Archive for October, 2005

Friday Afternoon Discussion #2: Transportation

Let’s say an eccentric billionaire handed you $20B in cash and told you to build out the Seattle mass-transit system infrastructure. The only catch is that you can only choose one of four methods of improvement (no multi-modal systems allowed):

  1. Light Rail
  2. Monorail
  3. Bus-related improvements (including bus-only lanes, high-speed express buses)
  4. Road-related improvements (including freeway rebuilds, new freeways and bridges, and more travel lanes)

Which method of improvement would you choose? Why? Is there one that’s not listed that you would implore the eccentric billionaire to consider?

Sino-Iberian Syncretism: Jack’s Mainly Chinese Tapas Cafe?

點心 vs. Tapas: Fight!

We saw this sign on the Ave and 52nd St this evening and wondered why tapas would be a better choice than dim sum as the shorthand for small portions of Chinese food. Anyone tried this place out?

Jack's Tapas Cafe

Wild Ginger

Of all Seattle restaurants, none seem quite so divisive as the Wild Ginger. Bring up the topic in any group of knowledgeable Seattle diners, and you’ll find hotly argued disagreements immediately ignite. Seattlites either love or hate it.

For those not in the know, Wild Ginger is a pan-Asian fusion food gourmet restaurant in the heart of downtown, across the street from Beyaroya Hall. It’s quite a large restaurant that goes for and achieves a dimly lit romantic yet hip-happenin’ crowd kind of decor. It’s quite good for the fancy date, but also well suited for big groups with a little cash to spend.

Personally, I’ve always found the food to be fantastic. Their duck is a specialty, and worth getting every time. The seafood is also generally quite excellent. I’ve heard bad things about the curry, but then I don’t go to Wild Ginger to order curry.

As you might have guessed, I’m a fan. I’ve never had bad service at this restaurant, and the food’s always been very good indeed. But if you have a Wild Ginger horror story, please share it, as I’m still curious as to what anyone could find to dislike about this restaurant.

Upcoming shows to see

I know that all I’ve been doing lately is telling you all to go do stuff, but there’s just so much going on. And so here I go again:

First of all, Key Note Speaker will be playing on Tuesday November 1st at Chop Suey (with The John Benders, Penny Romance, and Eastern Grip). Now, I don’t think you should go and see them because they gave me a friend-requested birthday shout out at the Liquid Lounge, or because in August I was at the same party as the keyboard player, or even because they’re a really attractive group of fellows. No, I think you should go and see them because they’re a great band, because they do “bring the rock.” They play songs that are fun and intense live, and then get stuck in your head for the rest of the week. Like the review at Nada Mucho said: ” Their songs are simple enough to be catchy and stick in your head, but complex enough to warrant repeated listens…” Trust me, you’ll like it. Besides, what else are you doing to do on a Tuesday night? Tickets are $6, and doors are at 8:00.

Have a listen: “What Went Wrong” [mp3], “Trouble” [ mp3]. and “Pretty” [mp3].

Also, Tullycraft has released their latest album on vinyl, which means that they have finally announced more show dates, and I am so excited I could spit. I won’t, but I could. They’ll be playing on November 5th at Bellingham’s Pickford Dreamspace, and on December 10th at the Paradox [#].
I know that the Seattle show is a month and a half away, but this is Tullycraft. They stole my heart with “Pop Songs Your New Boyfriend’s Too Stupid to Know About” and have been steadily forcing me toward fangirl status with their sunny, twee style. Their last album, “Disenchanted Hearts Unite,” has caused an impromptu dance party everywhere I’ve brought it (up to and including the Beijing airport). I could go on, but I’m afraid I might choke on my own enthusiasm. Tullycraft is one of my favorite bands, and I think that by December, we’re all going to need a little more twee dance partying.

