It is the backstory of “Big Catch” that evokes a sense of mystery as to the meaning behind the unusual public sculpture of a fisherman entangled with a fish, who strangely has breasts. The story behind the abandoned gravel pit turned public park, Robert Morris Earthwork, gives the carved terraced circles significance as the first land-reclamation sculpture in the nation. And the history of Duwamish Gardens and its connection to the legendary Pike Place Market makes visitors feel a sense of wonder while walking its trails.
Travelers are looking for more meaningful travel experiences and more intimate connections with the people of a destination. They want to feel something when they visit a place and understand what makes that place special. These are the hidden stories that live in the collective minds of the people who live here. These are the stories, like the one of the Good Bootlegger, Roy Olmstead, who ran one of the most successful bootlegging enterprises in the Country, that locals toast to in remembrance.
In a destination like Seattle Southside, which incorporates SEA, the 9th busiest airport in the nation, visitors can sometimes see this region as a throughway, a place to stay the night before their flight, with an easily accessible freeway to go to where they are going. But the cities surrounding the Airport have intriguing sites with fascinating stories that visitors to the area might miss if not aware. These stories can encourage a traveler to exit the light rail at Angle Lake Station to spend some time admiring the shimmering “Cloud” art installation because, through these stories, they now know the interesting tale of its development.
For some, travel is more than a vacation; it is an opportunity to be in the exact spot where something real happened. Stories can draw in those visitors to stop in at the historic Zenith Holland Nursery, or to look for that mural on the side of the building, the one that depicts the first reported UFO sighting in the United States and the first description of “Men in Black”. These are the stories that remain with people after they return home.
It is also important to the RTA that this campaign brings to prominence voices that are often underrepresented. The communities of Seattle Southside are some of the most diverse in the country. People from over 50 countries of origin, speaking over 70 languages, call Seattle Southside their home. This diversity shines through in everything from the dining scene and unique shopping experiences to cultural events and festivals. The voices of people from all backgrounds contribute to a shared community experience. Like the stories from the ambitious women of Spice Bridge International Food Hall, whose passion for sharing their food traditions with others stems from their experience as immigrant women. Through these stories, the RTA hopes to encourage deeper understanding and appreciation for the multicultural community that is Seattle Southside.