Where We Went This Year! (22,000 miles of driving!)

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Sunday, October 19, 2008


First day in Seattle was a bit sleepy. Or a lot sleepy.

Having arrived in town the night before, we were a bit worn out. And as the rainymistygrey stalked the streets, leaking light through the cell block number 5 window of our hotel room, it was all the more encouragement to just take the dog out to pee and head right back in and under the covers.

Also, Eva Maciek, our wardrobe supervisor, is the other dog owner on the tour, and her dog Crackers, freshly angst-riddled from ungodly loud jets in San Francisco's naval airshow for fleet week, and from the flight from San Fran to Seattle, needed a watcher for the day, which we were only too happy to oblige. And so, Crackers, Angie, Butley, and I all chillaxed in bed (or around it) watching Arthur Miller's "The Crucible," feeling like the rainy Salem weather matched that of Seattle's quite nicely. Crackers in particular enjoyed the comfort of a stinky pair of shoes...

Being back in Seattle, I found the "Twelve Angry Men" poster we left here two years ago. And, of course, it's the same dressers, who all remembered spraying us down with spray bottles every night before the show, trying to make it look like the hottest day of summer in the middle of a Washington winter evening. The next day we went for a walk around Pike Street Market -

- home of monkfish-throwing seafood merchants, cheap but beautiful flowers, specialty shoppes (that can only be spelled with the extra "-pe" at the end), and the original Starbucks store which, to walk into, closely approximates the sense of walking directly into page seven of the Orvis catalog.

We visited Scobie Puchtler, oh he the mechanical magician of Yale University/Prism Kiteworks/youwantitibuildit fame, and saw the very cool alternative school he teaches at full time now, Puget Sound Community School. And somewhere between teaching classes in building an actual radio-controlled airplane model, designed & fabricated by the students themselves with his supervision, and renovating a brand new building they're relocated themselves to, he finds time for a proper homelife with his wife Sarah and son Brayden.

We took Butley to a park near where Scobie lives, the Gas Works, which is an old industrial site where coal used to be converted to natural gas. It was highly, highly toxic until the city set about reclaiming it, de-toxifying what they could, sealing up what was best left alone, and re-sodding everything until now it stands as an amazing testament to the possibilities of urban renewal. it's about the size of three football fields, and the old mechanical architecture still lying around is both haunting & beautiful, adding a uniquely historical identity to the park.

We returned to the Gas Works couple days later, to give Butley a chance to tear up some grass and burn off some energy. We met this great couple whose frisbee-fetching dog was a good playmate for Butley, and spent about an hour chatting about a Vaudeville festival they run annually here in Seattle - apparently the largest of its kind in the world. It's called the Moisture Festival because of the fact that it's a Springtime event in Seattle, but being a vaudeville festival, there's probably more to it than that. At any rate, we were all good & tired by the end of the day and stopped to pose for photo before heading home to rest up for the show.

Also, as we were immediately adjacent to Fremont, Seattle's answer to Berkeley, CA, we drove by the "Fremont Troll," a sculpture underneath a major bridge in Fremont where a local artist was commissioned to craft a substructural inhabitant for the community. Apparently there was some disagreement between the artist and the mayor and, after a failed attempt to have his work finished by another person, the mayor dragged the original artist back to finish the job. The original artist, somehow incensed at the imposition, decided to add his Volkswagen bug, filled with concrete, to the troll's left hand. So, in the photo, you get a sense of the fellow's size by knowing that the VW in his hand is real - and that's an actual hubcap for his left eye...

We visited the Experience Music Project, the brainchild and beneficiary of Microsoft's Paul Allen, on a company visit. After joining the kids for the requisite high-school-musical-esque recording of a SPRING AWAKENING in the museum's "record a CD exhibit", Angie and I went exploring. I, of course, ended up downstairs in the Science Fiction Museum. Way cool, particularly to see the original props & costumes from Blade Runner, the manuscripts of various original sci-fi classics, and the exhibit on changing images of utopia & dystopia in sci-fi over time.

Sunday morning, joined Angie's friend Dan Tierney for breakfast back in Fremont at Norm's Eatery & Ale House, a dog-friendly restaurant that has everything for the perfect Sunday afternoon: great food, beer on tap, big comfy sofas, flat screen television, and lighting that just makes you want to stay and stay. But we had a matinee, so..

We've been enjoying our daily walks around the Seattle Center, right next to the hotel.

It's a big tourist park and centralized location for Seattle Repertory Theater, the Intiman, the Pacific Northwest Ballet, etc. And there are more shoppes (yes, the -pe again), carnival games & rides, a boarding platform for the Monorail, and a big fountain that does synchronized water shows to orchestral greatest hits. (NB: I have no idea who the guy in the jester's hat is...)

After our last show, Angie and I went up to the top of the Space needle and had a last look around the city, lit up as it was night.

Meanwhile, with all this travel, Butley's decided - he's going into sales.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, Butley could sell anything, he is THAT good-looking. Wish you guys were still here in San Francisco but since you're not we love reading about your travels. Hope you break many legs in LA....I'll look forward to hearing about that. Say hi to my dad for me. Sending the love from SF Lisa