MB and I had a great time in Seattle last weekend.
We flew out Saturday afternoon and got in around 5:30. After checking into the hotel, we went out and walked around. MB lived in the Seattle area years ago, so he was excited to show me where he used to hang out. He loved this West African restaurant, but unfortunately it closed down, so we made do with Pan Africa near Pike’s Place. The food is more Ehtiopian, and usually I don’t like Ethiopian, but what I had – the chicken groundnut stew – was freaking good.
By early evening it had started to rain, and I was getting grouchy. At first we will all gung ho about going to listen to some live music, but then decided we were too tired and saw a movie instead, which, by the way, was one of the most ridiculous pieces of cinema I’ve seen in a long time.
Our hotel was connected to a Seattle’s Best so the next morning I was down there early, guzzling down an Americano and scarfing down a scone. We had a packed day ahead of us so MB got up shortly after I did, and we were off!
First stop, the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum. Lots of fun. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures because SOMEONE forgot to bring the camera battery that was charging before we left (MB, I’m looking at you). But that’s okay. Sometimes with pictures, you get so busy with your camera, you forget to enjoy the moment.
September 18 is the day that Jimi Hendrix died, and we went the day after. I thought the place would be mobbed but it wasn’t too bad. I think MB’s favorite were the mini “studios” where you could play instruments and do sound mixing.
“I could have stayed there all day!” he said.
Luckily for me, we had lunch plans with one of my college buddies. I haven’t seen her in years and have never met her husband or baby so it was great to get together. My friend had two places picked out for lunch, Cajun and Mexcian. There was a bit of a wait at the Cajun place so we went to see about the Mexican one. It was the strangest thing: there were four or five waitstaff just standing around at the front, elbows literally on the front desk, who completely ignored us. When we finally got there attention – “We have four with a baby” – none of them knew what to do.
“Party of four with a baby?” they kept saying over and over like they had never heard of such a thing. They consulted first one person, then another, who looked around perplexedly.
What the fuck?
They did finally find a table, but by then MB and I were fed up. “I don’t mind waiting,” I said, and so it was back to the Cajun place, where actually there was no wait after all, and the food was absolutely delicious and the service excellent.
The weather had cleared up by then so we took a walk in the nearby sculpture park, and then up to my friend’s workplace to pee and take in the view. Finally, they were kind enough to drop us off at Pioneer Square, so that we could catch a late afternoon time slot of the Underground Tour.
It was totally fun. In case you don’t know, present-day Seattle is built way above the original street-level from when the city was first settled. A fire wiped it out, and when they rebuild, they decided to rebuilt on top of the original streets and buildings to avoid the twice-a-day flooding. The tour took us down to the underground part, and it was really cool to see where businesses once stood and to hear the history.
Our guide said that one particular bank vault is supposedly haunted, and that TAPS from Ghosthunters even investigated it (and found nothing). I really wanted to see something as we walked through, but of course: nada.
While we waited in an alley at one point, we saw a sign that said, “Don’t feed the rats! Place garbage 20 feet away.” I said, “Seattle has rats?” Then a minute later I felt something brush my ankle. I jumped but it just was MB fooling around.
Later I got him back though. We were underground again in what used to be a bar. Beyond the main room were some dark and closed off areas. I looked back there, imagined seeing a ghost, and grabbed MB, gasping.
“What is it?” he gasped back, his eyes like saucers.
After the tour we grabbed a late dinner at a nearby seafood place, which seems to be a chain. Oh well. It was still pretty good.
The next morning we took our time. Check out was at 11 so we left our stuff and took a last walk around. The farmer’s market at Pike’s Place was just as crowded as over the weekend but still fun to walk through. We saw the fish throwing as well as the original Starbuck’s. Then we took a walk out to the water. It didn’t rain at all that day, and in fact I got a little sunburned.
Our final stop was the public library, which was right across from our hotel. It’s really freaking cool, like a giant beehive, as my friend said. There’s a spiraly walkway that winds up and down the library, as well as tons of space for people to read, study, hang out (of course there were lots of homeless). I kept thinking that library must have a shit ton of money.
For our flight back, because our tickets were so cheap, we upgraded to first class. It was awesome but kind of strange too to be already sitting there in the lap of luxury as everyone else crowded on board. There’s an unbelievable amount of leg room. MB was totally comfortable while I felt like I could do yoga in my space. Plus there was free lunch: a half a hearty sandwich, and a medley of cheese and crackers. Probably would have cost about $20 if we had paid for it.
Then we were home! Yay! No more traveling for a while.
My overall Seattle impression? Seems pretty clean, at least in compared to SF, and the population seems older, but that may have been just what I saw. Also the food is cheap and delicious! I would definitely go back and for a longer time. A boat ride out to Victoria sounds especially cool.
Today’s my first day at home in about a week. I turned in an article this morning, and I had plans to go to the gym and yoga but I so don’t want to. Instead I’ll run some errands I’ve been putting off and then put in a few hours this afternoon for my job. Maybe continue working on my next Nervous Breakdown piece as well.
You should hit up Vancouver next time!
And I never knew that about Seattle (the underground stuff). That’s so interesting. I loved visiting the catacombs, I wonder if it’s similar?