I went off today with dear husband to find the the Village of Beaux Arts because its such a cool name. The village has about 300 people and no commercial buildings. Since I’d rather not take photos of people’s houses, I only snapped the sign and then drove out of the tiny village to discover the lovely Enatai Beach Park, which is located in Bellevue. What a great park. It has a beach with people sunning (I was in a jacket!) and fishing off the dock. There were kayaks available to rent also. There was a lifeguard (also in a jacket) who told me that while there were no people swimming today, there often are when it gets warm. The park is practically under the I-90 Bridge, but I didn’t notice any traffic noise.
I’ve been wanting to visit Kelsey Creek Farms Park at 13204 SE 8th in Bellevue for a while, so on Saturday after dropping off dear daughter for her ride back to college I stopped by. There was a birthday party going on and plenty of children in the under five crowd. The 150 acre original site had been a forest and was developed as the Twin Valley Dairy Farm in the 1920s. Despite pressure from real estate developers, in the 1960s 80 acres of the property was sold to the City of Bellevue for use as a park. It receives over 200,000 visits a year. ThePark’s website is here.
The log cabin is the Frasier House, built in 1888 and moved to Kelsey Creek Farms Park in 1974. It was built by two Norwegian woodsmenand lived in for a short time. Mostly it was used as storage.
Endless Celebration in front of Bellevue Place, Bellevue, WA is a fifty one foot cast bronze sculpture commissioned by Kemper Freeman Jr. and created by Gesso Cocteau. It was installed on November 18, 2005. It is the tallest standing cast bronze sculpture in the United States. To see more of the artist’s work including additional photographs of Endless Celebration, go to her website.
I was planning on spending some quality time at one of my favorite stores, The Paper Source at 700 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004. Sadly I ended up being in such a time constraint that I only paused to snap the one photo. The Paper Source has an abundance of very cool kits, stamps, stationary, unique trinkets and gift wrap. I’m hoping to go back soon and spend some more time!
I don’t really much like malls. They just make me want to buy stuff I don’t need. But there I was up in Bellevue and Coldwater Creek was having a 50% off everything sale. I did need a pair of khakis. So, I stopped in. Out of all of the malls in the area, Bell Square, which I guess is now called the Bellevue Collection, at 575 Bellevue Square is one of my favorites.
When my daughter was little, about 4, we took her here on her birthday. The shopping center has a life size dinosaur collection as a temporary exhibit and dear daughter was going through her Little Foot phase. Little Foot is a series of kid’s dinosaur movies. We were on the second floor when we got to the two story atrium with a life size T-Rex with a moving head and tail. Dear husband was a little ahead of us and went over to have a better look. When the kid and I came around the bend and saw the huge dinosaur, her eyes went big and she ran to her father as fast as she could. Then she grabbed his hand and tried to drag him back to safety screaming Sharp Tooth! Run, Papa, run!
The Bellevue Botanical Garden (1200 Main Street, Bellevue) is really lovely and has the added bonus of being free. I explored some of the gardens today and it was tranquil and smelled good. I strolled through various gardens with my favorites being the kitchen garden and the border garden. I also wanted to see the ravine and suspension bridge, but I turned right instead of left. Oh well, next time! There is some significant construction going on and new delights are promised for next year. I’m already looking forward to visiting again! There website is here.
Today I visited The French Bakery at 909 112th Avenue NE (the Crossroads Mall) in Bellevue. I had an excellent iced Ameriano and a raspberry cookie. There are two other French Bakeries, both in Bellevue.
Silver Root in front of Bellevue’s City Hall is one of the most wonderful sculptures that I’ve seen in a long time. It is an old cedar root harvested in the 1800s, then cast in bronze and plated in silver. It seems as though the piece is having a small technical problem with the reflecting pool not full and orange cones where the recessed lighting is. Dan Corson is the sculptor. His website is here http://dancorson.com/root and shows the sculpture in an intact pool.
I was delighted to find a well used public library at the Crossroads Shopping Center in Bellevue today. Everything about the library clicked for me. The good things include the location in a busy enclosed shopping, the hours (Sunday!), the colorful, art filled decor, the materials selection (lots of foreign language books and books for the kids) and plenty of computers.
It’s worth noting that there is also a King County Library Connection at the South Center Mall and that many of the other free standing, more traditional libraries are open on Sunday.
This much used library branch made me think about the importance of having community space. Ray Oldenburg discussed this need for community area, which he called Third Places in his book The Great Good Place.