I had my annual checkup with my doctor this afternoon. Her office is in Belltown, north of Downtown. (Actually, northwest, due to the curvature of Elliott Bay.) It was a simple bus ride from work on RapidRide E.
When I lived alone in Lower Queen Anne, I used to go shopping in Downtown often. I’d usually ride the monorail there and back. Sometimes, I’d walk though Belltown instead. I knew the place pretty well back then.
These days, we hardly ever go to Belltown. I barely know the neighborhood. The only places I’m familiar with, besides my doctor’s office, are Mama’s Mexican Kitchen, Shorty’s, and The Crocodile (which are on the same block), and The Cinerama, and the Jiffy Lube (which are within a block of each other). Oh, and there’s Re-Bar, which is, technically, in Belltown – but it doesn’t feel that way to me.
After the visit with my doctor, I made my way over to Denny Way, to catch an 8 bus home. My excellent geographic sense failed me. just a little. I knew that if I headed toward the higher numbered avenues, I’d eventually get to Denny. I just wasn’t sure where on Denny I’d end up.
It’s that curvature of Elliott Bay again. The grid of streets and avenues in Downtown is at an angle from a north/south orientation, and the grid in Belltown is at more of an angle. North of Belltown, Denny is where the grid is lined up with the compass again. From the perspective of Belltown, however, it’s Denny that’s at an angle.
From 2nd & Bell, Denny is a lot longer walk than it is from 2nd & Vine, for instance.
I found my way to Denny, and found the nearest bus stop.
The 8 bus was packed. There were empty seats when I got on. I found a sideways seat just forward of the accordion. By the time we reached Westlake, it was standing-room only. When we got to Stewart, the bus was jammed full of riders.
The rule on Metro Buses is “Board at the front door, exit at the rear door”. I believe in that. I noticed, recently, that in tiny letters, below that rule are the words: “if you’re able to”. I don’t know if that addition is new. As we approached my stop on Olive, I looked toward the rear door and saw a solid wall of people. I looked toward the front and saw five or six people standing.
I exited out the front door.