Throwback Thursday: Center for Wooden Boats and Gas Works Park


I am not much of a sports person. I did not watch the Super Bowl, and I was only vaguely aware of it until I realized that my team was playing.

How did the Seahawks become my team? In August and September 2008, I spent a long Labor Day weekend visiting a friend in Seattle. I was interested in volunteering while I was there; Diana did some research and learned we could sell programs at a Seahawks game at Qwest Stadium, with proceeds benefiting the American Heart Association.

Me and Diana, dancing in the halftime show at a Seahawks game in 2008. Photo likely by a fellow volunteer/performer

Me and Diana, dancing in the halftime show at a Seahawks game in 2008. Photo likely by a fellow volunteer/performer

We signed up for this volunteer opportunity. We were told to wear blue and green to show team spirit, and that all the volunteers would get a couple perks – the opportunity to watch the second half of the game for free, and a chance to run onto the field during the halftime show and participate in the performance by dancing to a band covering “Tears of a Clown.”

And so it came to pass that I danced in a football game halftime show, even though I am not that into football, or dancing in front of an audience for that matter.

Looking back on that 2008 Seattle vacation reminds me of the components of a great trip for me: visiting museums and other attractions, catching up with friends, eating and drinking (I got chai at the first Starbucks!), looking for quirky things like pig sculptures, and volunteering.

Center for Wooden Boats

Center for Wooden Boats

In addition to selling Seahawks souvenirs for the American Heart Association, Diana and I spent time sightseeing. One museum we visited was the Center for Wooden Boats, which not only had a small building for exhibits along the water, but also offered boat rides on Lake Union to visitors (for free on the day of the week we visited). According to the museum’s website, “CWB envisions a future without barriers to enjoying our waterways.  We make it easy by making boats on the water accessible to all.” The free public sails that CWB continues to offer visitors certainly help make enjoyment of the water financially accessible.

Diana at Gas Works Park

Diana at Gas Works Park

Aboard the boat, we watched the scenery as we sailed by, including the famed Space Needle, as well as Gas Works Park. On another day, we actually set foot in Gas Works Park rather than just viewing it from a sailboat. Once a place where coal was converted to gas, it is now a park featuring some of the original structures, along with a play area for kids and a picnic shelter. Diana and I had endless fun taking photos in this unique environment.

One place we did not go was the Seattle Art Museum, which made a bet with the Denver Art Museum as Super Bowl Sunday approached, following a recent tradition in which a museum in the city of the losing Super Bowl team lends a work of art to a museum in the city of the winning team for three months. Seattle won, of course, and now gets to display “The Broncho Buster” by Frederic Remington as a symbol of its victory.

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About Laura

Paralegal with Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education, frequent museum visitor, based in Washington, DC. I care about what museums can do, both in terms of public offerings and internal practices, to make the world a better place. I blog about museum education ("informed"), the social work of museums ("humane"), and visitor experience ("citizenry").
This entry was posted in Articles and Books, Museums and Holidays, Photos, Throwback Thursday and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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