Seattle


It’s been a lovely few days here in the Emerald City. Monday was the Harold Lloyd talkie Movie Crazy at the Paramount. It was really fun complete with popcorn and smuggled in Toblerone.

Tuesday was Loreena McKennitt and she was phenomenal. I heard every single song that I desired to hear including The Lady of Shalott. I was awestruck to hear her live. And to be reminded that no, I am not smart… to listen to Loreena speak about this historical event and that one, weaving them all back around to the context of her thoughts… yeah, it made me feel pure short bus.

Before we went to the Loreena show, we ran by to get some tickets for the upcoming SIFF. It’s rapidly filling up but our upcoming schedule is as follows.

(SIFF Cinema) Friday, May 25th: An Evening With Lisa Gerrard.

(Neptune Theatre) Friday, May 25th: Paprika.

(Neptune Theatre) Monday, May 28th: A Battle of Wits (Mo Gong).

(Egyptian Theatre) Thursday, May 31st: Exiled.

(SIFF Cinema) Tuesday, June 05th: A Conversation With Julien Temple.

(Neptune Theatre) Friday, June 08th: Day Watch (Dnevnoi dozor)

(Egyptian Theatre) Sunday, June 10th: Mushishi.

(Egyptian Theatre) Sunday, June 10th: Tekkonkinkreet.

(Lincoln Square) Monday, June 11th: The Banquet.

Tonight (or rather, Wednesday night) was the first show of the American String Project. And we were treated to a piece that is rarely performed in the U.S. – Bottesini’s String Quartet Op. 4 in D Major. It was simply breathtaking to hear violins, violas, cellos, and a bass all play in harmony. The strings soaring and falling, making an indelible mark on my memory. When they began to play, my breath skipped and my eyes teared because yes, I’m a dork when it comes to music… and the piece was beautiful.

All I have to say is that front row for Lisa Gerrard is simply going to fry my brain. Oh yes, I will be bringing tissues with me.

Busy month ahead – a month of jam packed with events + appointments.

There are two more sessions in our epic Star Wars game before we take a much needed summer break. Sniff sniff. No more excellent Tanake action but she needs a break from being such an amazing bad-ass πŸ˜‰

Great films open this month including Spiderman III, PotC with my fave Chow, and Satoshi Kon’s Paprika, which will be cool as hell. Check out the trailer if you haven’t seen it.

Going to see some things at the glorious Paramount – a great venue built in the 20s.

Flying going solo to the Morrissey gig on the 6th. He’s just too emo for GC’s tastes. On the 14th, it’s a double bill of Harold Lloyd films complete with live Wurlitzer organ-playing. It will kickin’ it old school style πŸ˜‰ Many people aren’t familiar with Lloyd but he made more films than Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton combined… and he’s one of my favourites :). The next night is Loreena McKennitt, whom I’ve never seen live.

Then there are two concerts on the 16th and 18th performed by The American String Project, a fifteen member ensemble that will be performing pieces from Bottesini, Grieg, Schubert, Haydn, and Bartok. I looked it up to see the make-up of their group: five first violins, four second violins, three violas, two violoncelli and one double bass. We’re going to be in strings heaven.

Final gaming day happens around there. And finally to finish out the month of May, we have a show at the Moore, built in 1907. We’ll be seeing the phenomenal Lisa Gerrard with unheard of front row tickets. My head might actually explode from the proximity to that woman’s voice.

It will be a damn good month kicking off the summer with a busy little bang.

Whee to the hee πŸ™‚

Seeya on the flip side ;)
– GermanCityDancingGirl

Currently listening to some Kaiser Chiefs. We just recently saw them live and they were a lot of fun.

Meal: A bowl of hot chili with fresh green onions, shredded cheese, and crumbly corn bread. It polished off with a glass of some sort of bubbly blackberry fruity drink with ice. Mmm.

I realised that I’ve been remiss in writing. It goes to show how much I’ve been in love with Seattle and actually doing things.

Since moving here, it’s been a steady stream of films, concerts, and restaurants.

We are truly blessed and thankful to have a home here.

Photographs will follow from the last few months. I just wanted to post something for myself and as a kick in the arse to get back to blogging.

Seeya on the flip side πŸ˜‰
– GermanCityHappyGirl

Currently watching Planet Earth.Β  It’s stunning and David Attenborough rules.

