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MIKE SIEGEL / THE SEATTLE TIMES

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New, Improved South Lake Union

Once a sleepy neighborhood of small businesses and cheap housing, South Lake Union has become the "it" place for both mega-enterprises like Microsoft and new urban pioneers. From a float plane owned by Kenmore Air (with a terminal on the lake), it's easy to see the area's central location, with easy access to Interstate 5 (right) and Aurora Avenue (left). The wooded area in the foreground is Denny Park, the city's first public park.