Friday, September 28, 2012

Eats: Dot's Deli

This is the best BLT I've ever had.  I've been to some other allegedly bacon-and-or pork-themed restaurants both before and after this pork trend has popped up, and none of them hold a candle to this. 

Let me back up a little.  Seattle is a food town.  Before heading up here, in anticipation, I watched Anthony Bordain's No Reservations where he comes to Portland and Seattle. He goes on about how it's so great to eat up here because not only does the climate produce some truly top-notch produce and animals, but also the intellectual atmosphere of Seattle generates an obsession with 'craft' foods - foodies who specialize.  Not just foodies - but salumi-ies.  Donut-ies.  Coffee-ies.  People who learn the crap out of ONE (or two) processes and then make it so amazing you can't imagine getting it anywhere else.  So far, it's appeared true.

Part of the cool thing about living in Fremont is having dozens of these places literally around the corner. 

Dot's Deli is one of those places.  I wandered by one day, peering in as I window shopped, and a guy coming out says 'If you haven't eaten here yet just go in and do it.  Trust me."  Okay, stranger.  You've sold me.  So I went in and even though they have some truly delicious looking special sandwiches, featuring things like house-made sausages and pates, I felt like something simple so I got a BLT.  A place that can make a BLT this amazing... I can't wait to eat the other food.  Perfect, crunchy sourdough.  House-made mayonaise.  Perfect yellow tomatoes and crunchy lettuce.  Bacon!  Not too thick, not too thin, crispy but not burned.  You think, I've had BLTs.  I've made BLTs.  Why have none of them ever been this?  You have, in fact, much to learn about even the simplest of things.  Looks like, I'm in the right place.

Northwest Hike #1: Old Sauk

After much discussion, set out on a first hike in the Northwest last weekend.  It had to fit a time schedule, not be too hard (no hiking boots... yet!), and after some consideration of what we wanted to see (lakes?  old growth?  mountain vistas?  rivers?), involve some water.  We chose Old Sauk trail, somewhere about an hour from Seattle (I didn't drive so I didn't pay enough attention to where exactly it is).  It has semi-old growth and follows the Old Sauk River.

Lots of this awesome moss hung off the trees.  Moss covered everything.  There were all kinds of trees - I don't know from trees, but I do know there were leafy-ones and pine-y-ones.

The trail wandered relatively flat along the banks of this river.  Apparently there are salmon in these waters, but we didn't see any. 

Mossy moss moss.

There were a couple of little bridges to cross.  They came with these little railings just small enough to trip over (but we didn't).

The whole 6 miles (3 miles out and 3 miles back) we only saw one other lady and one other couple.  It was wonderfully peaceful and smelled great - the outdoors where its damp and mossy with piney trees smells so sweet and comforting.  It's pretty amazing to live in a big city and yet so near this kind of stuff.  The Northwest has it all!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Seattle Central Library

Last weekend, I visited the Seattle Central Library.  It's a contemporary building designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, and is both a destination to walk through and marvel at, as well as a large functional library with a million books, DVDs and CDs to borrow and 400 computers for public use.  Being in Seattle, of course, it also has its own underground parking for 148 cars, as well as its own coffee shop.

I gotta get a camera instead of relying on this iPhone. 

The floor with the meeting rooms is all red.
You can pretend you are going into some kind of Doctor Who spaceship, or just admire the modern aesthetic.


Take the escalator straight to the top, where there is an incredible view of the city, and leads you to the book spiral.  As far as I can tell, you go look over the city, then walk down in a huge spiral leading you through the whole Dewey Decimal system WITHOUT STOPPING OR HAVING TO GO TO DIFFERENT FLOORS OMG HOW AWESOME.  Sarcasm about the library's enthusiasm aside, it was actually pretty neat.

Looking down you can see all the people on computers.  Much to my confusion, it was far more than people actually reading books.  Maybe they were looking up books to read?  Who knows.

The elevator is pretty rad.  I'm not scared, though, I'm amazed at how long it is.

