Proud to be a Seattleite!

(don't you love the "world's fair" style event poster?)

I had no idea the cultural marvel of an evening I was in for when I suggested we head to Artopia on Saturday night. Sounded harmless enough: some live music, "multi-disciplinary" art, repurposed furniture and lots of dark beer. I mean, the only reason I didn't get married in that favorite old factory on Airport Way was because we thought some of our relatives might be scared by the late night carousing across the street at 9lb Hammer. I don't drink beer, but I like being with people who do.

It was a gorgeous night, and we wandered in and out of a lot of bad art shows, bored by most, laughing at the hysterical:

(It's just true.)

We peaked at Via Tribunali's street oven firing up The Non-Scotsman's favorite Seattle meal for only $5 a pizza. Heaven from the oven.
(Via Tribunali pizza)

We admired our favorite furniture-maker's lamps at Great Stuff, but things started rapidly flailing downhill about Block 4 with the local dance troupe flopping on a plastic mat, and then this guy:

(I didn't ask...)

I quickly grabbed cheap sushi to-go, and we revved the engine into the sunset, driving over to Alki for the final glimpse. A complete contrast: the suburban waterfront and campfire-song atmosphere of West Seattle. We were stuck in the traffic of the young hipsters trying to "drag main" - awesome.

(I took this from my passenger seat, too relaxed and lazy to exit the car and sit on the bench and be part of this scene myself, 2010)

On the way home, in lieu of cocktails we decided Milkshakes & Cokes were in order from Dick's on Broadway right by our house. Again, a innocent decision. However, it happened to be the Eve of the Capitol Hill Gay Pride Parade, and all of Broadway was blocked off for the festivities. Street vendors selling henna tattoos and beaded sarongs sashayed to the live music coming from behind Julia's on Broadway. Massive men in hiked skirts sang Aretha Franklin - the finale of the night.

(The dance party outside Julias)

Pulling into our garage I marveled at the cultures we had just experienced:

Georgetown garage fishnet stockings and tatted kilt-wearing artists.
West Seattle family-friendly main drag filled with marshmallow puffs.
Capitol Hill gay pride in all it's vibrant sashaying.

Proud to be a Seattle-ite!


I'd Rather be Stuck in Traffic...

It was nearly 9:00pm on one of our longest and warmest Seattle days. Knowing we had about an hour until the sun set behind the Olympic Mountains, The Non-Scotsman and I decided to scuttle over to West Seattle to watch the orb take it's plunge.

We put the top down and went the scenic route - our favorite - Highway 99, aka: The Alaskan Way Viaduct. Built in 1952, this bridge has been both a stunning architectural feat and a thorn from the burning sulfur of Hades in Seattle's side. I adore it.

(The Viaduct during construction, 1952)

Just as we pulled onto it, however, we skidded to a sharp stop, nearly colliding with the car in front of us. The Mini behind us screeched to a stop inches from our bumper. We braced ourselves, like soldiers that understand the battle to come, for the inevitable. Stand-still traffic jam. We sat for a moment or 10, finally realizing we were going nowhere really at all, and started enjoying the scenery around us, snapping photos with our phones out of the top of the convertible. We realized where we were - sitting happily on a bridge with priceless, untapped views all around. I sat back and smiled broadly at the jam-packed car of hip-hoppers stopped next to us.

City on the left - Puget Sound on the right. Sensory enjoyment overload.

Ferries. Passengers.
Water. Waves.
Architecture. Design.
Markets. Delights.

Some things I learned while stuck in traffic:

1. There's some sort of factory directly in front of the cheeky Four Seasons Hotel. Doesn't block their view, but does produce a billowing steam in front of their views.

2. Owners of the Four Seasons Condos and I have a lot in common: we both love to sit on our balconies with a glass of wine and watch the sunset with good friends.

3. Seattlites will grow plants ANYWHERE.

4. A sneak peak into the old brick Pioneer Square apartments off the highway shows that many of them leave their laundry strewn about the house.

5. People, maybe some stuck in traffic like us, have gotten out of their cars and written love notes on the cement pillars of the highway. Risking death for the sake of love, eh?

6. Parking garages get all the good, big windows. I want to live in one.

The sun tucked in for the night before we ever got to the end of the bridge by the stadiums. We'd been in the car over an hour, but we didn't need West Seattle by then, anyway. The hour in the car, on the most scenic piece of property in the city, filled us up to contentment.

I hope I hit traffic again soon.


Homemade Ginger Ale

(My first try at Homemade Ginger Ale today, 2010)

I've never thought of making homemade Ginger Ale until today. Come on now, who thinks of making their own soda?

I came across the recipe while scouting out a fun non-alcoholic treat for some pregnant company coming over tonight. Something that would pair well with my Pavlova with Cream...

(Pavlova with Cream)

I scoured the recipe and immediately made for Uwajimaya for cheap, fresh ginger (see recipe below).

(Fresh chunks of ginger)

The smell of simmering ginger took over my kitchen like my loud relatives take over a room (that means it took over in a good way, just really strong).

(I clearly had too much fun making a still life out of the syrup, 2010)

Tonight, we'll simply add a bit of soda and garnish with a lime. If not pregnant I recommend "garnishing" with a bit of Gin as well.


From Imbibe Magazine:

2 Cups unpeeled, washed fresh ginger, roughly chopped
2 Cups Sugar
6 Cups Water
*** Bring to a boil in a pot and lower to a simmer for 1 hour
*** Strain out ginger

When ready to serve, fill glasses with ice, about 1/3 cup ginger syrup, and top with Club Soda or sparkling water.
Garnish with a lime or fresh mint.


Memorial to S'Mores

(My sister, Alicia, with her glorious creation, 2010)

There's only one thing better than finding a dry place on a rainy day, sparking a raging fire, and leaning back with a bunch of family and friends: HUGE MARSHMALLOWS!

I learned something this Memorial Day weekend: there are now marshmallows BIG enough to fill an entire graham cracker and require an entire chocolate bar. They're called "Giant Roasters," and they make even a rain-drenched holiday cheerful. They're GIGANTIC: a treat to be reckoned with.

(A bag of fluffy glory, 2010)

(My sister and nephew, a moment of Memorial silence, 2010)

A beautiful blog, Twig & Thistle posted an idea from Packaging Specialties here in Seattle just a bit ago that I found charming and will certainly make to give as a favor at the next Giant Roaster BBQ.