Seattle – Day 3 and 4: Culture and Animals
Day 3 kicked off with a ride on the monorail that shuttles between Westlake Station (5th Avenue and Pine) and Seattle Center, the exposition park that was created for the 1962 World’s Fair. As the cars (at the time very futuristic) have been in operation for 55 years, it still somewhat feels like stepping back in time riding this monorail.
The ride itself is only 5 minutes or so as it has a top speed of 45 mph, but it beats walking the 12 blocks ($2.25 one-way and $4.50 for a roundtrip, for some reason only payable in cash to actual cashiers). As there are windows in the roof of the cars, you get a nice view of the surrounding buildings and riding “through” the MoPOP museum.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
First we went to the Chihuly Garden and Glass. A museum that opened in 2012 and is dedicated to the works of Tacoma-born glass artist Dale Chihuly. He designs the works, but lets the actual glass blowing to his team, further to the collaboration concept he encountered when studying at the Venetian Venini glass factory – famous for its Murano glass – in the late 1960s.
We started off in a room where there were more or less functional works that drew inspiration on the tapestry and weaving designs from the Native American tribes in Seattle area.
We strolled around Memorial Park and sat down at The International Fountain, which the Japanese sculptors Matsushita and Shimizu designed for the World’s Fair.
The fountains operates on music up to 12 minutes long and it was great fun to see kids (and adults) to try to touch the fountain without getting soaked. Some did it deliberately as the weather was great, but many failed miserably at keeping themselves dry.
Museum of Pop Culture
Final stop was the wonky Frank Gehry-designed Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), which was initiated by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2000 as the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (EMP|SFM), later until 2016 just EMP.
There was a temporary exhibit on the work of Jim Henson, which we all know from Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, but this provided insight in his earlier work, commercials as well as the art of puppeteering. Props and storyboards from The Dark Crystal and The Neverending Story movies were also on display.
Afternoon and Evening
After the return trip on the monorail we had lunch at Pho 25 (1525 3rd Avenue). Great phos and the Vietnamese Coffee was strong enough to fight off any jet lag dip!
Day 4: Woodland Park Zoo
Our final day in Seattle was mostly spent picking up our rental car and a visit to Woodland Park Zoo. The northbound drive to the zoo was only short, but I had quite some difficulties adjusting to navigation instructions. Luckily our Ford Explorer also had Apple CarPlay, so I could plug-in my own phone and use it’s (metric) navigation. Phew!
We were pleasantly surprised by the size of the zoo and its diversity of animals. Generally much roomier than we have encounters in other zoos, although we haven’t ever seen indoor quarters for meerkats before. Especially, the murals trying to depict a prairie made that one rather sad.Tulio (1100 Fifth Avenue). It still gets great online reviews for its Northern Italian cuisine with Pacific North West influences and its huge wine list. It did not disappoint as we have a wonderful dinner.
- Sage Butter and Mascarpone
- Peperonata, Quail Egg, Fried Caper Gremolata and Bottarga
- Rotisserie Chicken, Caramelized Garlic, Sage, and Lemon Risotto
- Tipsy ladyfingers, Espresso Ganache, Mascarpone Fluff, Chocolate Crumbs)
The gnocchi were beautifully crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. A great dish that was shared as a starter and everybody just loved them. The main dishes were impeccable and paired with a good value 2015 Valpolicella by Allegrini. The tiramisu was a nice modern take on the classic dessert without straying too far from the original. However, the real stars of the evening were their homemade ice creams. The strawberry gelato was already great and full of flavour, but their basil, lemongrass and green tea sorbet was just brilliant.