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Seattle 2 September 2015

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Back in the USofA

We spent our last Canadian money on an "Italian" breakfast and had an easy exit from Vancouver and across the border. We bought no fuel in Canada, where it was $2.269/liter (or $6.45US/gallon at today's exchange rate) so we fueled up in Blaine ($2.99/gal), then headed out back of I-5, making it most of the way on scenic route 9 -- a bridge closure put us back on I-5 for 4 miles. Traffic into Seattle was bumper to bumper at 2:05. Imagine it at rush hour. 

Like Vancouver, this city has exploded. The slurbs extend to Everett and beyond, even out-back the way we came in. Every car with one driver. We had a salmon taco lunch along Alaska Way, and then came here to our little aerie on Elliott Street. Now off to Pike Place Market for dinner supplies.

<p>Seattle skyline from Bell Pier</p>

Seattle skyline from Bell Pier

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We're staying in 'a friend's apartment' in Belltown, twelfth floor ('it's so high,' says Rochelle) with no view, a sort of cave for an urban troglodyte ... but it will do. A block away is the Belltown P-Patch, a beloved little piece of cultivated wildness right in the middle of the most desirable real estate in the city. The trains run right along in front of the next row of high rises, then Alaska Way and the harbor. We're about six blocks from Pike Place. Given Seattle's traffic and tourist overload, toglogytism works. Our plan: park in our friend's reserved space in the bowels of our building, hope there's no earthquake, and walk or do transit. 

Everyone's relieved that the weather appears to have regained its sense of propriety for this time of year: balmy, blue skies with a rash of kodachrome clouds scooting across it. Just chilly enough to remind us that we're up there in the high 40s of latitude.

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<p>A mosaic between steps up to the Belltown P-Patch</p>

A mosaic between steps up to the Belltown P-Patch

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Pike Place Public Market

Dinner's going to be a Crab Louie. Dungeness Point is just across Puget Sound from us here, and that's where the Dungeness Crab are the best, year-round because of the cold waters (at least for now...)

The tradition here at Pike Place is to throw Salmon. The crab didn't get thrown, but it got cracked and the money got put in a split tennis ball and thrown. There's quite a bit of theater to shopping at Pike Place. The tall disinterested looking fellow was the one who took the money and negotiated the cracking of the crab.

Also on offer, half a dozen different kinds of oysters, salmon of several species and colors, most of it from Alaska, King Crab, Scallops large and small from the Sound, clams and mussels (also local) ... a ridiculous wealth of seafood. 

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Wonderful fresh, local, organic fruits and vegetables, no big deal, just the way it's been for at least a decade. My purchases were cheerfully assembled by the Madonna of Pike Place.

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We stopped in for my third Tenzing Momo Spice Co. t-shirt, some crackers, some cheese curd, and had dessert first: gelato at Bottega Italiana, before walking back home and assembling dinner from our haul.


Dungeness Crab Louie

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