how to get around seattle

lost in seattle?

Seattle skyline from Alki BeachYou can always spot a Seattle tourist: they’re the ones wandering around town with those bloody Blue Maps. I’ve always pitied them because it means they only see the downtown core and never the real city. Not the way I travel. I’m pleased whenever I see someone with said map outside the Blue Map Zone. (In 25+ years I’ve only seen this happen twice.)

flâneur Get off the blue map, discover the neighborhoods, eave downtown, explore the city. There’s more to Seattle than the stadiums to Seattle Center, the waterfront to I-5. Maps? Metskers Maps.

Pay attention to the directional part of any street address. In other words, 16 Ave SW is nowhere near 16 Ave NW, nor is 16th Ave S near 16th Ave E or 16th Ave W or 16th Ave NE. Got that? Street names center around 1st Ave and Yesler. I remember ADDS: Ave direction, direction Street

Fremont Troll SeattleJesus Christ Made Seattle Under Pressure :: Old Seattle trick for remembering the sequence of streets downtown. First letter of the streets from south to north, two up: Jefferson James Cherry Columbia Marion Madison Spring Seneca University Union Pike Pine

Get current with one or both of Seattle’s weekly newspapers: The Stranger and The Seattle Weekly.

Whenever possible, take 99 instead of I-5 and I-90 instead of 520. Seattle drivers are wimps compared to Boston (where I lived before moving here). Double parking, crashing red lights, jaywalking, and right turns from anywhere other than the right lane are all no-no’s. I thank the Scandinavian natives for such regular traffic habits. No subways but the buses are OK. Parking meter rates are exorbitant, especially downtown.

I’m always in awe of the Frank Stella painting at SeaTac airport. In fact, there’s a lot of art at SeaTac airport. Sooner or later you’re going to be stuck there so you might as well know how to enrich yourself as you kill time.

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