage says it's south of E Howe Street, but it actually starts at the intersection of E Newton, Boylston, and Lakeview Blvd E, which passes underneath the highway. The park's typical for Seattle: take an area where no one can build and make a park out of it, but it's a good idea. It still seems to need some work - there are some large bare dirt areas that presumably should be grass-covered - but they're also still building trails across the park for mountain biking, which is a cool idea. It's also got an off-leash area for dogs.

As I was leaving the park, I saw a set of stairs going up the hill, filling in for E Blaine Street, so I decided to go up that way to Broadway instead of walking all the way down Lakeview to Belmont Ave. This led me to discover yet another park I never would've known about, the Streissguth Gardens. The Gardens are located just off E Blaine and Broadway E in a dead-end hillside neighborhood. It's not marked with the typical Seattle Parks sign, so at first I thought it was just someone's extensive private garden. But there was an elderly woman there, who I asked about it, and she turned out to be the previous owner of that land, who chose to donate it to the city. The area closest to the Blaine stairs is a regularly-maintained flower and vegetable garden, but heading south as the hillside becomes steeper it becomes wilder woodland, merging with the St. Mark's Greenbelt - yet another example of unusable land being designated a park. (Apparently there are trails through the Greenbelt, I didn't know that; I'll have to go back...)

After that, I went down Broadway, through Cal Anderson Park, up Pine to 15th Ave, down Pike to Melrose Ave, and finally to Mud Bay to get the cat food. Then I stopped at Bauhaus Books & Coffee for some juice and a doughnut. (Mmm, Top Pot doughnuts... wow, they only just started in Februray 2002, right before I moved here!) It took me three hours altogether to get to Bauhaus, though I did spend some time just puttering about the Colonnade and the Gardens. From there I went up to Denny Way and took that all the way to Seattle Center, and then headed up and over Queen Anne to get home - another two hours walking from Bauhaus.

I don't know how many more nice weekends we're going to have, the weather's already been cool and rainy for the past couple weeks, but I suppose as long as there's a nice day and I've got no plans, I'll keep going for long walks. Well, until I buy a bicycle next year...