Archive for April, 2008

Rudy’s serves it up

I go to the Fremont Rudy’s to get my hair cut. I’ve been several times since I moved to Fremont in January. I don’t mind the usual wait of 20 or 30 minutes because Rudy’s has a plethora of reading material. There’s something for everyone, really. And if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t mind perusing softcore porn in public, Rudy’s is the place for you, too.

When I started going there earlier this year I noticed several Playboys hanging from the magazine rack. “Huh,” I thought to myself. “What kind of person would look at Playboy while waiting to get a haircut?” That was the totality of my thought on the subject until tonight when I noticed a kid (probably 12 years old) and his middle-aged father waiting to get haircuts. See, right behind the kid’s head hung a Penthouse. I paused at the sight and wondered if this trip to the barber was a little uncomfortable for the kid’s dad.

Dad: You sit here, Bobby. Here’s an issue of Seattle Sound. It’s cool, trust me.
Son: Why dad? I want to sit over there.
Dad: [Lame excuse for why the kid needs to face away from the wall.]

Honestly, if I was 12 years old and walked into a barbershop to see a Penthouse hanging on the wall I’d run home and call all of my friends and tell them to go get a haircut right now. But as an adult, for some reason, it made me stop and think. It’s amusing, really. I mean, I get it Rudy’s. You’re hip. You’re edgy. You’re not to be trifled with. But when I saw the Penthouse hanging behind the kid’s head, it all seemed so… affected.

Your stylists/barbers are still good, though. That’s the most important thing.

What say you? Is Rudy’s cooler for offering softcore porn in its waiting area or are they trying too hard? I’m genuinely curious what Seattle thinks about this (if anything at all).

I hate you Sea-Tac.

Let me count the ways…

1. Where the hell do people go to get a cab or get picked up?

I’m still confused by this. There’s the bottom level, where you get your luggage. Then there’s the upper level, where you check in. There’s a different cab area, that’s across the street. And even a place to hitch a ride on the roof. Okay, not really. But I wouldn’t be surprised.

2. The worst, longest lines ever.

I’ve been to many airports. Big ones (Atlanta-Hartsfield) and small ones (Flint, Michigan). I’ve been to the ones where you enter a weird enclosed chamber that blows wind at you (Fort Lauderdale). I’ve been to dangerous/smelly/get me out of here ones (Philly). And I’ve been to ones that don’t have any order at all (Bogota).

But Sea-Tac takes the cake on having the worst wait for security check ins. I’m normally in line for at least a half hour, if not much more, every single time, at different times, on all days. I’ve had to run to catch a plane, even though I arrived at the airport 2 hours before take off, because of the slow ass security check line. I’m not sure what they’re doing wrong, but it needs to be corrected. Fast.

3. Lost Luggage

I’ve never had a smooth experience with getting my luggage at Sea-Tac. Usually, I’m chasing it down, waiting at one area and then being told I have to wait at another area and then wait for a really long time while annoying kids climb over the conveyor belt as their stupid parents just stand there with blank looks on their faces.

4. Maybe I’m just jinxed.

I’ve never had major delays or problems with planes until I started flying at Sea-Tac. Last year, I was trying to get to Florida, when before take off, something happened to the plane. We couldn’t get off the hot, muggy plane until the problem was solved, 3 hours later. Because of this delay, I was stuck in Houston for a night. Sure, I arrived safely or whatever, but I couldn’t help being slightly irriatated that 1/8 of my vacation was spent talking to shitty airline people, being sent to a shitty hotel off some shitty highway, where I had to eat shitty food with the shitty $10 voucher I also had to wait for.

Sure, this probably has nothing to do with Sea-Tac per se, but since most of these flying frustrations happen here I have to blame them.

And that’s really it. No hard feelings okay? I mean I have to get places. Maybe you’ll change one day. But since I know that won’t happen any time soon, I’ll just have to keep hating everything about you.

My Fair Lady sparkles at Paramount

During the intermission of tonight’s opening night performance of My Fair Lady at the Paramount, I ran into a friend who described the show as “beautiful”.  It’s a fitting word–the production is rather lovely, with such exquisite attention paid to detail that it was easy to imagine having been transported to a glamourized version of Edwardian England.  It takes more than well-crafted sets and pretty costumes to make a good show, however, and it’s in the most important parts of a musical that the play truly shines.

