The Art of Aoife’s Visit

Seattle Center is a really fantastic place. It’s got all sorts of things going on, and basically is the one-stop shop for everyone in your group. Got introverts? There are quiet and contemplative areas. Theatre-minded folks? It’s got a whole area dedicated to them. Musicians? Plenty of stuff for them, including a whole museum. Sci-fi enthusiasts? Another museum catering exclusively to their interests. Science buffs? A whole center dedicated to their passion. Children? Gobs and oodles of things for them to do both indoors and out. Hungry people? Here’s a ginormous food court. So, basically, when you have out-of-town visitors, like, oh, say, friends from Ireland, you should definitely have Seattle Center on your list o’ Things To Do.

I mean, if nothing else, you’ve got to come stare at the Space Needle, right? Here, let’s have a look at it through a willow tree so old and enormous it has to be propped up.

Image shows a portion of an ancient willow tree with gnarled adn twisting branches. The Space Needle is just barely visible through a screen of its delicate green leaves.
The Space Needle as seen through a gigantic willow tree.

There’s all sorts of art lying around, too, which is what we’ll focus on today. Whales are a big theme. We in the Puget Sound region are pretty wild about whales.

Image shows the back of a bronze whale, surrounded by brick. Behind it is a green stretch of lawn, and then the International Fountain, which is a huge silver ball shooting out several curving jets of water within a huge shallow bowl.
A whale swimming in brick at the International Fountain.

Spend more than five minutes walking around Seattle Center, and you’ll probably find a whale.

There’s a wee little plaza over by the Pacific Science Center that’s filled with boulders and rocks of varying sizes. It’s also got several bronze sculptures of sea critters. This octopus was having a fun day when Aoife and I got there: I didn’t snap a photo because I didn’t want to be all weird, but a little girl saw the octopus, shouted in delight, and then ran over to put her toy octopus on top of it. ‘Twas adorable. Without the toy on its head, it merely looks stately:

Image shows a bronze octopus with its tentacles draped over a round gray boulder.
A magnificent bronze octopus chilling on a boulder.

One of my favorites there is this seahorse:

Image shows a bronze sculpture of a seahorse. It's balanced upright on its curled tail. It looks slightly befuddled.
Seattle Center Seahorse

I love those little alien ears. And I don’t know how the artist managed to do soulful eyes on a bronze seahorse, but there they are.

Then there’s this rather disturbing group of fishies….

Image shows a set of round bronze fish on poles, in a staggered line. They have fins coming out of their foreheads that make them look like they have mohawks.
What are these even???

One of them is frowning. They worry me.

But never mind them. There’s a little hermit crab in a snail shell over here and I cannot stop squeeing!

Image shows a bronze hermit crab in a snail shell. Its head it poking out, and its two claws are resting contentedly on the ground. The eyestalks are adorable.

And as if that’s not enough adorable to make you fall over and die of squee, here’s a wee flying pig!

Image shows a small bronze pig with wings.

I have no idea what it’s doing there, or how it fits in with the general nautical theme, but who cares? Baby flying pig!!!

And, of course, the collection would not be complete without another whale: in this case, the tail.

Image shows a whale's tail, curved as if the animal is diving, with the Space Needle in the background just past a screen of various trees.
Waving hello (or maybe goodbye) to the Space Needle.

That whole little sculpture garden is wonderful. It also holds warm memories, as it happens to be where I met my first set of Pharyngulites immediately before meeting PZ for the first time. Now that I’ve taken Aoife there, I’ve decided that all of us should eventually meet up in this spot. Then, when we all become fabulously famous, they can replace the pavement with a bunch of little bronze plaques with our handprints in them or something, sort of like the Hollywood thing. What should we use for our symbol instead of a star?

The Art of Aoife’s Visit

2 thoughts on “The Art of Aoife’s Visit

  1. 2

    Wow, I haven’t been to the center in years. Or to Seattle, for that matter, other than passing through on the freeway. Guess we’ll have to do that again one day.

    Please tell me you and Aoife went down and got wet in the international fountain.l

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