(Puyallup, WA) Hi 90 Lo 57 – Last week we visited downtown Seattle and enjoyed a harbor cruise and a visit to the Pike Place Market, two of the Seattle “must sees.” The one other thing we wanted to do before we left this area is view the city from the top of the iconic Space Needle, the 605-ft high observation tower that was built for the 1962 Seattle Worlds Fair. (Click on the photos to enlarge them.)
We drove downtown and parked about a block from the Space Needle. We were excited because we were meeting up with Barb, a childhood friend of our son’s during our military days living near St. Louis, MO. It’s amazing how little Barb has changed since the last time we saw her as a teenager back in the 1980’s. This photo reflects her bubbly personality.
Barb has lived in the Seattle area for 18 years, and we were so excited to get to spend the day with her.
We started out by having lunch at a McDonald’s one block away. While we were there Barb got the bright idea to order our tickets for the Space Needle online, to save time waiting in line. She whipped out her smart phone and her thumbs started flying. Within about two minutes we had three tickets for the 1:30 trip up the elevator. These kids and their phones nowadays!
After lunch we had about an hour and a half to kill before our time to report to the Space Needle, so we decided to go to the EMP Museum, which is next door. The EMP Museum, formerly known as the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (EMP/SFM), was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2000. It has exhibits, interactive activity stations, sound sculpture, and various education resources. That’s a wordy way of saying it’s a museum of popular culture. It’s in a building that, from the ground, just looks weird. (This photo is from the internet.)
But from 500 feet above, it looks like a destroyed guitar. (Apparently an homage to past rock stars who destroyed their guitars on stage, like The Who an Jimy Hendrix.) This photo was taken later in the day from the Space Needle observation deck, through the railing.
There were many exhibits, including Jimi Hendrix in London. Here are the remains of a couple of guitars that he destroyed.
The Hall of Guitars had this column of guitars (and other instruments). It was two floors high, and very impressive!
The whole history of guitars and other stringed instruments was on display.
An exhibit called “Icons of Science Fiction” had many original props and costumes from famous science fiction TV shows and movies, like Star Capt Kirk’s Captain’s chair from the original series Star Trek. Notice the “tribbles” all around it. (You have to be a “Trekkie” to know what a tribble is.)
And from Star Trek, the Next Generation, here’s Data’s uniform.
Around the corner was the cane and pendant worn by Yoda in the original Star Wars movies. The cane was about 6-8 inches long.
The costume worn by Christopher Reeve in the movie Superman.
How about a couple of costume items from The Wizard of Oz, like the hat worn by the Wicked Witch of the West.
Or the Lion, who only wanted some courage.
An exhibit on horror movies also had many original props, like the hatchet wielded by Jack (Jack Nicholson) in the movie The Shining. I still remember him chopping through that door and shouting “Here’s Johnny!”
And who doesn’t remember the Friday the 13th movies. Here’s Jason’s hockey mask and machete.
Most of the museum is made up of rotating exhibits. One we really enjoyed was called “Block by Block.” It showed what can be done with Legos. There were several famous skyscrapers, all made with Legos.
This close up shows that it is indeed made out of Legos.
Chicago’s Sears Tower. (I know it’s now the Willis Tower, but no one in Chicago calls it that, according to our son who lives there.)
Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.
Another close up, showing the individual Legos. Amazing!
There were many, many more exhibits. There was a whole hall devoted to Nirvana, the famous band that started the “Seattle Sound” in the 80’s, and many exhibits about music and music creation. A room with an Imax-sized screen showed non-stop music concerts. All in all, it was a fun visit.
It was time to walk across the street to the Space Needle for our scheduled elevator ride to the top.
The Space Needle defines Seattle the same way the famous St. Louis Arch defines that city. We rode the elevator to the observation deck. There’s an inside portion where you can have a drink or a snack and look out the windows.
But to really enjoy the view you have to go outside.
Mt. Rainier was barely visible to the naked eye in the distance, but it didn’t come out in the photos due to the haze.
CenturyLink Stadium and Safeco Field, zoomed in.
The view east of downtown.
And the Queen Anne neighborhood to the north.
These spiders look so real! But they’re painted on the roof of the building below.
The Space Needle is a must see if you ever visit Seattle. Especially in beautiful weather like we’ve been enjoying.
We said goodbye to Barb and negotiated the rush hour traffic back to Puyallup. It was a wonderful day, made more enjoyable by getting to spend time with an old friend.
See you tomorrow.