Route 11 is a loop route, meaning you go to one end, then come back without going onto another route. These routes are comparatively short but done for the reason of higher density. I particularly enjoy this route because of its path through several different types of neighborhoods.
Route 11 starts in the Madison Park area. This is a wealthier neighborhood, Waterfront property in Seattle is plentiful but very pricey. Houses and yards are very well kept. This is a neighborhood where Interior Designers, Architects and Landscape Architects, Caterers, Craftsmen of all kinds have made their mark and therefor their living in. Sidewalks are always clean.
I had been driving this route on Saturdays, which I understand is a “lighter day” to be driving. Because of Madison Parks high density parking is tough so even the well to do ride the bus, its easier. The route starts on 42nd, Usually picking up grandparents and grandkids going into the city, they let the young one pay in cash as I welcome them onto the bus and hand them the transfers.
We drive through these stylish and well kept homes to Madison ave. Take a right and start up the hill, we pass Bistros, Coffee shops, Boutiques, high end grocery store, Fashion houses and Interior Design stores. As we go up the hill we start to pass condos and a golf course. A few miles up and we arrive at the entrance to the Arboretum, one of Seattle’s very large parks known for its amazing landscapes, historical trees and vegetation that stretches to Lake Washington, the Arboretum also hosts our oldest Japanese Garden, a place of unique beauty well known for its full moon tea celebrations with Koto music, large pond with schools of Koi and many turtles. Families and tourists often get off here, grab some coffee and walk to the garden.
We head up the hill past more condos and into the “central area” which historically had been one of Seattles Urban neighborhoods that in the last couple of decades because of our tech industry, has become quite gentile.
At the top of the Hill is Capitol Hill. Capital Hill is the center of our LGTB community. Every weekend of the summer there is some kind of community gathering, music, art festivals, food, parades of all types. Sidewalks and crosswalks are painted in rainbows, restaurants and bars, retail shops and services are mostly geared towards the young and hip.
This is a fun area for me, because here I will pick up all kinds and types of people, from the wealthy to the homeless. Tattoo’s, piercings, gender mixes, clothing styles, hair color, even the dogs have colored hair and extreme style. It’s a nice break from the daily commuters going to work who dress rather conservatively. A day in this area will demonstrate that there is all kinds of ways to enjoy being human.
From Broadway we head down the hill into the city, we cross the freeway pass our Historical Paramount Theater, Saturdays there are matinees of musicals, the evening will be music and comedians. Then we head into our retail district, Westlake Mall, Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, high end clothing, perfumes, jewelry. The sidewalks are full of people shopping, sightseeing and street performers. I open the doors and listen to all the bustle. There are singers with loudspeakers, guitar players, Chinese musicians, horn players, drummers, stand still performers in extravagant costumes, magicians, jugglers, it all happens here.
I nudge myself through traffic to 2nd avenue and drop off locals and tourists who are on their way to Pike Place Market, a world class farmers market to pickup fresh food, flowers, Knick knacks and more restaurants
I take a left to finish the half of the loop and begin to head back, picking up the people going back home, or to the Arboretum, or Lake Washington.
I drive through our Convention Center where there is an event almost daily and most certainly on weekends. Busy, Busy, Busy. Drivers say they get dizzy from this route. Its not so much its circle as it is amazing variety of people and places.