I’VE BEEN MAKING a point of stopping by the downtown Seattle waterfront to sketch at least once every summer. 

Last year, the demolition crunchers were still busy chewing away the Viaduct. The destruction was a spectacle in and of itself. Did you get your souvenir piece of rubble?

This time, I found a scene both pleasant and odd. The space feels wide open — and much less noisy! — without the double-decker highway. But on this sunny afternoon, the pandemic has erased the cruise ships, the tourists and even the pedicabs from the picture.

Sidewalk signs advertising fresh oysters, cold beer and grab-and-go food look like props on an empty stage. There are no lines, so you can step into your attraction of choice quickly, including the Seattle Aquarium (open at reduced capacity at sketch time).

At Miners Landing, the kitschy hodgepodge of shops, restaurants and attractions at Pier 57, the Seattle Great Wheel is spinning, as if reminding us that life, and fun, needs to go on.