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My initial reaction to Seattle was that the city is beautiful. When locals learn that this summer is my first time visiting Seattle, their first question is usually “what do you think of Seattle?” and every time I answer, “it is beautiful.” My answer may seem too simple to some, but I say it often because its beauty is almost surprising to me. Seattle is a large metropolitan area (the 15th largest metropolitan area in the US) and most of the sizable metropolitan areas that I have visited such as Chicago, NYC, and Atlanta do not possess the beauty of Seattle. On arrival, I quickly took note of Seattle’s lush and plentiful green spaces juxtaposed against gorgeous architecture and buildings. When you consider the wide bay views and snow capped Mount Rainier sitting above the southeast horizon, Seattle falls nothing short of beautiful.
Other than constantly oohing and aahing at the surrounding landscapes, my schedule has been chock-full of activity and adventure. Our first activity as an entire group was a trip to Target to stock up on groceries and attain any apartment necessities that we did not pack with us (i.e. utensils, toilet paper, etc.) However, the car trip back from Target was the real adventure; just imagine 21 people and approximately 50 filled Target bags in a 15 passenger van and a small sedan. The next adventure was navigating the Seattle public transport system which was a relatively painless process. However, I must give all the credit to my iPhone; without the maps app I would be lost….literally.
The day before we started working with our community partners (I will go in depth about my community partner, Seattle Works, in next week’s blog), we went to visit the Wing Luke Museum located in Seattle’s International District. The museum is a wonderful place both historically and culturally. The Wing Luke Museum is special in that it is the only pan-Asian Pacific American community-based museum in the United States. I enjoyed the museum for its unique physical space as well as some of the issues and life-experiences of Asian Americans that I was previously not cognizant of.
Our next group outing occurred on Saturday and consisted of a trip to the U-district (Seattleites abbreviation for the neighborhood where the University of Washington is located) farmers’ market and watching the US Olympic Diving Team Trials LIVE!! I absolutely LOVE and am obsessed with the Olympics, especially the Summer Olympics. Thus, I loved watching the diving trials! There were moments where I was literally on the edge of my seat in anticipation of the diver’s take off. I’m very excited to watch and cheer on the American divers who qualified (one of whom is a Duke student) in the London Olympics.
On Sunday, I went to Seattle’s Pride Parade with seven other DukeEngagers. The eight of us walked in the parade with the Washington Bus which is one of the local non-profits that a couple DukeEngagers are working for this summer. The parade was blast and a great way to end my first week in Seattle.