Bubblehead's Seattle Bathroom Review
As a service to my readers, I wanted to provide a report on some of the restrooms I encountered at various tourist spots in Seattle last week.
1) The Seattle - Bremerton Ferry: We took the ferry to Bremerton on Wednesday night, and back to Seattle on Friday morning. I didn't get a chance to see the head on M/V Yakima during the 1st trip, but on M/V Hyak I used the facilities during the return trip. From the CRES "trough-style" urinal to the piping visible in the overhead, this was a "head" in the most nautical sense of the word. I didn't notice any drunks or strange fluids on the ground, but it was fairly early in the morning.
The rest of the ferry was very nice, as
2) Pike Place Market: This is the famous "fish-flinging" public market just northeast of the ferry terminals. The bathrooms here were scary -- the doors to the stalls were only about 4 1/2 feet tall, meaning anyone could look over them and see what the occupant was doing. I didn't happen to need to use the stalls, but SubBasket reported that the women's restrooms were set up the same way. Being from Idaho, I have no idea why they'd want to do something that would discourage people from enjoying their privacy in out-of-the-way restroom stalls in a public market filled with lots of "progressive" stores, but I guess that's just a big-city thing.
In addition to the restrooms, the market contained a few arts-and-crafts stores amongst a huge number for fresh-cut flower stalls run by older Asian women. They seemed to have enough flowers for sale there to meet the needs of the entire West Coast. Unless Seattleites eat tulips, my guess is that there are lots of flowers left over at the end of the day; I think these are the ones that get shipped to Boise supermarkets. One might expect that one could find bargains at this type of "open-air" market; if so, one would think wrong. Apparently only tourists shop and eat there, and are willing to pay a premium for the atmosphere. It was still lots of fun.
3) Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame / Experience Music Project: Next, we headed for the Space Needle, and found that the prices from the Market extended to the Needle -- they wanted $12/person (military rate) just to take the elevator to the top and look around! We gave that a pass and instead spent our $12 for admission to both of the museums located at the foot of the Needle. The restrooms at both museums were really boring -- no Queen Aliens reaching out of the stalls to eat you at the SF Museum, and no members of Queen hanging out in the last stall at the Music place. The museums themselves were a good way to kill three hours while waiting for our flight, and had some interesting stuff. Basically, they were one of those "if you've been there once, there's no real reason to go back"-type places.
For Seattle overall, I noticed that there seem to be many commonly-held misconceptions about the place. It doesn't actually rain all the time -- we were there for 40 hours before it started raining (about when we started to drive to the airport). It also turns out that there isn't actually a Starbucks on every corner; in fact, I'd say that over 50% of the corners didn't have any sort of coffee shop on them. All-in-all, it's a nice city, and I'm glad that it's only 400 miles from Boise. I'm also glad that it's at least 400 miles away. That's just about the perfect distance.
Post-script: By far, the neatest "guy" thing (other than the submarine stuff) I saw on my trip was the key to my rental car. They gave us a brand new Mazda 6, and the key was spring-loaded and folded into the clicker-thingy. When you pressed the button to get the key out, it flipped out like a switchblade. I'd be willing to pay an extra $100 for a key like that the next time I buy a new car.
Edited 2133 01 April to correct a mis-spelled pluralization.