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Sun 10th October : First Seattle Then Vancouver

I get up. It's very early still. I feel far away from everyone. I decide to go phone Davo to with him happy birthday. I search the streets of downtown Seattle to find that there's a ratio of 23 junkies to every 1 public telephone at 7am in the morning.

Back at the W I think I hurt the staff's feelings when I return the Seattle Times paper to the front desk and ask for a New York Times. The restaurant is open and I walk in. 'Michelle' looks at me as if I am one of those junkies down the street. OK, so I haven't showered yet. Can I sit anywhere? I ask. Her response makes me feel that I am in Europe again. I'm led to a table and I am indecisive about which seat I'm going to take just to piss her off a little.

The food is OK but in this mood I try to convince myself it is poor but I can’t forget the horror of the Continental Airlines platter from the previous morning. That microwaved mush must cost them about 24c to prepare.

The Lady calls me later and asks me why I'm blogging on this and PSFK. I feel like a jerk so I go see the Frank Gehry building. It takes a little time as I walk the wrong direction but when I get assisted in the right direction by a helpful taxi. Taxi drivers are either Eritrean, Ethiopian or Somalian. They are all wonderfully friendly and chatty versus the W Hotel management.

I must stop moaning about the W. My boss will find this blog one day and send me to a motel outside the city center.
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When I set eyes on the Frank Gehry building I am just taken aback. My eyes bulge as they try to take in all the joyous information; all the curves; the turns; the troughs, the hills, the rises, the swoons.

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Bilboa was amazing but Seattle's Music Museum is simply beautiful. Gehry must be the most important architect in the US today.

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It's two now and I feel that I have 'done Seattle'.

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I jump in the car and charge north to the border. The advice that it's only 2 hours was a little optimistic. Nevertheless I have passed through amazing landscapes filled with Dutch looking farm houses to reach the Canadian border. There I get a few questions about the burger costume at customs but they seem happy to have me. How refreshing versus JFK Immigration.

[More Photros To Come]

Vancouver. What a gorgeous city. Far more cosmopolitan than Seattle, in touch, buzzy, friendly. I drive around for an hour, pick up a bottle of red from British Columbia have some cheap sushi - they told me the seafood was great here, and it bloody was - then drive back.

A hundred more questions at the US border but as I drive home I am inspired to drive faster than the rest of the traffic by a radio station I find. No more prog-rock, no more middle class white kids screaming about the Armageddon of their privileged suburban lives. Now I am rocking to worldly house and tribal grooves. The oncoming traffics' bright lights and the grinding beats remind me of that time the sun came up in that club in Ibiza. In the dark everyone choreographed beautifully in an Eden connected on some soulful level. But as the sun climbed we were all exposed to be fakes: zombies, gaunt, aloof, ugly, controlled.

What a great thing to remember, eh? But a Zombie is how I felt when I got out of the car after 7 hours driving.

Worth every minute though.

October 11, 2004 in Diary, Out of Town Trips, Photography | Permalink

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