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A New Yorker in Seattle

Ellen Levitt

Posted on August 26, 2019 22:14

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After vacationing for a few days in Seattle we compared/contrasted it to our hometown of New York City

I enjoy visiting cities throughout the United States and elsewhere. As a lifelong resident of New York City, I am acutely aware of the pros and cons of urban life, and I appreciate the differences and similarities among cities. I try not to be too jaded about urban life, and even though I have the greatest affection for my hometown city, I find that I learn so much when I spend time in other cities.

For the first time, my family and I vacationed in Seattle, staying a bit less than a week. We visited famous sites such as the Space Needle, the Pike Place Market, the Aquarium, Museum of Pop Culture, and the Chihuly Garden and Glass. We took a boat ride to see the downtown area, and we traveled twice on the Seattle Center Monorail. We sipped coffees from the original Starbucks shop. We walked around the historic Pioneer Square area and Occidental Square. All of these were fun and interesting, reflective of the history, culture and commerce of Seattle. (We also had dinner and shopped with my husband's cousin and his family.)

But we also sought out lesser-known sites and experiences. My daughters and I are big rock 'n roll fans, so we went to the unofficial Kurt Cobain memorial bench in Viretta Park. We paid tribute to the Jimi Hendrix statue on Broadway Avenue, and my older daughter, who studies guitar, left a pick on the statue's base. We found and admired graffiti murals in a few neighborhoods. 

We have learned that you cannot just see the "big hits" of a city, checking them off a list as "done." We want to absorb these and not just stare at them in passing. Sometimes this is difficult, what with crowds jostling us with selfie sticks.

I also explored three former synagogue buildings in a residential neighborhood, all within a few blocks of each other. I have researched these sites in several cities and suburbs, and I feel a responsibility to find these  buildings and learn a bit about their architecture, their history, and the demographic changes that have occurred within the Jewish communities around the United States and elsewhere.

Perhaps our favorite place during our Washington trip was visiting Mount Rainier outside of Seattle. It was so thrilling to gaze upon the mountain top, watch water flow along rocks from the glaciers, hike paths and listen to water cascading down waterfalls. In my opinion, paying homage to nature is a must during each vacation, and I have to absorb it not only by looking but by watching, not just by hearing but by listening, as well as by touching rocks, sniffing flowers and plants, and just feeling part of the ageless pulse of nature. 

I was very impressed by this city. Yes, it does have its problems, such as a homeless population, and it is a pricey locale. But I am a big believer in the power of cities to inspire and nurture. 

 

Ellen Levitt

Posted on August 26, 2019 22:14

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Source: Daily Mail

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