Posted by: Jack | December 19, 2006

My Trip to Seattle…

…was absolutely awful. This morning I drove a couple friends to Seatac airport and thought I would take the opportunity to explore Seattle a bit. I came up with a list of places to check out including Pike Place Farmer’s Market, the Space Needle, the REI flagship store and possibly the Science Fiction Museum. After about twenty minutes of searching for parking near the market for less than $6 I gave up and decided to goto REI first. I assumed correctly that they would have free customer parking. Entering the store, I was greeted with the giant climbing pinnacle that is visible from I-5. I saw a big sign that said something to the extent of REI Members Sign Up to Climb. At first I was excited that the climbing might be free to members. I soon found that they charge $5 per route–if you’re a member–by far the biggest rip off in indoor climbing I’ve ever heard of. Continuing through the store I was quickly confronted with a realization. Despite the grand reviews of this store being an experience aside from shopping, I found it to be nothing but a very big store with only shopping. There was nothing interesting about it.

Discouraged again I returned to my car and got in the extensive line to get out of the parking ramp. Quite a bit later I found that parking anywhere near the Space Needle is $10 and one ride in the elevator to the observation deck is $15! Finding myself about as stressed out and frustrated as I ever get, I decided I needed to leave Seattle immediately and did just that. I guess I haven’t even mentioned that the traffic was horrendous, there was construction everywhere and despite all the funds being brought in from parking, the streets were in terrible condition.

A bit later I parked my car in the middle of downtown Tacoma free of charge and went unicycling all over town until the police told me to stop. A good ride on some fun terrain was just what I needed to disperse all the built up tension from Seattle. I’m going to have to get back there to ride again because there was so much excellent terrain. The fountain below seemed like it was designed with trials unicycling in mind.

So yet again I have confirmed that I am not a big city person and Seattle was especially dissappointing. The entire city seems to be dedicated to parking and yet none of it is reasonable and no accommadations are made for very short term parking. The only way I’m going back there is if someone else is paying for everything and I don’t have to drive.

Everyone always raves about going to whatever big city is nearby but I really don’t see what there is to do if you don’t shop recreationally. Everything else can be found in smaller towns at half the price and takes one tenth of the time.

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Responses

  1. Jack—don’t give up on Seattle! Parking does suck but there are good reasons for it. Seattle is spearheading the move to increase public transportation in order to decrease gas emissions and global warming. All the buses in the inner downtown area are free. And they’re also making a huge effort to put in green neighborhood business districts that are affordable and walkable. This is good! Go back… the market, museums, restaurants, music and coffee are some of the most interesting and best in the States!

  2. […] I have to admit that this little trip made me reconsider my previous feelings about Seattle. […]


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