Arthur Hu's Offbeat Tour of Seattle

Back in 1994 we had a dream to make hundreds of dollars with the first Seattle screen savers in those heady multimedia days. Almost paid forthe scanner, but the pictures made a popular website and got widely copied. But this was the original, and I took the original pictures with my trusty Pentax ME 35mm slr.

Sadly, since these pictures were taken in 1994, the Hat and Boots has deteriorated further, Twin Teepees was torn down after a fire, the Toe Truck was moved, and the blob was also torn down. Hat and Boots Gas Station was stripped so that the hat is just a framework now and moved to a park. The Boots used to be the restrooms. Somebody should turn this into an espresso stand.

Elephant Car Wash

Seattle Elephant Car Wash

Elephant Car Wash (as featured on King-5 Almost Live) This is a rotating sign. Yeah, we should put up a video some day.  Photo by A. Hu.


U-Haul "Space Needle"

I love this, a fake Space Needle!  Actually, the sign for the Renton U-Haul on Rainier Avenue South. Photo by




International District Salt Shakers - Now next to office building

Cool ventilator shafts, I guess for the bus tunnel, across the street from Uwajimaya in the International District.  Uwajimays is a landmark in itself for those seeking fresh fish, and Asian delicacies of all kinds.  It's a great place for a field trip for those raised only on American food......


Check out Fremont Interactive

Fremont Troll (he's under the Aurora Bridge, _not_ the Fremont Bridge and yes, that's a real volkswagen he's got in his hands)  Photo by A. hu

Fremont Troll

Waiting for the Interurban

William Byers most beloved statue "Waiting for the Interurban" in Fremont.  Everyone loves this piece of art.  It's dressed up for birthdays, holidays, football games, or just for the fun of it. 

"Waiting for the Interuban" by William Byers

The Fremont Rocket (Non nuclear)



The Post Intelligencer "It's In the P-I" Ball. Seattle's world famous morning paper.




Lost Seattle Tour: Gone Gone Gone

John Wayne take you on a tour of Seattle in the 70s in the movie McQ

Lincoln Toe Truck 
Lincoln Toe Truck 

Photo by A. Hu. They have versions used in parades, it's been moved since.


Queen Anne Blob

Queene Anne Blob 14 Roy

14 Roy Street, it looked like Fred Flintstones house. Torn down in the 2000s. This picture make the rounds on the internet, and got used by the Mayor's committee to save big ugly things video. Photo by A. Hu, even got check from Seattle for using it.


Vintage photo

I never stopped in for a meal at the Twin Tee-Pee's on Aurora, right across from Greenlake.  Before I5, 99 Aurora was the main north / south drag, one big shopping strip. Everyone knew there was a fire there, but who would have ever dreamed the owner would tear it down?  He claimed he couldn't get permits to repair it and the City was moving too slowly for permits so, before anyone could do anything, wham, it was gone.  1994 photo by a. hu


Offbeat Seattle TwinTeepees 1994



Old postcard from

1994 photo by a. hu

Hat 'n' Boots.  It's not actually gone.  But it's been moved and not yet restored.  It's in pretty bad shape but getting better all the time, thanks to the tireless efforts of the volunteers at  It's been moved to Oxbow Park in Georgetown.  The children's playground has been put in, but the Hat 'n' Boots still need some work.  Hats off to Starbucks, Hampton Inns and the Seattle Foundation for their generous support of this restoration.



Kalakala Foundation Before Seattle had the Space Needle, the "Silver Slug" was the most unique looking thing on the Sound. Not in the screen saver, but kooky enough to qualify for this page. Before there was a Space Needle, this was the wierdest thing on the waves. Saved from a fish cannery, it's rusting around Tacoma someplace.


List of websites that have used my pictures or similar ideas:


 J.P. Patches, the Windows MultiMedia Title!

P.J. Patches - "pie in the face"

Millions of impressionable Seattle kids including me grew up with J.P. Patches and Gertrude. Who Is J.P. Patches? "The Emmy winning J.P. Patches Show aired for 23 years on KIRO TV and at one time had an viewership of over 100,000. When it was 1left the air in 1981, it was the longest running, locally produced children's program in the country." He was mentioned in Krusty the Clown's address book, and may be responsible for much of the craziness that Seattle is now known for (like this web page) Now check out this multimedia tribute, quite an effort for a local project, the equivalent of a 2 hr PBS special (in fact KCTS-9 ran a couple of JP documentaries last year!)

KING-5 TV's Almost Live! Spectacularly funny local humour. Buy the video if you can't get a friend here to record a video for you. Check out the Late Report

The Tackiest Place in America Contest Somebody else noticed that offbeat tacky tourist traps are cool too


Check out Sally Banfill's site, she's a painter who has painted many of these and other Seattle offbeat sites!