Getting creative at Seattle’s Volunteer Park

When the temperatures rise into the 70’s and 80’s, and here in Seattle that means August and September, it gets harder to stay at the computer and keep writing.  Even if you never read or write outside, a basic way to spark creativity or to solve a pesky plotting problem is to take your brain on a walk.

A sweet destination for walking is Seattle’s Volunteer Park. Designed by the prolific Olmsted brothers by 1909, Volunteer Park has lots of grass for laying out your blanket and picnic supplies and gorgeous views to stimulate your creativity.

The famous black “doughnut” sculpture by Isamu Noguchi entitled, “Black Sun,”  looks toward the Seattle Space Needle.

Volunteer Park houses the Seattle Asian Art Museum and a conservatory.  There is a stage where bands play in the summer.  Just today, a tourist asked if I knew where Bruce Lee’s grave was.  I did.  The Lake View cemetery is right beyond the conservatory.  The conservatory is an excellent place to visit in the summer or winter.  The air is always warm and tropical flowers twine themselves around all the rooms.

One whiff inside will send your soul to Hawaii.

In September, the Dahlias turn out a riot of blooms.

Near this mini-garden is a nice place to lay out your blanket or to play a game of Frisbee.

The closest cafe is the Volunteer Park Cafe.  It’s a convenient place to meet friends for a muffin or bowl of soup.  Just exit the park over by the children’s area and walk east for two blocks.

You’ll see the yellow building as you walk East down Galer Street after exiting Volunteer Park.

Volunteer Park Cafe is great for taking a short break, but it gets busy around lunch time, so you might want to take your computer over to the nearby Tully’s on 19th Ave E.

There are lots of coffee shops on 15th Ave E as well, and all places are within a few minutes walk or on the bus lines.  The only place you can’t go to is the former used bookstore.  It closed recently, and is now an example of knitting gone wild.

Finding a bookstore completely covered in knitting is exactly the reason to take your brain for a walk.  You might find the kind of random detail that can inspire a whole new chapter or offer a new character…perhaps one as a knitting activist.

Do you like to take a break during your writing day?  Where do you go?

– Janis


About writeinseattle

Two Seattle writers examining the writer's life.
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