Buenos Aires, by Noelia Diaco. Photo is not visible, used only for sharing on social networks.

Seattle: indoors

June 3, 2013

Picking up where I left off on our trip to Seattle, during which it rained (surprise), leaving me to entertain myself indoors for two days.

I started at the Klondike Gold Rush Museum, dedicated to the 1897 rush to find gold in the Yukon. It's a small, excellent museum that leads you chronologically from the first announcement of gold, to the mad rush through Seattle up to northwestern Canada and finishes with the long-term economic consequences. Most compellingly, it chronicles the journey of five prospectors, using their own words to recount their journey. And best of all, it's free. (Thanks National Park Service.)

My most interesting historical tidbit from my visit: The co-founder of the Nordstrom department store chain, John Nordstrom, was among those who headed to Alaska in search of fortune. He staked a claim, which came under legal challenge, and lacking the funds to defend his title, settled for $30,000 and returned to Seattle with a net profit of $13,000. He used that money to open a shoe store, which under his sons would eventually grow into the Nordstrom's chain. The claim he sold? It paid out millions in the years to come.

Looking to further escape the rain, I next headed to the Seattle Public Library, which is as unlike Widener Library as any library can be (Harvard's Widener Library being the last library in which I spent significant time).

I curled up with a book in one of these purple chairs.
The "red floor."
The next day it was still raining (Ben and I are in agreement that we could never live in the Pacific northwest — we need sunshine) so I visited the Seattle Art Museum. I focused mostly on the American frontier and the native American art and bypassed modern and Renaissance works. I've found that in regional museums, I often most enjoy the art indigenous to the area (for example, the colonial art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston).

We were happy the weather cleared for our final day of wandering (along the waterfront up to the Olympics Sculpture Garden) before heading back to SF. Ben's company headquarters haven't moved so we figure we'll be back in the not-too-distant future.

- Steph

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