Approaching the famous New Westminster railway bridge from Sapperton at 7:19 am, Tuesday, March 9, 2010.
Downriver view on the Fraser toward downtown New Westminster. Note the SkyTrain bridge mid-horizon.
In the Pioneer Square neighbourhood at 11:47 am.
Amtrak 513 Cascades scheduled to depart the Pacific Central Station in Vancouver at 6:40 am. We left at 6:52 am. Scheduled to arrive at 11:05 am, we pulled in to King Station at 11:24 am, Tuesday, March 9, 2010.
Immediately following our arrival in Seattle, we walked down to nearby Pioneer Square, the original core of Seattle. Came upon Dave Speidel’s Underground Tour, walking through three locations in a span of about 90 minutes after a humorous twenty-minute introduction by our guide, Dave.
Over and down to Pike Place Market. Uptown business and retail area.
We stayed at the Best Western Loyal Inn. I had reserved a room for $74.90 USD plus tax, back in Vancouver when I also purchased our train tickets on-line. Room 329 clean and tidy. We checked in at 5:00 pm.
Walked along Battery and Bell Avenues, looking for a restaurant to dine, peering in at several locations, including Italian and Mexican. We walked a couple of doors past the Mexican, then hearing jazz, peered through a large front window. After a short discussion, we entered a vintage interior. I immediately thought of the Café Deux Soleils on Commercial in Vancouver. A large, deep room with a high ceiling exposing pipes and wiring. Bar along the left at the back half, individual groups of tables near the front window, long rows of tables perpendicular to the left wall, long rows running to the back, soon truncated by a raised platform from the right wall to the centre of the establishment. Here sat a big band, sixteen members were playing.
A $5.00 cover charge. The group was the Emerald City Jazz Orchestra. The establishment is Tula’s, 2214 2nd Avenue, just east of Bell St., in Belltown. We arrived about 8:15 pm, enjoying half of the first set (started at 7:30 pm), and all the second set until shortly after 10:00 pm. Excellent!
Sipping a glass of red Merlot, I was reminded of the Café des Philosophes in a gully of the back side of Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland; and high school band class, Grades 10 to 12, particularily Drew Whittaker, trombonist in the CSSHS band (Cowichan Senior Secondary High School).
The sixteen-piece big band orchestra were front row, left to right: black Yamaha grand piano facing the back, lead tenor sax, two alto saxes (first of these was Trevor Ranney), tenor sax, bass sax (Dave Alexander) (right next to where we sat); middle row: three trombones, bass trombone; back row: drums/percussion, four trumpets (second last the band leader, the last a young player named Chad).
We each had two glasses of a California Merlot in the course of the evening, my wife dined on the Eggplant Parmesan, I had the Gnocchi with wild mushrooms in pesto sauce.
© Copyright photographs by Stephan Alexander Scharnberg, March 2010