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Posts Tagged ‘navigation’

Back from Seattle

An oil platform off of the Santa Barbara coast.

An oil platform off of the Santa Barbara coast.

Oddly my trip to Seattle had relatively little internet connectivity. I was staying at a house with no wifi and no gracious neighbor with an open connection. My internet was limited to an hour or less a day at a Starbucks and someone else’s iPhone. It was odd to have my laptop the whole time and yet not be connected.

My trip up was a complete success though. Relying on the power of Craigslist combined with e-mail, instant messaging, Facebook, text messages and mobile phones all led to my soon to be current housing situation. Interestingly enough the final decision that got me into the house was decided by three coin flips. Sometimes luck is favorable.

This was my first time really driving around Seattle (well I was navigating since I am too young for a rental car) and I must say two things struck me: the traffic and the street names. The traffic is what it is. However the street names have an almost failed logic about them. I see the reasoning, north-south streets are avenues while east-west streets are streets. Then there are quadrants and numbers with the origin set in downtown Seattle. But once we get to 193 St. Ct. NW Private it starts to become a little concerning. Then there is the occasional named street thrown in just for kicks.

I feel the idea was that even if you are new to the city a sensible sense of direction and the ability to count could easily help anyone navigate around. In practice it does not quite work that way. If the city remained on a solid grid without large freeways, tunnels or raised roads it would work. However it is not a grid and there are many roads with only a few designated ways onto or off of the road.

Also I would like to note that despite what any tour book will tell you Pioneer Square is not a very good place to go. There were two parking lots across from each other completely empty, nothing is more suspicious then an empty parking lot. That and the flocks of homeless just shuffling about in worn boots and threadbare slippers.

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