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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Taking An Italian on a Tour of Seattle

This has been a pretty busy week and I have had only a little time to arrange photos and post them. Although I have been dealing with family things, I have managed to get a couple-few rides in during this break in the weather.

The bike I am riding is a loaner from my cousin, who happens to be my exact size, so switching bikes is easy. He is loaning me a steel, Bianchi Veloce with a mix of Campy Veloce and Centaur in a triple crank. The ride is stable and smooth, but lacks the feeling of speed of my regular bike. The shifting is crisp and accurate.

All in all, I am happy to be riding in this town.

I started in Beacon Hill and took the Jose Rizal bridge to Capitol Hill and crested Broadway, which is Seattle's own little Castro... or at least it was until the junkies took over in the late 90's. The area is changing drastically with new apartments and other gentrification that heals the bad, but kills the soul. I stopped for a minute at the Jimi Hendrix statue on Pine and Broadway. I remember seeing the Hendrix family dedicating the statue many years ago. I always remember seeing Jimi's cousin walking around the Renton Highlands, just unable to let the image die.

I continues on until Aloha St. and then climbed the hill up to Volunteer Park, which used to be a prime cruising spot. When I was a kid I guess we wandered into some bushes that were in use and surprised a couple of dudes in the act.

Volunteer Park houses the Asian Art Museum where I would ride the camels. Decades of child camel jockeys had worn the originals, which now sit in the Seattle Art Museum.

After passing through Volunteer Park, I detoured into the Lake View Cemetery where Bruce and Brandon Lee are buried.
I took off down the hill to the Harvard Exit and passed through the University District and paid my respects to the University of Washington. I spent many a day enjoying all the sights on campus.

The weather was beautiful and Mt. Rainier was clearly visible from the Rose Garden.

I left campus and headed up University Way to Ravenna Park on 55th St. The cool shade of the tall trees was a welcome relief from the direct sunlight. I then took off down the hill to the University Village and headed up 25th St. to 65 and then took it all the way to Greenlake Ave. These places are all very special to me and I enjoyed the feeling of passing through them again. Greenlake is a small, urban lake that is used by walkers, joggers and cyclists for recreation.

I was quite famished after a morning of meandering, and so I headed for the closest place I could think of where I could eat and watch the bike. I knew I had to go eat Dick's.

Dick's was established in 1954, and my father was there for the opening. They have the best burgers in town and even better fries. The shakes are the only thing to wash it all down.

With a mouthful of Dick's, I took off again and headed for the former Hippie hideout of Fremont. During the 1960's, Fremont was a district full of radicals and rabble. It is now full of Techies as Adobe makes its HQ there.

One feature of Fremont is the famous troll under the Fremont bridge. I remember discovering the troll when it was first built. I was a preteen and I remembered the site as a place to take future dates. Lot's of neckin' at the troll.

The Fremont signpost proudly points toward Taiwan, so I always remember where home is no matter how long I stay.

I then took the Burke Gilman Bike Trail out to Ballard and visited my friend's tea shop. Miro Tea is in Old Ballard and they serve a huge selection of some of Taiwan's best teas. After a refreshing iced Baozhong Tea from Pinglin, I went to the Hiram Chittenden Locks, a series of locks to make boat traffic possible between the fresh water lakes and Puget Sound.

A fish ladder allows the visitor to watch the salmon swim up to Lake Washington from Puget Sound.

The Locks let me pass the ship canal to Magnolia, where I headed back on Admiral Way and then over to the low side of Queen Anne Hill. I first had to pass through the Seattle Center on Dexter and 5th.

Seattle Center was one the site of the 1962 World's Fair, where "it" happened. Many of the old "Space Age" attractions still sit. Unfortunately, the Flight to Mars is long gone.

I then climbed a killer hill on Queen Anne Blvd. to the top where the view is absolutely stunning.

After a tip toeing my way back down I stopped at Top Pot Doughnuts on 5th and Lenora for a maple bar.

Finally, I headed through town to the Pike Place Market, one of the oldest continually run farmer's markets in the US.

My escape route was through Post Alley, and the wall of bubblegum.

The Hammering Man was right where I left him in front of the Seattle Art Museum. I still like him better with the massive ball and chain the guerilla artist Subculture Joe a.k.a Jason Sprinkle, attached to his leg on Labor Day.

I finished up in Pioneer Square and Smith Tower, once the tallest building west of the Mississippi. I then returned through the International District.


  1. Some fine weather there. I hope you're able to make a trip to Shorty's for a hot dog and some Galaxian.

  2. Nice pics of the Bianchi. Although I think the color of their bikes is horrid, your found the perfect mustard yellow kit to wear with it. Thanks for the interesting tour of Seattle!