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Posts Tagged ‘Seattle’

Starbucks is planning to open a new location right across the street from my office.  To announce the upcoming store, they put up a big sign that reads, “Don’t Worry!  Expected Delivery Winter 2011.

But here’s the deal:  I wasn’t worried.  Seriously, this is Seattle and coffee is just not something I have to worry about.

Here is a list of adequate (if not favorite) coffee shops that I can get to easily each day, without even going more than a block or so off my normal pedestrian route:

And these are just the places I am willing to grab coffee.  There are other places, like Fremont Coffee Company and Caffe Ladro, which are more than 2 blocks from my pedestrian path & hence not on this list.  There are others I’ve left off because I don’t enjoy their product.

So as you can see Starbucks, I wasn’t terribly worried.  But I appreciate your thoughtfulness and your concern for my mental health. In a day and age when companies don’t often consider their customers’ needs, your consideration of my mental state is refreshing.  As refreshing as a hot, steamy espresso drink on a cold, rainy day in the Pacific Northwest.

Now, when does the new store open exactly?  I’ve got a hankering for a caramel macchiato.

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Leslie Cochran

Have you ever been to Eeyore’s Birthday Party in Austin? How about Seattle’s Hempfest?  They’re pretty different, and I’ll tell you why below.

I got to go to Eeyore’s a couple of years ago when I took a road trip across the US.  It was right after college, and it was easy to make friends in new places.  One afternoon I ended up at this coffee shop on Sixth Street in Austin. I was smoking with my friend Bryon on the lawn in front of Book People and we noticed these two scantily-clad hot girls making flower wreaths & putting them in each other’s hair.  As you can imagine, we couldn’t look away.  After putting flowers in OUR hair, they invited us to follow them to Eeyore’s.  How could we resist?

Eeyore’s birthday party is in April every year, usually near 4/20.  (Heh heh)   There are drum circles and potato sack races, a donkey for the kids to pet, face painting, beer, pink cake, wood nymphs, girls dressed like faeries, and tons of people sitting in the shade smoking out while the cops look the other way.  A beautiful way to spend a day along Shoal Creek in Austin.

Now that I’m in Seattle, I had a chance to go to Hempfest and I must’ve expected something similar.  But it’s not.  Hempfest 2011 spans 3 city parks full of vendor tents.  You can get lemonade, donuts, pizza, bongs, edibles, tinctures, weed, and medical marijuana cards (in theory, medical records are required).  Cops are in the park as well as out, but don’t stop anyone from lighting up.  And there are 3 music stages, the main one hosts speakers like Dennis Kucinich and Mayor McBike.

Here are the major differences between Hempfest and Eeyore’s:

  • Hempfest:  best scenery (Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound)
  • Eeyore’s: best girl-watching
  • Hempfest: cops stand right next to smokers
  • Eeyore’s: cops hang out on the periphery with their backs turned
  • Hempfest: lots of street food but no alcohol
  • Eeyore’s:  COLD BEER
  • Hempfest: Mighty-O vegan donuts
  • Eeyore’s:  Mexican pink cake
  • Hempfest: 3 music stages
  • Eeyore’s:  a continuous, 2 day drum circle
  • Hempfest: groups of loud young guys looking for a place to smoke & hit on chicks
  • Eeyore’s: smelly people who need showers
  • Hempfest: no shade
  • Eeyore’s: lots of space to stretch out and chill under the trees
  • Hempfest: political activism
  • Eeyore’s: kid-friendly
  • Hempfest:  no Leslie Cochran

But even though they aren’t the same kind of event at all, they’ve both definitely worth going to.  So this post was pretty useless, wasn’t it?

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Maybe it’s a fairly new term, or maybe I just wasn’t paying attention before– but I never head the word “Stay-cation” til I moved to the Emerald City in 2005.  Here, vacations are handled differently than other places I’ve lived.  For example, people take “sun trips” when the winter clouds have been hanging over the pacific northwest too long & we all start to go nuts.  Some people take more winter trips than summer trips because the summers here are just so delicious.

Which brings me to the Seattle Staycation.

Seattle is such a great tourist spot, but as a resident you can’t possibly see it all.  Particularly if you like to avoid vacationing weekend crowds.  But there’s so much to enjoy!  We’ve got parks and green space, fine eateries, mountain vistas (Olympics, Cascades, Mt. Rainier), Puget Sound, nearby whale watching, salmon runs at the Ballard locks, fly fishing, wineries, pick your own berry farms, farmers markets, Pike Place Market, sports teams, theater, lakes, kayaking, cruises, art museums, live music… the list goes on & on.

This week I’m enjoying my own Seattle staycation.  And here are some things that are absolutely right about it:

  • Sipping morning coffee at a different coffee shop each day.  Particularly this one where you can borrow binoculars for an up close view of the sailboats & tugs coasting through.
  • No alarm clocks.
  • Not getting lost.
  • Going to tourist spots in off-times, and missing the crowds.
  • No alarm clocks.
  • Not getting lost.
  • Seeing your home town from a whole new perspective (especially if that new perspective involves passing by your office when you’re supposed to be in it!).
  • No alarm clocks.
  • Not getting lost.
  • Spending time with your pets who don’t normally travel.  Though if you don’t live in Seattle & are planning to travel here, Hotel Monaco will roll out the welcome mat for your critters.
  • No alarm clocks.
  • Not getting lost.
  • Going to restaurants you already know you’ll enjoy.
  • No alarm clocks.
  • Not getting lost.
  • Checking out things you normally can’t do during the week, like NOAA’s Soundgarden.
  • No alarm clocks.
  • Not getting lost.
  • Saving $$ by eliminating airfare & hotels.  Money you can spend on other things, like whale watching tours or day trips to Snoqualmie Falls or the Olympic National Park.

And did I mention no alarm clocks & not getting lost?

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If you’re a Seahawks fan, you know how hard it is to be an football fan in Seattle right now.  It sucks.   I wish I had taken the time to count how many times the word “sucks” has appeared this season in my local paper and on blogs, etc.   But I noticed something else early on, and I did take notes.  Unflattering Seahawks Nicknames used on the web — compiled during the 2009 season:

As for Matt Hasselbeck:  Hasselsack & other names are being tossed about.

Okay, I’ll stop there.  Look, there are two things going on here that I want to address.

1) This city is demeaning this team more than they’re demeaning themselves on the field.  If you want a team to play well for the fans, this is not the way to do it.  Where’s the 12th Man?  He’s acting like a fairweather friend who doesn’t understand football, the NFL, loyalty, the concept of the “home team” or sportmanship.  The 12th Man needs to get schooled (and is, right now!).

2) Coach Mora is calling for a culture change.  And he’s correct that we need one.  Not just the team, the fans too.  More on this in the off-season when my blood pressure goes back down.  Til then, the funny insulting names will continue… but shouldn’t. 

Seattle, support your local team.  Period.  It’s the right thing for a fan to do, even in lean times.  If you just want to root for a winning team or player, there’s Fantasty Football out there for you.  

And P.S., while you’re bitching about this team, calling for Mora’s firing, complaining about “losing” Holmgren again, telling Matt he’s old & washed up, yelling about Housh being all hot air, calling for the Seahawks to leave town & go to LA, bemoaning the 3 hours you wasted watching another game… you’re just reinforcing suckdom.  Seattle, shut up.  And go to a high school football game to learn what a real football fan looks like.

Below are photos of the 2005 12th Man — the year we went to the Superbowl.  Where’s the 12th Man now?

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