Monday, January 9, 2012

Riding the S.L.U.T.

So, this time we got the 'do something this month we've never done before' out of the way early. I have an appointment downtown later this week, in an area of Seattle I don't know v. well. That being the case, and given my ability to get lost when driving in unfamiliar neighborhoods,* we decided to scope out the route over the weekend, so that on the actual day I'll be less likely to take a wrong turn and show up late.

Since traffic is always uncertain, I'm going mass transit all the way. Most of the trip will be on the light rail (what I think of as the 'Orca', though that's really the name for the commuter pass to ride it), taking it from its southmost stop at SeaTac airport up to its current northernmost terminus** at WestLake station.

From there it was a short walk to the new streetcar, which I've never been on before. It reminded me v. much of those in Portland and also Minneapolis: v. nice. Not sure what they call it these days: the original name for this brainchild of billionaire Paul Allen was the South Lake Union Transit -- right up until the time they actually launched the thing and realized what the obvious acronym wd be. Now it's officially 'the S. Lake Union streetcar'.

Two stops later and I was at my destination, walking around to get a good sense of the streets leading up to it. In the course of which, I went inside a Whole Foods for the first time -- having seen this many times on TOP CHEF, it was amusing to finally enter one. Glad to report that they carry both Cheshire and Wensleydale, both of wh. I've had a hard time getting lately at my regular cheese shop down at Pike Place Market, though both highly overpriced.

From there, we walked down to the market, where we looked around for a bit and ended by having two cups of tea (Bailin Gongfu) at the crumpet place (v. nice!). Then it was back to the light rail, back to where we'd parked, and back home again for a quiet evening.

And now all's ready for the big event on Thursday: more about this later.

--John R.
current reading: THE CHINESE LAKE MURDERS by Rbt van Gulik [1960]


*not being able to read street signs till they're past plays a large role in this. I usually do lots of circling back once I realize I've passed my turn, but this is harder in a busy area with lots of one-way streets, like downtown.

**they're currently working to extend it north & east to the University District, wh. will be altogether a Good Thing; eventually it'll go all the way up to north Seattle. It wd have gone across the floating bridge to Bellevue as well, but the mayor who backed that plan didn't come into office until too late.

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Dale said...
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