The Space Needle – An Icon of the Pacific Northwest

seattle

“There are two very prominent characters in Sand & Sutures, and I suspect in all of the books in the Scrubs series, that have no dialogue. The first quiet but ever present character is the city of Seattle, Washington. You can feel the green, picture the fog, sunshine, and rain. The features and terrain of Seattle have been lovingly and subtly written in as the characters walk through their days.” -Opus Book Review of Sand & Sutures

The Space Needle is a huge tourist attraction and a well-known icon in the city of Seattle. But for me, it symbolizes the Northwest and every memory associated with it.

The distinctive structure is one of the landmarks that stands out when flying into the city, especially at night. The nighttime lights of the Space Needle are absolutely awe-inspiring, and they change to reflect various events. When the Seahawks play, the tower illuminates in blue and green. During the holidays, a tree made of 1,200 lights is perched 560 feet atop the building, brightening the city.  Every New Year’s Eve, the Space Needle hosts a fireworks display synchronized to music. When the University of Washington Huskies won the Rose Bowl, the team’s logo was temporarily painted on the tower, and the building glowed with a purple hue.

The Legacy Light, or Skybeam, is a vertical beam that shines on special occasions. Every year on 9–11, it lights up the sky for eleven consecutive hours.

The observation deck of the Space Needle provides a spectacular 360-degree view of the city and surrounding area. To the west, you’ll find Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. To the east, you’ll see the snow-capped Cascade Mountains and Lake Washington. You can get to the top by either taking the 41-second elevator ride or climbing the tower’s 848 steps.

The Space Needle is one of my favorite locations, not because of the building itself, but because of what it represents for my characters throughout the Scrubs series. In Scrubs, my leading man associates the Space Needle with home. He even has a tee-shirt with the word SEATTLE printed on the front; one of the T’s is a silhouette of the famous building. The structure brings back childhood memories for him and is one of the first things he shows people when they visit his beloved city.

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“As Randy’s plane descended over Puget Sound into the SEA-TAC airport, he remembered how much he missed home. The beautiful Seattle skyline lit up the nighttime sky, and the glow of the lights reflecting off the lake brought back memories of fishing with his dad.” –an excerpt from Scrubs

For most, the Space Needle is just a steel structure in the middle of downtown Seattle. But for me, the Space Needle symbolizes much more — hiking through moss-covered forests, the snow-covered Cascade Mountains, fishing in crystal clear lakes, waterfalls, fresh seafood, and my love for city of Seattle. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and although I no longer live in Seattle, I will always consider the emerald city my home.

(Taken from an article I wrote for Squirl’s On the Spot blog)

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