Unicorn Bar – Capitol Hill – Seattle

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The Unicorn is a cool bar in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle. I would suggest going simply for the ambience, if not for food and drinks. I randomly sat beside the owner, Paul. We spoke about the place, as I complimented the unique decor. He said they wanted a circus type theme. I’d say it’s like Betsy Johnson as much as circus, but I see where they were going. And I happen to really love it. Along with the EMP, it is a place of my own heart and a redeeming feature of Seattle for me.

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I was aimlessly walking around, with the vague intention of going to a Russian restaurant for dumplings (I couldn’t find that place, as it was quite inconspicuous; and I didn’t see it until I was walking back home), when I passed Unicorn and it spoke to me. So I ended up there. And I’m really glad that I did because I met Paul and the former chef, Josh, who made the menu.

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Paul was able to acquire for me a half order each of the Unicorn balls (fried ginger and jalapeño pork balls with bento ginger aioli) and Narwhal Balls (potato, swiss cheese and caraway, with harissa mayonnaise). In the Unicorn Balls, the taste of the spicy and ginger, with the pork, reminded me of something like a lamb pakora. The texture was meaty, yet not too chunky or flaky. The Narwhal Balls were delicious as well. The swiss melted beautifully with the potatoes; and the caraway was a nice touch. Both were fried in a rather light, crispy batter. All-in-all their tastiness made me contemplate the prospect of a love for fried bar foods. (I am from the south, after all, and southerners do love things fried!) And I regret that I didn’t take better photos to do them more justice.

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I also tried the original corn-dog -the house specialty, in tune with their carnival theme. It was rather good for a corn-dog, a good size, though I couldn’t eat it all after the balls. The batter was great. It tasted like sweet, moist cornbread. And the hotdog, which they make, along with the batter, in-house, was not so bad itself.

I actually had a long conversation about making sausages with Josh and Paul. Josh, with an exhaustive sausage making book in hand at the bar, now works for a specialty sausage store in Pike Place Market. And Paul, an interesting and worldly Brit who also maintains a day job, says that this place is more like a hobby for him.

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We share a fondness for occasional indulgence and excess when it comes to food, and apparently decor as well, we spoke about that and of travel in different countries of the world. He said he stops by the place typically every afternoon, but leaves when the bands start -something I came to later understand, as this evening the band on roster was a death metal group. As the noise level increased to a roar, and many goth, grunge, and hipsters filed in, I, feeling to old to be hip, decided to go home and get some rest.

Passing this interesting painting on my long walk home, I was left only to ponder how things kindred to my own heart seem to find me, or either I simply seek them out, things I would not otherwise encounter if not for my wandering.

EMP Museum – Seattle

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The EMP is a museum with a genius mix of Music, Fantasy, and Sci-Fi! Not to mention the ridiculously beautiful architecture of the building! When I bought my ticket, I was asked if I’m related to Buckminster Fuller, which started a conversation about the building and architecture in general. My answer was “I wish.” And I do. He was a visionary to which we’re still catching up. But the EMP is beautiful. You could go there simply to look at the architectural forms. They are quirky, yet fluid, melding natural and unnatural colors and metals. Both the interior and exterior are worth seeing for themselves and adds a coolness to the already cool theme driving the EMP.

This is truly a museum of my own heart! If I had to make a museum for the modern age, it would very well look like the EMP. I started on the music side, where they had exhibits of Nirvana and Hendrix (couldn’t ask for a better pick).

Nirvana: Bringing Punk to The Masses:

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Some of Jimi Hendrix’s Sweet Clothes on their British Tour:

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The fantasy section is small, but packed with more things interesting and dear to me, like the periodical table of magic, and the notebooks and writing of Ursula LeGuin and George R. R. Martin (again, I couldn’t ask for two better picks).

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The Sci-fi & Horror section was rather large compared to fantasy. There were tons of movie props and costumes, sci-fi books, such as Dune, on display. And there were various pods screening early and modern horror films:

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Yes, there were quite a number of nerdy folk here, but, really, who wouldn’t want to see this place? It is awesome.

Chihuly Glass & Sculpture Garden Seattle

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This museum and sculpture garden is beautiful. Chihuly is a true artist in the medium of glass. His eye for form and color is superb. His work is both whimsical and organic. Often set amongst gardens and landscape, the fluid, often colorful forms blend into the environment almost with a zen-like seamlessly planned ease. A Washington native, his work has been shown, and is currently displayed all over the world. It can also be found in nearly every state in some museum or another. He’s perhaps the most famous living artist you’ve never heard of.

 

 

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Though I think $19 is a bit steep for such a small exhibit, if you have the money or simply want to see it on a trip to Seattle, then you should. Even if you feel like the exhibition is a bit limited, you’ll also marvel at the beauty of it. When I went, the ticket price was reduced to $14 because one gallery was closed for an event, which was fine by me because it was still somewhat visible from the garden.

 

 

So, if you’re in Seattle and you love art, especially glass art, then this is high-up on a must-see list.

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