We got up this morning and headed straight into town, eager to check things out and hit a few music shops. We got the Tom in and walked up 1st Avenue a bit, past Pioneer Square and Occidental Square. I would have liked to get a pic of the totem polls at Occidental but there were homeless dudes everywhere so we kept moving. We found a little cafe on Cherry Street called (surprisingly) Cherry Street Cafe and had a Johnny and a drink.
We continued walking along First Avenue, passing the Seattle Art Museum before making a links and heading down to the pier. We went through Harbor Steps and took in all of the art. And the pigs.
The Blue Angels are in town for the weekend and we got to see them warming up with several fly-bys along the pier.
We walked for about 45 minutes and eventually made our way to Big Dawg Records. We were looking for Easy Street but decided this would suffice for the meantime.
A bit of a browse led to a few purchases for each of us but we didn't go too mad.
After leaving Big Dawg, we turned right around the corner. Lo and behold there was Easy Street!
A bit of a frenzy followed which saw CDs, T-shirts and more CDs purchased. I also raided the counter for loads of cool stickers and flyers.
We were a bit knackered and wanted a rest from all of the shopping so we went into the Seattle Center to have a look at the Space Needle.
The Seattle Center is a 74 acre fairground and entertainment center. It was used by the Century 21 Exposition in 1962 after the Space Needle was built. The exposition was a World's Fair attended by over ten million people. Now the Center contains the Space Needle, the Pacific Science Center, the Experience Music Project and a fairground.
The Space Needle is a major landmark of the Pacific Northwest and the famous symbol of Seattle. It is 605 feet high and weighs almost 10,000 tons. It can withstand winds of 200 miles per hour and (theoretically) earthquakes of a 9.5 magnitude. The design came about as a compromise between the two best ideas for the 1962 World's Fair. One was to have a giant balloon tethered to the ground. The other was to build a giant flying saucer. The structure was planned and now contains a restaurant and observation deck.
Next, it was back down 5th Avenue to the corner of Roy where we found Silver Platters. The only music shop that can truly send your credit card into the red zone.
Now, I'm trying to remain calm even as I write this. What a shop! Hands down, the best selection of second hand CDs that I have ever seen. Anywhere. The two of us looked and looked. And we bought and bought. I shudder to think of the beating that my credit card took today. I think it is going to start shaking in fear every time that I open my wallet now. But we got some quality bargains. Most of the stuff that I bought only cost between three and seven dollars. Ya
canty go wrong!
Leaving the holy mecca of used CDs, we walked back up towards Seattle Center and decided it was time to eat. Revolution looked like a good spot for a burger and a beer. And it was. They were both great.
A quick monorail ride had us back in the center of town and we got a Tom back to Eastlake Inn to dump all of our new music and freshen up.
Yes sir, there's nothing on earth like a genuine, bona fide, electrified, six-car monorail!
Another Tom back into town and we were in Belltown - one of the neighborhoods that nurtured the growth of grunge in the 90s. We ducked into The Crocodile Cafe where Bishop Allen was playing but it was an all ages show and we didn't feel like paying in. There was also no beer being served and we were too thirsty to be messing around.
We strolled down 2nd Avenue and found Karma - a great little spot with a DJ who was playing quality house music. Not what you would expect to hear in Seattle. We stayed for a couple of drinks and then decided to move on. I could have happily settled in but Paulo was looking a bit edgy. He had that 'I need to hear some loud, rock music' look in his eyes.
Down the street to another small place called Viceroy, where we heard the Beastie Boys playing inside. But upon a closer look, the sound was crap and the DJ was playing off a laptop that was connected to a pair of decks. He was spinning one of the decks around and around while looking totally bored out of his melon. Move it on...
We walked all the way down 2nd Avenue and then down to 1st and there was nothing going on. Just hip hop music and posh upscale bars that had massive queues at the doors to get in. What happened to the Rock scene?
We ducked into the Virginia Inn for a beer and to check out what was going on. Again nothing! We asked the barman where we could try and when he told us 2nd Avenue we said we had already been. He suggested a place called Shorty's.
So up to Shorty's we went. It definitely wasn't posh and it was kinda rock oriented. Sort of. The staff were brutal. Each of them were trying to be more ugly and more rude than the other. Total indifference toward everything and everyone.
The interior was dingy with some clown paraphernalia. In the back were pinball machines and pool tables. And the beer was crap as well - Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap. Horrible. Paulo kept drinking it but I had to switch to bottles. There were also hot dogs. Dodgy ones. Paulo was eyeing them up but restrained himself in the end. I told him it was for the best. We stayed until closing time and then caught a taxi back to the Eastlake where we crashed straight away.