Summer in Seattle--Week 1

Greetings and salutations! As the many of you who follow the TWIF Facebook and twitter may have surmised, I am the new intern for The World is Fun!

My Name is Patrick Killen, and these entries to our esteemed blog will be your peek into my peek of your fair city and what is has to offer to the unenlightened outsider. But first, I must properly introduce myself.

Who am I and why do you care?

My name, as I said, is Patrick, and I hail from Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Which, fyi, is the capitol of the state, not New Orleans). You may be asking why I would choose to make my way all the way to the far-off northwest for an internship, and to this I can easily respond with a picture:

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But in addition to escaping the hellish nightmare which is a deep-south summer, I also wanted to experience the sights and culture of a city in which I may very well spend the next several years. But more on that later – I will reveal more of mysordid past and character as my adventure in Seattle goes on and I post more of these blogs.

The main thing you will need to know is that, while I have traveled a fair amount, all of my impressions of Seattle will be compared to Louisiana. I think it will quickly become obvious why I thought coming here would be a good idea.

Onward to the first adventure!

What I’m doing here

My Internship with TWIF consists of a variety of tasks and responsibilities, one of which will be this blog – or more accurately the adventures that I describe herein. Each week, my esteemed overlords internship directors will give me a task or set of instructions (scavenger-hunt style) that I am to complete and then write about my experiences. The task for this week began here:

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Or rather, with my first meeting with Amy at Cupcake Royale on East Pike Street. It was here that she issued to me a Seattle survival kit

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And a bundle of 3 sealed envelopes (one red, one green and one purple) and a black box.

I considered the kit itself as my first test. The umbrella was a nice try, but a set of 3 personal circumstances led me not to trust it:

  1. I have done my research and know that there’s no faster way to be spotted as a tourist than to be seen using an umbrella.
  2. Earlier that morning I already spent a cringe-inducing amount of money on a rain jacket at REI(which will insure I eat nothing but ramen noodles for the next couple of weeks)
  3. I come from a state where we have powerful thunderstorms on a regular basis. Taking out an umbrella in Seattle-level rain would be equally scorned in Louisiana as it would be here.

The poncho I kept, of course. It’s small and compact enough to keep on me, if only for emergencies. I kept the map as well, it can be carried easily and opened discretely enough that most people wouldn’t notice. The camera, buttons, and business cards also came along. The cupcake and the umbrella were dropped off back at the friend’s apartment where I’m staying.

The Red envelope instructed me to open it first, revealing a blue piece of paper with instructions printed on it and a $5 bill paper-clipped to it. The paper instructed me to go to 701 5th Ave, and hand the bill to whoever was at the information desk, asking, “where it would take me”.

The building at 701 5th Ave turned out to be the Colombia Center, and the $5 bill ended up taking me to the Sky View deck on the 73rd floor. The fellow at the front desk was most helpful and barely batted an eye when I handed him $5 and asked where it’d get me. I imagine if I had done so with a $100 bill, I may have ended up somewhere much different, maybe some sort of underground business lounge were cigar-smoking moguls play baccarat and such.

But I guess TWIF wanted to save something for me to do next week.

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Anywho, I made my way to the sky view deck and looked out on the city of Seattle, which made the reasons for this part of the task abundantly clear:

  1. The Space Needle is for chumps. I mean seriously, it looked pitiful from up there.
  2. This is Seattle. This is what you’ll be exploring and experiencing for the next 2 months. Take a good, long look.
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 I imagine that the Colombia Center is Seattle’s version of 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. Once you’ve gone to the “Top of the Rock” you understand that people don’t climb the Empire State Building for the views, they climb it to say they climbed the Empire State Building. If you really want to see the city, you’d be on top of 30 Rock. There is a similar alternative view in Venice, but for the sake of brevity (ha!) I’ll let you explore that for yourself. The point is, this is the kind of experience which is more true to the spirit of the city. This is where you want to be to really appreciate where you are and just how many goddamn hills you’ve been climbing up and down since you got here.

It was here that I was instructed to open the green envelope. Inside, there was a card for a free tall coffee at Starbucks, and instruction to go to the Starbucks on the 40th floor for some refreshment (“This is Seattle, after all”, the card said). After securing my beverage, I was instructed to open the purple envelope.

Inside, it gave directions to the Market Theater, where I was to go and open the black box. Amy was clearly also trying to determine if I had been paying attention to my surroundings, because the directions on the card told me to turn the wrong way (nice try again, Amy.)

I made my way to the Pike Place Market, and down the ramp to the entrance of the Market Theater where I opened the box to discover…

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What? What was I supposed to do with this?

One trip to Wikipedia later (thank god for smartphones) I turned the corner to discover this.

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Gross.

But you know, when in Rome. So I made my contribution:

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And thus my task was at its end. I hope my performance was satisfactory!

What will bizarre tasks will next week hold? Is there more to this city than bubblegum walls and residents with disturbingly muscular calves? What the hell am I going to do with the rest of this gum?!

Come back next week to read more about my Summer in Seattle!

Now excuse me while I go wash my hands. Thoroughly.

-By Patrick Killen