Meal: Multigrain bread with strawberry jam and sunflower butter.

Cat Bamboo

Yup. It’s going to be a few blog entries all smushed together so I can keep up with the updating. I don’t feel like backdating or anything so here goes …

A few days ago …

The weather was again making with the digustingly perfect – sunny, cloudless, yet at the same time cool enough to walk around without breaking a sweat. So naturally, we hopped in the car and decided to have lunch al fresco down at Ivar’s in Mukilteo. We snagged a prime table because of a lady changed her mind about wanting to sit outside. Yay!

GC chose their apple wood smoked wild King Salmon. It was served with a lovely chunky chipotle-peach chutney and wild rice pilaf. My choice for entree was Alaskan razor clams, lightly panko breaded with grilled zucchini and the wild rice pilaf. Since we were peckish enough for starters, we opted for one cup of Northwest Smoked Salmon chowder and their baby greens salad. I managed to remember to snap a photo of it …

it had chunks of Rogue River bleu cheese, a slightly sweet raspberry vinaigrette, toasted hazelnuts, cherry tomatoes, piquant red onion, and in lieu of croutons – two breadsticks crisscrossing the top. I could have easily eaten twice the portion because the flavours melded together wonderfully. I need to keep the camera out because I end up getting a photo of the beginning of the meal but forget to snap when the entrees arrive! Maybe I should just do a food blog because I enjoy taking photos of artfully arranged meals …

anyway, we were nicely warmed in the sun and basked like lizards as we savoured our afternoon lunch. Afterwards, we strolled back towards the car, taking the long way around. We walked down two piers and I made the acquaintance of a six-month old dachshund who was so excited to meet new people that there was a bit of the excited bladder. I managed to dodge the tinkle but the wiener dog was too phenomenally cute.

The lighthouse was open, so we walked the grounds to the seawall behind it. Like last time, the ferry was departing for across the waters so we watched the cars load and the pedestrians walk across.

I’m getting quite used to going out for lunch and then following it up with a nice constitutional afterwards. In Houston and Phoenix, the weather rarely played nice enough to want to walk around … and before you native Arizonians get your feathers in a bunch, I mean to say around the places we frequented. Living here surrounded by so much phenomenal beauty makes me, the couch potato extraordinaire, want to get out and walk around to see it all up close … not just drive by it and acknowledge it cursorily.

But enough about seafood by the sea, my next entry entails the Fleck show down at the Moore and the singer I’m way smitten with πŸ˜‰ …

A few more days ago before …

We had tickets to see Bela Fleck & the Flecktones downtown at a place we’ve never been before, The Moore. We hopped a trusty bus, walked a handful of blocks, and found ourselves there with no stress from parking. I rather like this whole not driving into town thing … but I’ve said that before. Third row seats to see the Acoustic Planet Tour, with Bela and guest artists: Chris Thile, an amazing mandolin player and The Duhks, a group from Winnepeg that was one of the best surprises of the night. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself …

Our seats were rather choice. We’ve had the fortune of seeing them front row centre a few times before, once actually at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, so we could handle a third row experience πŸ˜‰

Thile took the stage and made with the impressive mandolin skills and witty banter. He joked about how entertainers loved the applause but ultimately wondered why we loved them, if we did love them. He was charmingly goofy and played (as well as sang) beautifully. He left the stage and there was a well-choreographed transition between his set and the next, which was the Duhks. I should add their pronunciation of “ducks” not “dukes” so you know if you were curious to pick up either artist’s new CDs … release date September 12th, as we were jokingly reminded throughout their sets.

The Duhks’ lead singer, a bleached blonde spiky-haired woman took the stage. Wearing a strapless red dress with gold flowers and tattooed like a biker chick … sporting white canvas tennis shoes. GC and I looked at each other and wondered what kind of music we’d be hearing, since we had heard the cherubic-faced fiddle player and bald Latin percussionist and banjoist in their band already.

And then she started to sway, she opened her mouth, and sang.

Sweet Jesus. We did not expect that voice to come out of that person.

A husky, soulful voice. One that hit you right where you live … that could make you sing a hymnal and raise your hand high. A voice that completely blew me away enough to buy both of their CDs at the swag table as we left. A voice that well … rocked the house! This band with its hybrid of twanging banjo, Afro-Cuban percussion, Irish fiddlin’, and down home gospel vocals literally defies classification and definitely does not fall into any one category except for fucking amazing. I’m a fan. Oh yeah, they rock.

