Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Seattle Tuesday: One Busy Day



I had an agenda for Tuesday, and we not only accomplished it, we outdid ourselves! We started off with a trip to Top Pot donuts. Roadfood had swooned over their peanut donuts. I couldn't wait. When the girl at the counter reminded me that peanuts had been recalled, it was like that shot in the movies when the main character throws their head back and screams to the heavens and the camera pans back up into the sky until you just see the earth and hear the screams of "Nooooooooo".



But the blueberry donut was still dang good. They had such an elaborate menu, the counterperson confided in me that she has never even see a few things on the menu, like the lemon bullseye and she has been there for years. We tried to split a cream filled donut but after already eating one, it was just too much sugar. Even for me. Even for a 12-year-old with an endless supply of milk.





Next we hit the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), newly re-opened after a two-year overhaul.

I have always loved Borofsky's Hammering Man.





I was impressed by Inopportune: Stage One by Cai Guo Qiang, a horizontal version of the vertical artwork I had seen last year in the Guggenheim.
Flying cars test our reaction to unexpected events. Are you seeing the fulfillment of an innocent dream about flying through space? Or is the future hanging by a thread with the ominous air of disaster?




There was a fantastic exhibit of "Edward Hopper's Women". I never really appreciated him that much before, but in person, the colors and brushstrokes were inpressive. At the time, many midwesterners were moving into the big city to work in the factories. His juxtoposition of country bumpkins with big-city loneliness and industrial images is much more striking given the context. His self-portrait, dark and brooding against the black oil painting is in stark contrast to the gentle pastels he is known for.



On the second floor, we moved between the rooms, Textiles, American Art, European Art, etcetera, and discovered a small room hidden away in the corner. The wall described it as "Black Art". We looked at the bathrooms on one side and the plastic sheeting from construction on the other. I didn't want to say anything, but Eartha announced loudly, "Well, that's racist." This kid doesn't pull any punches.

We passed through a section filled with native Northwest art, which always makes a chill run through my DNA. Eartha said, "Look, they have dimples just like your dimples." We passed figures wearing traditional native masks. Even though I have always liked them, especially The Crow, the stuffed human dummies always give me the creeps. So when we hit the top floor and discovered an empty floor inhabited only by masked "characters" I really got the willies.

"African Crowd Control" Mingle with an unusual crowd of masked characters from today's Nigeria. Some are on parade, wearing clothes that indicate whether they are Muslim, British, or of high status.
There was an interactive area with a building made out of blocks. We were dying to knock it down. A security guard busted us - not for knocking down the blocks, but for using a camera in the museum. Killjoy.

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For lunch we went to Salumi, a charcuterie and sandwich shop run by Mario Batali's family.





I wanted to order the Porchetta - braised pork with fennel, carrots and celery, but I got the porky names mixed up and ordered the lomo. I also ordered a Salumi Muffo to take home for dinner - hot soprasetta, cotto and provolone with a fresh olive tapenade - the only one on which they mix meats.

Eartha ordered lasagne, which was one of the best lasagnes I have ever stolen a bite of.












After Salumi, we went over to The Science Center, where they had Lucy, the first human being found - an Austriolopithicus Afikanus. I studied her in physical anthropology, so it was very exciting. Anthropologists really are obsessed with the foramen magna. I also learned a lot about the history, culture and food of Ethiopia.

The Science Center had all kinds of crazy stuff for kids, kind of like the Exploratoreum in San Francisco. We hit IMAX 3D. Nothing beats IMAX underwater 3D


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The Science Center has all kinds of scary mechanized bugs to freak me out.

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Anne and Ed came to the hotel that evening. They packed up Eartha and took her back home. I was kind of looking forward to an evening to myself, but I missed her right away. Luckily I was on my way to meet my nephew Justin, who is going to school at U Dub.

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