It turns out it's more like walking the streets of St. John's, or the streets of San Francisco for those who haven't been to Newfoundland recently.
|view of cars waiting at the light from inside the library|
Seriously, when I wanted to put down my macchiato to take a photograph I had to brace it against the inside of my shoe so it wouldn't fall over. I saw a guy going backwards down a hill with a rolling garbage can before turning into the alley so it wouldn't just roll down the hill away from him. Unfortunately I didn't get my camera up in time!
It was great exercise, and the window peeping turned out to be more fun than looking for architectural gems. I loved the signs in the windows at Biscuit Bitch, but turned away too soon because I thought the food would be spicy and/or greasy. A second look at their menu makes me think I might have been able to eat a Nutty Bitch or a Canadian Bitch. Wouldn't it be great to sit down and say "I'll have a Nutty Bitch to go"?
Retro kitsch is all the rage, I've seen these dresses in stores in lots of other towns, the selection of shoes here was astonishing though. If only my sesamoids could handle it I'd have a pair in a couple of different colors for sure.
Down in Pioneer Square Park there was much to see besides the imposing Romanesque Revival buildings including this bust of Chief Seattle himself.
And a Tlingit totem pole which has an interesting history, here it is from the NPS website:
The Totem Pole first appeared in 1899, after members of the Chamber of Commerce, vacationing in Alaska, stole it from Tlingit Indians. The men gave the object to the city as a gift, but the tribe justly sued for its return and $20,000 in damages. The courts found the men guilty of theft, but fined them only $500 and allowed the city to retain ownership. In 1938, the pieces that remained after vandals set the Totem Pole on fire were sent back to Alaska, where Tlingit craftsmen graciously carved a reproduction. The new pole was soon dedicated, with tribal blessings, at a Potlatch celebration and has since remained unharmed on Pioneer Square. It now stands as symbol of the complicated relationship between American Indians and European Americans.
|Pioneer Building, built in 1892|
The list I had brought with me led to more disappoint than success, so I just contented myself with wandering around and photographing whatever caught my attention.
The Cobb Building was on my list, and that one did not disappoint. Built in 1910 it was designed to house doctors and dentists, though I'm not sure how the Native American ornamentation plays into that idea. Apparently the same figures were used in the design of the White, Henry, and Stuart buildings which were all demolished in the late 1970s. Several Indian heads were salvaged and may be viewed in the Rainier Square concourse, at the Museum of History and Industry, and at Daybreak Star Center in Discovery Park.
But it was the terra cotta on the facade of the Arctic Club that provided me with that "ooh-aah" moment I was looking for. The founders of the Arctic Club made it rich from the Klondike Gold Rush of the Northwest between 1896 and 1899, and in 1916 built this 9 story beauty for the clubhouse.
|The Arctic Club|
The walrus heads lining the third floor of the Arctic Club are not your standard lions, that's for sure. Click on this link to learn more than you maybe ever wanted to know about the history and restoration of the terra cotta walruses.
It was 50F when I was wandering around, a bit cooler in the shade, but the sun was out, and things were blooming. Not cherry blossoms, only cherries were on the sign, but look at the hanging baskets behind it.
The bushes thought it was spring too.
I guess this is the new spring fashion for Seattle gentlemen? I'm a little skeptical, but what do I know about style?