Their set was amazing … and then Thile came out to join them.

So again, we were treated to some mandolin-infused groovin’ … a few songs later, Victor Wooten came out to add some bass rhythm to the music. Now anyone who considers themselves a bass player will know that man’s name. He does things with that instrument that I’ve never seen done and continues to innovate every time I’ve seen them live. And side note, GC and I counted it up, we’ve seen the Flecktones eight times. Wow. I think that’s about as many times as I’ve seen Depeche Mode …

Then like another well-choreographed dance sequence, members of the Duhks excused themselves in lieu of a Flecktone taking the stage. Smooth like glass, each member was replaced by another until there were nothing but the Flecktones and Bela on the stage. Now, if I told you that I went to see a banjoist play, you might think me mad. But Bela is no ordinary musician … he’s played everything from bluegrass to classical to jazz. And he’s been nominated for Grammies in more categories than any other artist … nine or ten, I’d have to google to check that one. The man has skill and is extremely kind in person.

A Bela Fleck & the Flecktones show in Ft. Worth was our first date. GC flew in, we drove to DFW, and the rest is history. But I digress, back to the music. The Flecktones played one of the shorter sets I’ve seen from them but when I counted up the total 3.5 hours of music with no breaks, I’m so not complaining! And then another transition! Members of the Duhks came back out to play with Thile and the Flecktones until finally they were all on stage together. You can see them all here, here, and here.

And after over 200 minutes of music, it ended. Out of all the shows I’ve attended in recent years, this show gave the best value for the single concert ticket. Anytime I’m treated to a band unknown to me that I like, I’m all for it! TV on the Radio was like that at the Franz Ferdinand show in Vancouver … so yeah, wow. Great show!

So there you have it. The singer that bewitched me … not in the way that I’m in love with GC or living in Seattle but definitely in the way that one can be smitten with something or someone new. It wasn’t tawdry or verging on the gay (to be heard in the Cho), just a crush that you get when you get swept away …

so check out their stuff and allow her voice to sweep you away. It’ll definitely make you want to see them live.

And now, I need to go and get tickets for the midnight show of Pirates tonight. So later if I’m awake, a blog about fireworks on the 4th and my two tarnished cents on Jack Sparrow …

mmmmm. Depp.

Seeya on the stern mateys πŸ˜‰
– GermanCitySquirrel

Currently listening to the self-titled CD by The Duhks

Meal: Cold leftover roasted pork noodles + some freshly brewed iced tea.

Yesterday evening the menfolk went out to see PotC. When I mean the menfolk, I mean GC and Achimba. I opted to hang with the female Prophets, which was fun and low-key. We watched some Anthony Bourdain and chatted. It was the fun.

It looks like we’ll be seeing films at the Galaxy 12 in Monroe. Since half of their screens are digital, this means we can catch films a few weeks after their opening without having to suffer through a crappy print. It’ll save on the headache of parking downtown when we want to catch a big screen release.

Today was spent again out and about in Seattle. We found ourselves at a park that overlooked the water. I did so much driving in circles, looking at various paint combinations on houses that I doubt I could tell you where we ended up. But that’s the most fun, isn’t it? Just driving around to some place and then seeing where you landed?

There were flagstones scattered intermittently at the view point. I am a fan of random art like this. I might not love the piece but the fact it’s just there makes me smile. Geez, I sound like a fucking Pollyanna today, don’t I? Oh well, I had a good day so *sticks tongue out in defiance* …

Ha! In checking out the photos that I uploaded, I found the clue that refreshed my memory. It turns out we were in the area of the Parsons Memorial Garden which meant we were in the Queen Anne neighbourhood. I should have known from the pricey digs surrounding the views.

Exercise in futility.

Blue pretties.

Impish monkey.

Water.

I can’t say this enough but this city is really pretty. Can you imagine walking out your front door and seeing this when you look to the right? What a killer view!

Our last stop before heading home was another park that had swings. I don’t think I need to explain why.

Forward.

Back.

We ran into the couple that we saw at the first park. The ones having the relationship talk in which body language intimated that he was breaking up with her and it was not going well. They left the first park ostensibly to have some more privacy but imagine our surprise when we saw them again at the next one. They were far down the hill though so they would have had to look up and over their shoulders to notice us at all. We did not play the part of voyeurs though. C’mon. There were swings.

