Seattle Space Needle

Seattle Space Needle

The Seattle Space Needle is probably one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city. Created in 1962 for the Seattle World’s Fair, it’s 520 foot high observation deck is enjoyed by people from around the world.

Being a “sister city” to many of Japan’s cities, it has that international flavor permeating every corner.

With some 5,850 tons of concrete and steel making up it’s foundation, it has been considered to be superbly designed and built.

Top heavy?  Not this baby!

It’s center of gravity is a mere 5 feet above ground!  With a lower center of gravity, it does not need to worry about “toppling over” onto itself.  🙂

The Observation Deck

Observation Deck with safety rails

Observation Deck with safety rails

Initially, the observation deck was open when you arrived.  Today,  mainly because of safety reasons and to discourage any future parachute jumps, it now has high fenced areas around the deck.

B.A.S.E. jumpers from the Needle

B.A.S.E.  jumpers from the Needle

But don’t worry, you can still see the entire city of Seattle quite well.  Even picking out places of interest where you’ll want to go next.

The Ferries that scurry around the Sound and through the San Juan Islands can be seen from the Needle.  On the other side of Capitol Hill (a.k.a. Hospital Hill…also where Bruce Lee is buried)  you can see the Mercer Island floating bridge that will connect you to the East Side (a.k.a. Bellevue) of Seattle.

Don’t forget the Pike Place Market along with many other sights and restaurants that dot the Seattle waterfront  in and around the Seattle Aquarium.

The Eye of the Needle

Located at it’s top is the SkyCity Restaurant originally nicknamed “The Eye of the Needle” is known for it’s fine cuisine.   With a nearly 95 foot diameter eating area, there is plenty of “elbow room” for you and your party.

When you choose your reservations, be sure and request a window seat.  Why  so?  Because only the outer 14 foot ring of the restaurant revolves.  It takes about one full hour to make the 360 degree circle, allowing you to enjoy the sights of Seattle.

In it’s early days, the Seattle Space Needle was the second revolving type restaurant in the world.  Second only to the Ala Moana shopping mall located in Hawaii.

Today, because of it’s popularity, there are now hundreds of revolving restaurants.

Borrowing from the ideas of old style Round Houses for the railroad, this “simple” mechanism has been used countless times for rotating platforms.

Updating The Needle

With the Needle being so popular, it’s operators quickly realized there needed to be more restaurant space along with a souvenir gift shop.

Though the Seattle Space Needle when built was a “measly” $4.5 million, it received a revitalization  in the 2000’s upwards of some $20 million.

Here is when the construction of the Pavilion Level, the SpaceBase outlet retail store, the SkyCity restaurant and Deck were overhauled and given that much needed  facelift.

The Needle and it's lower restaurant

The Needle and it’s lower restaurant

Even it’s paint was updated and freshened along with the installation of the Legacy Light and more exterior lighting.

It’s Early Days

When the Space Needle was conceived, it’s original purpose was for the Seattle World’s Fair…only.  When the fair was over, the Needle was slotted to be torn down.  🙁

However, because of the outcry of Seattle residents, the Needle still stands today. 🙂

It was so popular that at one time, the small city of Fife, Washington, offered the sum of $1 million to have the Needle moved to their downtown area.

Clearly Fife recognized the Needles effects of city growth!

Practical Jokes At The Needle

When H.G. Wells broadcast his now infamous “War of the Worlds” radio program on Sunday, Oct. 30, 1938, many thought that there had been a real invasion from Mars.

Having that in mind, a few radio pranksters chose to capitalize on that mentality.   H.G. Wells broadcast had coincided with the 1938 observance of Halloween.

As an April Fool’s joke, a local TV station broadcast a report that the Space Needle had fallen over and rescuers were needed to volunteer to search for victims and survivors.

(See the results of the Needle’s collapse by clicking on the CHEESE committe)

Then there was the CHEESE committe for the Needle and the aliens from space.  Everyone got a real kick out of that one.  🙂

The Needle’s Use

The celebration of New Year Eve parties has grown since its inception in 1982.   It has also seen the welcoming of the Olympic Torch Relay as it went through the city of Seattle.

