Sketched June, 24, 2014
Four years ago, the South Park neighborhood lost an important link to the rest of Seattle when its aging bridge over the Duwamish River was closed for safety reasons. Residents were angry and business owners worried about their future: “Please, don’t let the bridge close,” read a big sign of protest that I sketched back then.
The mood was quite different this week as the community was gearing up for the opening of the replacement bridge Monday at 6 a.m. A patron at Via Vadi Caffe joked that all his favorite pastries will fly off the shelves when more customers start flooding in.
The new bridge includes a wider road, bike lanes and a barrier that separates the sidewalks from the cars. Some artistic touches are also worth mentioning: Gears from the old bridge are embedded in the new railings, and salvaged concrete lamp posts enhance a new rain garden that leads pedestrians to the river.
The long wait for the new bridge calls for a big celebration. A noon-to-9 p.m. party with music, tours and a parade is planned Sunday.
I had to sketch fast and memorize colors to make these sketches during Tuesday’s media preview of the new bridge. The room with the big counterweight is the same one I sketched last year when the first steel pieces were being assembled.
Josephine Porco, Maria’s mother, runs Napoli Pizzeria next door to her daughter’s coffee shop. Also in this sketch is Gary Gunderson, a kinetic sculptor from West Seattle who set up his workshop in South Park two years ago and has become a regular at Via Vadi Caffe.
You can find all my posts about South Park on this link.