This is the fourth floor of the end of the female wards at Hudson River State Hospital. Time has decidedly been unkind to this asylum; water has ravaged it, and a fire in 2007 took out the male wards. There was once a plan to redevelop the site - and this once-beautiful Kirkbride building - into residential development, but the town of Poughkeepsie stalled on rezoning, and then the fire pretty much ended that possibility. Now, the better parts of the wards look like this - and the worse parts don’t have floors.

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Happy new year everyone! I’m releasing a theme today because I have no life..errrr… I mean because I love you guys :) *throws confetti*


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Where to take your parents other than the Space Needle

By now, you may have read that the private owners of the Space Needle are pretty awful to the union workers who do important things like run the elevator and make sure people don’t die at the City’s most recognizable icon. 

KIRO is reporting today that the employees, who asked for a raise, instead, got a supremely condescending  presentation about how to “live on less.” The Seattle Times has the story of how the Space Needle, LLC violated labor laws when they discouraged their employees to join the union. 

Photo: Cliff Cooper via Flickr

Oh, and this isn’t the first time the Space Needle has been shitty; complaints of their union-busting ways have been bubbling for years. Plus, they’re just not very good Seattle neighbors; they lobbied against the rezoning in SLU (because THE VIEWS!!!), they’ve dragged their feet on being allies to the LGBT community, claiming that raising the rainbow flag year after year was against the way they do things (tell that to the 12th flag, or the Seafair flag, or any of the flags they’ve raised religiously). 

What makes it even worse is the fact that the Space Needle is owned by one of the wealthiest families in the city, the Wright family, the patriarch of which has donated to such political figures as Dino Rossi. This is a dude who has gotten rich off not paying his employees fairly and running a business that does not represent Seattle’s best interests.

So! What do you do? Well, you do not go to the Space Needle when your parents come to visit. Instead, you do something else. Like, for example:

  • You go to one of our great free museums, like the Frye or the Olympic Sculpture Park, or get a Museum Pass for many other museums, like MOHAI and the aquarium. 
  • You could go get a pretty decent view from the Columbia Tower. You don’t even really need to go into the Starbucks. Just go up there and gaze at the city.
  • You could enjoy one of Seattle’s many privately-owned public open spaces (POPS), which are quite cool. 
  • You could go to the library (duhhhh).
  • You could stroll along (what’s left of) the waterfront.
  • You could go to Kerry Park and get a pretty cool view from up there. Or Harborview. Or Beacon Hill. 
  • You could take one of many downtown/underground/haunted tours. 
  • You could wander around Lake View Cemetery, which is honestly pretty great.
  • While you’re up there, you could hit up the Volunteer Park Conservatory
  • You could visit Magnolia Park for a very different/awesome view.
  • You could, as one reader pointed out, get some picnic fixings at Central Co-Op, who pay their employees a living wage. 

…Or like a million other things that don’t support a company that is shit to their workers. [Update: Here’s a list from our reblogs! It’s good!] 

Oh, and if you own a business, consider poaching some of the talent from the Space Needle. Those people need good, fair-wage jobs. So if you have one of those, maybe see if anyone from the Space Needle would like it. 

UPDATE: One of our readers reminded us that the Chihuly Glass Museum, which is under the Space Needle, is owned by the same people so probably best not to go there. Plus, they were real turds about the KEXP/Seattle Center renovation.