I got to spend much less time in Seattle than I did in Boston, though I did manage to walk around the city a bit. I visited Pike Street Market, which looked like it would have been awesome if I could have gotten there much earlier. In the evening when I got there, things were closing down. I also walked to the Space Needle and kicked in the $16 to ride to the top. It’s a bit expensive for the ability to ride an elevator and take some pictures, but it was so peaceful at the top (even with the tourists) that I think it was worth it.
I have been told by many people that Seattle in the summer is spectacular and I have to agree. The temperature was very moderate, the weather was mostly good, and there were people everywhere. It’s a very clean and vibrant city. The customer service at most places was consistently the nicest I’ve ever encountered, which was really surprising. I hadn’t heard anything bad, I just didn’t expect it. The only drawback I saw was that there were a crapload of homeless people, and they were very forward with asking for money. There were also a lot of street musicians, and I’m not so sure most of them weren’t homeless. One guy with no shirt was channeling Kurt Cobain. It was so stereotypically Northwestern grunge that I wanted to laugh.
I managed to finish two books on the journey: The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer Lytton and Spaceman Blues by Brian Francis Slattery, both of which I picked up in Boston. The Coming Race tells the story of a man who ventures to a strange land and encounters a race of post-humans who have discovered a powerful energy source called vril. It’s an interesting early commentary on individuality and communism, untainted by the failed Soviet experiment. I highly recommend it if you like early sci-fi like H.G. Wells or Jules Verne. Spaceman Blues is the complete opposite. It’s modern poetry-made-prose. I’ve always enjoyed experimental sci-fi. If that’s your thing, too, then you’ll probably like this. I can see this book being taught in literature classes in the near future. I picked up Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko for something to read on the flight back. It was originally in Russian, so of course I’m reading the translation. There has been a movie made of it, which I’ve seen and is why I picked it up. The movie rocked, and the book is great so far.
And now for the pictures.