Today, I intended to embark upon two trips up one of Seattle's most iconic towers: the Space
Needle. My first ascent up to the 'observation deck' would be during daylight hours, offering me the opportunity to survey an all encompassing scene of city vivacity. Boarding the elevator with my camera, a spare battery, and a considerable supply of zeal, I shuttled towards the clouds at about 10mph. The on-board visuals are enhanced by the glass doors, which offer enchanting views on the skyward flight.
The views are all-embracing. You can't help but tune in to the relentless drone of urban bustle, muffled by the high pitched howling of similarly continuous gusts of wind that blow no odour. It's a fresh, scentless breeze. From ground level, whiffs of roasted coffee circulate the city almost as much as the tram; every resident or visitor litters street corners with whiffs of their personality, whether it be the stale stink of a vagabond or the sophisticated cologne of the capitalist. Yet up here, I caught no trace of these separate identities. I circled the tower several times, taking in the blanket of this urban landscape. Unbeknown to them, and perhaps to me at the time, I followed thousands of people's morning journeys; commutes to work, sleepy totters to grocery stores, promenades with the dog. Clouds were assembling over the action, but the familiar scenes of contemporary city life below them were inspiring.
I wisely dedicated a portion of the afternoon to exploring North Seattle which, to date, I had not happened upon. I made my way through Queen Anne's Hill and took a diversion through Kinnear Park; a pocket of natural bliss if ever a city needed one. Maple trees bowed over me, seemingly glowing in the few shafts of sunlight that trickled through the foliage. I stumbled across a soft, uneven bed of organic matter, filled my lungs with photosynthesised fresh 'leafy scented' oxygen, and tuned into a tweeting melody emanating from the branches.
Within moments, I emerged from a verdant canopy and found myself almost instantly sauntering along the coastline. A narrow column of rippling waves reflected the fiery glow of a sunset, as if someone had dispersed dye into Elliot Bay. The wildlife, including seagulls, were also making sure they didn't miss out on the spectacle; their elegant flight only augmenting the experience for me.
By the time I had returned downtown, it was just about time for my second and final visit to the observation deck of the Space Needle. I timed it just right, arriving at the top just as the dark blues of an unlit sky were slowly but surely manifesting towards twilight. An unmistakable romance is conjured up here; a feeling is evoked that can't be set down in writing, it's too wonderful for print.