Best Place to People-Watch

Seward Park

While she was superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, Maria Goodloe-Johnson could be spotted with her clan at a picnic in Seward Park. A frequenter of the park might also see Seattle City Council member Bruce Harrell jogging or New York Times scribe Tim Egan riding his bike. Conan O'Brien, who married a Seattle native, was also there some years ago, messing around with his kids on the playground. With its wonderful 2.4-mile path lining Lake Washington, stunning views of Mount Rainier, and trails through old growth, the park is a big draw for city notables. But it's an equally big draw for ordinary Seattleites of all stripes: Orthodox Jews wearing yarmulkes, Somalis in hijabs, Vietnamese fishermen, Russian immigrants in high heels, white bikers in Spandex, and power-walking African Americans. In short, Seward Park is the kind of melting pot Seattle has too little of, and it's it's fun to watch. NINA SHAPIRO

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