As promised! Welcome to Part 2 of my review of Seattle.
Boeing Museum of Flight, Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour and Some Amazing night photography.
BOEING MUSEUM OF FLIGHT
Our first stop was to the Boeing Museum of Flight and I was super excited about this one! In an alternate universe I’m sure I’m a pilot as I find flying exhilarating.
And the museum did not disappoint as it was simply breath taking. I know I’ve said “breath taking” a few times while writing about Seattle - but (spoiler alert) I really love it there.
They had seemingly everything in this museum. The Lockheed SR 71 Blackbird, a real space shuttle, Boeings, fighter jets and WW2 planes to name a few.
Aside from planes - I guess you can say I have a thing for domes. It took a few minutes for us to wait until there were no people before I can get this shot...
And if your wondering - this bridge takes you to the space gallery, aviation pavilion and outdoor hanger!
And it should go without saying - but this place is massive!
Best of all you can go into many of these planes!
BILL SPEIDEL’S UNDERGROUND TOUR
We then hopped on a bus and headed to Bill Speidel's Underground Tour. Now this was one of those things that I was excited for but I unfortunately found it a bit underwhelming.
The tour guides were great, and gave a lot of historical facts for nerds like me; but overall I wasn’t crazy about it. At least it wasn’t too expensive, I think 20 bucks.
Did you know that the original Seattle was built over due to a fire? So in other words, technically there’s an underground city!
PIONEER TRAIN STATION
A fellow Steemian suggested I check out Pioneer Train Station - so I did. I created 2 versions for your viewing pleasure. Do you prefer the light and airy version…
Or the more contrasty version?
TIME TO CREATE SOME AMAZING SEATTLE NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY
Now as I mentioned in my previous post - sometimes you have to force yourself to get out and take pictures. And if you ask me - one of my favorite things to shoot is cities at night!
There are a million reasons why I prefer shooting at night and if you’d like to read about it, click on the image below…
So I headed out around 10pm pacific standard time which meant "real feel" circadian rhythm time was 1am. No matter how tired I am - I always get reinvigorated in the night.
I eyed this spot a few blocks away from the hotel and knew this would be a great spot to shoot at night. I’m not sure where it was - but if you really want to know contact me and I’ll look it up for you.
Told ya I have a thing for domes!
Next I wanted to shoot the Pike Place Public Market but on my way I found a few photo opportunities by the Paramount Theater.
I’m not sure which I like better so I figured I share them both with you. And if you’re wondering what those light streaks are, they’re cars and buses.
Now for the next series of shots I must say it was one of the dirtiest shooting experiences I’ve ever had! Since Seattle is a big city, you’ll find rats roaming around at night, bird poop everywhere and some streets were being cleaned meaning all of that nastiness was being liquified (if that makes any sense).
And speaking of nastiness - can you guess what those dots on the wall are?
If you guessed gum you are correct! YUK
I kind of get itchy looking at these photos as I know what I went through to get these shots!
DR RIZAL PARK - ONE OF THE BEST SPOTS FOR NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY
My research findings said I should head to Dr Rizal Park. But once again the trees got in the way of my photography. So I took a walk to find a better vantage point and walah! I'm glad I didn't come up empty handed...
I'd be lying if I'd say I wasn't on high alert. If you've seen any of my tutorial videos, you'll notice that I'm always looking around while taking photos. And that's because you always have to be aware of your surroundings.
And in this case I was by a busy road - alone - late at night.
But I made it out alive and I'm glad I was able to capture some amazing shots of Seattle at night!
My overall review of Seattle and a final stop to the Woodland Park Zoo.
Thank you for making it to part 5 of my review of Seattle. In this post I’ll talk about what I loved and didn’t like, plus I’ll take you to one more stop and that’s the Woodland Park Zoo.
They way our trip has been going - I had a feeling we were going to need a “vacation from our vacation”
By now we were exhausted and we decided to take it easy since we’ve been hitting the city hard. We slept late and decided to do only one thing and it was check out...
SEATTLE'S WOODLAND PARK ZOO
There’s really not much to say about the zoo other than I was glad the kids on school trips were headed back home - which meant we had the place pretty much to ourselves.