Samples! “Stowaway” [mp3] and “Our Days in Kansas” [mp3].

echoes of the bubble : another cutiepants internet grocery

spud_10262005.jpg
spud: i want you to want me

My heart still aches whenever I’m reminded of the untimely demises of kozmo.com and homegrocer.com. Although I appreciate the minor exercise that I’m forced to endure whenever a craving for food or entertainment strikes me at off hours, nothing really compares to the delight of typing your wishes into the internet and getting results in a matter of minutes. Not to mention the joy of having boxes of groceries appear at your door without any of the hassle of actually going to the store and carting them home. [Ed: don’t Albertson’s and Safeway do delivery? –yes, but it just isn’t the same]

For those who are willing to trust their consumer loyalties to a new electronic suitor, there’s a new kid in town with intentions on wooing you for all of your crunchy grocery needs. Canadian import, SPUD.com (small potatoes urban delivery) wants to save you the trouble of making a trip to your regular organic-friendly neighborhood grocery by dropping off icy cool buckets of fresh goodies on your front porch. Deliveries of more than $35 are free; so it might be worth a try. That is, if you’re able to guard yourself against the possibility that this new internet crush will totally stomp all over your heart when they’re forced to close up shop or leave town.

Has anyone given them a shot?
(via seattle p-i [#])

My must-do “25”

After a couple of years of hard work, the 25 for $25 promotions have gotten to be a little bit difficult. Here are the rules:

  1. I don’t want to repeat a place I’ve been to before. (Although, as usual, the in-laws are coming for thanksgiving, and they liked the Yarrow Bay Grill 25 we went to, so I may end up breaking that rule.)
  2. I’m picky about what I eat, and the husband is on a diet that has impossible restrictions.
  3. I don’t want to go too far out of my way. Or actually pay for parking.

So, what’s a girl to do?

Well, I know one place I definitely want to try is this November’s “new participant” restaurant: Campagne. It’s a little far out of my way, but heck. I’ve been wondering about them forEVER. As for my other pick… well, we’ll see. I may end up waiting to see what the secret food critic has to say. Stay tuned.

starbucks watch: increasing sample size

sbuckschallenge_10252005.jpg

Green LA Girl has started a campaign to survey the Starbuckses of the world to see how well they adhere to their promise to make Fair Trade coffee available to those who want a little progressivism with their caffeine. From their statement on “Fair Trade, and Coffee Social Responsibility”:

Whole-bean Fair Trade Certified coffee is available for purchase in our North American company operated stores. In addition, Fair Trade Certified coffee has been promoted by Starbucks as a brewed

It’s pumpkin carving time

On my way to a pumpkin-carving party last night, I stopped at the only grocery store en route to my destination — the Larry’s in Oaktree. And there, I discovered that they have locally-grown pumpkins for 9 cents a pound.

Nine cents a pound is an excellent price, and they were all great quality and locally-grown. And the sales runs through October 31.

So, I say you should support your local supermarket and buy a local pumpkin at an outrageously cheap price. Outside of the produce stands and trucks in this city, you’re going to be hard-pressed to beat that price.

very emergency : yet another googlemaphack

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unknown odor!

Fulfilling the ancient prophesy that for every quirky web service there shall one day be a Google Maps (Local?) implementation, there is now a way to fritter away your afternoon watching to see where emergencies rearing their ugly heads. For a long time, the City of Seattle has provided real-time listings of 911 incidents [#]. While that was compelling on its own, something about visualizing all of the problem sites on a map with cute little icons to tell whether the case is open or closed makes it all the more watchable. By mashing up data from the city fire department and realscanner.com, Seattle 911, while a lot less funny than Reno 911, is still a fun way to pretend like you have your own little situation room on your desktop.

reminder : hang out with us at the Elysian tonight

nightowl_10252005.jpg
indulge your pumpkin ale obsession

Metroblogging Seattle will be at the Elysian tonight [upcoming] for drinking, dining, and conversational opportunities. You should be there too — it will be much more fun that way! Chat us up about things you love or hate about the city, give us ideas for posts, or ask questions about joining [mb] our merry band of metrobloggers. Talking about non-city, non-internet topics is also likely and encouraged!

Hope to see some of you at 7 pm.

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