Friday, July 19, 2013

Seattle - Day One

I'm calling this day one as I got in around midnight last night and just went to sleep.

The flight went well but it was weird, I got paranoid.  The woman beside me was Muslim and wearing a headscarf, something I've seen tons of times.  But she kept checking her watch, like every 30 seconds, and then she pulled out a plastic bag with something in it and then referred back to her cell phone and then back to her watch and then back to the mystery bag, which I by this time was convinced was full of plastic explosives.  I knew it was a stupid thought but it wouldn't leave my head and I considered asking her what was in the bag as I couldn't relax and eventually she opened the bag and it was a sandwich and we chatted and she was nicer than pie. Still freaked me out, I think it's the American influence.  They have stop terrorism posters on the side of buses here.  Was that a racist fear?  It must be right???

Anyway, hostel is nice.  Very centrally located right in the market and walkable to downtown shopping, etc.  No internet in the room but there is a coffee shop directly downstairs and the wi-fi carries up.  I'm using that now. The close early, they're closed now but the internet still works. The only negative is I asked to change beds so I could be on the lower bunk and near the window.  They said no.  I find it difficult to get up the ladder here, it digs into my soft princess feet.

I woke up this morning around 7.  That's the best part of traveling west, the time difference is in your favour.  It was 10 am my time, but only 7 here.  Had breakfast and went to Target where my underwear was on sale, buy 4 pairs for $20.  I bought 20 pairs.  A little more shopping at Old Navy, etc. and off to the Henry Art Gallery.

This was a skylight thing that I think is a window to heaven or something:
And then to their photo exhibit, which is called "Out [o] Fashion Photography: Embracing Beauty". The title tells nothing, but it was a really cool exhibit of seemingly random photos from the past 120 years.  I've included quite a few here below so you can get the gist.
A Bingo Player, 1942. Weegee (Arthur Feelig)

The Critic. 1943. Weegee (Arthur Fellig)
A Family on Their Lawn One Sunday in Westchester, New York. 1968. Diane Arbus

Auto Portrait (with gun). 1983. Robert Mapplethorpe.
Black Americans (from the Time of Change: Civil Rights, 1961-1965 series). 1963. Bruce Davidson

Truman Capote. 1955. Richard Avedon
Muscle Beach. 1948. Max Yavno.
Other things in the collection were less enticing for me, such as a series of flow charts, like the one below on The Sexuality of Robots.
 This HUGE drawing of an apartment was cool.
From here a hop, skip and jump to the Space Needle. Tripadvisor said to skip it so I did but I passed by it on the way to Chihuly Garden and Glass.  For some reason my Google maps aren't working as well as normal here.  Like my map for the Henry Art Gallery didn't include the street number so when I got to the nearest intersection I had no way of knowing where to go from there.  And no one here knows anything, you're standing across the street from something, the art gallery, the gum wall, the bus stop, and no one knows where it is. Also the buses run underground here sometimes, I would have never figured that out on my own.  I stood on the street corner for 10 minutes, I was nearly arrested for prostitution!  The glass place, the instructions said to follow Harrison, which ends after 10 feet.  The instructions are like "Stay on Harrison, then make a left toward Harrison, then a right, then a hard left, then a left" and I'm like how am I staying on a street that ends and making all these turns?  Am I on Candid Camera?
Final thing, the transfers are time based so I was paying again and again when I could have just used my transfers.  Nope, one more thing.  If you want to pay anything other than cash for the transit, you need a PhD to figure out the machine.  You need to program your stop into the machine for it to calculate how much you owe, but there's only like 9 stops in the machine and 400 stops in the city so are you supposed to guess which of the 9 you need?  Who knows, so I pay cash.
This glass place is the #1 attraction on Tripadvisor for some reason.  It was okay, a little over-priced and crowded and small.  There was a lot of glass sculptures:
 They took a free photo for you, which was nice.  Here I am in front of the sculpture, but I wish she'd got a bit more of the sculpture. Look at the photo above, how high and cool it is.  This one, not so much.  But I look decent, notice my new shirt, it's called "Glacier Blue" in honour of my Alaska cruise.  I didn't make it up, the store called it that.  
This was a glass ceiling with glass in it.  I asked one of the docents if he'd ever been standing in the room and heard the sound of breaking glass and he said no.
A close-up of one of the roof panels.  I thought this photo might make a nice wallpaper for my work computer.
Another, a glass-bottomed boat. Really majestic in person, I don't know if the photo does it justice.
Not much smoking here which is good.  You can't smoke within so many feet of a doorway and just less smokers in general.  A lot of homeless, as most temperate cities have, but better than San Fran.

Here's the gum wall.  I gagged as I was leaving, not sure if it was the gum or the smell of fish. I think a mixture.
The first Starbucks ever is in the Pike Market.  Here's a photo of it below.  Not included in the photo is the line down the block to get in, about a 30 minute wait.  Didn't do that.
The food and selection and freshness is amazing.  I love the shopping, the people, I bought some local organic raspberries that were to die for.  The market is really the highlight of the trip so far, I'm lucky my hostel is across the street.
I don't know where this goes to but I keep singing the Simpsons Monorail song every time I see this.  I may have to ride it just to keep singing.  "Is there a chance the track could bend?" "Not on your life, my Hindu friend!"
This homeless or very sketchy group of guys and one had a pet kitten on a leash standing in the middle of the street.  I tried to stop and take a photo of it without him killing me.  Success!
I also bought some new running shoes.  They're blue and make me feel young and cool.
Also I found out this exists, Coke Zero Cherry!  I may never leave now.  I wonder how many cans I can fit in my suitcase?
Tomorrow is another full day with a movie in the park after dark with Clark.  Might not get time to blog til later.  Night!

1 comment:

Eugene said...

I think the hostel really wanted their guests to enjoy their stay. This one’s amazing! The skylight seemed like a tunnel towards the sky. You look straight through the glass and you could feel like you’re so close to reaching the clouds. :')
Eugene Head @ Roof Masters