Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Tuesday May 12: Seattle spring—glorious bright, happy, local detail

We had previously been in Seattle in early February and April and as Liz had said back then, we would encounter people who smiled somewhat less, in a time late winter or scarcely spring, with measures of grim.

We arrive now, mid-May, to springtime. And Liz and Mikey have moved from downish-town apartment to leafy-street row house in Green Lake.

We are to be here through this week, 11 to 17 May, before driving to San Francisco.

Liz looking at the days ahead, well to California, not Nevada and Hawaii this time
This is the entrance to their home.

We have rented a large car for enhanced American road trip experience, and for baggage for four.

When you rent a car in the USA there is not the automatic insurance provision compared with Australia.
We found it best, as in Europe, to use the brokers Economy Car Rentals, a deal with zero excess cover.
This is not a paid mention.
Our first journey is into the wilds of the immediate suburbs of narrow streets and houses for the most part Scandinavian style, from where many early residents of this fish-world-focused place came.

We had a specific objective, to get to Liz's butcher. Let's cover that first. You arrive, in a suburban street at an unremarkable facade, which at 10am has a sign saying "open 11 to 4". We read that aloud and the gentleman folding dead cardboard boxes just says: "Go right in."

Butchery: it's not rocket science, it's more important than that.

We did buy quite a bit of excellent meat, not from a display of dead bits but fresh cut after discussion of needs. But we fell easily into extensive discussion, by which I mean at least half an hour of discussion, about the business which Mike's father established in 1954, about our shared experiences (Mike, Helen, Liz, Dennis) keeping goats, about the differences between Australian and American meat preferences, about how this business provisions (very well from orders we looked at) many of the fishing and crabbing boats that fish Alaska from Seattle, about Mike's affection for New Zealand and distress at the earthquake destruction in Christchurch, about his decision not to drive in Sydney and being tossed the keys of a rental car in Melbourne and given classically Australian terse 'no problem' advice on getting from the airport to hotel, then getting lost on the freeways. He's not from L.A., he's a butcher from Seattle, and a good one:

We had difficulty leaving. And as you go, you get to wondering if the rest of the day may be a let-down.

Let down? Hardly! Hey, here's a bit of the walk from the shop to the car. 

food out the front, absence of stupid rules of segregation between flowers and food

There be trees and wooden houses

The raven is real.

There is a dry period in summer, hence irrigation.
So nice to see such a fragile system in place in a public space.
So we went back in the car to put the meat in the fridge.

Stopping on the way for coffee... having passed Diva Espresso on our way to the butcher

It was not until we came back to park that we realised the mighty-fine mural was an ad for the Masons.

nice coffee, nice ambience... the workday morning grey-haired crowd
After which we set out for West Seattle.

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