The story of the often artificial separation between the social classes, the struggles faced when attempting to rise above one’s station and the dangers of middle class morality remains as provocative and entertaining as ever.   The show’s many famous songs were sung rather well and the dances delight.  It was the acting of the principal cast that made it most rewarding.  Christopher Cazenove fully mastered the delicate balance of keeping Professor Henry Higgins as insufferable and arrogant as he needs to be while remaining just enough shy of being an ogre to add believability to the warm feelings so many of the characters have for him despite his purely academic interest in the social graces.  Dana DeLisa was completely credible as both Eliza Doolittle the “guttersnipe” flower seller on the dirty streets of London and Eliza Doolittle the fine lady at the Embassy Ball.  DeLisa infuses Eliza with such charm that I found myself worried for her welfare even though I know how the story ends. 

Walter Charles as Colonel Pickering, Professor Higgins’ partner in scheming, is a likeable chap and serves his role of being Eliza’s buffer against the worst of Higgins’ rages well.  It’s a shame that the part of Henry’s mother, Mrs. Higgins, is so small because Marni Nixon (who provided the singing voice for Audrey Hepburn’s turn as Eliza in the famed film version of the story) was most appealing.  The stand out performance of the show for me was another minor, but important character.  Tim Jerome as Eliza’s rapscallion father, “England’s most original moralist” Alfred P. Doolittle, nearly steals the show every time he takes the stage in a charismatic performance that displays his impeccable comic timing.  His cheerful, shameless amoralism when we first meet him, followed by his later complaints of being “ruined” by respectability neatly satirizes the hidden hypocracy of the “good manners” practiced by the less directly spoken members of the social classes higher than his.  

The only performance in the play that I found a bit lacking was Justin Bohon’s portrayal of Freddy Eynsford-Hill, the idle son of an upper crust family who falls for Eliza.  To be fair, the role is underwritten:  the sole purpose for Freddy’s existence is so that Eliza can ponder marrying him but it was a bit of a stretch to imagine Eliza caring enough for this bland boy that she’d give him any sort of serious consideration.   This is my only complaint and it’s not a very serious one.  Overall, this is a show worth seeing, one that truly lives up to its billing as the revival against which all revivals will be measured. 

The show continues through May 4.

Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Options Multiply

Alaskan Way Viaduct
photo courtesy of velhainfancia [flickr]

Today, the State DOT released ten new options they’re considering for replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct.



I can’t wait to see this ballot:

  • Bored tunnel
  • Cut-and-cover tunnel
  • Depressed lidded roadway
  • Alaskan Way boulevard
  • Alaskan Way/Western Avenue
  • Alaskan Way surface expressway
  • Aerial roadway
  • Viaduct retrofit
  • Elliott Bay Bridge
  • Elevated roadway
  • Integrated roadway built into development

Despite voters turning down the tunnel and replacement options last year, they’re both being reconsidered in a variety of forms. Fortunately, the DOT will be paring down the list to a ‘handful’ by December 1st so the Governor can review it and make her recommendation. We should probably be happy that the DOT is exploring options other than Billion Dollar Tunnel and Ugly Gigantic Viaduct, but it’s still a little disconcerting that after our vote of last year several different tunnel and replacement options are being researched.

But, hey, who am I to talk? If it were up to me, I’d go with the Bored Tunnel or the Depressed Lidded Roadway. I mean, who knew our infrastructure could be so emotionally complex?

[via Seattle Times]

Ardent Sentry exercises

According to city officials and FEMA, a series of military drills known as the Ardent Sentry exercises will be taking place in Seattle from May 1-8. I wasn’t initially alarmed by this, but knowing FEMA’s track record, I dug around a bit on just what the hell “Ardent Sentry” means, and it turns out that they were the same drills conducted on 9/11 and the 7/7 subway attacks in London.

Now, I’m not about to run outside and yell about the sky fallling and terrorists hiding in the bushes, but it’s worth noting that this is taking place in our city, and the people should be informed (since you’re probably not going to hear a damn thing about any of this otherwise.)

According to a snippet from here,, the exercises involve the following:

The overall exercise scenario unfolds as a Category 4 hurricane threatens the National Capitol Region (NCR) while events in the Pacific Northwest include terrorist attacks involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the state of Washington and an accidental release of a chemical agent at chemical stockpile facility in Umatilla, Oregon. The scenario culminates with the hurricane’s imminent landfall combined with a credible terror threat to the NCR which causes the federal government to invoke continuity plans and capabilities.

Hurricane drills? Up here? I could understand earthquake drills, and the WMD fear has become all but commonplace in today’s times…but when it comes to the government, what the left hand is doing behind the scenes while the right hand is clearly visible is what worries me the most.

