It was an absolutely beautiful day in Seattle. The kind of day that makes you think there's no better place to be. Or should make you think there's no better place to be. I felt like I was watching a YouTube video titled "Top 10 Reasons To Blah Blah Blah". Sorry, a case of the mehs. And I'm sorry, Ms. Cummings, I'll just never be able to put the second quotes after the period.

I loaded up the camera bag today and went for a wander. There just aren't any perfect camera bags. Chasing unicorns. The worst part is that I hate that I carry a camera bag everywhere. I doubt Henri Cartier-Bresson or Vivian Maier carried camera bags.

I know what you're thinking, and you're right. Quit whining. This is a good point to acknowledge that 99% of the planet is dealing with things infinitely more difficult than imperfect camera bags. That's a tricky part of a blog. An isolated post can seem ridiculously out of touch.

A week or so ago we had another gloriously sunny Seattle day, and the collective joy was palpable. I got the sense walking around today that we were all going through the motions. I know I'm supposed to be joyful, but I'm faking it. That's ok, sometimes you've got to fake it. Ugh, there's a When Harry Met Sally / The Office joke in there. Unintentional.

I walked from Capitol Hill to Pike Place Market. Foolishly, I skipped breakfast and lunch, so I ducked into Rey Amargo, the new Mexican chocolate spot on Capitol Hill, for a...smoothie. Yes, I'm an idiot. You go to a well-known chocolate shop for a smoothie? I needed a quick infusion of fruit and sugar, and it was tasty. I'll be going back for something chocolatey soon. But maybe not the boxed chocolates on the shelf - yikes, sticker shock.

I was headed towards the Market for two reasons: 1) It is never a bad idea to go to Pike Place Market and 2) a very well-known former general and drug czar recently tweeted that Seattle is dying, overrun with addicts. There's some irony there. Sure, Seattle has problems. Problems that one of the wealthiest and techiest cities on the planet should be handling better. But when I read that tweet, I thought he's lost his leadership skills, and he should just stay in Magnolia, where he'll be much happier.

No doubt, downtown Seattle is hurting. But tales of its demise are greatly Magnolia-fied.

Pike Place Market couldn't cure my mehs today. That means powerful mehs. I needed food, but nothing appealed, which is laughable. It's not you, it's me. I saw a woman walking by the fish throwers who was eating a sandwich that looked like the perfect sandwich. I was so close to blurting out, hey, where'd you get that perfect sandwich? I didn't, and instead I wandered around looking for that perfect sandwich. Fail. But I did score a new to me tin of mackerel at DeLaurenti.  First time I've ever wandered in there, and it was fantastic. Cheese, olive oil, pickled whatever you like, coffee...a perfect little shop.

That's enough rambling. I'll try to wrap this up.

Australian shepherds are cute as hell. I'm burning out on Thai food, but I'll never burn out on the people at Morfire. Quoting that credit card commercial is so 20 years ago, but I don't care. Rice dish $10, veggie gyoza splurge $5, 10 minutes of (masked) chatting with nice folks - $priceless. I looked longingly upon Jarr Bar from across the street for about 20 minutes, imagining going in for a cold beer and some tinned fish. My eyes have been itchy today. I reckon it's a sign that spring is springing or that I'm not getting enough sleep. Both could be true. I ran out of AeroPress coffee filters, so I repurposed a paper towel. How's your day going?

There's a really good article by Mike Baker in the New York Times about how Seattle shifted from early COVID hotspot to it'd be better to be in Seattle. I think the article downplays the benefit (in this case) of a disproportionate number of well-paid tech workers who can work from home, but it's still a really solid article. Most places haven't got that luxury, but Seattle and Washington as a whole did things that other places could have done. A caveat is in order - until this is over, it will always be too early to declare that X place or Y person did it right. Things could still take a turn for the worse in Seattle or anywhere, but on the whole, I'm grateful for how this state approached the pandemic. The photos by Ruth Fremson and Rod Mar are fantastic.

This is the last of it, I promise. My mood wasn't great walking back to the Hill. I got home, put some food in my belly, and stumbled on a couple of YouTube videos by and about Beau Miles that made me laugh. I don't know anything about him other than that he's an Australian adventurer and professor. Just listening to Australians is enough to improve one's day, and I'll always regret snapping at a few who woke up an unprepared, freezing me on top of Mt. Sinai. Again, it was me, not you.

My Wife, Helen: Bike Rider

Meet the Man Eating his Bodyweight in Beans

Capitol Hill Seattle March 2021
Sun. Capitol HIll, Seattle, 11 March 2021.
Jarr Bar Seattle March 2021
Jarr Bar. Sadly, I'll probably leave before getting a chance to take my parents there. We'll have to raise a cold beer with tinned fish somewhere instead. Seattle, March 2021.
Pike Place Market Seattle March 2021
I had a case of the blues, but Pike Place Market is as resilient as it gets. What a wonderful place. Pike Place Market, Seattle, March 2021.
Pike Place Market Seattle March 2021
Pike Place Market, Seattle, March 2021.