Saturday, November 6, 2010

pacific northwest redux

"there's a big day comin', and i can hardly wait..."

view from James Turrell's "Light Reign" at UW-Henry Art Gallery.

flying into seattle was beautiful. the day was clear, and sometime after passing the continental divide, the clouds melted away, and the craggy landscape gave way to greenery, and then mount rainier, which we banked around in an unbelievably blue sky.

i've had the opportunity to travel to most of the continental states via tour van, an amazing way to see so much of the country's landscape, but so little of the country's life. spending 9 to 12 waking hours (less if you count sleeping, and subtract for drinking oblivion, foraging for food, endless load-ins & outs, following compact cars into the gaping suburbs in search of carpet to wearily collapse on...) is no real way to actually experience a city. getting to spend the better part of five (incredibly sunny!) days in seattle was a great time, and allowed me enough time to get a feel for the general vibe of the city. would i want to live here in the (near) future? yes.

we took bus lines around the city, walked hills, museums, galleries, universities, frequented ethnic restaurants and scenic views, hung at hipster joints, family pubs, almost-suburban coffeeshops, chinese bbq shops...

lots of thanks have to go to my friends randy & annie, not just for showing the boldness to move into the unknown, but for extending excessive amounts of midwestern hospitality in the far west. randy's apartment was our homebase, and he took us to some supremely great parks, restaurants, even drove to the UW gallery (and made it through the whole thing!). annie met up with us two days in-a-row, despite working full shifts that started before 6am! we hung out at some of her haunts, and met some super nice & cool people in the process. these are all things that make me feel better about moving than the mere prospect of employment.

conquering broke-down piet at golden gardens, sunset.

currently the plan have no plan. fall always feels like the natural time to move, for whatever reason. i need to keep my eyes and ears open for job prospects, and then hope to make the jump at some point...after all, my brother, randy, and annie all moved into seattle (proper) at the age of 27.

speaking of my brother, i'd be an ass if i didn't mention his & megan's hospitality, showering us with superfly meals (including possibly the best of my life at Vij's in Vancouver), a piping-hot wood-fired stove every night (and more than a couple mornings), multiple tasty well-aged bombers and bourbon, as well as the finest hippie-loft lodgings possible, complete with 3 skylights mere inches from our soundly-sleeping faces! after running all around seattle, it was nice to take it easy in the more laid-back atmosphere of bellingham. that, combined with the aforementioned food & booze, one of the better record stores i've encountered, and getting to split a few stacks of lumber like a true nor'westerner, made for a vacation's vacation.

flying back into indianapolis (via detroit), it was again sunny, but the only visible landmark greeting us was the hot air balloon hovering over conner prairie, squished in-between diminishing farmlands and bloated, perfectly-curved suburbs. we were ready to go back before we even landed.

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