360° Around the Space Needle

1 Apr

space needle from the ground
Every time my friends and I are in Seattle, David insists that we go up the Space Needle, and Ian shoots him down. Too touristy, too expensive, waste of time. It’s been an ongoing joke — albeit not a very funny one — for years.

So when the day came last month that we were in Seattle and Ian was not, we each shelled out the $19 to shoot up 500 feet in a golden bullet elevator in a breathtaking 45 seconds. I had been up once when I was 5 years old, and, although I don’t remember it, I felt myself instantly revert to a state of childlike wonder when we stepped outside.

downtown seattle from the space needle
We couldn’t have picked a better day to go, with clear skies in every direction, including the snowy mountains we had just passed through earlier in the day. We stayed almost three hours — though I can imagine staying all day — watching ships come and go, northbound airplanes U-turn back toward SeaTac, families and friends also reverting to childhood.

The people-watching was almost as good as the people-listening. With everyone cramming elbow-to-elbow for balcony space, you don’t think too much about who else is listening to you. am listening to you, and recording you like a creep.

people on the space needle
I recorded for 17 minutes and cut it down to the loudest and clearest pieces of conversation. I tried to include different languages and recurring themes (i.e. the Ferris wheel, making sure someone doesn’t drop an electronic device through the wires).

Even though all the clips are in chronological order, I like how separate bits seems to be in coincidental conversation with each other (i.e. “Where’re you running from? I never saw you move so fast.” / “I wanna go in! I wanna go in!”).

People are pretty wonderful, aren’t they?

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