Duwamish

Not necessarily a post-card Seattle picture

This happens to be a “picture” I see often, at least when the clouds let me see Rainier behind the industrial facade. Maybe I just like the Duwamish River because it is the one I see most often, and feel some deep pity for. It was once a living thing. Now it is just a place where we built a city, a port, an economy. Seeing the Duwamish every day some times reminds me of what I felt when I saw the Mississippi in Louisiana, where the river is subverted to human desires and the many industries that thrive there. Maybe I just have a thing for rivers?

The industrial Duwamish in south Seattle

The Duwamish River, in south Seattle, is a U.S. federal Superfund cleanup site and one of the most developed industrial landscapes in the Pacific Northwest. The area is dotted with cargo container barges, cement factories, shipping and receiving warehouses, and other industrial facilities. Believe it or not, fish swim up this river to spawn, and people fish on this waterway every summer.