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05 December 2008

Seattle Day 1

Yesterday was my first full day in Seattle. Chris and I had an omelet cook off then we headed out in to some book stores I wanted to check out. The first one was a travel book store called Wide World Books and Maps and the second was Open Books, one of only two book stores in the US dedicated entirely to poetry. I ended up buying a collection of works by Rumi.

Then it was off to find Chris some caffeine (he's a heavy user) at Cafe Fiore. Chris drove me through some really nice neighborhood who's name I can't remember, but he stopped at some see off point and I took a few washed out photos that I could stitch into this panoramic.

We drove just a bit further to the Pike Place Market which was awesome. It's an open air market that houses mostly fresh produce and seafood vendors. There's a lot of free samples to be had so we ate flavored olive oils at probably a half dozen locations. There was also smoked salmon belly jerky. I'm not a big fan of salmon but good god was it good. It's way expensive so we ended up buying only a quarter pound. On our way out we sampled some cheese at Beecher's Handmade Cheese then walked by a bunch of street musicians playing in front of the original Starbucks. It's worth mentioning that most people who live in Seattle don't frequent Starbucks. Everyone seems to have their cache of favorite independent coffee places.

We then entered the Queen Anne part of town, which is mostly goldrush/klondike era original buildings, and found a nice seedy pub. After stopping at the Chinese grocery store we returned home to sleep, go beer shopping at Bottleworks, drink said beer, and cook.

Our final act was a bike ride to the U District and go to some singer songwriter hipster bar that doubled as a cafe. I've been told that the bar/cafe/venue/etc. mix is a common one here. It's funny, with things like liquor and book stores Seattle tends to have very specific store for each genre contained there within (for example: a seperate store for wine, beer, etc.), but then they mix things like coffee shops and bars. Also, I've now seen at least two people who play a saw (the tool) with a bow (like from a violin).

This is a poem from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman that Chris showed me that I really liked:


The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me—he complains of my gab and my loitering.

I too am not a bit tamed—I too am untranslatable;
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.1330

The last scud of day holds back for me;
It flings my likeness after the rest, and true as any, on the shadow’d wilds;
It coaxes me to the vapor and the dusk.

I depart as air—I shake my white locks at the runaway sun;
I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags.1335

I bequeathe myself to the dirt, to grow from the grass I love;
If you want me again, look for me under your boot-soles.

You will hardly know who I am, or what I mean;
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.1340

Failing to fetch me at first, keep encouraged;
Missing me one place, search another;
I stop somewhere, waiting for you.

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