Thursday Doors–Seattle Walk

Merchants Cafe
Merchants Cafe

Last month, I spent a few days in Seattle, Washington. I lived in Seattle for a few years back in the late 70s, moving to Connecticut in 1981. I wasn’t there long enough for it to feel like a home town, but I’ve always had a fondness for the city. I’ve been back numerous times for meetings and conferences. I took my wife there on our honeymoon and I took our daughter there on vacation when she was in high school. Actually, on both of those trips, and for that matter, even when I lived there, Seattle was a base camp for a driving tour of the Pacific Northwest. Accordingly, there are many downtown Seattle attractions that I am not familiar with.

One of the areas of the city that I never spent much time in is Pioneer Square. It’s the oldest section of the city, and it’s not the safest area to be in at night. It had that reputation when I lived there, and I’m told it carries that reputation today. Still, when I realized that The Courtyard Hotel in Pioneer Square was within walking distance of the IBM Building (where my meetings were being held) I decided it was time to visit.

Market Theater
The Market Theater Gum Wall

I arrived Monday evening, and my first meeting didn’t start until early Tuesday afternoon, so I ventured out for a walk through Pioneer Square up to the familiar ground of Pike Street Market. Along the way, I took pictures of interesting doors – who doesn’t do that? As I approached the market, I walked through Post Alley and found the other doors featured today. Yeah, that’s gum. The Market Theater Gum Wall was named one of the top 5 germiest tourist attractions in 2009 – now that’s an honor you might encourage your city leaders to avoid chasing.

The featured door at the top is at Merchants Café, which claims the title of Seattle’s Oldest Restaurant. It wasn’t open when I walked by, and my meetings included dinner, so I didn’t have time to venture inside. The description on their website makes it sound like a very interesting place. Among other things, it features an underground bar and it may be haunted.

This post is part of Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors series, to which I am addicted. It’s a fun way to share some photos, see some great doors and meet so very nice bloggers. You can join buy clicking the blue button on Norm’s post. Don’t have a door today? Don’t worry, Norm lets you post as late as Saturday morning.

78 thoughts on “Thursday Doors–Seattle Walk

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  1. Seattle has a lot of appeal to me, Dan. I joke with friends I may either ride a senior trip bus or a coach in a train to head West. Have been to East side of Grand Canyon which was awesome at age 15 but never “West of the Grand!”
    There is a quaint canal town in Ohio, where they make “loose meat” sandwiches. They are delicious and have a gum wall.
    Finally, “la piece de resistance,” that entry way and door, the overhang all have a really interesting look. I thought germs wore off by the way! :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope germs wear off Robin, I spend a good long time in that alley taking pictures. I would love to go to Seattle by train someday. I love trains, and that would take me through the Cascade Tunnel which I think is the longest tunnel in North America. Thank for the comment. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, Dan! I surprised myself by how strong my reaction to the “gum wall” was. EEEWWWWW!!! Then again, maybe I just need the rest of my coffee. Merchants Cafe sounds wonderful. I’m sorry you didn’t get to spend time there.
    My favorite is the one with the reddish archway. For some reason I love arches… no idea why.
    Have a thriving Thursday. Hugs!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Teagan. In the first draft, I featured the gum wall and titled this “Eew Ick” but I really like the doors of the Merchant Cafe. I’m sure I will visit Seattle again, and I will make time to visit the cafe, at least for a beer. Enjoy your Thursday. Sorry about the ick-factor.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I find myself looking forward to each Thursday for your door posts. Wonderful. The gum wall is not on my bucket list, but Seattle definitely is. Thanks.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed this. The gum wall was an accidental discovery. I’m not sure it needs to be on the list. The older section of the city is impressive. A couple of miles away, Amazon is tearing down everything in sight to build 2 or 3 skyscrapers.


  4. I’ve been to Seattle only once on a business trip. Like you, I chose a short drive ‘into the wilds’ over exploring its urban n’hoods so I know little of its charm and beauty. Thanks for some great photo choices – love the blacksmith sculpture and arched doorways. One photo of that gross gum wall would have been sufficient 😜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sammy. I almost made the whole post about the gum wall. I have more pictures, including a close-up that I can’t bring myself to look at :)

      Washington has so many wonderful places to see that it’s hard to stay long in the city. Other than the view, a skyscraper is a skyscraper.

      Thanks for your continuing support. No more gum, I promise.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice job, Dan. More good pics from the caffeine capital. (Except for Gum Alley. That’s disgusting.) In fact, I’m thinking you could expand this into a mid-week series. Imagine treating us, for example, to Tuesday Roofs and Wednesday Windows. Architecture fans, unite!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No problem, Dan! I always feel the TY is implied, but I appreciate that. As for the gum — it IS a local landmark, so I can’t blame you for, ahem, sticking it in with the other pics.


  6. Seattle is a neat city. I’ve been a few times. Pikes Place is a favorite of mine to visit and eat. My first reaction to the Gum Wall was ewwwe GROSS! I didn’t see it on any of my trips there. If I ever go back I’m making a point of seeing that wall and adding my own gum. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sharukh. There are bad places in almost every urban area in the US, The worst I ever experienced was NY City in the late 70s, although many of those areas are much safer today, I also traveled to Detroit in the 70s and that was very bad. I don’t know the status of that city these days. Hartford has some areas where I wouldn’t walk at night. I didn’t find this area in Seattle to be a problem when I walked back after dinner the night I was there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I understand that every city has that unsafe zone. In India, unfortunately the most unsafe city is the capital city itself. In fact, so unsafe you can’t guarantee anything even in broad daylight. In Mumbai certain areas of South Mumbai where prostitution is rampant is certainly unsafe. I have walked those streets at night, even had couple of close encounters with not so good elements, but I still believe Mumbai is lot safer than the capital of India.


  7. Man alive, that gum wall………. *shudders* O_O It would be very, very difficult for me to not sneak down there in the middle of the night, ninja style with my face covered, scraper, garbage bag, and bleach in hand, and start cleaning that crud up! I mean, I can admit that it IS neat (until you realize how much DNA is stuck to that wall), buuut I don’t think I’d want it in MY town. Blech. :P

    I really like the doors of the Mutual Life building, but the Merchants Cafe looks great too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They did try to scrape, clean and bleach the gum wall once, but the gum returned so they decided to embrace the gum (figuratively only, I hope). It was gross standing there to get photos. I am partial to the arched doorways, but I didn’t have a good photo of the doors due to the lighting. Thanks for your comment Wendy.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I really enjoy Seattle’s Best coffee. I like the idea of a haunted bar too. I wish I had read about Merchants before I was out there, I would have tried to at least go in for a beer. I’ll add you to the no-gum-wall list. Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I lived there before Microsoft was a thing, so it was quite different, but I really enjoyed the three years I was out there. I was able to hike in the Cascades and visit the Olympic Peninsula. Plus a couple of road trips down the west coast into CA. Thanks!


  8. Dan, You’ll have guessed I enjoy this regular feature from you. I first read this particular post on my phone, rather early in the morning NZ time and I wondered what you meant by a gum wall. Then, I checked it out more closely on a larger screen – gross! Nevertheless, the rest of the photos have confirmed my expectation that Seattle is an interesting and beautiful place.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dan…great shots…there is so much interesting architecture in downtown Seattle. Have you done the underground tour from Pioneer Square? Very insightful to the early construction of the area…I’m glad we have a daughter who went to school up there and has stayed…great excuse to go up a couple times a year, as you know from my blog!! Thanks again for sharing!!

    Liked by 1 person

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