Seattle: Day 2

After writing my previous post, I left the hostel and started my long day of walking.

The weather was perfect, around 70 degrees and sunny. I had left my sunglasses in the hostel by accident and didn’t even think to put on sunblock. Nonetheless, I decided to keep going.

The first place I walked to was Pioneer Square. Rather, it’s more of a triangle judging by its layout. I could have signed up for the Underground Tour there, but I had already went on the tour before in 2003 so I skipped it this time.

Pioneer Square

I walked on 1st Ave to the Seattle Art Museum where there’s a giant moving sculpture of an iron worker. The outside of the museum was being renovated so it had some scaffolding. I decided not to visit the museum since I wanted to do my own walking tour.

Seattle Art Museum

From the art museum, I headed down the Harbor Steps and arrived at the pier area. The place is very touristy with souvenir shops, seafood restaurants, and even a Ferris wheel. I remembered twenty years ago I ate at the Ivars Fish Bar and the seagulls were very brave at taking my French fries.

Ferris wheel at the pier

Ivars Fish Bar

After visiting the pier, I went up the Pike Place Hillclimb and found the Gum Wall. As you’d expect, it’s two long walls covered with gum. There were so many young kids there, late teens I would say, taking up space and being tourists. It felt so crowded and so disgusting, but I managed to take a few photos so that I’ll never have to see the Gum Wall in person again.

A portion of the Gum Wall

The Gum Wall is right next to the famous Pike Place Market. I knew I didn’t want to buy anything so I just walked through it while avoiding the crowd.

Buskers at Pike Market

Expensive seafood, anyone?

During my second time in Seattle back in 2013, I actually bought two large crabs at the market. They were expensive, but they were good after boiling them and eating them with a rice vinegar sauce containing chopped ginger. Yum, yum!

I checked my time, it was after 10 AM. I still had some time to kill before meeting Ray at Westlake Park for the concert at noon, so I continued my walk on 1st Ave toward Olympic Sculpture Park via a neighborhood called Belltown. I stopped by the Patagonia store briefly to see if they sell an inflatable neck pillow that I can use during long flights. They didn’t.

I also stopped by a glass blowing studio/gallery. Again I didn’t buy anything, especially something so fragile. But it was good to see some cool glassware.

I arrived at the Olympic Sculpture Park and was impressed by the layout of the park and the sculptures. I would have rested there, but I didn’t want to be late for the concert, so after meandering through the park I walked back through Belltown.


More sculptures

And even more!

Belltown is mainly a residential neighborhood with some shops. As I was walking, I can imagine myself living in Seattle. I like that the city is next to a body of water, has a lot of restaurants, many things to do, a diverse population, and a vibrant art scene with many tech companies, such as Amazon and Google.

I thought about getting something for lunch, but I wasn’t hungry. Instead, I bought a vanilla shake at McDonald’s that’s about a block from Westlake Park.

The park is smaller than I had expected. There were already people filling up the seats. As soon as I saw a table open I grabbed a seat underneath the tent shade. The band is called Small Paul. They are a local indie folk band and their music reminded me one of my favorite bands from Philadelphia, Dr. Dog.

The band called Small Paul

Ray didn’t show up to the park until the band was playing their last song. He was an hour and half late. I didn’t feel a good vibe about him. Not that he was a bad person, I just didn’t feel I have anything in common with him. I decided to walk to the Seattle Center, where the Space Needle is, among other attractions, and left Ray at the park. We might meet up at another free concert. Maybe he will show up on time.

I walked on 5th Ave underneath the Monorail path hoping to get a nice photograph of the Monorail train with the Space Needle in the background, but I was too slow to capture it. Oh well, you can’t always get what you want. So the song goes.

At the Seattle Center, I took many photos of the Space Needle. I decided not to go up it because I had done it before back in 2003, but I’ve never been to the Museum of Pop Culture that’s right next to the Space Needle. I might consider going to that sometime.

