We’re easing into the cooler season, and our weather predictions include “scattered showers.” This is one of my favorite types of days in Seattle. Scattered showers mean it will be warm, and then it will rain lightly, and then it will be warm again. This is different from ‘”partly sunny with precipitation” (cloudy), or the more straightforward prediction of “showers likely,” (cloudy). Scattered showers give a whimsical randomness about where rain will fall. It allows a precise question as to where the clouds were during your day. With “scattered showers” you can take it personally.
“Did you get rained on this afternoon?”
“Yeah, but just the last part of my bike ride.” or “No, I just made it home just before it started ”
This September condition, rain clouds followed by sunshine, is quite brief, and full overcast is on the way. A favorite destination when I’m among scattered showers is the downtown Seattle Central library. Autumn lighting makes its own show upon, and inside this ultra-modern building.
The Central Library is a wonderfully strange-looking aluminum mesh and glass building designed by Rem Koolhaas. It opened in 2004, and the reflections on the exterior, and patterned shadows on the interior make for a futuristic, flexible environment. It has few traditional walls or ceilings, and the natural light fills the massive structure with an open, comfortable feeling. But the neon shaded escalators, and a curving blood-red 4th floor hallway offer a challenge–don’t get too comfortable, things are happening here.
I love that the library has room for activities as well as traditional book and media resources. Citizenship and ESL classes, afternoon story-time, computer classes, author readings, music, and film, and a variety of lectures are hosted in library meeting rooms, performance arts areas, and the auditorium year-round.
In contrast, I also love the library’s 10th floor because it is a very quiet place. When were you last in a quiet public place to read, or write? It sounds as if it should be an easy thing to find, but I go to this floor because it is silent. I tip-toe to the desks in the study area. My reading attention stays focused so my imagination can take-off. It’s a wonderful space especially during an afternoon with scattered showers.
Library entrances are on 4th and 5th Ave (between Spring and Madison Streets) It’s a hike uphill from 3rd Ave. transit. Sometimes I start a few blocks north at University St. Station to avoid the steep incline. I’m not alone in trying to avoid hills–perhaps it’s a Seattle thing? At 2 p.m. Sat., Oct. 10th, the Seattle Central library is hosting an interview with David Williams, author of “Too high, Too Steep; Reshaping Seattle’s Topography” I read it’s about the different re-grade projects that allowed for certain types of Seattle development. The interview is in Microsoft Auditorium. Check the website Seattle Central Library to learn more.
Thank you for reading, Margaret