Am I exaggerating? Probably. But walking up the stairs to the plaza--a long concrete stretch sandwiched between the aforementioned earthquake-proof office building and the Rock Bottom brewery--it's hard to shake simultaneous feelings of claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces) and agoraphobia (fear of wide open space). As you enter the park, the sounds of the city slowly drain away until little more than a distant, barely audible hum remains. The soul of the city--the sounds, the populace, the cars--disappears, leaving you by your lonesome, trapped in a vacuum. The plaza itself is a large empty expanse... and it's carpeted. One massive white building looms over you, the Four Seasons Hotel is off to your left, and other buildings, big and small, line the edges of the park. You're in a completely deserted park... and yet... you're completely surrounded. Looking up at the windows of the buildings, not a soul can be seen looking back. You're utterly alone. Anything could happen.
Again, am I exaggerating? Probably, but... still. On each of my visits to the Rainier Square plaza, the park was infused with a palpable sense of evil. And while some would write me off as a loon, please consider the following: (1) How creepy is it to be completely isolated in a place where you shouldn't be? Where signs of chaos--noise, traffic, goddamn people--should be everywhere, but aren't?; and (2) How eerie would it feel to be standing in a large, open space, surrounded by hundreds--possibly thousands--of windows, and still feel that someone could kill you and no one would see it?