There is so much art everywhere in this city. Murals, graffiti, sculpture. And people have the most amazing little front yards and gardens everywhere. It's near impossible to take it all in, but I've been doing my darnedest to capture it all. It might take a year before I cover the whole city. I don't even have most of North Seattle documented! Theses are from the Greenwood, Fremont, Ballard and the University District neighborhoods - in no particular order.
The first day we got to Seattle we saw signs for Greenwood Car Show, "over a mile and a half of cars." We took a picture of the sign with a phone to remember. Sure enough we ended up parking in the show -next to the Cascade Kombis, a group of local VW air cooled owners, whom me first ran into at The Old School Reunion, a classic Euro and Import meet in Bothell WA.
The best thing about car shows out here is that not only is it comprised of show cars, but daily drivers. When we first parked Neil in the The Old School Reunion, I was imbarressed at how dirty his engine was. Once we got in I saw plenty of other daily drivers. Even on the road there are so many classicsa that are driven every day- and not just by enthusistis, cars just last so long out here because nothing rusts too much. It would be impossible to show all the cars represented at Greenwood, but below are a few:
The Fremont Fair is a street fair the weekend of the summer solstice. Unfortunately I missed the parade, but their was plenty of other things to check out. They block off several streets in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood and fill it with vendors, food, buskers, and music stages. There were a couple of tacky vendor tents that are at ever circus and fair, but for the most part it was all local artists. Jewelry, handmade clothes, gifts, housewares, fine art. A lot of products made from recyclable materials. Local business and community organizations had booths. My favorite was the Fremont Abbey Arts Center. They had community art projects: they provided brushes and paint to paint sculptures and canvases. Family crafts, and sidewalk chalk next to a music stage.
As soon as we got into Washington we passed a VW bus show car on the back on a flat bed on the other side of the highway. A few minuets later we saw two more buses, three air cooled beetles, a type three square-back and a thing. We got off the highway to get gas and saw a dasher (I thought it was a fox wagon with a different grill, but Sherm told me it was a dasher - something I've never seen). I lost track after that how many other Vanagons, mk 1s and 2s, and air cooled VWs we saw. Not to mention all the other awesome old classics and euro cars.
The first thing we noticed about Seattle, even just driving into it on the interstate, was how much greenery there was: giant trees right next to the freeway, vines and bushes hanging down from over passes. Everyone we met who has lived in Seattle has told us this is the best time of year to move here. They weren't wrong. Everything is so green and in bloom. The sky and the ocean are so blue.
It's not just the nature that is beautiful around here. The architecture too. Its amazing how much a mix of styles and ages of buildings there are, but they all look good together. I can't wait to explore the rest of the city!
The change in time zone marked the Oregon border. We stopped just over the state line at a rest sop to stretch our legs. For the countless time on the trip I came out of the rest room to Sherm chatting with a fellow motorist about the bus. A 35 year old orange bus does catch one's eye- the first other bus we saw since Massachusetts (there was one on the Cape we saw occasionally) was broken down on the highway in Idaho.
It was a young guy this time, a photographer turned trucker named Ryan. When he found out this was our first air cooled he said, "Welcome to the club!" He was sincere, so many people can be stuck up about stuff like that. Although, know that I think about we haven't met any stuck up VW owners on this trip. Every person who came up and said, "I used to have a bus!" was awesome to talk to. Maybe its because any traveler who is willing to talk to you is probably on vacation.
Before we parted ways Ryan gave us an awesome gift, his old C.B. radio! When we were going through long stretches of road between towns with no cell phone reception, I really wished we had one. He also warned us of "the cabbage patch" ahead, the last stretch of mountains until we reached the Columbia river.
Neil - the trusty little bus he is - chugged right along with Sherman at the helm. Despite the ups and downs, and twists and turns, the mountains were beautiful and lead us to the equally as beautiful Columbia River. We didn't talk much all along the Columbia. I don't know if it was from the amazing views along the river, or the fact that we were so close to west coast.
The past few weeks have been a blur. We saw so much, discovered so much - and there is so much left of our country to explore. Our road trip was coming to an end, but its just the start of life on the west coast. We came here with nothing but our bus filled with tools and art supplies, and the hope that the grass was greener on the other side, but we got here with the determination and enthusiasm to tend to our own fields.
With an apple I will astonish Paris.