Justin's Blog

Saturday, June 21, 2008


So right now I'm sitting in a cafe at Pike Place Market called "Local Color"... It showcases art of local artists, is a pretty good temperature, and sounds like a slow song at the high school jazz band concert. A pretty good atmosphere. And I've got a fan blowing around right next to me. Anyway, they've got a little sitting area in the back complete with Ikea couches and chairs and tables (photo)... a lot of coffee places here have things like this. More on that, later.

Does this look Local Color-ful to you?

It's rather comfortable.

I decided to take the day off because the past week has been just crazy. Monday was all about getting acquainted with the co-students, etc, and then a night on the town with mum... which could've gone better, but was still good. We ended up having a great meal at a place called the Winslow Way Cafe... and I had my first "amaretto" something or other. A sweet dessert that had a texture like... jello pudding. Ish. huh.

Birds on pole. Sighted near Pike Place.

Monday and Tuesday and much of Wednesday were totally ridiculous for me. I got lost on campus more times than you can count on two hands, discovered that none of the campus dining places were open until Monday (except for a convenience store named "etc." and a Subway), and a bunch more stressful stuff. I also started working more diligently on the Chicago internship work... which is really sweet, but taxing, because I'm really formulating what I need to do on my own.

This is rather cool...
1-Shrink-wrapped building (noticed first by mum). We think they do this to keep the rain and moisture out.... which is ever present (except for the summer months).
2-Fireboat. Good stuff.
3-Notice the bridges in the background... all the highway. Sweet. Tri-level traffic. Even more than Chicago's bi-level Wacker Street.

Wednesday was also a pretty cool day because I took a trip to the East side of town (closer to all of you!) and bought meself a pretty sweet bike. (I think Norah Jones came on the speakers.... I was into Norah Jones for a bit in fall quarter---fact.) Wait until the end of the story. There's irony. So I looked online far before I got to Seattle where I could buy a used bike at a bike co-op... They're basically these cool places to which people donate bikes, and volunteers come in, learn to fix bikes, and in return fix bikes that the co-op sells to keep in business. I'm not sure about bikes yet, and I'm just using it for commuting around this beast of a campus... and I'm going to sell it at the end of the summer, so why do I need a new, expensive supercool bike? I've been meaning to go to Working Bikes in Chicago to buy a bike, but by the end of the year, it just wasn't worth it. Anyway. I took the bus for like, an hour, to get there, and eventually found myself in Columbia City.... really just a strange, really free-thinking town to the East or Southeast of Seattle.

This is my mum, on a ferry, headed for Bainbridge Island.

Long story short, an hour and a half later, I had a road bike from the early 1980's by my side and a bunch more accessories to make riding safe. e.g. helmet and lights for front and back. It's sweet.

I decided to take the focus off of work today, and lay it all on exploration and having fun because of my crazy week. And it's paying off. I'm pretty relaxed and just enjoying this great breeze from the fan and the atmosphere. Which seems now to be fairly Barry White-centric...... Oh well. It could be worse. I had lunch at this place in the market called "Three Girls". It's basically run by a bunch of friendly goth/hippies. Needless to say, I enjoyed eating my meatloaf sandwich at the bar (suggested by the guy serving me... apparently it was written up in National Geographic as being a bomb sandwich). I also got me a San Pellegrino Limonata as homage to Cathy and Michael... The drinks are fairly common here... they come in this can with a foil cover. It's sort of cool.

Okay. Seattle atmosphere? Unbelievable. People here are more friendly than anything.
Like... we got to the airport and were signing up for the rideshare van to the hotel... and first, the person behind the desk was like, really terribly helpful... and then the person in the van actually offered us and our co-passenger bottled water, saying that he knew how taxing long plane rides could be.

So I chalked those happenings up to a driver who wanted a good tip, and an anomaly behind a desk.
But no.

On Tuesday and Wednesday after ridiculous days, I just wanted to chill. So I went to this place next to the university called "University Village". It's basically a more extensive Crocker Park or Legacy Village... it's pretty sweet. Anyway. They've got two Starbucks there--one on the north side of the center, and one on the south. The south side shop is open every until 1am and weekends until 2am. So I basically bought an iced tea (friendly people behind the counter, asking how my day was) and chilled, doing work. I also caved and bought 24 hours worth of wifi (useable at any Starbucks or T-Mobile hotspot) for $10.

So I was syncing my phone with my computer and videochatting with Cece... and this guy next to me just leans over, and says "What're you doing with your phone? Uploading music, or something?". We ended up talking--him, his wife, and I--for like, 15 minutes about technology, my research positions, and the videochat. I had to leave, because I was running out of laptop battery... and Cece was on the videochat the whole time.

So then I switch positions in the store to a place with a power outlet. Lo and behold, it happens again. A guy hanging some of his artwork in the store asks what I think of the photographs, and then asks me to help him hang one.

Aaaaand then the day after, a woman interrupts the videochat asking whether she should get the glossy or matte screen for her new Macbook Pro.

Aaaaaaaand that stuff happens all the time. It's pretty sweet.

Probably the worst picture I've ever posted:

The city is unlike anything I've ever seen... I've heard it likened to a safer San Francisco--and I can see why. There are so many hills, and the scenery is really just beautiful. It may rain here 3/4 of the year (ooh. Signed, Sealed, Delivered just came on the speakers. Decent...) but it does wonders for the place. It's just overflowing with vegetation. And in addition to the cool hills and vegetation, there's a constant vista... mountains to the east, mountains to the west.... I know it's a trek, and will cost an arm and a leg, but all of you have got to get out here sometime.


  • Yes, I remember GREEN being the one word I used to describe Seattle as after I was there visiting Theresa and all. We'd love to go back but I fear I'll be working on the house ALL summer long! But hey, you'll hardly recognize it when you come to visit! Have a great time.

    By Blogger Cathy aka CS loves MS, At June 23, 2008 12:49 PM  

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