Monday, May 04, 2009
The big boat parade and the local scene
The annual Opening Day on Lake Washington was truly cool. It started when one of the canals was opened for the first time linking lakes Union and Washington to the sea. The Ballard Locks near us are what keeps the water in. It was a big deal, so they keep the tradition alive with pomp, circumstance, and, we guess, a lot of alcohol. The dragon boats were first. A little less syncopated than the rowing crews, it was fun to see these huge canoes. Note the cowboy hat on the dragon bowsprit. The theme was the "Wild Wild West".
The crew races were next, and U. of Washington, second best in the nation, pretty much dominated everyone. Mo was impressed at the strength and sheer size of the UW Amazon women. Blain thought the skinny little Brazilian team was more photogenic, and surprisingly less amazonian.
From the Montlake Bridge, the view of the races was amazing. When all the boats paraded past underneath, the sight was remarkable.
Here's the Montlake Bridge loaded to the gills with people. The Seattle fireboat started the parade off in fine style. Good thing we were all in rain gear.
The western theme soon became more obvious.
These pocket steamboats had the loudest whistles, without a doubt.
And what parade would be complete without the amphibious car/boats?
And some ducks? The loon was cool. too.
We thought we'd show you a bit of the neighborhood. After a wet parade, the coffee in Fremont was nice and hot. Fremont is a bit eclectic and home to large Google and Adobe offices. The central core, i.e. "The Center of the Known Universe", is packed with import shops, cafes, bike stores, and perhaps had a bit of a vagrancy problem.
These plasma-looking benches caught our eye.
And yes, there is a statue of Lenin. Not sure why, except we heard the owner picked it up cheap after the Iron Curtain fell. At least one locally made beer celebrates him with their "Red Menace" beer. Blain can attest that the beer lives up to its namesake. All of the Hale Brewery beers are great. And that, from a beer snob. Their Hale Cream Ale is fit for a god.