RIP Seattle Viaduct – Ode to a Bygone Seattle (A Special Edition of I Ate the State)

viaduct
The last picture I took of the Viaduct (Dec 2018 – looking out from Quest Field)

 

UPDATE:

On the heels of lamenting the Viaduct loss, I decided to take part in the Tunnel to Viaduct 8k Run/Walk event on February 2nd. It was a fascinating, nostalgic, and close-up goodbye to the Viaduct and a (mixed emotion) hello to the new tunnel. The event attracted 29k participants and was the largest running race in Seattle history. It was a once-in-a-lifetime event and I’m extremely happy to have been involved. Even if it did involve getting up super early, parking way up on Queen Anne and walking down to Seattle Center… And walking back up Queen Anne after the race. (Ouch) Good ol’ Seattle parking!

My original intent was to actually run the race. I’ll admit to maybe running a couple hundred yards before deciding I’d much rather be enjoying the details and taking a few photos. I’m so glad I had the chance to get a last glimpse of a huge part of my Seattle memories…

Participants queued at Seattle Center and each wave made its way over to the entrance of the new tunnel to start the race.

After exiting the tunnel, we were routed through Pioneer Square and then onto the Viaduct. It was amazing getting the chance to walk on the Viaduct and take in those classic Seattle views. I’m going to miss those…

Walking through the Battery Street Tunnel was eerie, exciting and very cool. It felt like I was in a scene from the John Carpenter classic, The Warriors. It was also pretty crazy to see and feel just how aged the tunnel really was.  It wasn’t that long ago thousands of cars were passing through every day!  Yowsa! :-}

After exiting the Battery Street Tunnel, we walked/ran down SR 99 and back over to Seattle Center. And then my race legs trudged back up Queen Anne… But very worth it! Good bye Viaduct and Battery Street Tunnel – I’m really going to miss you!!

Cheers!

Another I Ate the State Special Edition is coming very soon: The UK, featuring London and a lot of Scotland – with special guest, Reykjavik! And then back to regularly scheduled Washington State with a Grays Harbor County feature… Please stay tuned!! 

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ORIGINAL ARTICLE (posted 1/13/19)

I’ve been a bit misty-eyed about the Seattle viaduct and its impending doom. So many Seattle icons have fallen to the march of time and progress, but this latest loss is hitting me hard. From my earliest childhood memories of family Seattle visits, the viaduct was always a thing of wonder, mystery and big city dreams. The double-decker wonder of it amazed me and the chance to peek into the lives of the big-city dwellers while driving south was always mesmerizing. And all of the shops, wacky parking, nooks and crannies located underneath on Alaskan Way were always a wonderland to explore… The viaduct always inspired me and motivated me to “move to the big city someday” and I’m so terribly sad to see it go.

This loss of yet another Seattle icon has inspired me to put together a list of the classic places, people and things I’m missing from Seattle days gone by. (Some only recently departed!) I know I’m forgetting a few…

