This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 27, 2007 4:04 PM. The previous post in this blog was More on the jerk bus driver in Eugene. The next post in this blog is She's got a point. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Live remote from Seattle

One of our far-flung travel correspondents files this report from the Emerald City:

There is no escape, Jack. Here my friend and I are in Seattle for a relaxing weekend getaway, and lo and behold on the newspaper that shows up outside our hotel room door there is No Escape. FRONT PAGE FEATURE: our Silver TRAM.

Then we go down to Pike Street Market for breakfast and start reading about our wonderful silver bubbles in the sky, and the couple at the next table ask where they can get a paper. I offer them pieces of ours including the front page, and the lady utters that unmistakable phrase for Portlanders in the know, TRAM SCAM when she sees the front page. I ask, "From Portland, are you?" They were. Next question: are you a fan of Jack's Bog's blog? Of course. So you see, Jack, there is no escape.

While walking down Pike Street near the market to find a restaurant, we would highly recommend the one we found, 97 Stewart, run by a couple of refugees from bad times in the Longview, Washington economy. Really close to the Inn at the Market. Their restaurant in Longview was the Rusty Duck. The place was full, toney, and absolutely divine.

There are condos galore popping up all over the area, and the homeless population is exploding according to the count done yesterday. We were accosted on our way out to dinner by a street person, obviously off his meds, and in a brand new blanket from the night before's homeless head count exercise. He called my card-carrying ACLU friend a Nazi Fascist Pig, when he wouldn't fork over any cash.

The downtown looks like the Georgetown conversion I witnessed over the years, from owner shops with really neat stuff to the same old Sharper Image mix that you find at every mall. Not much fun any more to shop. I talked to some of the market vendors; the Pike Street Market proper still has a lot of regular folks. We chatted and bought some things, they asked about our market in Portland, and I said we were worried they were going to be hurt by the relocation. They said our Market people should fight like they did; they were able to keep their space.

Well that's about all, we have a 1 p.m. checkout, so have to go.

Comments (6)

But as Beck and his neighbors have ridden the tram, they have noted which lighted windows can be peeked into at night, and what backyard patio gathering might draw tram passengers' eyes..."I can sit in my bathroom, and see the tram go by," Gibbs Street resident Craig Rowland said. "It's a little disconcerting. There are privacy issues here."

Not to worry. At the tram "opening celebration" today, they were selling $1 binoculars for, uh, better viewing.

Anne and I bought coffee and Voodoo Donuts...mine was a "tram" donut, filled with cream.

The ride itself? Anne, who'd sworn not to ride, said it was "short and anti-climactic." Me...well, I'm not a fan of heights and the tram dips and sways on the way up, just as you're crossing I-5, so let's just say I held on. And tried to forget I minored in geology and know a little too much more than I care to about Pill Hill's geologic stability.

The Peter Kohler pavillion looks like a million bucks and could be Ernst Blofeld's new headquarters (and may well be, now that I think of it.) Many, many millions of bucks, actually. I can already picture the cocktail parties out on the outdoor patio that overlooks those little people down below...y'know, the ones standing on over-crowded buses, and the kids walking in the streets for want of sidewalks.

Well, at least if they get hit by a car there's a fine, fine hospital they can go to. Go by Streetcar AND Tram (and all for ONE ticket!...well, except if you bought a ticket on the, snicker, bus, sucker.)


It's not just Seattle; this morning's New York Times has an article about the tram as well.

Back in the mid- to late-90s I had that problem with another local waste of time: Sizemore. Every time I went out of town for the weekend, the local paper where I went had a big spread about him. Visiting a friend in Sacramento? Article on Sizemore. Take my kids to Seattle for a vacation? Article on Sizemore. It was especially a problem for me because at the time a lot of my work was related to Sizemore and his initiatives--and I couldn't seem to get away from work when he was in the paper in other places.

I started joking to people that he was following me.

I had to look at a picture of the giant silver twinkie in the in-flight magazine (United) on a trip to Hawaii a couple weeks ago.

Oddly, the article didn't quote anything from Jack's blog... ;-)

giant silver twinkie

The cars are really very attractive. But, on "opening day" they were already showing small bruises from the "bump the guide rails" descent ricocheting into the station. Even the bumpers themselves were showing wear. When you're afraid of heights you tend to look at everything a little closer than normal. :-)

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