Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Jet City won't let you go without a fight

Wow, it's hard to believe that the day is almost here. Andy and I head out of Seattle on Thursday. We lose internet access tomorrow, so this will be our last post until we are on the road. We are hoping to blog a bit from our trek, but it depends on internet access. Hopefully, this long post will tide you over for a while.

Tomorrow morning, Sydney flies to NC with my parents, who very graciously offered to fly her back for us, so that we can pick her up "on the way" to Indiana. With Sydney's impending departure and numerous goodbyes to our friends, the move has become increasingly real. We are definitely happy to be moving to Indiana, into our new house (!), where we'll be much closer to family, but we are also pretty sad to be leaving this great city.

So, I guess it's time for our what we will miss about Seattle list. Obviously, we will miss our fantastic friends the most (please, come visit!). Other than that, here's (some of) what we'll miss in no particular order.
  • Schmitz Park Nature Preserve - This Seattle city park was blocks from our house and is made up of forest and trails. Much of it is old growth, and it's pretty damn amazing. Plus, though not technically allowed, it tends to be a great off leash area for dogs. In the summer, this was our favorite Ramona exercise spot.

  • Manny's - It's no secret that we love this beer.
  • Salmon - damn, the salmon's good here, and the dungeness crab too.
  • Beecher's cheese - yummy cheese made at Pike Place Market
  • Compost in the yard waste bin - okay, so it's kind of weird, but it's so fabulous to be able to put all of your compost in your yard waste bin (this one is just Elizabeth)
  • Hiking - aside from the nature preserve, there's so much hiking near Seattle (Mt. Ranier, Olympic National Park, the Cascades).
  • Mt. Ranier - um, it's fucking awesome to see a mountain when you are just driving around town doing errands. The views of Puget Sound ain't half bad either!
  • Sushi - It's true you can get sushi in Indiana, but it's definitely not the same. Ditto for Thai food.
  • Live music - It's pretty great to live somewhere with such great live music. If tomorrow night weren't our last night in town, we'd have to choose between The Decembrists at the Moore and Nada Surf at the Triple Door. Crazy.
  • Skiiing - Though we didn't make it this year (d'oh!), we'll definitely miss the proximity to good skiing.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Mrs. Peacock, with the knife...

Things have been getting pretty hectic around here with the packing, the social calender filling up, and the imminent arrival of Elizabeth's parents. So blogging has been falling lower and lower on our priority list. I did want to do a quick post about one of our favorite (sort of) off the beaten path spots in Seattle, the Volunteer Park Conservatory. If you are in Seattle and you've never been, you should totally check it out. It's technically free, but I always enjoy myself enough to throw a buck or two into the donation box. Here are a few pics from inside when we were there last weekend with Josh and Cheyenne.

And of course, no trip to a greenhouse is complete without a little orchid porn...

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Most Important Meal of the Day

Continuing with our Seattle nostalgia, it's time for our top ten breakfast spots. As many of you know, we love breakfast foods of both the sweet and savory varieties. Seattle is home to more than its fair share of brunch places. Full disclosure, our favorites tend to be in or near neighborhoods in which we lived (Ballard, West Seattle). Without further ado, here's our top ten.

10. Senor Moose - tasty, Mexican influenced breakfast, right across
from our old gym. We went there when it first opened and was still called Cafe Moose.

9. Luna Park - retro decorations (old school lunch boxes, an old Batman ride), tasty diner-y food. It's named after the amusement park that VERY briefly resided in West Seattle. You can also buy growlers of Manny's here for only $7 as reported earlier.

8. Eats Market Cafe - Surrounded by Bed Bath and Beyond and Target, this little cafe is a pleasant surprise. Their take on biscuits and gravy (turkey gravy) turns out to be quite tasty. I liked their sliders - biscuits packed with eggs, cheese, and bacon. Yum!

7. Top Pot - our favorite doughnuts in the city (world???). I am going to miss their pumpkin and cinnamon sugar old fashioned, while Andy generally gets a hankering for one of their raspberry bismarcks.

