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It's Out and About Seattle

These streets are made for walkin', tour operator says
P-I Reporter
f your neck isn't as sore as your legs when you've finished a walk around Seattle, then you're not doing it right.
     With distracting traffic and confusing directions, its all too easy to walk by a utility-hole cover engraved with a downtown map, or miss the walking quotations on the steps leading out of the bus tunnels.
     Tucked-away restaurants and ale houses often go unseen if you are running to catch a bus, and public art below or above eye-level goes unappreciated.
     Fortunately, there is a walking tour in the area that can help those who want a street-level class in history and hot spots -- and are willing to slap some pavement to get it.
     On a recent morning Terry Seidler, owner of See Seattle Walking Tours & Events, set the pace for his group, ever watching for tired legs.

Terry describing landmark buildings.
Susan Peck of San Francisco listens at Westlake Center as Terry Seidler, owner of See Seattle Walking Tours & Events, talks about Seattle History.

Seattle Map Hatchcover
Terry Seidler's shadow, left, points out raised landmark on a utility-hole cover near Pike Place Market that is also a map of downtown Seattle. ROBIN LAYTON/P-I Photos

 "I like to compare my tour to Forrest Gump's box of chocolates," said Seidler, who has been running tours since 1993. "Each step along the way, you never know what you're going to get."
Alternately pointing out beaux arts and art deco architecture and identifying buildings in the skyline, Seidler said each tour differs, depending on how many people are on it and what they find interesting. The usual tour has 10-15 people, but Seidler said he will walk with a half-dozen or a group of 30 or more.
     Many walking tours are geared toward tourists, but Seidler said he attracts lots of locals interested in the city's history, such as Sharon Anderson of Bellevue.
     "I love the information on the architecture and also the new art work of Seattle," said Anderson. "I was not familiar with a lot of the changes, and the tour is a wonderful way to keep up on what's happening to the city."
     Seidler says he likes taking locals on the tour because it humbles them a little.
     "Its funny, but when I take locals who think they know Seattle, they discover (so much)," he said, admitting that even he continues to learn more about the city. "I find the reason many locals take the tour is that they don't want to be embarrassed when their friends come to town."

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