As expected, the Seattle City Council approved a lease today for the new Experience Chihuly Project, a showcase for glass art that might have been exciting and cutting edge, say, twenty years ago, but today, strikes me as only somewhat less retro than the Fun Forest it replaces.
The best part of the deal is the million dollars Cienna and I helped extort out of the Wright family to pay for a new Seattle Center playground, and I'll take some satisfaction in seeing it built. But not much satisfaction if all we get out of it is a million dollar playground, because honestly, a million dollars isn't nearly enough money to buy the Really Kick-Ass Playground Seattle families deserve.
Imagine the Seattle Center with a really kick-ass playground like the 'rainbow nest dome' at the Takino Hillside Park in Sapporo-shi, Japan.
But a million dollars is a start, so my plea to the mayor, the council and Seattle Center Director Robert Nellams is, don't stop there. Use that million bucks not just to build a climbing toy and a zip slide, but as a magnet for attracting several million dollars more... enough to build a truly world class playground that I promise you will prove more of an amenity to Seattle families than Ye Olde Glass-Art Shoppe ever could. And if done really right—you know, Really Kick-Ass—could prove more of a tourist attraction too.