Sunday, April 30, 2006

Flying Fish, Old Coffee and Whiskey

Well I'd be lying if I said I didn't do anything yesterday. I wondered in to the office at about 10.30am to make sure the place hadn't burnt down and ensure my desk was organised. Well people have been borrowing my test phones from my desk which isn't a problem yet but I'm trying to keep close tabs on them. These things go missing quickly.

Jess offered to show me around Pike Place Market; so we drove in to Seattle City Center found a spot to park and had a wonder round. Had lunch in the Pike Place Brewery restaurant, and despite complaining all morning that I was hungry, when I got my food, I wasn't hungry, and could only eat half of what was on my plate :(

The market is pretty special. It's all built inside an old steel structure, that was put up by Thomas Revelle in 1907, who suggested a Farmers Market to avoid the increasing cost of produce due to middle men and markups (specifically Onions). So like most Farmers markets, you're bringing the produce fresh to the customer. Being Seattle and slapped not all that far from the Pacific Ocean, fish is a major produce sold in the market. One particular wet fish shop is famed for it's flying fish, dramatics and... well, singing.

Pike Place Fish has been seen in films and documentaries and is regarded as one of the most famous fish shops in the world. The angle being when you order something from one of the guys working the crowd, he'll sing some rhyme out loud to the 'filliters' behind the counter, then they all sing back a response. Wait that's not all. If you should be lucky enough to order any fish that is situated more than 5 feet from the person preparing it, the nearest guy will pick up the whole fish, and throw it across the shop where 'someone' will hopefully catch it! It's pretty entertaining, but maybe not the quickest place to buy your kippers. Most of the time, there's a crowd of 50 or so people just watching people order fish, and watching the 'spectacle' of flying fish. Additionally, you can have your picture taken with one of the savaloys working the crowd. I declined.

So we bought a fillet of salmon so big I think the Pacific Ocean dropped a bit, and three artichokes so big I wasn't sure we were going to cook them or reenact medieval warfare with them. It was about this point that it started chucking it down. We walked around the market for a bit and poked the hand crafted 'precious things' (as you do). Along the way I noticed the Starbucks across the road, which as any local historian or even your local drunk will tell you, is the very first Starbucks ever. For a small shop holding hundreds of people, there wasn't a lot of coffee being sold. And there were plenty of tourists taking photos of the plaque by the front door. Satisfied having been to the first of 2 million or so coffee outlets and seeing singing people throw fish, we made a dash back for the car in the rain.

That evening, Jess invited me over to her parents house to have dinner with themselves, her sister, Meg, and Meg's boyfriend, Eric. There were also four dogs and a cat. Jess' dog, Cherry, is a gorgeous mutt, and the others were all very 'full of character' (and also lovely). As these things stereotypically go, I spent a while talking to Jess' dad, Steve, about woodwork, how to work with Granite Tiles and why the Denver Broncos won't start their draft Quaterback in the first half of the season. Jess made the dinner (with said Salmon and Artichokes) as well as a side salad consisting of Spinach, Strawberries, Almonds and a dressing. It was really good. And I don't think I've eaten artichoke like that before.

After dinner, Steve insisted on me sampling his bourbon Whiskey collection as well as some Moonshine he acquired through a friend of a friend in Kentucky. Well I can still see so it wasn't all that bad! Anyway, I really enjoyed being round there and had a lot of fun.

So it's almost 12 noon here now. I was bored this morning so I thought I'd take it out on all you loyal readers by writing a huge post. Sorry. I'm not too sure what I'm doing today, but I'll let you know tomorrow!

See you all soon,



joel said...

wow, out and about with Jess, dinner with her folks AND a sampling of a private booz collection?


seriously, I've had dates with far less action and interesting detail in the past. did you skip the first date and go straight to meeting the folks?


ok, seriously, you gotta name your first kid after me.

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