Seattle Center is a perfect place to wander around on a sunny winter's day, and today, that is exactly what I did. The site of Seattle's 1962 World's Fair was converted into an urban park featuring theaters, museums, restaurants and lots of outdoor spaces, and it's the home of the iconic Space Needle.
Let me give you a brief tour.
The Space Needle may be known worldwide as a Seattle landmark but for my money, these towering arches at the Pacific Science Center are just as breathtaking. I've spent countless hours playing at the outdoor water exhibits located in the extensive series of fountains underneath these lacy darlings, and they bring back many fine memories.
There she is. The Space Needle towers over the Seattle Center and can been seen from many views and angles. Although less popularly photographed from this perspective, I like the way this shot features a colorful abstract mural at her feet.
While the Center is well known for its larger-than-life architecture, there are also plenty of sweet sculptures on a smaller scale. While many of them, including this tiny flying pig, are designed to delight the wee ones among us, I am charmed by them too.
A relatively new piece of outdoor sculpture, I love this series of tall, amber colored, flexible metal strips. They tower about 15 or 20 feet into the air, nestled together like a small forest but allowing space for humans to wander among them in their corridor along the walkway. I find them completely irresistible.
A quick stop for a vanilla spice latte at the Center's Starbucks, which is filled with historic posters from one of the most popular annual events hosted on the site. Called Bumbershoot, the name of the annual music festival is a playful nod to the fact that even though it's held at the peak of summer, an umbrella is always a good idea. While the musical acts span the gamut of genres, it is always well attended by Seattle hipsters, much like the man in the blue shirt conveniently posing nearby.
Another peek at the Needle, this time dwarfed by the mammoth construction of the Experience Music Project. Built by the other Microsoft billionaire, Paul Allen, this rock-n-roll slash science fiction museum has an outrageously convoluted architecture and a beauty like an alien space ship.
Another angle on the EMP, featuring red metallic panels and a big swoopy roof line. This part always looks like an elephant ear to me, and I love it to death.
More Space Needle, this time framed by balloons caught in winter branches.
A lovely orange-y red tubular sculpture, quite reminiscent to me of the Eagle by Calder at the nearby Olympic Sculpture Park. I could stand here forever and take an infinite number of shots looking through the gigantic tubes up into the blue sky, though if you saw my camera feed from today, you might say I already accomplished that goal.
By no means has this been an exhaustive tour of the Seattle Center; there are fountains and lawns and flag pavilions and countless lovely other things to share. But for now, I will leave you with one last look back at our girl, this time framed by another iconic emblem of this lovely city, the evergreen.