It’s a term that is invoked quite often in Seattle, and it’s a term that draws equal amounts approval and ire from the city’s inhabitants.
Most of the approval comes from real estate types, Chamber of Commerce boosters, and assorted carpetbaggers who are more than eager to turn whatever goodwill the city may have into cold, hard cash.
Those disapproving of the term tend to be long-term residents, the socially conscious, the pretend socially-concious, and pretty much everyone who lives on Capitol Hill.
Obviously, I lean more toward the latter camp than the former. I’d like to see population growth cease if not reverse, I want nothing to do with a new stadium, and I want the Viaduct to stay right where it is.
If an earthquake strikes in the 15 minutes it takes me to get from the Battery Street Tunnel to the West Seattle Bridge, then it was my time to go, pure and simple. Not only that, but I’d much rather my last seconds on earth be spent admiring the glaciers on the Olympic Mountains as I’m falling 70 feet to my splattering below, rather than asphyxiating in a caved-in tunnel three stories below Pike Street with nothing to look at but a McCain/Palin ’08 bumper sticker that somehow survived when the BMW to which it was affixed got pulverized seconds after the ©Big One (brought to you by the fear mongers at King 5) struck.
That being said, I’m not going to lie and say that I am completely anti-world-class. I’m probably the biggest advocate the Seattle Streetcar has ever had, and I’m so excited about our new subway line that I check the Sound Transit website at least once a week, eying progress updates like Jean Enersen eyes Nordstrom security on Black Friday.
I kid, I kid, I don’t believe a word of those nasty rumors about Jean. Why, just this afternoon I ran into her at Cal Anderson Park, and she couldn’t have been more warm and friendly and … wait, where’s my pen? Where’s my fucking pen???!!!
God-DAMMIT, Jean!!!! Is that why you insisted on signing an autograph for my family?
Egads, woman, get help.
Where was I?
Despite being a ruse in the broader sense, “world-class” is not without its benefits, and one of those benefits is the availability of cultural attractions. The Seattle Art Museum, the Seattle Zoo, the Seattle Central Library, Experience Music Project, Olympic Sculpture Park, the Pacific Science Center, the Seattle Asian Art Museum, etc, etc. When it comes to cultural attractions, Seattle competes quite competently with cities five to ten times its size. Being the largest city in a geographically-isolated area has its benefits, and cultural availability is one of the things that makes this town gr … I mean, lousy. It rains all the time, reeks of fish, and there are bicyclists everywhere! Evil bicyclists with big fangs, dripping with blood, just waiting to take your car and your Jesus-sanctioned suburban way of life.
Do yourself a favor and stay away. Far, far away.
In any event, even though the town sucks, and truly it does, there is one bright spot that makes this shithole borderline tolerable, and that bright spot is the Seattle Aquarium.
Opened in 1977 on Pier 59, the Seattle Aquarium is one of my favorite “museums” in the city, and as a breeder, probably my most visited. From touch tanks, to sharks, to sea otters, and everything in between … the Aquarium is a truly fascinating place.
I recently took another trip to this waterfront attraction, and what do you know, I took some pictures. It’s so unlike me to take photographs, and frankly, I’m not sure what got into me. Oh well, there’s a first time for everything.
The Aquarium is open from 9:30am to 5pm seven days a week, and ticket prices are $14 for kids and $20 for adults.
I highly recommend a visit, although if you really want to get your money’s worth, you may want to wait until Jean returns the Orca.