It sneaks up on you and steals your heart.
One minute you’re walking around the corner of a typical neighborhood block, small houses crouched in the shadows of burly new condo developments, and then, a sliver of silver on the sidewalk catches your eye. You turn and see a crescent moon gleaming in the concrete. And beyond, tall evergreens frame of view that goes on for miles.
This is Fremont Peak, one of Seattle’s treasured pocket parks. Though it’s only been open since 2007, it already has the grace of ages thanks to the vision of the designers who gently inserted new art into the half-acre site perched high above Ballard. It’s a good spot to watch sunsets over the Olympics. In one direction you can see the ships passing through the locks, while to south the skyline of downtown Seattle rises beyond the ridge of Queen Anne.
The limitations of a pocket park – its diminutive size, its lack of recreational facilities – are outweighed by its intimate scale, the thoughtful details which give the space the character and charm of a beloved retreat.
Some parks speak to us in bold fonts, with grandeur and the broad strokes befitting public settings. In contrast, a pocket park whispers, its message, one of stolen moments, secret pleasures, as if to say: This time, it’s personal.