We decided to brave downtown Seattle on Saturday. We haven’t been downtown since early February. And so much has changed since then and will continue to change.
It was kind of a gloomy day, which probably added to my gloom. Most of the parking garages are closed, but we found a spot at Pacific Place. Pacific Place is an upscale downtown indoor mall. I don’t know what the mall capacity is, but only FOUR stores were open today (lululemon, Aveda, AT&T and L’Occitane). It had a pretty cavernous feel.
From there, we walked down to the Pike Place Market. There were more signs of life there. We got in line at La Panier for some fantastic French pastries. We weren’t alone in line. A lot of people had the same idea.
From there, we walked to our favorite restaurant, Etta’s Seafood. I knew Ettas was closed, but I wanted a picture. Another Tom Douglas restaurant is next door and it was open. And Tom Douglas was standing outside! I asked him if I could take his photo and he insisted on a selfie with me. He is shaking his head about the current situation and really misses all of his staff. He has 10 restaurants in Seattle and 3 are open.
We walked through the market which was pretty lively. Not like a typical Saturday, but there were people wandering through. Some of the vendors were there and we got some good photos of the last flowers of summer.
We then walked through the ghost town that was downtown. Most of the stores still have boards on their windows from the summer protests. Many of them are closed, but a handful are open. We went into the flagship Nordstrom for a look around. There were people and merchandise. Again, it wasn’t as busy as a typical Saturday, but it could have been worse.
For more photos of today’s ‘adventure’, check out travelswithallene on Instagram.
I have to take a paragraph to talk about people who are unhoused and spend time on the downtown streets. I imagine some of them are mentally ill and outbursts are frequent. This is nothing new, but it is one more deterrent to shoppers and others who might still be willing to give downtown a try.
No one has a crystal ball right now, least of all me. I do imagine that downtown Seattle will come back in some form. It always does. But I don’t think we are going to be rewinding the tape to 2019 anytime soon. I think many of the changes are here to stay. Who knows what will emerge in the after times?
On that cheery note, see you on Wednesday,