Yesterday it was all scarves up at the Sounders game. Today it was more like umbrellas up. It was a true Seattle day, painted in fifty shades of grey and punctuated with the steady drumbeat of an all-day rain. This morning Anne and I got to participate in one of Jay and Carl’s great family traditions, with Rey and Ashlan participating via Skype. Today is Selection Day, where the NCAA picks the starting brackets for their March Madness basketball tournament. Jay and Carl drew their seeds out of a hat, I drew for Rey and Anne drew for Ashlan. I did pretty well by Rey with two number one seeds. We didn’t know which team was which, because the selections had not yet been announced.
In the afternoon Jay and Carl had a memorial service to attend, so Anne and I took a bus downtown on our own. We’ve become quite the accomplished Seattle tourists. There we toured the Seattle underground. This tour featured the seamier side of Seattle’s history, which included all of the deadlier sins. Apparently, Seattle was first founded on tidal flats, while at low tide. This created a few hydrological problems, especially when the tide came in. The Seattle solution was to move dirt down slope from the nearby inland highlands and fill in the tidal flats. This created some problems for the businesses that were already there. As the surrounding streets rose up, the existing first floors first became basements and then subbasements. These former ground floors became the Seattle underground. The historic neighborhood around Pioneer Square was saved from the wrecking ball by the activism of the fellow that created these Seattle underground tours.