  • The Kingdome
  • The O.K. Hotel under the viaduct (So many excellent shows!)
  • The Dog House diner (and later The Hurricane)
  • 13 Coins restaurant – The original one on Boren
  • The Old Spaghetti Factory on the waterfront (My childhood soul is STILL in mourning)
  • Trident Imports on the waterfront (I LOVED this store and spent a lot of allowance money there)
  • Ye Olde Curiosity Shop (The original one – not the one they built after the original burned down)
  • The City Center Hotel on Aurora (Before it became run down and scary)
  • Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour off Aurora on 130th (and later Mr. Bills 50s diner)
  • REASONABLE rent prices within Seattle city limits. Gah.
  • A rush “hour” that only lasts one HOUR (Not all day, every day)
  • Parking spaces (I think the last Capitol Hill space disappeared 15 years ago)
  • Reasonable drive-on prices on the Ferries
  • The existence of non-metered spots and non-zoned parking anywhere within Seattle city limits
  • The Bon Marché – Downtown location on 3rd
  • Italian Spaghetti House on Lake City Way
  • Zesto’s in Ballard
  • The Backstage in Ballard (So many great shows!)
  • Bass NW in Pioneer Square (They have, however, somewhat moved to West Seattle. Whew! Check out The Bass Shop for more details!)
  • Reasonably priced coffee within Seattle city limits
  • The Off-Ramp – Hash after the bash!! Great way to sober up…
  • The RKCNDY (Before it reopened as an all-ages club)
  • The Colourbox
  • The Sit & Spin – Do your laundry AND catch a show!
  • SUNSET BOWL (Yes, I belonged to the “Crappy Bowlers League” on Monday nights)
  • LEILANI LANES
kalakala
The Kalakala and it’s watery last days
  • Piecora’s Pizza
  • St. Clouds in Madrona
  • Frederick & Nelson
  • Summer Nights at the Pier (So many amazing shows!)
  • AFFORDABLE Bumbershoot tickets (I paid $7/day in 1992!)
  • The Fun Forest at Seattle Center (Flight to Mars, anyone??)
  • The Seattle Center Armory – the way it used to be w/the shops upstairs, etc. – And weekend public dances
  • The Twin Teepees restaurant on Aurora (Harland “Colonel” Sanders used to work there prior to creating his Kentucky Fried Chicken empire!)
  • Jim Hadley’s Experience Shoes – Under the Viaduct on Alaskan Way
  • Larry’s Market (Although I’m still hoarding their recipe for potato leek soup)
  • Stella’s Trattoria in the U-District (24/7 pasta and their delicious Caramello dessert. And their bread. Their bread…)
  • South Lake Union before Amazon and Google moved in
  • TOWER RECORDS on Lower Queen Anne (Ohhhh, the hours I spent on their free listening stations… I’m still sad.)
  • Silver Platters by Northgate Mall (But they do still exist in other Seattle-area locations!)
  • Bud’s Jazz Records in Pioneer Square
  • Lofurno’s Jazz Club
  • Sorry Charlie’s on lower Queen Anne (Howard Bulson!)
  • Warshal’s Sporting Goods (On family mini-vacations to Seattle, my dad and brothers would go to Warshal’s and my Mom and I would go to The Bon. :-}
  • Pacific Dessert Co. on Capitol Hill
  • The original Honey Bear Bakery (When it was in Tangletown/Wallingford)
  • The Last Exit (When it was on Brooklyn – in the U District. That place was amazing!)
  • CIBO Cheese (I used to work there when it was near South Lake Union and when it moved to SODO. I’m pretty sure I gained 20lbs working there.)
  • Two Bells in Belltown
  • The Lusty Lady marquee on 1st (Classic.)
  • The pink TOE truck – Lincoln Towing
  • Chubby & Tubby hardware store – and a little bit of everything else!
  • Seattle Waterfront Streetcar – So much charm!
  • THE SEATTLE SUPERSONICS
  • Washington Mutual – Is it weird to miss a bank? I am not a fan of Chase…
  • Elliott Bay Book Co. in Pioneer Square (That location was magical, but the newer Capitol Hill location isn’t bad…)
  • Teatro Zinzanni – Lower Queen Anne location (now relocated to Woodinville)
  • Mars Bar / Café Venus – South Lake Union

And a few classic Seattle / Seattle-area spots currently in the danger zone –

Please join me in a collective sigh… Give it up for bygone Seattle! Are there any spots you’re missing that aren’t on this list? I’d love to hear from you!  Misery loves company, after all…

It’s going to be interesting to see what transpires in Seattle in the coming years. I hope we can keep our remaining favorites untouched by corporate overlords. In the meantime, I plan to continue profiling places to visit and things to do in Washington State and of course, our beloved Seattle. Please keep following I Ate the State for the goods. I’ll be returning to regularly scheduled programming soon with a visit to Grays Harbor County – And a special edition visit to Scotland! Do join me!

Cheers!

Please check out these additional I Ate the State adventures!

 

4 thoughts on “RIP Seattle Viaduct – Ode to a Bygone Seattle (A Special Edition of I Ate the State)

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