6. Portage Bay Cafe - located across the street from my old lab, this
tasty cafe has a variety of omelettes as well as a toppings bar
(filled with fruit, whipped cream, syrup) for their sweet offerings. We almost always end up ordering the Ranchers breakfast, which comes with eggs, bacon, potatoes, AND pancakes or french toast (which can be topped with items from their toppings bar).

5. Coastal Kitchen / Endolyne Joes - Chow Foods owns both of these restaurants, one in Capital Hill, one in West Seattle. We definitely frequented Endolyne Joes more, but our favorite menu item from either is the gingerbread waffles from Coastal Kitchen.

4. Easy Street - Finally, a record store with brunch! What more do you need? We highly recommend the Easy Rider (grilled cheese + egg and bacon!).

3. Mae’s Phinney Ridge Cafe - If you want a giant omelette overflowing
with mix-ins, this is your place. They also have cinnamon roll french toast (!)
and good pancakes. You really can't go wrong! Plus, they have a cow themed room with booths representing the mouth and belly of a cow.

2. Circa - This topped the best burger list (which is available at brunch), and it nearly pulls off the best breakfast. We just have nothing bad to say about our favorite all around Seattle eatery. Go, eat!

And our overall favorite is...

1. The Dish - located a mere two blocks from our old apartment, The Dish quickly became our favorite breakfast out. The space is pretty tiny, so expect to wait on the weekends, but once you sit, the service is pretty good, and the food is amazing.

We are sad to leave this city for many reasons, not the least of which are the breakfast options. Luckily, we've already found a yummy place in Indianapolis!

Take part in our breakfast poll!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

That IS a tasty buger!

It's time to start lamenting things we'll miss about Seattle, and for some reason or another hamburgers is the first thing we are going to talk about. I certainly don't think I'll have trouble finding good burgers in Indianapolis, but we've found some pretty tasty burgers here. Enough tasty burgers, in fact, that we've come up with a top five:

5. Burgermaster - There are a few locations (Aurora North, Everett ) but the only one I've burgered is the one in the U-district. It seems like it's going to be an old-tymey drive-up, but inside it's more like a 60s diner where all the old folks meet to gossip and tell lies. Plus, burgomaster is defined as the chief magistrate in a small European town, so in the movie Frankenstein, it sounded like people kept yelling, "Call the Burgermaster!"

4. Sport - This is a sports bar "in the shadow of the Space Needle." But executive chef and owner John Howie makes a kick-ass burger that you can have with either Angus or Kobe beef. Maybe if I'd ever ordered the Kobe-burger it would be higher on the list, but as it is you can't ask for a better burger from a sports bar.

3. Dicks - A Seattle staple for over 50 years, very little has changed at Dicks. The prices have only been adjusted for inflation, the menu is still limited to about 6 items, and as Maddux pointed out by reading the literature on their bags, they have a good business model. I prefer the deluxe, while Elizabeth usually goes with the traditional cheeseburger.

2. Red Mill - Their double-bacon-cheeseburger made a list of the top 20 burgers you must eat before you die that GQ Magazine put out a couple of years ago. Plus they once had an ad that said, "Want your butt to be the size of the Kalakala? Eat at Red Mill." The "no cellphones" policy certainly helps as well.

1. Circa - Our favorite restaurant and it insanely still doesn't have a website. We've never had anything bad from here (fish & chips, crab cakes, etc.) but the CircaBurger just may be the best thing on the menu. It's just a gussied-up cheeseburger, but it's extremely high quality meat, and they dress it up just right. The next time you are near the Admiral Junction in West Seattle, do yourself a favor and eat at Circa!

**honorable mention goes to the Tillamook Cheeseburger from the Centralia Burgerville, conveniently located just 105 minutes south of Seattle!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Free Stuff

Andy and I learned something today. People in Seattle love bookshelves! We posted a book shelf and a desk on the free stuff page on Craig's List. We received more than a dozen calls/emails about the book shelf. People in Seattle apparently like bookshelves like Ramona likes tennis balls.

