The Gray Bunny (graybunny) wrote,
The Gray Bunny

The Tale of Going to the Symphony

I haven't been having much luck going to arts events in Seattle proper lately. Last time, I was trying to go to a play, got stuck in traffic, and had to abort entirely. No refunds or exchanges, either. So this time I left waaay early. I know how to get to Seattle Center, I've been there plenty of times. I know where to park. It's easy. Despite traffic, I got to Seattle Center more than half an hour early.

Then I discovered that Benaroya Hall isn't at Seattle Center. That's McCaw Hall.

I trooped back to the car and checked a map. Benaroya Hall is in the center of downtown, which is not the worst place to drive in the world but is practicing hard. In fact, apparently it's behind the Pike Place Market, which is odd because there really isn't much space between Pike Place Market and the waterfront strip. But I had half an hour, so I drove frantically downtown.

Downtown is a lot of fun because most of the streets are one way, but not in any predictable pattern like every-other-street. I figured that if I took 2nd down to Union and then took Union down to 1st, I'd be in the right area. I got there and discovered that if I went straight across 1st, Union dead-ended into a parking garage. Yay! Oh, did I mention that I blew five bucks parking at Seattle Center and then immediately leaving again?

I put on my jacket because it had started raining and hustled out of the garage. With ten to fifteen minutes left, I might make it in time if I found Benaroya quickly enough. Well, I ended up hiking halfway around Pike Place Market and determined that yes, there really isn't much behind it except the waterfront strip and a couple apartment buildings. So I went back to the car, climbing back up all those damn hills and getting soggy with sweat from wearing the jacket which was preventing me from getting soggy with rain.

I finally got back to the car and sat down with the map again. As it turns out, there is a dot at each end of the banner which says Benaroya Hall. One dot is actually Pike Place Market. The other is the correct dot, and it's on the corner of... 2nd and Union!

I drove right by it.

Well, by that time it was ten minutes past showtime but I figured they might let me in anyway. I hiked up a block of hill and then halfway around the building before I found the entrance. If I'd had to go any further I might have just chewed through the wall.

At ten minutes past showtime, there are no lines, so I was able to walk right up to will-call and pick up my ticket, and I didn't have to wait for the elevator. Of course, the doors were closed, but a very nice usher lady snuck me in even though she wasn't supposed to, because my seat was basically right by the door — I could get to it without anybody having to move.

I'd missed the first half of the first piece, but that was OK, I wasn't going to the concert to hear the first piece. I got to hear the Arvo Pärt piece, which I wanted to hear, and then the thing I went for — Also Sprach Zarathustra — was the closer, after intermission. So in the end it all worked out.

And then, after the concert, I discovered that I'd parked in the garage right next door to the Lusty Lady. I'm told that if you're going to be an exotic dancer in Seattle, that's the place you want to work.

[edited 2:10PM for spelling and grammar and to give Mr. Pärt an umlaut.]
Tags: event report
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