Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Seattle: city with european touch

Most American cities are predictable in appearances. However, Seattle defied all my pre-conceived notions. This place is not only plentiful in nature but an epitome of modern art and technology. Everything about Seattle is fresh and new: Be it sprouting leaves from frequent rain, brewed coffee or abstract paintings at the public places.

Seattle seems more like being in Freiberg – a city in southern Germany nestled to Black Forest or Salzburg in Austria. This city offer seasonal combinations at any given time- mix of sun and rain, mountainous snow at driving distance, adjacent lake and seashore. Most buildings are innovative in design combined with abundance of Glass . Shopping areas have cobbled stone-streets like in Paris. Abstract paintings or ceramic creations are conspicuous even in business like environment of convention center. Influence of pacific eastern countries is prominent with their cuisine, art galleries, and music.

Symbol of Seattle is ‘space needle’ but if one had been to petronas tower in KL or Montparnasse in Paris, it is not worth paying a price of $13.00 to see a sky view of Seattle. However, this tower at night looks spectacular. With shimmering golden yellow glowing light along the rims of revolving restaurant gives an impression of Saturn rings. Walking along the Pine Place Market that houses fresh seafood, vegetables and eatery joints could be unique for Americans but it is no match to vibrant Asian bazar or Souq. Riverside mall at New Orleans adjacent to Mississippi river with Jazz music in air would make Pine Market pale in comparison. Arial monorail and electric run buses make city environment friendly.

If one has a day to spare, a visit to Mountain Rainier is worth it. This snow-clad mountain housing an active volcano is visible on clear sky day like Mount Fuji. Travel to this mountain goes through National Park. Tall sub-alpine meadows make the place serene and mystic just the way Alps in Switzerland would do. Snow is very powdery and remain shining white despite continuous melting. Cascading melting water transforms streams into four rivers to be source of water for the city. One of the beautiful waterfall is aptly named after Narad muni – a divine link between heaven and earth.

Seven-day stay in Seattle let me have had glimpse of downtown and nearby suburbs of Bellevue, Redmond etc. But it also fueled a growing interest to explore this area which extends upto British Columbia.

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