Through this process, I found myself fascinated by the free stuff available in Seattle. You can get a lot of cool stuff free, at least in Seattle. There were well over 200 items posted today! Items to be given away included everything from firewood to bikes to an organ. I had to know what other cities were giving away. It turns out Indianapolis is not so into free stuff. There were only 6 posts for today, one of them was about a Chick Fil-A in Nobleville giving away free food. Raleigh had about 30. My favorite item, actually from yesterday, was a collection of pop/hip hop tapes (including 2 Hammer albums!). For reference, Portland had less than 100 posts, while San Fran had about 300.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I heart Ryan Gosling

Andy here. You'd think that I'd be the one posting about P.S. Hoffman and Elizabeth would be more into the dreamy Ryan Gosling, but that is not the case. We recently watched the movie Lars and the Real Girl starring a mustachioed Gosling, and it was an incredibly sweet little film. Basically, it is extremely sad and funny at the same time, plus it's about a guy pretending a giant sex doll is a real woman. How a film this gentle and endearing was made by the director of Mr. Woodcock, I'll never really understand.

Anyway, if you've never seen Gosling in action, you should definitely check out is Oscar-nominated performance in Half Nelson. I like him so much that I will watch him in just about anything.

Monday, January 14, 2008

More pictures of our new house

There have been lots of questions about our new house, so I thought I'd post a few pictures of the inside. We are really excited to make it our own!

The living room---note the very cozy looking cat

The kickass kitchen with beautiful cabinets

The giant attic master bedroom with built in shelves

The dining room


Is there a more beautiful sight than a keg of Mannys?This one was at our last Seattle party (!) this weekend, and we dominated it! For the record, Andy was correct in suggesting we needed a bigger keg. It did not occur to me that we could possibly run out of beer so quickly (well before midnight). [Many thanks to Bob and Brent for making a much needed beer run!]

A good time was had by all, even Mr. R.
Update: an account of the party can be found at Heather and Shawn's blog.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Happiness is a cold Manny's


For those of you in Indianapolis (or with connections), Google's creepy-yet-fun street view has come to the Circle City. Over the Christmas holiday we were able to show people the house we bought on streetview. To use it, just go to Google Maps, enter Indianapolis, IN, zoom in a bit and hit "street view" in the upper-right hand corner. They have street view for Portland, OR, too, but not for Seattle.

And to close the post, a picture of Princess Kitty-cat enjoying a freshly made bed.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

i heart P.S. Hoffman

We saw The Savages the other night and Charlie Wilson's War recently, and both just added fuel to the fire that is my love for Philip Seymour Hoffman. The Savages also happens to costar my favorite contemporary actress, Laura Linney. Both of these films are very much worth checking out. Each showcases a different aspect of PSH's range. The Savages is a more subtle role, while his character in Charlie Wilson's War is a loud mouth and pretty much a badass.

He always gives such a great performances, from the creepy to the completely endearing. My favorite of his roles: Phil in Magnolia, Lester Bangs in Almost Famous, Gust in Charlie Wilson's War, and Sandy in Along Came Polly (THE reason to see this movie).

I don't love him quite enough to buy this painting though.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


We were jamming to some tunes today, doing a little packing, when a song from the High Fidelity Soundtrack came up on the pod. Elizabeth claimed that it was the best soundtrack ever, which got us to thinking, in honor of High Fidelity, what are the top 5 soundtracks of all time? I decided there should be some rules to such a list. A musical is out--it just isn't in the spirit of the soundtrack when it is basically the thing that moves the movie's plot forward. Plus, eliminating musicals saves me from the embarrassment of having Little Shop of Horrors or The Little Mermaid on my list. Also, I decided that it should be a compilation of some sort, which rules out Badly Drawn Boy's About a Boy soundtrack. That really isn't a compilation, it's just an album by BDB. Also, I'm not talking about musical scores here, either. That would be a completely different category.'s my top 5:

5. O, Brother, Where Art Thou? -This one just happened along right when I was kind of getting into bluegrass anyway, so it was a perfect fit.

4. Juno - This is shamelessly on the list because of its newness. I'd be surprised if it would make this list a year from now.

