18 July 2009

Chelsea FC & Link Light Rail

After getting permission from El Jefe (she had to watch the kid), I joined about 66,000 other people downtown today for the Seattle Sounders FC game against English Premier League powerhouse Chelsea FC. Gorgeous day, in the low 80's and sunny. Chelsea started Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack, Nicolas Anelka and John Terry - pretty fun to watch those stars live in action. I just bought the ticket yesterday, and was lucky to get a seat. I was in the upper deck, but still had a great view of the pitch.

Seattle ended up losing 2-0, which isn't too surprising considering we faced one of the best teams in the world (scores were Sturridge 12', Lampard 35'). Even though Chelsea was hardly in mid-season form (there were a
few of their passes which weren't on the money) - they were still a great team. And fast. Chelsea closes FAST. A lot of the Sounders' passes were probably pretty good for the MLS, but against "the Blues" most of them were picked off.

It was a fun game though, and Seattle had a few good looks and a few chances to score, but just couldn't convert.

After the game I walked to Pioneer Square and took Seattle's brand-new, never-before-used Link Light Rail to the Mount Baker station fairly close to our neighborhood. Then caught a bus up to Union and the quick walk home. Today was the grand opening day of the light rail, and I'm very excited about Seattle's newest mass transit option. Having ridden the underground in London, Paris, New York, Hong Kong, Berlin, Vienna, hell even Istanbul and Prague; I have been waiting for this to come to Seattle since I moved here. At 14 miles, it's not a terribly long line right now, but it's a start. It is underground through the length of downtown and then becomes at-grade near the stadiums. It bores through Beacon Hill underground and emerges in the Rainier Valley were it becomes at-grade again until almost Tukwila, the remaining few miles are elevated. And by the end of the year the line will go all the way to the airport. By 2016 it will stretch to the University District, and by 2021 it is supposed to go north to Northgate, south to Federal Way, and east across Lake Washington to Bellevue and Redmond (Microsoft) for a total of 55 miles. I, for one, am very pleased. I'll even be able to use it to go to work occasionally. I can ride my bike down to the Mount Baker station, take the rail to Tukwila and then bike to the office in Kent.

KJT - Seattle (2009)

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