On the Record

Once “Helen Wheels” had safely unloaded us from her DUKW, my wife and I headed across the street to Seattle’s world famous Space Needle. The structure was built for the Century 21 Exposition, which was not a Realtor convention but the official name of the 1962 World’s Fair.

Seattle Space Needle - looking up

Seattle Space Needle - looking up

Seattle Space Needle - looking up

From the observation deck we could see Puget Sound, Lake Union and Mount Rainier. The volcano is barely visible in my photographs but could be easily seen by the naked eye. Looking straight down, we saw the roofs of the Experience Music Project and the Science Fiction Museum. It took me three trips to Seattle to get to the Space Needle. The museums will have to wait until my fourth visit.

Seattle Space Needle - looking up

Seattle Space Needle - looking up

Seattle Space Needle - looking up

As you would expect, there is a Starbucks inside the Space Needle. However, they did not offer blended drinks. Maybe the vibrations from the blenders would be frightening to tourists at that height. There are coffee and espresso shops all over Seattle. Across the street from the Space Needle, there is a McDonald’s with a “can-do spirit” pushing their McCafĂ© FrappĂ©s.

Seattle Space Needle - looking up

Seattle Space Needle - looking up

Seattle Space Needle - looking up

They had several Christmas ornaments in the gift shop. I was happy that we found a decent one in the clearance bin. Among all the usual souvenirs, one stood out as unusual. For $110, you can get a pepper mill that looks like the Space Needle.

The Needle’s website has some delightfully cheesy videos from 1962. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which used to be a newspaper, has predictions for the 21st century such as “The school of tomorrow will have ‘walls made of jets of air, its tables standing on invisible legs, its floating canvas roof controlled to catch the sun.'”

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