Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Duwamps (Seattle)

The Space Needle was built in 1962 as a symbol of the Seattle World's Fair. A 45-second elevator ride takes you to the top, and from this vantage point you can see for miles in every direction. It weighs 9,550 tons and rises 605 feet in the air (60 stories).
Seattle, Washington--formerly called Duwamps--is a major city and seaport in the Northwest. Named for Chief Seattle of Suquamish tribe, the area was populated by Native Americans for thousands of years before the coming of European-American settlers in the mid 1800s. By 1889, the 32-square-block settlement was well established. On June 6 of that year a fire burned Seattle to the ground. The city leaders decided to rebuild Seattle and to require that all buildings be made of bricks and stone. Today, it is a thriving metropolis. Nordstrom, UPS, and Starbucks all got their start in Seattle.

A view of Seattle from the Space Needle

Seattle is well known for its music scene. Many well known musicians and musical genres originated here, most notably Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana. It was Nirvana who put grunge rock on the map. The red building above houses the Experience Music Project dedicated to the exploration of popular music.

Roots and Branches--a 35-foot cyclone made of 600 guitars--stands in the lobby of the Experience Music Project.
Bo Didley's unique guitar

One of Jimi Hendrix's favorite outfits; he often wore it when he performed. The pants are made of velveteen.

Jimi Hendrix played this guitar at Woodstock. He used it to perform "The Star Spangled Banner".

Seattle is a tourist mecca. People from all over the world come to visit. There are many ways to see the sites. One popular one is called "Ride the Ducks" as seen in the photo above. In this type of vehicle you can tour both land and water.

Down on the waterfront sits Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, an interesting museum and retail store established in 1899. It is still run by the same family. The shop is filled with both wares for sale and unusual exhibitions. It claims to house the largest collection of shrunken heads in the world.

This is one of two mummies on display in Ye Olde Curiosity Shop. The body was found in the desert and was perfectly preserved by the dry heat.
Crafts made by local natives are also on display.

After the Seattle fire of 1889, the city leaders decided to regrade the streets. Their plan was to make the streets two stories higher than they had been originally. The buildings that burned down had been constructed on filled-in tidelands, which were prone to flooding. While it took several years to achieve this, buildings were erected on the old sites but the owners knew that eventually, the lower floors of these buildings would be underground. Today, those lower floors are completely underground and have been abandoned. But you can take a walking tour of them and see the remnants of life over 100 years ago.

As you walk underground, you can see the original lower levels of buildings that no longer are used. Above ground, the buildings are still in use.
An old abandoned bathroom in the underground.

This old metal bathtub is in a sad state of decay. Try to imagine what it once looked like. 

New trends take hold in Seattle, and one of the latest is the working man's kilt. Unlike the kilts of Scotland, these are made of sturdy material and have pockets for tools. Each kilt costs between $200 and $750. It is common to see men in Seattle wearing these. Would you wear one?

No comments: