Home > Friday Fun! > Friday Fun! (Seattle and MLA12)

Friday Fun! (Seattle and MLA12)

Hello my lovely readers!

You may have noticed a recent surge in librarianship posts this week.  I was so energized and excited about my career after MLA12 that I decided to post up my notes from the various sessions I attended here.  It helps me organize my thoughts about them, but also gets the knowledge out there for others to see.

But enough about the conference, I know you guys are wondering about Seattle!

Pike Place Market painted piggy.

My first day I made it to Pike Place Market.  It’s a famous market in the Puget Sound.  Unfortunately, it’s kinda well-known for how the fish sellers throw the fish around.  Obviously, being a vegetarian lady I wasn’t too keen on watching dead bodies of innocent creatures being thrown around, so I avoided that particular sector of the market.  I did find some things in the market that entertained me in their own way, though.  The very first Starbucks, complete with its topless lady logo.  I stopped to listen to a band of old men jamming (they were very talented).  I met the giant carving of Sasquatch that Seattle is evidently very proud of (although I was never in the woods, so, alas, did not meet the real Sasquatch).  I also managed to find an adorable independent bookstore called Left Bank Books with quite possibly the best bookstore logo ever: Read a Fucking Book.  Also they had an entire animal liberation section that warmed the cockles of my heart.

Looking up through Seattle’s sidewalk.

The next day I somehow managed to squeeze in the Seattle Underground tour around the conference.  Basically, Seattle burned down back in the day. They decided this was a good chance to solve the whole sewage constantly in the street because of lack of proper drainage problem. But the merchants didn’t want to wait the 7 years it would take to elevate the ground, so they built their building at regular level, but made the pretty entrance on the second floor. That way as the city built up the retaining walls and filled in the street and such, the first floor became the basement, and the second floor the first floor. So we were wandering around underground on what used to be the above-ground sidewalks. Confused yet?

Outside the EMP Museum

My final day in Seattle, I went to the EMP Museum (Experimental Music Project).  I wasn’t so into the main museum itself, but they were having a special exhibit called “Can’t Look Away.”  Besides learning more about the sociology and history of horror, I also saw: an Alien from Alien, the monster’s boots from Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, the saw from Saw, the axe from The Shining, models used in special effects from The Fly, Freddy Kruger’s glove, the interrogation chair from Hostel, and much more!! It was totally bad-ass. I was in heaven.  Also they gave me a list of the 100 horror films to see before you die.  I’ve seen 29, which is pretty good for being 25 myself.

Freddy Kruger's glove!

So beyond the touristy stuff, what did I think of Seattle?

The Cool:

  • Buildings hand out free “umbrella bags” so you can bag your umbrella and not drip everywhere.
  • Buildings also have overhangs so most of the sidewalk is not actually out where you get rained on.
  • Super hilly, which is good for the legs.
  • Skid Row term originated there.
  • The history is skeezy and fascinating.  All the stuff I love about the old west.
  • The accent is pretty adorable.  Kind of a softened version of Midwest with less niceties.
  • Legal happy hour.

The Annoying and/or Odd:

  • Getting called ma’am all the time.
  • Having doors held open for me even when it’s not necessary or particularly helpful.
  • Way too many homeless people.
  • Omg the smoking.
  • Seriously, where the hell are the pizza places and why did the two I found not sell by the slice?
  • The Space Needle is seriously underwhelming.
  • The fashion is. Well. It’s like Berklee threw up on people.

Really, though, I had a wonderful time at the conference and being a tourist.  It’s not like it surprised me that I wouldn’t want to call Seattle home.  I’ve known a very long time now that Boston is my city soulmate.  But I had fun visiting and definitely would go back as a tourist again.  I just would skip Pike Place Market and spend a lot more time in Pioneer Square.

  1. May 25, 2012 at 6:23 am

    Sounds like a really fun trip, got in a bit of work and pleasure 🙂

    I’m fascinated about the idea of streets underground, I have heard of something similar in Edinburgh which I would love to visit.

    • May 25, 2012 at 9:18 am

      It was very fun! And the work part was actually very exciting and enjoyable as well (as I’m sure you can tell from my excited blog posts about what I learned).

      The underground streets were simply badass. You intrigue me with the idea of being underground in Edinburgh….

      • May 25, 2012 at 10:36 am

        Documentaries I’ve seen made it all seem rather creepy! Some of the underground bits are like vaults and tunnels, while some are whole streets of houses which got covered over when the city was redesigned but the poor continued to live down there :-S

      • May 25, 2012 at 11:13 am

        That sounds very similar to the Seattle Underground. And we all know how I love creepy 😉

  2. May 25, 2012 at 6:53 am

    You should watch Singles. Basically Seattle never changed post grunge… it’s still the same town. Those people are just in their 40s and 50s now. As for pizza places- pizza places (especially those by the slice) are a very North Atlantic states thing. Never had that option in Miami. It was a whole pizza or you could suck it. Seattle has the added bonus of being a seafood town. You probably found food because of aging vegan hippie grungies.
    I am glad you got to see the horror exhibit. When I went in Jan I was with two people who hate horror movies (my hand still bears marks from Emily’s fear when we were teenagers). I wasn’t allowed to go through. Did they still have the Battlestar Gallactica exhibit? That would have required you be a fan to enjoy it too…

    • May 25, 2012 at 9:17 am

      Oh I will definitely check that movie out! I’m glad that I evidently got an accurate read on the culture of Seattle. Yes, my dad informed me when I texted him grumbling about wanting pizza that that’s a NYC/Boston thing. Who knew! The things we learn when we travel.

      Haha, I could definitely see why anyone who hates horror wouldn’t want to see the exhibit. They made it spooky on purpose and easy to sneak up on people. In fact myself and another lady scared the crap out of each other when we almost accidentally ran into each other.

      Alas! There was not a Battlestar Galactica exhibit, or I would have been all over that shit! They instead had an Avatar exhibit. I’m sure you know what my reaction to that was.

      I was able to find food partly because of the aging hippie factor but also partly because there’s a large Asian-American contingent, so lots of Asian cuisine. I ate that for dinner the nights I didn’t eat bar food or whatever the conference would give me. Which was usually wine and cheese, haha.

  3. May 25, 2012 at 7:40 am

    That underground tour sounds so cool! And weird! And I will definitely have to try it if I ever get to Seattle. I too hate being called ma’am, even though *technically* I am one (being married and all – though my husband didn’t have to get some archaic title just for being married).

    • May 25, 2012 at 9:20 am

      Definitely, definitely do the underground tour if you ever get to Seattle!! It was what my friend who had been told me to do, as well as any local I asked on my first day. It’s something that totally lives up to its reputation.

      And ma’am haters fist-bump 🙂

  4. May 25, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I grew up near Seattle, so the place is dear to me. Never quite got the throwing fish thing either; I much prefer the little shops in the lower level of the market. The pizza thing? Seemed normal- I thought pizza by-the-slice was quite a novelty when I moved to the east coast! my husband was surprised when he first visited Seattle to me; he said the dress style was deplorable: they have no style!

    • May 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      I have to say that I’m pleased my observations have been confirmed as accurate so far, lol!

      I suppose I am just spoiled by the pizza around here. Maybe? I will say the look on the dude’s face when I asked for a slice and he said they don’t have them but I could get a small and I said “The small is too big,” was pretty priceless.

      Perhaps a Seattlite would argue that their style is rain gear? 😉

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