Seattle Space Needle

Space Needle and flower sculptures

As I was walking, I saw an interesting art gallery called A/NT Gallery. I chatted with the gallery attendant and it turns out this gallery is a co-op art gallery. She invited me to join. I had to tell her that I’m only visiting, but if I ever move to Seattle I will consider the offer.

I passed by the International Fountain, where a bunch of kids were playing around the fountain, before I left the Seattle Center.

International Fountain

I decided the farthest I’ll walk will be to Kerry Park, where I can get a good view of the Seattle skyline. After a steep walk up a hill that’s similar in steepness to the hills of San Francisco, I arrived at the park. There was no shade there and it was pretty hot now. Luckily, there was a water fountain where I felt rejuvenated after drinking some water.

Seattle skyline from Kerry Park

After taking some photographs I walked down the hill, took a left turn on Mercer St, walked on Westlake Ave, then rested at Denny Park. It was around 4 PM. My legs were tired after all the walking. The REI event doesn’t start until 6:30 PM so I had a lot of time to myself. I watched a kid playing Connect Four by himself as I chilled on a chair until my legs recovered a bit.

I decided to finally eat something since all I had was Chinese dim sum and a vanilla shake. I got a chorizo banh mi at Ba Bar Green a few blocks away.

I didn’t know what else to do so I decided to arrive early at REI. This REI store in Seattle is the flagship store. At first I couldn’t find the entrance. The store is so big it’s probably double the size of the one in King of Prussia. I was able to find some laundry soap leaves in a travel sized container and a very overpriced inflatable neck pillow that’s $45. I didn’t want any neck pains on the airplane so I bought it, along with the laundry soap.

I waited in the store until it was time for the event. Czarina and Matt showed up, too. They were my Warmshowers guests from about a year and half ago. I hosted them when they were cycling on their Brompton folding bikes circumnavigating the United States. I still couldn’t believe they cycled for about 500 days on those small wheels.

The event speaker was Erick Cedeno, aka Bicycle Nomad. Last year, he retraced the 1900 mile route of the all-Black regiment of US soldiers who rode their bicycles from Montana to Missouri in 1897. We watched a short film in the beginning of the event, then Erick presented a slideshow, followed by Q&A. I found Erick was a very passionate amateur historian and a touring cyclist combined into one.

Erick Cedeno's talk

Czarina, Matt, and I left the talk at 9 PM. I was going to walk back to the hostel since it was still light out, instead Czarina offered me a ride. Additionally, she drove us to Gas Works Park in the north of the city, where we got to enjoy a scenic view of the city. We also stopped by the Fremont Troll not too far so I can get a photo of it. It was after 10 PM by the time Czarina dropped me off at the hostel in Chinatown.

The view from Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park

The Fremont Troll

Me, Matt, and Czarina

It was great seeing Czarina and Matt again! Their next adventure will be 18 years long since Czarina is now pregnant with their first child. I hope all the best for them!

Last night, I only slept for about six hours. The sunrise was around 5:30 and I woke up at that time.

I bought more Chinese dim sum at Dim Sum King since that’s the only place that’s open the earliest, at 7 AM. I didn’t get chicken feet this time, but I did try other things on their menu. At this rate, I’ll be eating everything on their menu by the time I leave Seattle.

My SIM card from Google came in yesterday. I switched from Ting Mobile to Google Fi this morning so I can take advantage of Google Fi’s international service. The switch wasn’t hard and I only needed my Ting Mobile account number and the pin. The whole process was about ten minutes.

I walked too much yesterday and I’m feeling it now. I decided I will take the morning off and do a few things in the afternoon. I bought a 2 PM ticket to the Museum of Pop Culture for $30, after a $8 hostel promo code. After that, I will go see the concert at Bell Street Park at 5 PM. I might see Ray there if he shows up on time. Most likely, I’ll come back to the hostel and just relax for the rest of the day.


  1. Looks like another great day. Continue to stay safe.


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