Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Seattle

Seattle is a well known city in the northwest corner of Washington, a town that gave us Microsoft, the grunge scene, and Starbucks. Of little note to the layman, Seattle is also home to Christina Wills, a childhood friend who I haven't seen in five years.

I have to tread lightly here, lest I embarrass Christina (or myself for that matter) should she or one of her friends read this. You see, Christina was my first love back in the eighth grade. Hell, she basically introduced me to the concept of love at the plucky and complicated age of thirteen through nothing more than her amazing personality. Ok, the looks didn't hurt either. I was a teenage boy afterall.

The last time I saw Christina, we were both living in Germany, I in Berlin and she in Tuebingen. I had stayed up all night at a Paul Van Dyke concert and decided to take a 6:30am train down to surprise her for her 21st birthday. I was half delirious from the lack of sleep and the thought of surprising her, and she was half drunk from a rather early start to the party. As I got to the top of the stairs to the common room of her apartment building, she was surrounded by friends. She looked at me quizzically at first, which gave way to elation. It was a look I'll never forget.

Then again, it's hard to forget a girl like Christina. Five years pass with only a handful of letters and e-mails and I still find myself itching to get to a rainy city in the northwest.


As nice as couchsurfing is, it's a great change of pace to stay with someone with whom I have an actually history. This is the girl who passed me notes in 8th grade English, who I teased for dating Matt Eckhouse, who accompanied me on my first trip to Germany in 1996.

It's amazing how far apart Christina and I have grown, which makes our reunions all the more implausible yet deeply gratifying. She is now a corporate woman working for Microsoft while I am just another twentysomething vagabond still working my way to a career. She has to beat the men away with a stick while I... ha, well let's just say I have a lot of free time most days.

Ok I'll stop gushing.

In Seattle I saw the fish market where they still throw fish like in that damn fish video we had to watch at camp a few hundred times.



I also saw the sunset over Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains from the Golden Gardens, as well as the original Starbucks.


On a side note, I remember an opening monologue by Jay Leno a few years ago in which he described a news story that Starbucks would be opening 2,300 new stores worldwide. He paused, the master of comic timing, and suddenly exasperated, yelled "WHERE!?" The answer is two blocks down the street from Christina where a new one is "coming soon," bringing Seattle's Starbucks tally to somewhere around 5,000.

I also took the ferry to Bainbridge which Christina tells me is "quintessential Seattle." Walked around Pioneer Square, ran around Green Lake, lost a pub quiz last night but gained a free T-shirt from the doorman when he found out I was from Jersey, gave out a few dozen more business cards and compared the place incessantly to Portland.

7 comments:

Dad said...

And speaking of Starbucks, don't forget the time Beetle was going to meet General Halftrak's secretary after work. She said to meet her at Starbucks and when he asked "Where's the Starbucks," she said, "Right across from the Starbucks." And in Seattle, besides Starbucks they have about 10,000 other coffee shops.

I remember the original Starbucks and the Pike Place Market well from our trip there back in '03. Also got to tour the Boeing plant in Everett, which I hope you get to see.

And speaking of beer, if you get to Safeco Field, as I did, you might meet Scooter the Beer Guy, one of the vendors, who takes orders by phone. He has his own website at: http://www.scooterattaboy.com/, which reminds you, "Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder."

Paul E. Shively said...

Scott,

I'm still faithfully reading away! I have to admit I'm anxiously awaiting your company to discuss the Northwest. It's a place I have always wanted to experience, and I'm notably jealous of you right now! ;-)

LukisWeb said...

Good read! I had to pick up a dictionary, twice, this time around. :( Got to love the more elaborate words!

I got invited out to Seattle multiple times now, by 3 different people, and I just haven't had a chance to visit. Its a big trip to take all the way out there, but all 3 say they love it! :)

HOLLAmania said...

agghhh...

those bloody fish videos...

Dad said...

You'd make a good lawyer, always handing out business cards.

Michael Liachowitz said...

Thanks for the postcard to Ocky

Amy said...

At least the t-shirt guy thinks you're cool being from Dirty Jersey...