Alli visits Seattle

I have gone radio silent on this little bloggy-blog for the past couple of days; but hear me out, I have a great excuse. MY BEST FRIEND ALLI CAME TO VISIT!

Alli and I met at UC Santa Cruz. We were constant compatriots and partners in crime throughout our mis-spent youth. I love spending time with Alli; we can have just as much fun together skiing the gnarly pow or snuggled up on the couch reading OR covered in body paint dancing ’til 3am at a music festival. We did all of those things a lot.
I had not seen Alli in over 3 years. This weekend has been amazing. I love showing people around and having the opportunity to do the touristy stuff in Seattle, doing it with my one of my best friends is even more of a treat. Come along with us. It’s Sam and Alli’s excellent adventure:
Alli got in late Thursday night, and I had to work Friday morning, but I left at lunchtime and we went to go see the Ballard Locks

After watching a Boat go through we headed out to Golden Gardens.

The beaver have been hard at work!

We went out for Ethiopian food for dinner, then headed downtown for a super-cool event at Seattle Art Museum.

Every time the SAM changes their featured exhibit they have a big gala event called SAM:remix. 
This particular soirée was celebrating the opening of a collection of abstract canvases and found object sculptures by Joan Miro.
This can definitely go in my house
This event was awesome! We got to wander through and see the new Miro exhibit, which was great. Miro is one of my favorite of the early surrealists. I love art that appears simple, but tells a complex story through color. I also had no idea that Miro did so much sculpture!
I must admit that the sculptures didn’t make as much of an impact on me as the paintings. I found the sculptures whimsical and amusing; I found the  canvases arresting and moving- I guess it’s just a matter of personal preference.

The Miro exhibit was great, but we also had a chance to amble through the SAM’s permanent collection. I love their gallery of African art.

These can also decorate my house (look closely, they’re made out of razor wire)

In addition to free reign of the gallery spaces and a delightful wine selection, this party had entertainment and creative participatory activities scattered throughout the museum. Each of the stations was related to Miro’s life and art! There was flamenco dancing:

Collaborative collage-ing:

Automatic drawing:

We made geometric jewelry out of found objects!

All-in-all it was a fantastic time: the music was good, the art was great, the activities were quirky and cool. I will definitely be attending more SAM:remixes in the future. 
After our arty-party we went home, and the next morning I got up bright and early for a nice 16 mile run. I managed not to get lost.

I refueled with a giant bowl of oatmeal; Alli and I got gussied up and headed down to Capitol Hill to do some thrifting and find out what the cool kids in Seattle are doing these days.
They are doing the Rhumba
And wearing masks

Next we headed to one of my favorite spots in the city: Pike Place Market. We wandered around for a bit, hit up the best free samples (pepper jelly, chukar cherries, and Mt. Townsend Creamery) and Alli picked out a new belt.

One of my favorite things to do at the market is buy a big beautiful bunch of produce and some great seafood to cook up a scrumptious seattle supper. Usually the prices are pretty good, and the quality is excellent. We made out like bandits in the veggies department, but got TOTALLY screwed on some very overpriced king crab.

After we paid for our crustaceans I was feeling a little bit like Sammy-Dick: the great white chump. However, we got our haul home, cracked a PHENOMENAL bottle of Bordeaux:

And we proceed to turn those overpriced crabs into an absolutely delicious dinner!

Great food with great wine and a great friend. I am a lucky guy.
The fun didn’t stop there! We had tickets to see Spectrum Dance Theater’s latest production: ‘The Minstrel Show, Revisited.”

This was an incredible performance. Donald Byrd originally choreographed the majority of this work in 1991. He updated the second act in response to the Trayvon Martin shooting (and had a powerful, emotionally charged segment that included readings from the transcript of George Zimmerman’s 911 call). The dancers performed most of the work in full greasepaint and black body-suits. The motions were all technically perfect, but with an eerie broken-down doll quality. This piece has been stirring up a lot of controversy (is minstrelry still truly relevant in the 21st century? Are we as enlightened and post-racial as we think we are? Was Miley Cyrus’ performance at the VMAs homage, cultural appropriation, exploitation or all three?) My impression of the show was that the dance was incredible (as it always is with spectrum). That said I think the messaging could have been more powerful if some of the imagery used wasn’t quite so overt and blatant: sometimes leaving something unsaid and implied is more powerful than having a dancer act it out directly. Be that as it may, Spectrum and Donald Byrd deserve to be applauded for consistently producing thought-provoking, challenging, moving, beautiful, funny, sexy, incredible pieces of dance.
Sunday was less action-packed. We started our day with Brunch at Bastille with Alli’s aunt and Uncle.
Bastille, in Ballard

Alli’s Uncle, Jock Sturges, is an incredible photographer. 
After brunch we toured around a few neighborhoods, and hit up the Fremont Sunday Market.
We found the Troll!

Sunday evening was leftovers and YouTube videos.

 I drove Alli to the airport and it was back to the Bacillus grind, with round two of Microbiology Recruitment kicking off on Monday morning. (No city tour for me this time, but we did have all the interviewees over to my house for dinner). 
I’m sad to see Alli go. It was so great to reconnect with my friend and show her around my city. Good thing I dont have to be sad for all that long, because Alli is moving up here in May!
That was part of the point of this visit, while we romped around and did the touristy thing we looked at several different houses. None of them were perfect (though one spot in Phinney Ridge came awfully close), but we got a solid idea of what the market is like right now and what types of places will be available to us. 
So Ciao for now, Alli. In just two short months I get a shiny, sexy, highly intelligent roommate! I am, of course, referring to Alli’s dog, Porter. 
OK Porter’s owner is pretty great too. She survived a rainy February weekend, an will be moving up here just in time for super-seattle-summer! I cannot wait for Alli to turn into a Seattlite.
Sorry for the excessively lengthy post, it was a fun-filled, action-packed weekend!

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