Thursday, May 14, 2009

Crabmommy Returns

Seattle is swell. Crabhub and I popped up from Portland by train for a few days and our visit coincided with that of a major celebrity: the sun. Yes, the sun deigned to shine upon us for at least a quarter of each day in Seattle. (Seattle-ites, don't get uppity about my sun-swipe: I live in Portland, so I'm clearly not a big sun-worshipper. We can either now argue over which has more gray or simply agree that neither is exactly the shiniest place on earth. Which is all FINE. We know it's fine. Keeps everyone else in Cali, right? But let's not do a whole Seattle-really-is-very-sunny thing right now in the comments...k?)

Ahem. Lost my thread there. Ah, right. Seattle! It's really a quite lovely city to visit. I like the way they do things over there: for example the toilet stalls all seem to have very low doors so you can select your preferred toilet bowl without having to go into the stall to survey it.

Seattle has many splendid things about it. The Central Downtown Library, designed by famed architect Rem Koohaas, is not one of them. Seriously, for all three architecty types who happen to read this blog, I must just let you know that I don't doubt that the otherwise highly attractive and intelligent city of Seattle paid an extraordinary amount of money for an architectural embarrassment to define its skyline. No that the outside of the building is so awful. It's the inside: so completely awful it is, full of stupid Deconstructivist high-concept-theory-crap angles that...fulfill what purpose, exactly? To make you feel ill? Claustrophobic. Frightened. Why? Is this a holocaust memorial? No. It is a library. Or at least I thought it was until I went to the restroom: up one of those scary steep highlighter-pen-colored escalators and emerged in a creepy tunnel bathed deep abortion-red, pulsing with the shadows of homeless people. No, I am not against homeless people. I am almost sure I will soon be one of them. But I think a person has the right to go to the restroom in a public library without physically brushing up against transient humanity-at-large. Impossible not to as one fumbles through a long dark clubby-red corridor. Wait! I think I get it now--the architect's vision is to bring uptight people into contact with downtown transience. Mission accomplished, Mr. Koolhaas!

Okay, archi-rant over. Sorry, I'm married to an architect. My marital lingo nowadays went from the early-days sweet nothings to chitchat involving words like "spandrel" and "cornice." Sigh. I guess everything must evolve. But at least we are still here, together, and occasionally dining like grownups in such places as Seattle's Boat Street Kitchen. What a nugget of a restaurant! Such crabcakes!! Go there.

I hope y'all had a good Mother's Day. My child cried on the phone to me during mine, telling me she missed me. My heart broke briefly; it's true. But I chose to take the episode as a straight-up example of how long overdue Crabkid's Special Time with Grandma is and how right we were to leave. Time with grandparents alone is important for all children and their parents and grandparents--or at least that's my ideal. And I feel lucky that my mom-in-law was so willing to fly in from Utah to provide us all with what we needed.

Plus Crabkid was so cuddly on return. It's so delicious to go away, miss your child, and then capture them for a smothering love festival on return.

You? How goes it?


Lawyer Mom said...

Grandparent time is very important. Just like mom-and-dad alone time. I haven't been to Seattle yet, but I'll be sure to avoid the library if I do.

tonypark said...

Welcome back. As a 6'6"-er I find those low cubicle doors very disturbing

Daisy said...

We're traveling to Seattle by train (Amtrak Empire Builder) in July. I'll note this restaurant; sounds great! Yes, I plan to pack raingear.

crabmommy said...

I am writing this trip up for a travelmag so I traipsed around quite a bit. Other tips: take the king county water taxi from pier 55 to West seattle's alki beach. it's only $3, takes 12 mins, takes you out on the water. free bus drops you on the beach itself so u don't have to drive and park--I hear it gets packed in summer. the water taxi is a lovely way to go. it's lovely. also olympic sculpture park...walk along trail that leads from there all around elliott bay. And kerry park in Queen Anne neighb. a lovely walk from downtown. steep but worth it and doesn't take long. nice views, nice mansions to gawk at. have a fab time. and I highly doubt it will rain that time of year.

Alexis said...

Librarians are equally annoyed by that library, just so's ya know! In the Downtown LA library, I hear (from my husband) that the bathroom stalls have half doors to deter you from shooting up in them (or from doing anything in them really).