SLU Park Phase 1 opening

Tomorrow afternoon the Parks Foundation and friends will be opening the first phase of South Lake Union Park, the other project aside from the Streetcar that has been snarling traffic and throwing up fences and piles of mud in the neighborhood for the past forever. From 11:30 – 1:00 there’s going to be a party for the 1.6 acre preview of what will eventually be a 12-acre span of green space [SPF].

Things that will be happening include: a salmon bake, boat rides, history lessons with MOHAI, the Bubble Man (!), basketweaving, and prize giveaways. I suppose you could even ride the streetcar down during lunch to check out the festivities, make it a complete South Lake Union experience.

I haven’t heard anything further about what role the Wawona will play in the park, not since September when Northwest Seaport announced their intention to berth it on land near the entrance, but I’m sure it’ll eventually show up in some form or another, although probably not until the full opening in 2010.

ZooTunes Lineup Announced

If you ever find yourself asking yourself what could possibly be better than an outdoor concert during the summer months, let me tell you that the answer is an outdoor concert during the summer months at the Woodland Park Zoo.

Every summer the lovely and spacious North Meadow at the zoo is transformed into a fun and inviting outdoor concert venue as part of their annual ZooTunes music series.  The family-friendly festival allows concert-goers to bring for free one 12 years old and under child with them (your Little Brother or Sister, perhaps?) per paid ticket.  Ticket prices vary per show but generally run between $18 and $28 and are available in advance at the Zoo’s gates or at local Metropolitan Markets with a small service fee.  Additionally, a small amount of tickets will be available on TicketWeb on May 5.  These tickets will go fast, so if you want to go, you’d better get to buying.

This year’s line-up: 

  • June 24: Keb’ Mo’ / Taj Mahal – $28
  • June 25: Keb’ Mo’/Taj Mahal – $28
  • June 29: Indigo Girls with special guests- $24
  • July 16: Marc Cohn / Aimee Mann – $22
  • July 23 – Andrew Bird $17
                     Josh Ritter
  • July 24 – Emmylou Harris $29.50
                     Jimmy Gaudreau and Moondi Klein
  • July 27: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – $19
                               Marc Broussard
  • August 13: Boz Scaggs with special guests – $24
  • August 21: Amos Lee with special guests – $18
  • August 27 – The Avett Brothers $18
                                  Shawn Mullins

Thursday Traffic Warning: Downtown

Copied from Metro’s website:

On Thursday, May 1, from about 4:00 to 6:30 PM bus service will be affected by the May Day march along S Jackson St and on 4th Avenue in downtown Seattle, and in the Seattle Center area.

During this event buses will remain on regular route and will serve their normal stops, however crowds and traffic may cause delays of one hour or more on Metro and Sound Transit service that operates through downtown Seattle.

Delays caused by the event in downtown Seattle and in the Seattle Center area will affect operations throughout Metro’s service area, as any bus that must travel through those areas will then be late along the rest of its route. Therefore, transit customers in other parts of King County may also be affected by the downtown area event.

Fourth Avenue downtown is expected to be the most heavily affected street, however congestion may occur anywhere in the area.

Fourth Avenue bus service will not be rerouted; it will be delayed behind the march. (more…)

The Dark Knight

Viral marketing hits Seattle tonight. Anyone and everyone who hass been following all the viral marketing surrounding The Dark Knight, will meet at the following coordinates: 47°36’37.30″N 122°20’38.29″W at T minus 5:50 (or so), as described on this website. Word on the street is that everyone who shows up will be following clues that will lead to a preview of the as-yet unreleased trailer (read the clues: TRAIL+ER) of The Dark Knight.

Tulip Festival extended

This year’s crazy weather seems to have made the Skagit Valley tulips’ blooming season all wonky, so the fine folks at the Tulip Festival have decided to extend the festivities a few days, until Sunday. All of the other activities–Deception Pass tours, wine tastings, and so on–will keep going too.

Last year I played hooky and went up to the festival in the morning on a weekday. The fields were mostly empty of people and we happened on a cidery that was in the middle of bottling a new batch, and they were more than willing to let a couple of visitors have a taste or three.

According to the Skagit Valley Herald, “Many businesses planned tulip-related events based somewhat on last season’s bloom — which saw tulips out relatively early — only to see this year’s bloom come very late…There are still acres of blooming tulips and even a few spots where tulips are yet to fully bloom. Flowers at the two display gardens, RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town, are in full force and will remain so through the end of the festival.”

The Bloom map can tell you where to go to find the fields that are still in color.

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