We left late in the afternoon and headed into the city on Rt. 146, which at this time of day will let you inject yourself into the heart of the city without much commotion. Dinner was at McCormick and Schmick's Seafood. Excellent food, moderate prices. She had cod and I had Atlantic Salmon served over a berry sauce. The wine list was huge, and I imagine the list of beers was as long, but I settled on a Bass (I'll save the obvious joke.)
The reason for this trip was http://www.waterfire.org/. At sunset, wood fires are lit along the canal through the city. The lighting we saw was the section near the Crawford St. bridge. There was a young man with a shaven head, save very long pony tail, performing martial arts-style with two "whips" engulfed in flame. This performance, which was emphasized by the music choices coming from speakers along the river, was surreal.
As the night went on, small groups in black boats floated along the water, feeding the fires that had died down some. The smell of burning wood filled the downtown area, and from seats by the river we could feel the intense heat of the flame. Fortunately, the night temperature turned this into a very pleasant event, letting us forget the humidity of the week before.
I think the whole of the city came out for this event, but looking at the license plates, many were from out of state. This is a really cool concept, and I hope to find more things like this in my travels ahead!