Sports team welcome messages have been seen for many years, decorating the Needle.

Even a Miss USA Pageant, Miss Washington, Stina McLynne,  wore her Needle hat during the costume portion of the pageant.

Come For A Visit To The Needle

Why not find out more about this multicultural city located in Washington?  Become familiar with Seattle and it’s entrepreneur’s that populate the city.  You’ll be glad that you did.

Written by :  Tom McDaniel Share this site

Images by:expedia,seattlepi,thousandwonders,pachid




 Jack O Lantern Halloween Origins  Part # 1 

 

The fall or autumn time of the year is actually my favorite time to enjoy, and  the Halloween celebration and it’s jack O lantern pumpkin faces falls within that time frame.

Halloween in the fall

Halloween in the fall and   jack o lantern faces

 

 

As a little kid, I can recall how my brothers and I, along with a couple other kids in the neighborhood would go out on Halloween night and collect lots of candy. That really is all that any of us ever thought about.

 

 

Now, as an adult, because of what I have found out, my entire family chooses to not observe the Halloween celebration any more. I was curious as to where in the world this demons, goblins, skeletons, ghosts, devils, zombies and so on, came from.
The following information is only some of what I found regarding Halloween. Yes, I know, there are many who will choose to continue to observe it, and that is their choice. It’s OK with me, but we, as a family,  choose to not do so.

 

So, if you would like to have a little bit of a background on this celebration, keep reading, you may find it rather interesting. Do with it as you like afterwards, but here is what I found out.
One bit of information I located had to do with a so-called Jack-O-Lantern. Here is the story or actually, the made up story of how it got started.

How It All Began

Halloween Devil

Halloween Devil

 

 

 

Many years ago (in Europe or as some would have it…….Ireland) there was a young man named Jack who was always into trouble with his neighbors because of the tricks and pranks that he was constantly pulling on them.

 

 

Needless to say, the people living in the area got really tired of it. They were not happy with him. On one particular day, Jack came across Satan the Devil and wanted to pull a prank on him. So he somehow convinced the Devil to climb a tree, he then put a big cross on the tree and according to the story, the Devil was afraid to come down the tree because of the cross.
(By the way, the so-called cross of Christ is a pagan symbol that was around thousands of years before Jesus. It was used to symbolize Nimrod who married his mother and  had a baby (the trinity began this way) and then was immortalized with the tau or cross, as we say it. The cross was a way of worshipping Nimrod even after he was long dead.)

 

 

Jack And The Devil Up The Tree

Now Jack was a pretty smart young man. He made some type of a bargain with the Devil that had to do with his “soul” when he died.  Satan agreed.  Jack removed the cross and let the Devil go.
Years later when Jack died, his “soul” was supposed to go to heaven but he was too bad, so off to “hell” he went. Satan had agreed years before that he would not keep Jack’s “soul” in “hell” so he sent him on his way, out into the darkness.
Jack had nothing  to do but  wander around in the darkness.

 

 

After some time,  the Devil felt “sorry” for Jack and threw a bit of a red hot coal to him.  Jack quickly put the hot coal into a turnip that he carried with him. He cut holes in it so the light would shine through and now he was  able to see.

 

Jack had a lantern of sorts.  From this, we get the ‘Lantern of Jack’  or as many people say it, ‘Jack’s Lantern’ or ‘Jack O’ Lantern’ with carved openings in it to allow light to come through.
Gradually this turnip was changed to the use of potatoes, beets, gourds or what ever was handy at the time.  Much later, when European settlers moved to the North American continent, they brought their fairy tales and superstitions with them.

 

Pumpkin Faces

Halloween pumpkin face and the Devil

Halloween pumpkin face and the Devil

 

Finding that pumpkins were much larger and easier to carve , they used them instead of the more difficult vegetables.  Gradually, simple “face” patterns began to be cut into pumpkins.

 

 

Until we have what we see today.

How about you?  Do you  have a thought on this?  Leave me a comment below.
But there is much more to this Halloween stuff.   Next page is : Part # 2    Day of the Dead Part 

Halloween – Jack O’ Lantern – Halloween Devil – Turnip?

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