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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

The Emerald City

USA | Saturday, 14 September 2013 | Views [1165]

Seattle! The city of Starbucks, loads of rain, a great vibe, and even more greenery. The Emerald City is a gorgeous city! The "American Amazon" in the words of a wise traveller. I simply love it here! I was here three years ago and now I'm back. Brian, Bree, and I set out on an excursion into downtown Seattle today so we could meet up with my friend Nick. Downtown Seattle is on an isthmus sandwiched between Puget Sound and Lake Washington; the geography makes a perfect natural air filter. I can breathe noticeably better! Nick and I lived together in New Zealand for a few months, and when he returned from his five-year trans-global nomadic journey he joined the Army. He's stationed in Tacoma and I had no idea until a few days ago. He called me and said to meet him at the Green Tortoise Hostel across from Pikes Place Market. Brian and Bree went inside and watched football whilst I waited for Nick. I hardly recognized him; last time I saw him he had a pony tail and was scruffy-looking but now he's got a buzz cut. He brought a lady friend and it suddenly was five of us strolling along Pike Place Market. The rest of the group was enjoying these funny performers whilst I wanted a coffee from the original Starbucks. Brian objected since the line was out the door but I was in line for only seven minutes; I've waited twice that at many Starbucks in LA (and elsewhere). Starbucks was founded in 1971 and there's been a Starbucks-ization around the world, with many stores in some 60 countries. I've been to Starbucks in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, England, and Turkey, and I've been to the original Starbucks and the world's most southerly Starbucks (Invercargill, NZ). The original Starbucks is purely original: old wood floors, a hand-written menu, the original logo, and no food, just coffee.

As we strolled we stumbled upon a place that would be a heavenly paradise for me: a store dedicated to maps, globes, and anything geography-related. There are flags from every countries for sale and some interesting maps of Seattle. My favourite was a map of the world in words.

Nick told us his favourite place to eat: an Irish pub called Fado. When I ordered fish & chips Brian said "I seriously thought I'd get a bag of Lay's potato chips if I ordered fish & chips; you didn't say 'fish & potato wedges.'" A small portion it was but still excellent. As we left we offered Nick and his friend a ride to where they had to go but Brian forgot his aviator sunglasses. Relunctantly he let me use his phone where I searched out the phone number (my phone is ancient and doesn't have such capabilities) for Fado. Thankfully they still had the glasses and we swung by to retrieve them before driving up to Queen Anne Hill. There's a gorgeous view of Seattle from Kerry Park. Here I donned my "wings" and attempted to soar to the top of the Space Needle.

The Space Needle is Seattle's most iconic landmark. The view would be as amazing from the top as the Sydney Tower or the SkyTower but admission is rather high (about $25) and Bree said it's not worth it. The first time I visited Seattle I was here in January. It wasn't too cold and there were far fewer crowds in Pike Place Market but it wasn't as sunny. Then I felt like I didn't appreciate Seattle enough but now I realize how it's my favourite American city. I love the artistic vibe and coffee culture. Seattle goes by many names but it's named after Chief Seattle of the Duwamish tribe; traditionally his name is spelled Si'ahl in the native language. I love the Emerald City! It may be wet and a bit dreary at times but it's part of the allure. If it weren't for the 37 inches of rain the city receives every year it'd have to be stripped of the "Emerald City" title. An original Starbucks, fish & chips, Pike Place Market, clean air, and a gorgeous view; I never fail to enjoy! 

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