Gasp. July?! It doesn’t feel like July. In fact, NYC feels an awful lot like… Seattle.

Meanwhile, on a more serious observation: thanks to the state senate’s continued debacle, NYC had to revive the old Board of Education, with a new Board (at least for the time being) – legally reconvening, picking a new president, and then voting to keep the chancellor and keeping business going. NY Times’ City Room blog seemed to have done a good job covering the subject. Many things in the state are affected. When will the state senate get on with their business? Stay tuned.

This article about a law graduate who was denied admission because of his huge loans affecting the approval on grounds of character and fitness — kind of jaw dropping. Not so much that this guy had such a huge debt and hadn’t done such a great job at paying back due to all kinds of setbacks – but that it was viewed by the judges as a negative on his character and fitness to be a lawyer – even though Character and Fitness committee approved him. Ouch. Maybe the judges just didn’t believe him, but who’s to say; to become a lawyer, it’s not just the bar exam.

An interesting analysis of this term’s US Supreme Ct., by NY Times Adam Liptak – J. Kennedy really is the ultimate swing justice.

The passing of Karl Malden. “Don’t leave home with them” – ye olde American Express commercials. I forgot he was in “A Streetcar Named Desire”; quite the character actor and even a president of the Academy (as in Academy Awards, aka Oscars).

Back to Seattle

I’m back in Seattle for a conference. This is the first time I have been away from P- since the wedding. Flight got in about 8 local time and didn’t get dinner until 10, which is like 2 am NY time. Hit a sushi happy hour at Redfin, the house restaurant of Hotel Max. I’m staying at the Sheraton Seattle which is a massive hotel. I’m on the 32nd floor and there are 30 rooms on each floor.

Will wake up late and try to find Salumi, the fabled cured meat emporium.

Seattle recap

This is a food recap for my trip last week to Seattle for a tech conference. Many of the sessions were very long-term career oriented, reflecting upon the fact that many that started in the 70’s PC era are now on their way to retirement. Food for thought.
Elephant & Castle: Originally an English pub chain now spreading in the US, this was the local bar in my hotel that was the default hangout when things didn’t exactly work out. Food was pretty authentic, and many beers on tap. They also have 2 happy hours daily!

Pike Place Market:  Lowell’s – excellent views of the waterfront, and an excellent Dungeness crab cocktail at a good price. Recommended. Original Starbucks: must visit for the Pike Place Blend (apparently now available by mail order). Pike Place Fish Market – King Strips (salmon belly jerky) is my favorite, but their traditional cuts of smoked salmon are of course fantastic. Recommended

Costco: this warehouse store has become a destination on all of my domestic trips. I had previously mentioned my experiences on my Hawaii, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas excursions. First, they have the cheapest gas ($2.75 vs the regional average of $3.08 per gallon). Second, it is always an economical place to purchase regional souvenirs. Third, they always have suitable clothing for the environment (it dropped down to 30 degrees, and I picked up some high-tech thermal underwear). Fourth, the vast majority of the people shopping at Costco are locals, so you get to see what they are like. The thing that made this special was that Seattle is home to Costco’s original warehouse #1.  They have a small historical timeline against a portion of the original wall (they had expanded their building) When I leave home, I bring my Costco card with me.

Marrakesh Morrocan restaurant: great food for groups. Decor makes you believe that you are in a bedouin tent. The 5 course set menu is the best value. Recommended.

Convention special event was at the Boeing Museum of Flight, where we got to check out the original hangar, and see a wide array of air and space craft. Can’t wait to fly a 787 Dreamliner. The catering was excellent – must have had a dozen mini crab cakes!

Crab Pot:  Last time we feasted here on seafood. This time I came alone for my classic Dungeness crab after driving to and from Hood River  in the Columbia River Valley (beautiful scenery) and Portland, which was 4 hours each way. The server was a former mortgage broker and night club owner.  He had mentioned how Seattle has grown and become even more congested in the last few years. While people in the northwest are far more ecologically conscious than most, the traffic jams and suburban sprawl are becoming a serious problem for future growth and sustainability.

Before the drive down to Portland, I made a stop at Rick Steves’  headquarters north of Seattle. It is literally a one-stop shop if you are considering a Europe trip. Every known guide book is available for free reading in their library, as well as a complete set of Steeves’ videos in a separate room. If you know your itinerary, you can purchase Europasses there, as well as a complete line of travel gear. Good to check out if you are in the area.

Three big races this weekend: NYC Marathon (Sunday),  US Olympic Marathon Trials (the day before on the original NYC Marathon course, 5+ laps around Central Park).  Amazing Race 12 begins this Sunday at 8 PM EST (remember to fall back 1 hour Sunday morning). Look out for Ronald and Christine, a Chinese-American father and daughter team.