I actually like this weather. I like the rain. What I like about Seattle are that people are so used to the rain that they still do stuff. They don't stay indoors, take antidepressants, and read novels. They just go out and get wet.
~ Augusten Burroughs
We got to experience true Seattle weather today. It rained. Part of the day it drizzled. Part of the day we used the umbrella. Part of the day, the part where we headed back from all our touring to think about dinner, it poured. And the wind blew the umbrellas inside out.
Wet was the operative word for the late afternoon. Wet shoes, wet jeans, wet coats. But I can't say I was too upset. Other than wondering how my shoes were going to dry out and the discomfort of water soaked jeans knocking my knees every time I took a step, I was truly enjoying walking in the rain.
I was also glad I didn't take the 'real' camera in this photo. I stuck the Nikon point & shoot in my purse to see how it would work out to capture stuff beyond vacation snapshots. Whew. Dodged a damaged camera there. And mostly I decided to experience life straight on today and not too much through a lens. When you're constantly looking for the shots, you're not experiencing the city. And I travel to be anywhere else but LA so grayness, buildings, sidewalks and people walking on them was what I had come for.
We did the Seattle Underground Tour which takes you through what were city streets below the current street level in Pioneer Square, old downtown Seattle. The Great Seattle Fire of 1889 had destroyed the business district. They rebuilt up to 22 feet above the level of the old streets but kept the underground space. Interesting, funny and well done presentation.
Except I forgot about my teeny tiny issue with claustrophobia. And we were really under the sidewalk surrounded by broken walls and pipes. Deep breathing and concentrating on the tour guide and not on the thought of earthquakes got me through the tour. Much like my forgetting about my fear of heights on my one and only time on a ski lift. Oops.
Then we had a wonderful Middle Eastern lunch and headed up to the Frye Museum. And I do mean up. Hills. Not like San Francisco but I could feel those leg and butt muscles pulling me up like a cable car.
The Frye Museum is small, free and wonderful. There was a truly amazing retrospective by Buster Simpson, a Seattle artist and "pioneer in the field of urban environmentalism and art in public spaces". Agitprop, process-driven art and site-specific were just a few other words the curator used to describe his work. I was enthralled.
And then in one of the exhibit rooms, some gentleman in a baseball cap was touching one of the pieces and chatting with what seemed to be his friends. I eavesdropped enough to wonder, was this the artist himself? At one point I got the group to look at me and motioned, are you...and one of the men said, yes, this is Buster Simpson.
I gushed all over myself telling him how much I loved his work and then I said it was like meeting Paul McCartney. Given that we were close in demographics, I figured he'd take that as the compliment it was. And my kids weren't around to let me know how much I had just embarrassed them.