Look down onto downtown Seattle!

Look down onto the fiction stacks!  They are not in with the rest of the Deweys.  They are on their own floor.  I'm a big fan of how the stacks are not in neat rows, but look kind of organically placed wherever they happened to fall.  Much more interesting that way, no?  Those Dutch really do know how to maximize humanity in design.

Here are some of the more interesting details I saw:

 Familiar AND obscure!

Obscure, but not for long.

 Two words I don't see together often.

Two more words I don't see together often.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Seattle Arrival: A Rambling Review

So far Seattle has been wonderful, meeting every expectation (and exceeding some).

After a long, more-expensive-than-anticipated drive in a UHaul for three 12-hour days with a dog and a tow-hitch, we arrived.  Most of the first half of the drive was boring, annoying, and full of problems (Texas, New Mexico and Colorado), but the second half was beautiful.  The route took us through a beautiful part of Utah on the edge of Arches National Park and through Moab, across small towns in Iowa and rolling hills and farms in Oregon and eastern Washington.  Washington is stunning - patchwork farms in hills, with pine mountains in the distance that plunge down into white-blue rivers and oceans.

We drove over the Cascades and into Seattle.  The city glistens with glass and water, vibrant with lush green everywhere.  It's one of the greenest cities I've ever seen, both because of the climate allowing trees and grass to thrive, and because literally everywhere there can be a garden, there is one.  People are mad about gardens here.  Vegetables, flowers, herbs - anything that can grow is grown, in the front and back yards, in hanging pots, in old cans, in the holes of cinder blocks.  There is lavender, sage and rosemary everywhere you see.  Tomatoes are still ripening.  Nuts are falling off the trees.  It's so different from the hot, dry climate of Austin we just left.

Friday we moved in with the help of another post-Austin friend.  I love our duplex and the location.  We have a small fenced in yard, a deck, and over twice the space from the Austin apartment.

Our front neighbors are delightful.  After two long conversations with them, I'm now armed with enough restaurants and breweries and parks to go to (and secrets about how to avoid their lines and attend their happy hours) to last the whole first month here.  On the next block are a bunch of delicious looking restaurants.  We went first to Uneeda Burger, which had some of the best fries I've ever eaten, the best kombucha I've ever had (on tap!), and three of the juciest hand-made hamburgers I've had the pleasure of tasting.  Over the course of the weekend I've had Molly Moon's strawberry balsamic ice cream in a sugar cone, found an independent video store called Scarecrow, tasted pumpkin and beet beers at Elysium (both delicious), and gone to a concert and discovered three new bands.

Talah has had the pleasure of exploring a huge, wooded park with a fenced in off-leash area, the walk to which passes by a zoo and a rose garden.  Got to shop at Trader Joe's and have myself some $2 Chuck (which I've missed dearly since leaving LA).  Explored the winding vendor playground of the Fremont Market (to which we can walk) - and despite the funds being low from the move, look forward to going back for a hat, some spice rub, and a few other intriguing finds there.  On top of all this, I also did an improv audition (why not start off with a bang?) and crocheted some granny squares for a little tabletop knic-knack.

It's just wonderful.  All the people we've met have been friendly and helpful.  Food has been delicious.  People have dogs and bring them everywhere.  It's way, way more bike-friendly than Austin (although the hills are enormous) - which is great since I could use the exercise and gas is $4 per gallon.  The cars yield to pedestrians and bikes!  Bike paths everywhere!  The food is diverse and delicious and high-quality.  I feel very confident that this is a place I want to be, and that the choice was the right choice. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Two Days Out

This dog knows something's up.

Everything is boxed except the things that will be needed on the road.  Tomorrow is active moving, yesterday was errand running and celebrating.  Today is a strange day of nothingness.  Just Talah and I here, for this brief moment of stillness.  She wanders around confused, sitting on my foot when I stand still for any length of time - stay here

The flip side of starting out on an adventure is all the wonderful things that beg you to stay.  In one multiverse, I do.  Depth, breadth.  Which is which?