3. High Fidelity - There really isn't a misstep on this. Even the Jack Black-Al Green number holds up pretty well.

2. Pulp Fiction - This one was in heavy rotation for a long, long time, and I still can't hear a song from it without placing it in the movie, which is unfortunate for "Comache" by The Revels

1. Rushmore - The opening riff to "Making Time" by The Creation is badass enough to land this soundtrack at the top of the list, especially since I'd never heard it before watching the movie.

Elizabeth's top 5
5. Magnolia - Even the Supertramp doesn't dampen my love of this songtrack filled with some of Aimee Mann's best songs (barely fits the category above, being mostly Aimee Mann tunes, but I think it counts).

4. The Life Aquatic - Portuguese covers of David Bowie songs. Really, what more do you need?

3. Rushmore - Solid.

2. Immortal - a bunch of Chapel Hill bands for a very obscure movie...need to put this one on the pod.

1. High Fidelity - And definitely the one I listen to the most.
In high school, Dazed and Confused and The Crow EASILY would have made this list.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Holiday Road

We sat down the other day and started to plan our trip across the country. We are leaving Seattle on January 31 and expect to arrive in Indiana on February 14. Stops along (and not so along) the way include Portland, OR, The Redwood Forest, Yosemite National Park, The Grand Canyon, Carrboro, NC, and much, much more! We've never done a two-week road trip before, so it will be interesting to see how things hold up. Plus we'll have The Brown Menace with us, and that will certainly complicate things.

Actually planning the route across the country makes the move seem a little more real, which means we will soon be starting our series of posts on things we are going to miss most about living in Seattle. So stay tuned!!

On last thing...this was first seen on Sellwood Street, our friend John's blog, but I feel like as many people as possible should see it. Good job Cincinnati. CW12's Dance Party Friday

Thursday, January 3, 2008


With Andy reporting on his top plays, I thought I'd share the most frequently played songs on my ipod over the last year or so. I have to preface this list by sharing how my ipod is used. When Andy is home, my ipod is relegated to the off position. Not only is his ipod bigger than mine, he spends far more hours creating the perfect playlists; therefore, mine gets relegated to second class ipod (he is an ipod nazi). The main listening locations for my ipod are therefore: the gym (where I prefer hip-hop or other fast paced songs), the airplane, and long car trips sans Andy. My ipod also got a lot of action at my parent's house at Christmas, hence Deck the Halls making the list.

So, here is the list:

The Cemetery Architecture In Helsinki
Stuntin' Like My Daddy (Street Version) Birdman & Lil Wayne
This Is Why You Love Me The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Whoever You Are The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Be Easy (feat. Trife) Ghostface Killah
That's Life Killer Mike
Bones The Killers
Georgia... Bush Lil Wayne
Woke Up New The Mountain Goats
Good Weekend Art Brut
Green Christmas Barenaked Ladies
Emma Blowgun's Last Stand Beulah
Dirt Off Your Shoulders DJ Danger Mouse (Jay-Z vs. The Beatles)
It's Okay (One Blood) The Game
Read My Mind The Killers
Mo' Money Mo' Problems Puff Daddy
Don't Feel Right The Roots
Don't Let Go Weezer
Deck the Halls Willie Nelson

Strange, eh? While we are on strange topics, check out this Christmas decoration from Andy's hometown. Santa has been recruited into the'd think his age and fitness level would have kept him out. Perhaps he is commanding a squadron of elves!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


We found out some bad news on New Years Eve. Seattle's legendary music venue The Crocodile shut down on December 18th. [we headed out of town for Christmas that night and had been very much out of the loop.] The Crocodile was legendary, where many early 90s Seattle grunge bands like Nirvana got their start. More than that, it was an amazing place to see a show. The performance space was interesting and the music was always impeccably mixed. Almost every band we ever saw there sounded great. The owner (Peter Buck's ex-wife) apparently just shut it down with no warning at all. It had been losing money but was reported to be turning around. Let's hope someone is able to buy it and reopen it. Read more here or here.