Friday I got into town early though and wanted to experience the city a bit for myself, first, and I had a suburb day. I got in around 10am and took the lightrail from the airport to my downtown hotel. Then I walked down to the pike place market for lunch. Yelp did not work well for picking a lunch place, since the market it dense with a zillion tiny places and yelp's location kinda just points you towards a block, so I got some clam chowder at a little cafe and it was alright but not amazing, I just went someplace without a line, I needed to feed myself. The market booths were full of artists, tourist shops, fish places.
People of Seattle were all decked out in their fall neutrals, boots jackets and scarves, and it kinda cracked me up. Years ago around this time of year I went to Long Beach California for a conference. It was the same weather - 50s/60s and drizzly. It was october, so I brought my hat and lightweight brown canvas jacket. But I stuck out there! Californians did not have fall wardrobes, they threw on blue plastic rain ponchos over their florescent Bermuda shorts, defiant against the rain, like "THIS WILL NOT LAST, WE WILL RESIST!"
Seattle is just the opposite. I saw people wearing puffy jackets - and I thought it was WAY too warm for that. I took my jacket off when I was really walking. I had on jeans and a loose sleeveless top and I was just fine. It's like people just assumed it was winter time.
I walked from the pike market to the space needle. It was a good distance over hills but not too bad. At the space needle, I opted to check out the Experience Music Project (EMP) museum because I LOVE 90s grunge music, it's what I immediately think of when I think of Seattle, and I read they had a great sci fi/geek collection too.
It was $25 but for me, totally worth it, because I spent most of the afternoon there and since I was by myself I could take all the time I wanted to sit and watch little videos and read displays and wander around. The sci-fi/horror film sections were amazing. They highlighted tons of films and the horror section had these neat little mini-movies where industry insiders would explain the project and how it changed the genre, psycho, wickerman, the exorcist, texas chainsaw massacre. The science fiction exhibit told the story about how sci-fi is really a thought experiment, take one aspect and really run with it, design a world around and idea, make yourself "pure" characters with one trait you really want to study.
The grunge/punk music movement is all explored in their Nirvana exhibit. Now, I love Nirvana, grew up with Nirvana, had all their albums and wore black every year on the anniversary of the day Kurt Cobain shot himself when I was a teenager. But I thought this exhibit focused too much on Nirvana. Why not just make a grunge/punk section and explore everybody's contributions, like they did with the science fiction rooms? There was a polite mention in one of the videos about the Olympia riot grrl movement, a poster of Nirvana playing with Bikini Kill. I think the riot grrl movement is facinating. There was a video about DIY culture and the grunge concept that anybody should make music regardless of training, skill level, costume budget... well then why not make the exhibit about everything?
And as I told fellow 'femmer and native Seattlite Bork - where was Pearl Jam? To the world, Pearl Jam was THE grunge band, more listenable than nirvana, deeper more understandable lyrics, socially conscious, I love Pearl Jam. She said Seattle doesn't see them that way, they consider Pearl Jam a small player compared to Nirvana. I'm finding conflicting reports on who sold more and had more top 10 singles. I wonder if Nirvana is more likely to be remembered and considered *because* of their tragic ending?
I got out of EMP and there was this amazing playground with giant spider-web climbing structures up to high up bridges. It was nice to have a weekend without kids but you see stuff like that and know they'd love it and you wonder why you're having this adventure without them.
On the way back I swung back by the market, because I remembered this touristy looking cheese restaurant that people had been lined up for - Beecher's. They had a little cup of macaroni and cheese you could buy for $7 or something so I got one, as a snack, it was 3pm or so and I wasn't sure when my friends would all be together for dinner. Well it was incredible. I sat at the market overlooking the ocean and ate it and it was the best macaroni I've ever had in my life.
I walked back to the hotel. There was a Target store along the way so I stopped in because I'd forgotten my toothbrush, and what the heck grabbed a bottle of wine. I chilled out in the hotel for a minute and set the wine on ice and then Bork got off work and Rowan arrived just about at the same time, and we killed the wine bottle and talked, went out for sushi, went to the Hard Rock Cafe for the first GeekGirlCon event - and that was day 1.