I’m here! With the help of my folks I finally made the big move to Seattle on Monday. My apartment is located in a pretty accessible location north of the UW campus, but I don’t think I’ll ever drive in Seattle again. Okay, so I probably will, but the move gave me quite a tour of all the wrong turns to take in this city. Besides that, my experiences so far have been relatively positive.
Moving day didn’t start well; the afternoon ferry from Bremerton departed 25 minutes late, and I later learned it may have been due to chronic crew shortages. After disembarking at Colman Dock with a truck full of furniture, I attempted to head north towards the Aurora Avenue bridge across the Ship Canal, but I was thwarted by a street closure and had to take 1st Avenue. After a few miles I took a cross street toward Aurora, only to find more construction that turned me east. I realized afterwards I should have gone that way, but being unfamiliar with the area I turned around twice before inadvertently going through an intersection in the wrong lane and entering a camouflaged I-5 on-ramp. To make matters worse, I ended up in the northbound express lanes which only have exits at miles-long intervals. I zoomed past the university exit at 42nd Street, thinking there would be an exit closer to my destination, but I didn’t get back to surface streets until 105th Street. 45 minutes late for my lease singing, I finally arrived. To top things off, one parent was following in another furniture-laden car the whole way, doubtlessly wondering what the hell I was doing.
The next day I started exploring the neighborhood, starting with Ravenna Park. I had seen it on maps a few times, but despite being only a half mile long I was surprised at how large it is. It has a trail system within a deep ravine, and it took me at 10 or 15 minutes to travel the length of the main route. The sounds of the city are absent save for the occasional cars on two road bridges that pass high overhead, providing a peaceful retreat, and there weren’t too many visitors at midday. There is a lovely creek at the bottom of the ravine, and the vegetation was so bountiful I’d wager that it looks mostly the same as before the area was settled over 100 years ago. There are also several grass playfields at either end of the park. I’m sure I’ll be a frequent visitor there.
At the east end of the park I used my intuition to head south, and found myself on 25th Avenue going past the University Village shopping center (that I’ll soon be acquainted with) and the massive E1 parking lot that I’ve already worked at for a couple of events. 25th turns into Montlake Boulevard, which is a a long walk to nowhere through the eastern campus area, until reaching a pedestrian bridge leading to the main campus. Campus is pretty large and dense, so the path I took across it provided an additional piece of the puzzle for eventually knowing my way around. On my way back home I stopped by a hardware store and bank for some errands, and the people I talked to were nothing but friendly. I also noticed an abundance of construction work going on the University District; in fact, everywhere I go in Seattle something is being repaired, replaced, or built, surely a positive sign for the local economy.
More to come in this series of posts as I become more familiar with the city and all it has to offer.