520: What is that?
Get ready for a surprise if you're crossing the Highway 520 Bridge this weekend: Crews start installing a major pontoon on the Seattle side of the reconstruction project on Saturday. The pontoon comes with columns that will lift the roadway high above the portion of the bridge that rests atop the water. Should look quite striking, according to Washington State Department of Transportation officials. Let's just hope it floats and that, as promised, the work is all done by Monday morning. — J.C.
Key elements of the 520 project WSDOT
Bell Street Park: Is it a park?
Must-read writers at SLOG and Publicola are taking very different views of Seattle's new Bell Street Park, which Mayor Ed Murray helped open last weekend. The four-block project in Belltown features a single lane of traffic and parking revisions. The result? A "park like corridor through the heart of Belltown," according to the city. But the SLOG's Charles Mudede says Seattle has failed to create what city official Michael Shiosaki proclaimed, at the opening celebration, to be a place that works for pedestrians, bicyclists and car drivers alike. With some nice explanation of what the park could be, Mudede concludes, "It's just a fancy slow zone for cars." Publicola's Josh Feit says the project leveled the playing field for pedestrians and drivers, which he praises as a radical move. Feit says Mudede's car-centric position misses "the magic of cities: The chaos of mixing different lifestyles, cultures, needs, uses, and modes in one place paradoxicaly gives way to unbridled efficiency." — J.C.
Bell Street Park, closed to traffic during the opening celebration. Credit: Seattle Parks and Recreation
Bye Bye, Frye
Scott Lawrimore, the Frye's star curator for the last 18-months, told The Stranger's Jen Graves today that he's moving on — to an offer he couldn't refuse. Lawrimore is perhaps best known for his popular exhibit of environmental artist Buster Simpson's work, no easy task for a body of installation work meant to be enjoyed in its natural surroundings. Lawrimore wouldn't say exactly where he's going or for what position, but he did toss Graves a few clues: It's a newly-created position at an existing local arts organization, where he'll have the chance to flex "both physical and mental" muscle. Hmm ... grab your magnifying glasses, gumshoes. — B.A.
Writer's paradise (9th place edition)
Is there a better place to be a writer than in Seattle? Well, yes. In fact, there are eight. But if for some hard-to-fathom reasons you want to be on a coast — west or east — rather than in flyover country, then Seattle is the place for you. When MyLife.com compared the availability of jobs for writers, cost of living, number of people working in the arts and number of bookstores and coffee shops in some 100 large U.S. cities, somehow St. Louis wound up as the best place to be a writer, followed by Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Orlando. Who knew humidity could inspire such unbounded creativity? Besides Seattle, the only other coastal city in the Top 10 is San Francisco, one rung behind us. Portland came in 16th. — J.C.
Love the Daily Troll? Now you can sign up to get it in your inbox every afternoon. And to catch up on the most recent news, click here.
Like what you just read? Support high quality local journalism. Become a member of Crosscut today!