Sunday, June 19, 2011

Seattle, Saturday

Saturday morning's crossing of eastern Washington on the train was fun. I've always heard this part of the state had a boring landscape, but compared to North Dakota and the part of Montana I could see in daylight, it was more varied and interesting to look at.

Angular concrete warehouse with classic vernacular sign reading Cascadian Fruit Shippers Pearhouse
This visually striking warehouse (or should I say "pear house"?) was at one of the station stops.


This is the ship where G. W. Bush declared "Mission Accomplished" -- docked in Everett, Washington.

Gray battleship at dock, large number 72 painted on it
Another name that's bad for business? Or a great brand advantage, using humor? I'm not sure which.

Ornate coffered ceiling with metal grid for ceiling tiles and box fluorescent lights in some of the grid spots
Seattle's King Street Station was crowded with passengers. I noted that the main waiting room had a beautiful ceiling, marred by ugly fluorescent boxes hanging from it, and thought dour thoughts about people who trash old buildings. The room itself was a mix of classic, Grand Central-like details and tired, generic, painted walls. I was too tired to pay enough attention to it all, honestly. Hope I'm a bit more awake on the return trip.

Now I know that the station is in the midst of a renovation to repair the mid-20th century "updates." They uncovered the original ceiling in 2010, but haven't finished the lighting yet. Other parts that I took to be original (the Compass Room entrance area, for instance) are actually faithful restorations. Go, Seattle!

After checking into the hotel, we did the classic tourist thing and went to Pike's Place Market. It's a great place to find nice signs...

Glowing orange neon light reading Loback's Meats
...in neon...

Hand-painted Arcade 8 Fresh Fruits sign
...and classic hand-painted lettering.

Overflowing display of shellfish, with handmade sign reading Jumbo Grilling Shrimp - Great for the Grill!
Department of Redundancy Department alert: If the Grilling Shrimp aren't good for grilling, what else are they good for?

Add for a school, reading Hope is a School (linebreak) -Centered School
Looking through one of the weekly papers (which, by the way, had a good article on local vaccine refusers), my eye fell on this ad for a Lutheran school. "Hope is a student" sprang out at me, for some reason, and for a second I thought it was poetic. But then I noticed the second line with its remaindered hyphen.

Logo for Hotel Seattle with the S very large so it looks like it should be read at the beginning of the word Hotel
It's common for badly designed logos to place a single large letter as if it were meant to be part of more than one word (sometimes with laughable results). In the above case, the designer doesn't want you to read it that way, but because of the way the letters are nested, it's hard not to see it as "Shotel Seattle," despite the capitalized H.

Card that says As a part of our continued efforts to preserve our natural resources, diverse selections of inspirational, spiritual, and religious books are available through the front desk. Phone books are also available upon request.
One final bit of Seattle, Saturday: Peeking into the bedside table's top drawer, I found no Gideon's Bible, but instead this card, which manages to be ecumenical and ecological at the same time. And, in the process, seems to equate the good book with the one that gets used (or used to, before the days of Google).

1 comment:

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Great post. I always thought the Gideon bibles were a waste of resources but I love the way they are handling this... ecology, diversity, offering alternatives and phonebooks, too.