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Downtown. . . Again

A few weeks ago, I lost my cell phone case on the bus. This wouldn't be such a big deal if it was a recent purchase, but it's an older model, one that's not made anymore, and I can't find a comparable replacement. I've really been missing it and I want it back.

The good news: I was able to confirm relatively quickly that the driver had turned it in to Metro's lost and found.

The bad news: I have to pick it up at their downtown office during normal business hours.

I work downtown, but it's much to far to walk. To make matters worse, they are in a particularly challenging area of downtown, with awkwardly angled streets.

The first time I tried to get there, my new GPS indicated verbally that I was supposed to continue straight, even though it turned out that I needed to take a slight right onto another street. By the time I realized this, it was too late to make the turn. I managed to get around to the right location, only to find no parking anywhere close to the office because half the off-street parking became unavailable about the time I got off work.

Frustrated, with the traffic getting worse as other people got off work, and needing to get to another appointment, I left.

I tried again later in the week, primed to be cool and know what I was getting into and taking my time -- but it was worse. I missed the "slight right" again, only this time there was a bus between me and the second place to turn. And then the third. And then there were two sports arenas to my right and I found myself south of downtown, south of the ballparks, on game night. By the time I managed to work my way back around to where I needed to be there was no parking close to the office and I wasn't confident I would be able to park and get to the office before they closed. That night it was more than two hours from the time I left work until I finally got home.

I'm driving to work again today, and today I'm getting off two hours early so I can get my cell phone case. (I now have PTO, so I'm not losing income.) I figure that there will be far less traffic and far more parking earlier in the day, and I'll be able to get out of town up to the north end for my foundation meeting without stress.

I can't believe this has been such a huge challenge!



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 16th, 2010 01:56 pm (UTC)
Oh dear. Yes. GPS and the weird street plats of Downtown Seattle do NOT mix.

Well, anything and the weird street plats of Downtown Seattle don't mix. I used to manage a drycleaning drop shop down by the Federal Courthouse, and we had a lot of people wander in hopelessly lost, looking for something that the plats made it hard to find. Like Second and James, for instance.

Did you know that the three plats of downtown came about because the three major property owners hated each other and each created his own plat based on his own idea of the One True Way to plat streets? Trufax. Their descendants still curse them.
Aug. 16th, 2010 02:35 pm (UTC)
And lots of other peoples' descendants, as well!

Good luck today, J.!
Aug. 16th, 2010 02:55 pm (UTC)
LOL! True. I once had a woman come into the shop almost in hysterics because she was trying to get to Second and James from First Avenue, and people kept telling her to go down First to James and turn uphill. The problem is, James doesn't go through to First because old Henry Yesler's plat cuts it off, and apparently even many native Seattleites don't know that one. Luckily one of my other customers in the shop at the time was a Pioneer Square beat cop who walked her up to Second and James via Second.
Aug. 16th, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
I live in Seattle and know that area and I still am not entirely sure what the heck is up with some of these areas. I want to get to Second and James? I get onto Second and walk my way to James. I find the numbered streets are the easiest ones to follow until you get to about Sixth or Seventh. I rarely go East of Seventh.
Aug. 16th, 2010 06:52 pm (UTC)
Basically, the streets don't meet up properly due to bad planning; they were laid out by Arthur Denny and Henry Yesler, who hated each other and refused to cooperate on a single street layout plan. So yeah, it's really bad.

I worked downtown for years and I didn't know that James doesn't go through to First until the aforesaid cop told me. I never walked around in Pioneer Square west of Third Avenue except to go to Elliot Bay, which I usually came to from the Uwajimaya side (because why go to that part of town without visiting Uwajimaya?).
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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