As mentioned in my part 1 I didn’t think I’d use my 70-200mm lens as much as I did and being in a zoo I’m glad I had it with me! Especially when it came to taking photos of birds.
And if you were to ask me out of the hundreds of photos I took of the zoo - which one is my favorite, I’d reply by saying this one…
I’m not sure why, perhaps it has something to do with the chunky hand!
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT SEATTLE
To end on a positive note, first I’ll tell you what I didn’t like.
Remember this sticker?
Well in all honesty it should end with homelessness as you’ll see a lot, I mean a lot of homeless people. It's just as bad as in San Francisco and you have to see it for yourself to believe it.
Our hotel was located downtown near a lot of high end stores. And if I’m spending $10,000 on a purse, I don’t want to walk outside and see homeless people.
I asked a Lyft driver “what’s up with all the homelessness?” and he said part of the reason is the climate, as it’s nice year round and some people chose to be homeless.
He also felt a lot of people aren’t willing to work two jobs to survive there, so they’d rather be homeless. I wouldn’t be surprised if Seattle was in the top 5 most expensive places to live in the USA.
The driver also said the city doesn’t do anything other than - wait for this - give them tents!
The funny thing is I wondered how these homeless people had gotten their hands on fancy tents - turns out the local government gives it to them.
If you have a few moments check out this video as it will put everything into perspective.
The other thing I wasn’t crazy about - is that Seattle can be a bit pricy. But nowadays no matter where you go the same thing can be said. Even when I go to Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic I wonder to myself - how do these people survive?
Plus now that I think about it Seattle smells really bad. There’s a lot of alley ways and sometimes when you walk by all you smell is a strong smell of urine.
I’d hate to have a window facing an alley as you won’t be able to open the window!
Another thing I have to mention is that it seems like everything closes early there. Pike Place Market (one of the main tourists attractions) starts wrapping up shop around 4:30 / 5:00! And good luck finding a restaurant open in downtown after 10!
WHAT I ABSOLUTELY LOVED ABOUT SEATTLE
Coming from NYC and now living in Boston (at the time of this trip) I’m often asked “how do I like Boston?”.
And depending on who’s asking and how honest I can be - I’ll reply by saying the number one thing I don’t like is the lack of diversity in Boston.
Seattle is much like New York City as you’ll find people from all places and colors so if feels much like home.
It’s also a very, very inclusive place in terms of the LGBTQ community. As a quick example while shopping in Target, the employee at the resister was wearing t-shirt with a flaming unicorn with the pride colors on the background - and this shirt was a company issue employee uniform.
All I’m going to say is if you’re homophobic and don’t like LGBTQ diversity - don’t go to Seattle. And believe it or not - I think it’s more gay than San Francisco!
While we were on the harbor cruise we saw seals that head up to Seattle during the warmer months to get fat and mate.
Well if you’re looking to fatten up, Seattle is the place for you! As no matter your preference in food - you’ll definitely find something you’ll love. Especially if you love seafood!
Now the architecture there is amazing as you have a lot of old structures and new.
In Seattle they’re literally cranes everywhere! If you go now and come back in 5 years you won’t even recognize it. How many cranes do you see? I count at least 7!
In this one I see about 10...
In this photo I see at least 11...
And many of the long time locals I chatted with lament what the city has become. The cost of living there is out of control and the construction is endless.
Seattle is also surrounded by a lot of natural beauty, plus it’s relatively close to Vancouver (which is on my must-see places list). If you’re into nature there’s several national parks in the area.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS ON SEATTLEWell when it comes to reviewing places I keep things simple. It'd be foolish to review a place that you've only spent a handful of days there.
So I always review places by answering "would I go there again?". And the answer is a resounding HELL YEA!
I'm actually planning to go again as I want to go kayaking with killer whales.
Yes you heard me right - kayaking with orcas! The optimal time is around late spring / early summer and it’s about a 3 hour drive north from Seattle to the San Juan Islands.
Overall I really LOVE LOVE LOVE Seattle. My only knock on it is the homelessness issue and high cost of living.
ON A FINAL NOTE
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and if you're ever in need of a photographer to document your vacation don't hesitate to reach out. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter for more posts like these!
If you loved this post and missed part one here is the link: https://steemit.com/travelfeed/@mikeycolon/a-professional-photographer-review-of-seattle-part-1
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