The Beauty of an Urban Lake

Seattle is nicknamed “The Emerald City” but this moniker doesn’t come from the color of the buildings as in the land of Oz, but rather from the green trees and waters that surround and permeate the landscape. Central to Seattle, and part of its iconic flavor is Lake Union, a truly urban lake with a conglomeration of water based industries, waterfront restaurants, floating homes, marinas, houseboats, condos, offices, and other business. Despite this seemingly inhospitable mixture, much beauty shines through on Lake Union.
My wife and I have lived on Lake Union in a 72 foot paddle wheeler since 2006 and have become enamoured with the lake’s charm, character, and vibrance. Our home is The KevLin (the name comes from our names; Kevin & Linda) and is one of four paddle wheelers on Lake Union.  It is unique in that it is the only Dual Stern paddle wheeler, which provides for greater control as both paddle wheels can turn independently.
Yes, we have actually taken the KevLin out for a number of cruises on the lake.  Most of these cruises were terrific, but one time, it was not so terrific (another story for another time).
Having always wanted to live on the water, we found that living in a houseboat was the most affordable way to accomplish this goal, especially compared to a waterfront home or a Floating Home (see my Houseboat vs. Floating home article in the previous edition to learn about the differences).  Although we initially thought that houseboat living would be a compromise, we have come to know that this is not only the most affordable, it is the most amazing, and in-touch way to experience the water. This is truly waterfront you can put your toes in.
Living on the lake has given us the opportunity to photograph some of the outstanding scenes that happen much more frequently than you might think. Lake Union is alive with activity, both human and nature. These pictures were taken on and around the Lake and hopefully convey some of our enthusiasm about the Beauty of an Urban Lake. Surrounding the lake with equally vibrant neighborhoods like Fremont, Westlake, Eastlake, Southlake, Wallingford, University, and Portage Bay only serves to enhance the lake experience. In upcoming issues, I hope to share with you some of the fantastic images of these neighborhoods. We would love to hear from you.  E-mail us at
Together with my wife, Linda, we have created Special Agents Realty which focuses on living on and around Lake Union.  We also work with people from all around the Puget Sound Area.
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