Saturday, May 17, 2008


Last week the wife and I took a trip to the Pacific Northwest to visit the city of Seattle. Seattle is a city I’ve always wanted to visit because of its tech-centric and progressive reputation. What we found was a city fueled on coffee and desperate for sunshine that lived up to expectations.

Seattle is a lot like San Francisco (which we visited last year) but without the irritating attitude of superiority. Sure, there’s Obama-ites running rampant but it there isn’t a constant being looked down upon. Despite its fast paced industrial backbone, the city is surprising laid back and our visit was quite relaxing.

Our first night there, we walked around downtown to get a feel for downtown and learn where everything was. We watched the Hornets get a red ass beatdown from the Spurs at the Fox Sports Grill on 6th Ave. It’s a sports bar with an uppity, hipster look. It was nice, but you should never feel underdressed at a sports bar.

The next day we saw some genuine Seattle landmarks. First, we walked to the Space Needle although we didn’t go up because it was a little overpriced. Next, we went to the Pike Place Market to buy some fresh doughnuts, sit on a giant brass pig, and watch them throw the fish around. Later, we met a friend of a friend in Redmond so she could so us around her office at Microsoft. After all, as a programmer it is my Graceland. That night, we went see the Mariners lose to the White Sox at SafeCo field. SafeCo is an impressive stadium with some nice features (like being able to text your order and have someone bring it to you).

The weekend was mostly spent hawking our wares at the Emerald City Comic Con in the convention center. You can read my report on the M.O.P.S. blog. However, on Saturday night, some of our local friends brought us to the Six Arms bar for some Hammerhead Ale. It was one of the coolest bars I’ve ever been in. The atmosphere and décor were truly unique and quintessentially Seattle.

The next part of the trip is what I dubbed the “Stuff Paul Allen Bought” tour. It started with tours of the Science Fiction Museum (a.k.a. Paul Allen’s nerdy science fiction collection) and the Experience Music Project (a.k.a. Paul Allen’s nerdy guitar collection). Both museum were unique and interesting (Frank Gehry designed) but they were small too. We saw both exhibits in about an hour. We capped the night by seeing Iron Man at the Paul Allen’s movie theater, the Cinerama. The Cinerama is a giant state of the art theater that only plays one movie on an almost IMAX-sized screen. It was great throwback to the era of the “moving picture.”

Some of the other places and restaurants we visited: The Athenian Inn, Seattle Museum of Art, McCormick and Schmick’s, Bauhaus, Metropolitan Grill, and Dragonfish Café.