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April 7, 2010

Seattle: Dahlia Lounge

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This was a magnificent piece of braised pork topped with a poached egg and a dollop of sweet and spicy Asian hot sauce. It was one of the many great small courses I had in Seattle at Dahlia Lounge (after a brief starter at Lola).

Again, I don't remember so much of the particulars, so I'll leave the pictures to speak for themselves.

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April 2, 2010

Seattle: The Alibi Room

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On my first day in Seattle, I came across the Alibi Room, just downstairs from Pike Market and across the path from the Gum Wall. Despite being in the heart of one of the biggest tourist attractions in town, the bar was subdued, comfortable and pleasant.

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The beer selection was mostly local, as would be expected in this part of the world. I sat at the bar and chatted with the bartender, who turned out to be one of the owners. He told me a bit of the history of the place. It had been owned by some actors, including Tom Skerritt for a time before he and his partners bought it.

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They sell small pizzas there, and after smelling it for a couple rounds, I couldn't resist ordering one. I presumed that they were typical bar-sized pizza that make a good fit for one. Instead I got this giant, which I couldn't finish even though I hadn't eaten since landing in town several hours earlier.

Alibi Room. 85 Pike St at Post Alley # 410, Seattle. 206.623.3180

February 4, 2010

Analog: Developing film while traveling

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A challenge of my exploration into shooting analog is that outside of the New York area, I have no idea where to go to get film developed by real professionals. So, I have to go to the few one hour photo spots left in whatever town I'm in.

The upside is that invariably they are cheaper than the $13-15 I spend per roll for developing and scanning my film. The downside is that the people doing this are almost invariably incompetent.

In Seattle, the guy at the Ritz knew what he was doing for the most part, but the hi-res scans aren't nearly the quality of my typical scans, meaning that I'll have to go back and rescan if I want to use the images for anything in the future.

In Hawai'i, the staff rotated nearly every time I showed up, meaning that I had to re-explain what I wanted every time to a worker who basically had no idea what to do with film.

Most recently, in Aspen, I got little bit of everything at the Wolf Camera, a part of the Ritz Camer chain. Everyone there gave me something different. No one was familiar enough with film to know what their standard procedure was supposed to be. I got charged different rates (all pretty low), scans at different resolutions and worse, one of my negatives got so beat up that I got scans like the image above.

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And on another set of rolls, the scans were all cropped to 4x5 cutting out the edges of the frame.

Oddly, based on resolution, they also split up the images from a roll into as many as 5 discs. Something about the software they use decides that a CD should only be up to 20% full and after that, the data has to go on to another disc. And another. And another. Better yet, they charge you for each disc. Sometimes.

It's a bad scene all around. But, if you've got no other choice, you do what you have to do. Just keep in mind that who handles your photos can be very important.

January 8, 2010

Seattle: Fog

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Nearly every morning I was in Seattle, the fog enveloped the waterfront. I waded through it one day and took the ferry out to West Seattle. As we pulled out of the dock, I got to see if from afar. It looked like a band across the lower section of downtown, with everything above perfectly clear.

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December 21, 2009

Seattle: The Link

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Seattle's Link also has what comes down to an optional payment system that in theory may be spot checked. Of course, the one time I saw anyone asked for their ticket, when they didn't have it they were just told they had to wait for the next train, not actually kicked out of the station.

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Most interesting to me was the Westlake station downtown. First, it's a huge space with a marble clad mezzanine level, above. Secondly, the 'track' level is actually just a subterranean street. Buses and Link light rail trains roll through from tunnels heading in either direction.

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October 14, 2009

Seattle: Lola

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Lola is one in a collection of restaurants in Downtown Seattle owned by Chef Tom Douglas. It's generally Mediterranean and the menu includes much meat on sticks.

I only got to have this snack there while waiting for dinner at another of his restaurants across the street (more on that later). It's grilled lamb heart, which sounds pretty intense.

I've been curious about heart for a while (see Captain Beefheart), but this was my first real opportunity.

The flavor was intensely meaty without being particularly gamy or overpowering. The texture surprised me. I always presumed that heart would be very tough, but even though the meat was firm, it wasn't excessively so.

I had high hopes to return to Lola to explore the rest of the menu, particularly the other skewers, but alas, my stomach troubles thwarted that. Given all that went uneaten in Seattle, I'm sure I'll return at some point.

September 29, 2009

Seattle: The Gum Wall

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On Post Alley, down below Pike Market, is this particularly odd (and sort of gross) spectacle: The Gum Wall.

I'm not sure that more needs to be said about it. It's pretty fascinating to look at though. People put some real effort into 'sculpting' shapes, words and designs out of chewed gum. It's a fairly amazing sight.

September 22, 2009

Seattle: Pike Market

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One of the mot awesome things about Seattle and really, one of the selling points on why I decided to go out there was Pike Market. Not the market itself, specifically. Like most tourist attractions, it's jammed with people, making it impossible to navigate and a bit too sensational.

That said, the fact that a food market that specializes in locally sourced, fresh ingredients is one of the primary attractions in Seattle says more than anything else about the town's dedication to food. It's wonderful.


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For all my distaste for the touristy, I certainly found myself going back just to photograph the gorgeous foods and the people who offer it with such care. I only wish I could have grazed through it as much as I'd have liked.

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September 15, 2009

Seattle: Not Eating in an Eating Town

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Apologies for the radio silence of late. I haven't managed a single dispatch from the Pacific Northwest, in part, due to some of the difficulties I had while out there. I suspect that starting off the trip with a brunch of a seafood buffet and raw bar probably had a good deal to do with my troubles. Suffice it to say that I spent most of the time I was on the road without much of an appetite and the rest of the time downing Pepto to keep myself in one piece.

That said, I did manage to have some great meals despite everything and I saw a lot of both Seattle and Vancouver.

I've got a great many updates to put out and I hope to have many of them out over the next couple weeks.

Stay tuned...

August 29, 2009

Off to Seattle!

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Stay tuned...

June 22, 2009

Late Summer Trip '09

Once again, I have a week of vacation time this year that I haven't planned for.

I'm considering the same set of places that I discussed last year, but heavily leaning towards the Pacific Northwest option of Seattle, with a couple days in Vancouver.

Off the top of my head, going to Pike Place for seafood and sampling the charcuterie at Salumi jump out as 'must see' attractions. I've heard wonderful things about the food and the food culture of the pacific northwest.

The usual concern about this area is that one doesn't typically see the sun at all, given the propensity for constant overcast and rain. Given the way the weather here in New York has been to date this year, I don't think it's likely to be any worse there than it's already been here.

I'll be spending some time in the next couple weeks thinking about what I might do out there, so if you have any suggestions, don't keep them to yourself.


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