Thursday, August 2, 2007

Day 40: Off Day in Seattle

All photos of Seattle Day 2 available on Flickr.

Today was a much needed off day for us in the Pacific Northwest. We slept in until after 10 in Johnny's spacious hotel suite, located about a half mile from the Seattle Center. We started the day by visiting the Seattle Public Library downtown, an award-winning building designed by Rem Koolhaas. We perused the 8-story structure inside and out, and after I accidentally set off an alarm by opening the fire stair door, we headed a few blocks up the coast to the world-famous Pike Market.

Pike Market is probably known to most people as "that place where people throw fish at each other," myself included, but as we found out, it has a hundred years of history in the area and has many shops, restaurants, and market stands. We spent about two hours walking around the market and watching the fish market guys put on a show for the crowd. We also stopped for lunch at an oyster bar and I had some pretty outstanding gumbo. After a quick nap back at the hotel, we headed to our final tourist destination of the day - the Experience Music Project. It is right next to the Space Needle in the Seattle Center, and we decided to go to the EMP instead of the Space Needle because we had already been up in the CN Tower in Toronto - and plus the EMP is free on the 1st Thursday of the month, and as Erik and I like to say, "If it's free, it's me."

The EMP is yet another aluminum foil monstrosity designed by Frank Gehry, who seems to have a building in just about every state now. It is kind of like the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, except more focused on music history of the Northwest, and it is much more interactive. I had never realized until I visited the museum that legendary musicians/bands such as Jimi Hendrix, Heart, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Paul Revere & The Raiders, and the Kingsmen were all from the Seattle area. Seattle is generally known as the birthplace of grunge, and revolutionary bands Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam were all on display in the museum, and were all also from Washington. Another awesome part of the museum was the History of the Guitar, which had models displayed from 1850 all the way to the present, and had such models as the original Les Paul guitar and the Fender Stratocaster. The coolest part by far though was the area upstairs where you can play instruments, throw down beats, and even record a 10-minute jam session or vocal.

Tonight we plan on going to the Washington University area to grab a bite and a drink, and tomorrow it's a short 2-hour drive to Vancouver to start a modest 4-day game streak.

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