At the top of the stairs near the park, there was a nice view of the surrounding waters. Again, imagine if this was your view when you awakened. Ahhh. Last link before bed, I just liked the composition …

Seeya on the flip side πŸ˜‰
– GermanCitySleepyGirl

Currently listening to some Chopin on WCPE.

Meal: Mongolian beef + steamed rice.

We use Greenwood Avenue as our alternate route into downtown when the 5 is insane and we don’t wish to look at the ugliness of Aurora. That said, we’ve seen this place a few times but today, there was an unloading zone for me to park in temporarily while GC hopped out to investigate.

Greenwood Space Travel Supply benefits a non-profit tutoring centre that assists school children with improving their writing skills.

Storefront.

Parking.

Our earlier meal began nicely with something refreshing to drink. I always pour two glasses despite GC’s dislike of beer. I think I do that so the waitress won’t do it for us.

Beer.

Tempura.

Sushi.

Seeya on the flip side πŸ˜‰
– GermanCityGirl

Currently listening to GC reading a film review.

Meal: Lovingly photographed above.

There was no trip to the moon. We’ve plenty of cheese in the fridge. One might say too much but I digress, on with the tale.

Today was another pleasant day in Seattle so we decided to have a lunch and go exploring. At this rate, we’ll never fully unpack. I know it irritates the monkey so. All that is left are my books … which I procrastinate at every turn to unpack. I don’t ignore the pleas of said monkey nor do I do it to vex him … I just can’t find the energy to sort the fuckers. Maybe I should just sell them off if I can’t decide which to keep. I can’t collect everything, right?

I liked the colours on this van, it was parked somewhere in Capitol Hill, en route to the park.

Oh yeah, the park. We ended up at Volunteer Park, near the Asian Art Museum. We had been curious about a cylindrical brick structure so we decided to investigate. GC went up first to see if it was worth my ascent up the stairs. It was. So off I went up, up, and up to the tip top of the tower, the Volunteer Park Water Tower to be exact. There were about 200 steps in all, not that much in you think about it but if you’ve got a crappy knee like mine … it’s a consideration. Grr.

There is a 360˚ view of Seattle that stretches all the way to the 520 bridge over Lake Washington. I snapped quite a few photos once I figured out how to angle my lens within the grating installed obviously to stop people from doing stupid things. I’d wager many Seattleites might not even know this is here, maybe they’ve seen it but never ventured upstairs. It’s pretty damn cool.

Enjoy the photos:

Exterior #1

View of 520.

Interior #1. This reminded me of the inside of a crab shell.

View of Space Needle + Bay.

Grated window.

GC’s insolent stance. Now if I could only get him into a kilt …

Exterior #2

After leaving the Tower, we continued to the other side of the park. There were more things to take photos of like random statuary, GC in front of a tree, and just look for yourself.

White Man’s Burden.

Handsome in green.

Who is this Thomas Burke? You people know I looked that man up the moment I got home …

Left of monument.

Right of monument.

View of Space Needle beside the Noguchi that’s on site. Don’t you wish you could go for a swim there?

Random cairns.

The photo shown below was of a reluctant Shiba Inu whose owner was brushing out his coat. He kept watching me walk back and forth, looking like he wanted attention from anything other than that damnable brush. I know better than to approach a strange dog though and when the owner’s body language isn’t open, despite my yearning to play with a puppy … I keep on walking. I just liked the juxtaposition of the foot and the dog, so you’re stuck with the story of why I took it.

I rarely do this. I usually post photos of others because I prefer to be behind the camera and not in front of it. Not because I’m not a cute thing (if you’ve met me in person, I have my moments) but I mostly because I enjoy the relative anonymity that teh interwebs can provide.

Anyway, I’m breaking my rule.

I’m posting a photo of me because I like how the composition turned out. It was one of those self-taken portraits that was supposed to be on the cuter side rather than pretentious, in that tortured art school way.

I don’t look my best there. A bit sun-baked and warm like a freshly steamed bao … so here’s one of me in the winter posing and being (dare I pun) corny.

Oh yes, I dared.

Seeya on the flip side πŸ˜‰
– GermanCityGirl

Currently listening to kawaii radio.

Meal: Not terribly hungry yet, I’m betting though it might be a grilled chicken salad night.

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